According to a confidential FBI source, Teamor "represented" Raymond Park, the I-X Center's multimillionaire owner.
Half the money was paid up front, and the other $30 million took the form of a lease that allowed Park
to keep running the center for 15 years, rent-free.But if Cleveland builds another convention center before that term is up, Park
can break the lease, forcing the city to pay him millions of dollars from his
In a normal, well-functioning government, a $66.5 million deal would have been closely scrutinized.
Seven years later, the only people who appear to have profited are Teamor, Nance, and Park
was an entrepreneur on his
way to becoming one of the richest men in America, according to Forbes magazine
specialized in buying and selling steel mills and other industrial dinosaurs.In 1976, he
bought the I-X Center
for $8 million and transformed the plant into a trade show and convention hall.
By the mid-'90s, the center was attracting thousands of people a year, drumming up business for hotels and restaurants, and generating millions in tax revenue for the city of Brook Park.
Jones Day, coincidentally, was hired to represent Park
was sitting on gold.
In January 1999, Brook Park
's law director, David Lambros, wrote a letter to Park, offering to buy the center.
The deal essentially paid Park
to keep his
own property.Since at least 1994, he
had publicly stated that he
was willing to sell the I-X Center
to Cleveland, as long as he
could still use the building.That's exactly what happened.
The lease guaranteed him use of the I-X Center
for 15 years.Though Park
would pay taxes and cover maintenance, he
would lease the building rent-free -- a perk both sides valued at $30 million.So for the next 15 years, the city was paying Park
$36.5 million simply to have the deed in its name.
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