Michael Horne
Plenty of Horne

City Moves to Dismiss Rico Suit

By - Nov 4th, 2005 12:00 pm

The City of Milwaukee filed a motion in United States District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin to dismiss the city of Milwaukee defendants in the RICO case filed by Joseph Kaye alleging preferential treatment by the city in a real estate transaction.

The case involves a city owned property on E. Kane Place that was sold by the city to adjacent property owner Julilly Kohler, who is now developing the site for her residence and other dwelling units. It made a number of accusations against Kohler and city officials.

It was brought by Joseph Kaye, an attorney who once owned a property in the East Village area and made an offer to purchase the lot sold to Kohler.

According to the City’s Memorandum in Support oif the Motion to Dismiss,

“Plaintiff’s RICO complaint is remarkable in its audacity. … plaintiff has concocted a far-reaching criminal enterprise to manipulate the ownership, sale and use of City-owned real property (but, strangely, only that in the Third Aldermanic District) devised and controlled by a host of City agencies, City officials, including Alderman Michael D’Amato and Mayor Barrett, the East Village Association, Inc. and certain of its officers.

“One would think that such serious allegations of widespread political corruption and criminal association reaching deep into City Hall would be carefully pleaded and amply supported by factual allegations — that there would be some good faith attempt to substantiate those charges.

“The plaintiff, however, prefers to traffic in naked accusations, salacious innuendo, and self-serving rationalization. He eschews facts. He eschews detail. He eschews the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b). … The result is a rambling, disjointed and unsupported complaint that fails to state a claim. Indeed, plaintiff has not properly alleged a single element of his RICO and WOCCA claims, which are fatally deficient in every material respect.”

Whew! That is just from the introduction!

The document quotes a judge in another case as referring to a civil RICO suit as “the litigation equivalent of a thermonuclear device,” and goes on to say “Because plaintiff’s complaint is so deficient as to be frivolous, the Court should dismiss this action with prejudice and without leave to amend.”

It quotes the original complaint of Joseph Kaye in which he says, “I am alleging that the defendants are individuals and entities that are members of the enterprise. They are not separate from the enterprise, nor are they the enterprise itself.”
According to the memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss, “This ‘allegation’ is, both linguistically and logically, incoherent.”

The document was filed by Thomas L. Shriner, Jr. and Andrew J. Wronski of the Foley & Lardner law firm, attorneys for the City of Milwaukee defendants, Michael D’Amato and Lincoln Fowler, and joined by Terry E. Johnson, of Peterson, Johnson and Murray SC, attorneys for Julilly Kohler.

The City of Milwaukee defendants named in the case are The City of Milwaukee, Mayor Barrett, the Department of City Development, Rocky Marcoux, the City of Milwaukee Plan Commission, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, Bunkie Miller, John Hyslop and Patricia Algiers.

Also named are Alderman Michael D’Amato, Lincoln Fowler and Julilly Kohler along with certain board members of the East Village Association.

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