Robinson attempts to cover up Benderson Scam on the Lake

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BLACKKETTER FIRING BY RANDY BENDERSON CANNOT COVER

UP SCANDALOUS ILLEGAL BENDERSON SCAM

PART II

ROBINSON ATTEMPTS TO COVER UP BENDERSON SCAM ON THE LAKE

By Jon Susce

Bill Robinson, Chairman of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association Board (SANCA), whose recent attempts to cover-up the Randy Benderson multi-million dollar scam at Benderson’s Park, exemplifies how a few politically connected  individuals  are making huge profits by means of corrupt connections through promotion of projects like Benderson’s, “Scam on the Lake”.

Robinson is just another charlatan who attempts to put on the face of an environmentally friendly advocate, preserving the quality of life that is under attack by those turning Florida into massive urban sprawl, while at the same time he is looking for financial gain by actually promoting urban sprawl.

There can be no denying that it’s in Robinson’s financial interests that Benderson’s “Scam on the Lake” not be revealed for what it is—a  multimillion dollar rip-off of the taxpayers of Sarasota (and beyond)— so that he can continue to stuff millions of dollars into his own pockets.  In addition, the last thing Robinson wants to have revealed is his close ties to Benderson flunky, Attorney Ed Vogler, who for years has been the land use mouthpiece for Benderson and other local developers.

For example, in his capacity as chairman of SANCA, which is nothing more than a Benderson controlled entity, Robinson has attempted to downplay the chaos and total misappropriation of public funding existing as the result of Benderson’s so-called Public/Private Partnership contract that Benderson has with Sarasota County, which is currently approaching near $70 million.

ROBINSON ASSERTION THAT ALL IS WELL AT PARK IS BOGUS
For example, Robinson stated in The Sarasota Observer that, “Despite any perception SANCA might be changing direction, there are no problems at the park and morale among the staff is good.” Robinson further stated, “Both CEO Paul Blackketter and COO Nicole Rissler are leaving for better opportunities.”

If anyone believes that statement or that Blackketter was not sent packing by Randy Benderson, get your head out of the sand. To believe that Blackketter getting paid $163,000 plus benefits as CEO of the facility and leaves to become a consultant with a resume like his is a bad joke.

WHO WOULD HIRE A BENDERSON FLUNKY LIKE BLACKKETTER?

Case in point, what individual in his right mind is going to hire someone similar to this Benderson fluky as a consultant? Who is going to hire a consultant who is just another one of Benderson’s incompetent Project Managers that is facing legal issues concerning his involvement with the $19.5 million contract that Benderson has with Sarasota County.  Blackketter’s name is all over millions of dollars in invoices that are under criminal investigation concerning that contract.

Who is going to hire someone as a consultant, who was recently caught on a video which clearly depicts a completely out of control, enraged individual, verbally abusing a fellow employee with the most foul, disgusting and repulsive language. (SEE ATTACHMENT NO. 1)

RISSLER KNOWS THERE ARE ISSUES AT PARK

As for Rissler’s strange departure, which she fails to explain other than referencing a press release, the question arises as to why all of a sudden is a job created at Sarasota County to fit Rissler’s resume?  In addition, why does Rissler not respond to questions that could put in doubt Robinson’s assertions that “there are no problems at the park and morale among the staff is good.”

Rissler fails to mention how the public has been, and continues to be, ripped off by Randy Benderson and other individuals, who are politically connected to this corrupt political system like Robinson and his son “Parks” Robinson.

ROBINSON IGNORES KROTEC’S ISSUES WITH BENDERSON’S

“SCAM ON THE LAKE”

What is scandalous, and in need of explanation from Robinson to the public, is why in The Sarasota Observer article, Robinson fails to mention the chaos and total mismanagement existing at the  rowing park, as mentioned by another former employee, John Krotec.

ROBINSON IGNORES KROTEC’S ISSUES WITH BENDERSON’S

“SCAM ON THE LAKE”

What is scandalous, and in need of explanation from Robinson to the public, is why in The Sarasota Observer article, Robinson fails to mention the chaos and total mismanagement existing at the  rowing park, as mentioned by another former employee, John Krotec.

ROBINSON’S REASONS FOR COVERING

UP BENDERSON’ S SCAM ON THE LAKE

Robinson fails to mention the financial benefits coming his way and being enjoyed by himself and his son, Park, which depend upon the continuation of the scam at the Benderson facility. For example, with the continued flow of $millions$ more in public funding for the scam—not only for rowing, but for managing events, the Robinson’s will make $millions in profit over the years from the “SCAM ON THE LAKE.”

Case in point, Robinson fails to mention that he and his son operate fifteen  FIT TO RUN—The Runner’s Superstores in Florida and one  of Robinson’s Fit2Run Superstores just moved into Benderson’s Mall at University Town Center. Robinson fails to mention that those running around Benderson’s, Scam on the Lake will be stuffing hundreds of thousands of dollars shopping at his Fit2Run Superstore at UTC and beyond. According to the Bradenton Herald: “The store will include a health food-focused fitness bar and provide athletes with the latest technology to track, record and document experiences and milestones.

The fitness bar includes made-to-order smoothies, wraps, sandwiches and one of Fit2Run’s most popular items, the acai bowl. The original bowl includes the reddish-purple South American fruit, organic soymilk, bananas, organic hemp granola and fresh fruit. Guests can add other ingredients such as peanut butter, dark chocolate or apples.

Robinson was quoted in the article as saying. “There’s really a need for fresh and natural food and drinks in UTC.” No doubt all these needs will be met with a high price tag.

Robinson continued ”The benefit of the state of Florida is that it’s a great location for health-conscious people.” No doubt those “health-conscious people” will be a financial benefit for Bill and his son, “Parks” Robinson, as those running around Benderson’s, Scam on the Lake will stuffing hundreds of thousands of dollars into The Robinson’s pockets.

ROBINSON CONNECTION TO

BENDERSON MOUTHPIECE—VOGLER

In addition, Robinson’s piece in The Observer , which was a total cover-up of the mismanagement of recently deposed CEO (Blackketter), failed to mention his connection to Benderson’s land use attorney, Ed Vogler, who could be facing criminal charges for  attempting to cover up serious Benderson multi-million dollar tax issues.  (SEE ATTACHMENT #2)

Those legal issues for Robinson’s present land use attorney became public when Vogler made a complete fool out of himself attempting to defend Benderson in his lawsuit with Hugh Culverhouse Jr.  A lawsuit in which a unanimous jury of six agreed that Benderson and Henry Rodriguez had defrauded Hugh Culverhouse —and awarded Culverhouse over $20 million in damages.

ROBINSON TO BUILD MORE URBAN SPRAWL

Robinson also conveniently fails to mention his connection with the Benderson mouthpiece, Volger in a development called, “Robinson’s Gateway” in Manatee County, for which Vogler is the attorney for the developer and co-owner of the property. A development about which  Vogler stated: “Our challenge is to make sure it is executed as well as they have done in the University Parkway corridor.”

What an outrageous statement!  On the other hand, what can one expect from a Benderson funky, and now Robinson mouthpiece, who had absolutely no problem in assisting Benderson create major urban sprawl at the University Parkway/I-75 corridor and now wants to repeat the same type of urban sprawl for Robinson.

For example, according to the Bradenton Herald, Robinson and Vogler will turn 300 acres that was once an old tree farm and nursery, with cows and pastureland into a new north entrance way to Manatee County, bringing with it development — residential and commercial — and hundreds of new residents. The scope of the project is being compared to Lakewood Ranch and University Park.

The plan for Robinson Gateway includes 542 residential units, 320 single family units and 222 multi-family units—900,000 square feet of retail space, 600,000 square feet of office space—a 1,750  seat movie theater and 350 hotel rooms. The project also touts about 40 acres of open space and parks.

Vogler is quoted as saying that the amount of square footage that will exist at Robinson Gateway “is at least as much square footage as at University Town Center.  The amount of available retail space alone is larger than the 880,000-square foot Mall at University Town Center.”

“What makes this unique is you have mixed use with a strong commitment to office and regional serving retail in context of a walkable community,” said Edward Vogler II, attorney for the developer and co-owner of the property.”

VOGLER: BENDERSON NEED NOT BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Vogler is a Benderson spokesperson, who came before the Sarasota County Commission a few years ago and presented Benderson’s  objections to his previous agreement to create affordable housing at Benderson’s University Park project. Vogler stated, “There is no longer a need for such housing and that the requirement to build these homes could hinder Benderson’s mall plans.”

 

Vogler told the county commissioners, “Benderson has been hampered in his talks with upscale department stores for his mall, due to the affordable-housing requirement with Sarasota County. Department stores want certainty in their agreements, and for Benderson to build workforce homes makes them nervous.” Volger continued, “This is about bringing department stores, not affordable housing in the near future to the area.”

ROBINSON IN BED WTH LONG-TIME NOTORIOUS

POLITICALLY CONNECTED ATTORNEY

Robinson has no problem getting in bed with Vogler, who for years has been one the most politically connected land use attorneys in the area. Robinson understands that in an environment where who you are at least as important as who you know, he has no problem getting in bed with Vogler, who has established friendships with mayors, county commissioners, legislators and some of the most prolific developers in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Robinson also has no problem becoming part of the stable of Vogler’s developers, who are corrupting the political process in the area, inclusive of Benderson, Carlos Beruff and former Florida State Senator John McKay.

Vogler recently represented Beruff, developer of the controversial Long Bar Pointe high-rises, which was to be built on one of the last stretches of Florida’s undeveloped coastline.  The development, originally suggested in 2001, has been through numerous incarnations, but the project now looks to have legs under a new development group, RLH Development, which includes Vogler’s friend and business partner, Wayne Ruben, formerly of Benderson Development.

SWEETHEART DEALS FROM McKAY

Vogler goes back to the days when former Florida State Senate President John McKay used his Senate public trust to elevate two of his Bradenton business partners and associates (developer Ron Allen and Vogler), and to retain a third developer and former politician, Pat Neal onto the state Ethics Commission that holds the powerful last word in deciding conflicts of interest.

 

In addition, McKay gave Vogler an exclusive contract as the Senate’s consultant on growth-management in the session just past.  The job paid $175 an hour, earning Vogler tens of thousands of dollars in a sweetheart deal that gave him singular influence over the shape of any new growth-management laws. (SEE ATTACHMENT #3)

No doubt, Robinson is expecting sweetheart deals from other local corrupt politicians that rainmaker attorney’s like Vogler can produce for him, as long as he continues to cover up BENDERSIN’S, “SCAM ON THE LAKE.”

NEXT

PART III

BLACKKETTER FIRING BY RANDY BENDERSON CANNOT COVER UP

SCANDALOUS ILLEGAL BENDERSON SCAM

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