Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown
BUFFALO, N.Y. - This past spring a Cleveland based developer, NRP Holdings, filed suit against Mayor Brown. The company alleges that they were essentially chased out of town when they refused to hire an ally of the mayor, Reverend Richard Stenhouse, to be part of a proposed project.
The suit was filed four years after NRP's proposal to build affordable housing on some vacant lots in the city's Masten District fell apart.
From the outset Mayor Brown has staunchly denied the charges and continued to do so today.
Ironically, we spoke to him at a news conference where he announced a $40 million commitment by the city, for the rehabbing of vacant buildings downtown, primarily for housing .
Byron Brown: "It is a ridiculous claim, and that has nothing to do with this."
Dave McKinley: "But here's how it might. When people see these claims such as this, maybe they think twice, maybe they think well I don't know if I want to go up there to Buffalo."
Byron Brown: "No not at all people I think know that that is a lawsuit, that's a developer trying to get money out of the city for work that they didn't do, absolutely ridiculous claim, and one of the things the city is excited about is that we hear from other developers local, regional, national; every single week who are interested in doing business in this city."
NRP's lawsuit seeks $1.4 million in damages against Brown and the city.
In his most recent motion to dismiss the suit, Brown's lawyer filed numerous news articles from other parts of the country, chronicling NRP's troubles with other cities, and noting they'd recently been cited for using illegal aliens on their job sites.