Not “Covering” All the Bases
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 21st January 2017

September 13, 2016 9:10 am ET

Developer’s “no insurance policy” is troubling and may be illegal

Source: Not “Covering” All the Bases

Photo credit/Fort Howard Community Association

A FOIA filed by the Fort Howard Community Association reveals that the necessary insurance required by the developer, Tim Munshell, cannot be verified according to a response from the VA provided exclusively by the FHCA for this column.

Here is a copy of the FOIA:

This is especially troubling since the numerous arson fires at the historic site have left buildings in ashes.

Another troubling issue deals with elected officials at both the local level and on the federal level.

The questions for Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, Senator Barbara Mikulski, and 7th District Councilman Todd Crandell are:

· What they knew?

· When did they know it?

· Why did they not reveal these facts to the public?

Here are some troubling links that shed some light on this very serious issue (and possible cover up).

First, we have an article in which Senator Mikulski took campaign cash from Mr. Munshell:

On top of that, I filed a PIA that dealt with a new potential developer who crashed a meeting to make a gregarious announcement:

And this PIA response was, in my opinion, less than candid—you can judge for yourself:

If those political leaders were aware (and they should have been), then one has to wonder what are the possible ramifications?

That is the million-dollar question.

In an attempt to garnish an answer, I sent the following email with a CC to Councilman Crandell:

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger

MD 2nd Congressional District

Dear Congressman Ruppersberger:

(For the record)

Are you aware that the holder of the EUL at Fort Howard, Mr. Tim Munshell, according to a recent FOIA, does not have the required insurance?

If this is true than this presents issues regarding transparency.

You also made statements to the Dundalk Eagle that you were pleased with the progress report as provided by the VA Secretary. One would think that this would be pertinent information regarding the insurance issue considering the numerous arson fires at the site.

Were you aware of this failing regarding this issue?

Also, has your office been in contact with anyone connected with the FH development?

As you may be aware there was no required traffic study conducted in order to meet the NEPA requirements concerning FH. This information is also contained in a FOIA of which you have a copy.

I am seeking a comment from your office.

My article will be published late on Monday, 9/12/16.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.


Buzz Beeler

No response from either of the two politicans.

As I always do, I researched this problematic issue and ran into a stone wall.

Needless to say, this could wind up as yet another political scandal in which those who are supposed to hold others accountable are, in fact, not accountable themselves, as we have seen on the national political stage.

However, in any play on stage and in the public eye, there is more than one act. To that end, you the audience—i.e., the voters—will ultimately administer justice at the polls.

Here is an interesting article that appeared in the Sun on the zoning change by Councilman Crandell:

Allow me to point out what I think are major flaws in this article.

Here are three quotes from the article that bare some scrutiny:

“Crandell drafted legislation that would have allowed the 400-unit project, but then withdrew it.

It’s not clear if Cignarale is still involved in the project. Neither Munshell nor Cignarale responded to requests for comment Wednesday.

The VA also did not respond to a request for comment.”

I have a few questions about these quotes.

Why did Crandell withdraw his legislation, especially right after I published the PIA response that alluded to using a Gmail account, which violates both county and state law?

There are three who I suspect have intimate knowledge of these details, especially after this additional quote from the article:

“What has been presented so far won’t work,” the Dundalk Republican said Wednesday. “I want a plan that’s going to work.”

Could this quote from the VA have anything to do with a “plan?”

I’ll cut to the chase about that link by offering this quote:

(2) The LSM shall use the AOCC to monitor the steady state phase. Throughout the year, various checklists (e.g., taxes, insurance, site visits) are completed and the supporting documentation is posted to EULIS.

Speaking of taxes, Mr. Munshell in in arrears in that area.

Here are some more interesting quotes from the VA:

e. During the execution phase it is important to monitor planned construction activities against actual results to ensure compliance with EU lease terms and agreements. Examples of data and documentation that must be acquired, maintained, and provided to the OM upon request include: financial/in-kind consideration data; the OCSC; insurance certificates; Annual and/or Quarterly Financial Statements from lessee; payment and performance bond(s); design/ development documents; federal, state and/or local permits, licenses, and/or approvals; inspection reports/ punch lists; and other related supporting documentation, as applicable.

There’s more salt to throw on the Sun’s wounds:

(c) Receipt of Supporting Compliance Documents: The PM shall collect any required supporting compliance documents and maintain in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in OAEM Records Managements System. Required supporting documents shall be determined by the MIS and the OCSC and may include: insurance certificates, notices, invoices. Original physical documents shall be stored at VACO (OAEM) by the OM, with copies stored at the local facility. Further information regarding compliance milestones will be provided in training materials.

There are at least 8 more references to the requirement of insurance regulations concerning the developer.

Now let’s put a fork in this turkey with this final tidbit from the VA:

1. DEFAULT PROCESS. The PM during the execution phase or the LSM during the steady state phase is responsible for carrying out day-to-day administration and reporting requirements associated with the EU lease. Ongoing monitoring of the EU lease will enable the PM or LSM to identify when a lessee or VA is at risk of default because of actions or omissions resulting in non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease.

So there you have it, folks—the nuts and bolts of this boondoggle. The facts are staring you in the face, if you aren’t blinded by the Sun.

Mr. Munshell you should have called Flo.

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