CLEVELAND, OH – Tania Maria Menesse was born in Mumbai, India on December 8, 1973 and arrived in the United States of America sometime in 1978 when her parents moved “their family” to Shaker Heights at the age of four. 10,000 members of the 100 year old Communist Party of India rallied against the administration of Indian President Narendra Modi in July. Communism is outlawed in the United States of America and has been since 1950.
If the Asian Indian’s “family” entered our nation legally Menesse was eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship at the age of 16. If Noel and Claudine Bede Menesse’s immigration to our nation wasn’t legal then Tania Menesse may be one of the “Dreamers” federal courts now say are in our nation illegally. That half-crazed Deferred Action for Childhool Arrivals “policy” Barack Hussein Obama enacted as President of the United States of America to protect his friends like Kamala Harris was illegal.
When ex-United States Attorney Justin Herdman launched his federal criminal investigation into BSSDC and Johnson, he should have included a check of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as the United States Department of Labor (UDSDOL) to learn if Menesse was a citizen or green carded; and eligible to work in the United States of America for the city of Cleveland. The Jackson administration didn’t sign up to use the USDOL’s “E-Verify” until 2017.
601 Lakeside Avenue under the outgoing mayor and council president – who flew an Israeli flag over an American government building – is literally a “sanctuary city” hiring hall for aliens with questionable and unchecked backgrounds whose credentials are larger than their capabilities. Instead of being a witness in the trial against Ward 4 Cleveland Councilman Kenneth Johnson, his aide Garnell Jamison and Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation (BSSDC) former director John Hopkins, Menesse should be facing a criminal investigation for her mishandling of the federal law and regulation duties associated with her tenure as Cleveland’s “Director of Community Development.”
At all times during Menesse’s two year employment with the Jackson administration she was charged with the duty of managing HUD dollars to comply with 24 CFR § 570.208 under the heading, Criteria for national objectives. CFR is the abbreviation for Code of Federal Regulations.
All “block grant” dollars are intended to meet the United States Department of Development’s (HUD) three straight-forward national objectives. All of the nation’s laws are written in plain and unambiguous English.
Every penny of the $21 million in “community development” block grant monies Menesse approved had to achieve the goal of benefitting low and moderate income persons; aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; and meet a need having a particular urgency as referred to by Congress as urgent need. As the expert her duty to Jackson was to advise him like I’m doing now when an expenditure from HUD dollars was not an “eligible activity” or when employees were engaging in unauthorized acts.
For each block grant dollar spent on an “ineligible activity” that doesn’t meet a “national objective,” HUD officials are supposed to demand a return of the federal government’s money from a “participating jurisdiction’s” general fund. The municipal corporation of Cleveland is a direct entitlement participating jurisdiction. So is East Cleveland as both cities get their HUD monies directly from HUD and the statutory characteristics for managing the federal dollars is the same.
There’s a HUD graph showing how Menesse approved the expenditure of $21 million in block grant funds for program year 2019-2020. Menesse invested a microscopic 1.68 percent of Cleveland’s block grant money to eliminate slum and blight and nothing, zilch, nada on the “urgent needs” of low income people. No jobs for the low-income were created.
Menesse puts a bureaucratic face for why Cleveland poorest neighborhoods are struggling. If local HUD officials follow-up on their own requirements to monitor how Menesse managed Cleveland’s $21 million the city’s taxpayers must now reimburse the federal agency for the money she wasted.
“HUD, as steward of federal funds, must monitor recipients for compliance with the program statute, regulations, and terms and conditions of the award. The information obtained through monitoring is used to determine performance and whether additional actions are needed to increase the potential for successful performance or to protect federal interests.”
What she did was ignorantly and maliciously attack Hopkins at BSSDC for employing low-income American Negroes and cutting grass to eliminate slum and blight in Ward 4 to the benefit of the demographic group for whom the block grant dollars were intended.
The 5-year “annual” Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER) the Jackson administration submitted to the council for legislative approval claimed federal block grant money would be spent between 2015 and 2020 addressing HUD’s national objectives in the city’s poorest census tracts. Without the promise of meeting HUD’s national objectives with measured outcomes the federal agency’s employees are supposed to reject Cleveland’s CAPER and Action Plan.
The CAPER is due 90 days before the end of each HUD program year. The legal authority for CAPER’s is found at 24 CFR 91. The section referencing “Performance reports” is found at 24 CFR 91.520.
Menesse arrived in the Jackson administration through her 8-year career in “economic development” with the city of Shaker Heights. The wealthy suburb is ineligible to receive federal HUD dollars intended for the poor so Menesse was hired to talk investors into opening businesses in the city. Menesse went from managing no federal block grant funds in Shaker Heights to managing more than $21 million in HUD dollars in Cleveland thanks to Jackson’s generous contribution to her resume.
There was absolutely nothing in Menesse’s professional background that qualified her to manage the city of Cleveland’s Community Development department when Jackson administered her the oath of office on April 9, 2018. There are online reviews of Menesse’s work as an illustrator for her husband’s “Shuck” comic book character that describe the English used by his characters as “mangled.”
Community development is organized to execute federal HUD laws and the national agency’s agenda in Cleveland as an adjunct of the United States government. The laws Congress enacted to govern HUD are codified at Title 42 of the United States Code. The regulations controlling HUD’s management and interactions with the recipients of federal funds are codified at Title 24 in the United States Code. HUD’s policies are the same as other federal agencies as they are found in various Office of Management & Budget (OMB) circulars.
Menesse’s interview with Jackson’s administration should have been a test of her knowledge of federal laws. If she’d been an ambitious interviewee Menesse would have read the city’s CAPER and audits. Had she been competent Menesse would have been referencing specific sections of federal laws and regulations that would help her manage the department and resolve problems instead of that “visioning” shit interviewees with no knowledge of community development offer to mayors.
With the CAPER comes an Action Plan Cleveland residents are supposed to review and comment on for 30 days. Once approved by council neither the CAPER nor the Action Plan can be amended by a “member” of council, individually, pledging to assign block grant dollars to a non-profit or purpose that wasn’t in either. This is the one feature of block grant funding that makes council’s 17 member split illegal and will keep them facing criminal charges like Johnson and former councilman Joseph Cimperman.
Not all Cleveland wards are block grant eligible. Residents of Johnson’s Ward 4 are entitled to more block grant dollars than the residents of West Park or Old Brooklyn. Menesse, too, had no authority to amend either the CAPER or Action plan on her own.
A successfully operating community development department is functioning under local laws enacted by a city council that adopted a “substantial equivalent” of the relevant portions of the federal agency’s regulations as their own. The council Kelley leads has not.
This adoption of federal laws is what I advised BSSDC’s board should have occurred from the non-profit’s inception in 1970. Former chairman Marvin Cross asked me to volunteer my time for training assistance during Menesse’s tenure with the Jackson administration. I drafted a letter for him to Menesse asking Jackson’s community development director for a meeting and technical assistance.
All of Buckeye’s current problems appear to stem from Jackson’s decision to replace Russian Jewish attorney and convicted “near” pedophile Michael Cosgrove with the completely block grant inexperienced Menesse. Ex-attorney Cosgrove is now a registered sex offender for his internet attempt to date an undercover law enforcement officer pretending to be a 15-year-old girl.
Cosgrove is the Jackson official who failed to help BSSDC’s director, John Hopkins, build up the capacity he needed to meet the non-profit’s annual audit requirements. Hopkins told me when we discussed the non-profit’s relationship with the city – during the time I was becoming familiar enough with its operation to share my insights with chairman Marvin Cross – that Cosgrove like Menesse never offered “technical assistance” to BSSDC as federal laws required.
After Jackson gave her a job Menesse appeared to be more focused on executing ex-Cleveland Neighborhood Progress director Joel Ratner’s plan to kill off BSSDC instead of “monitoring” and aiding the non-profit with “technical assistance” she was required by federal laws and the grant management agreement to deliver. Ratner, a Russian Jew, called himself “gangstering” BSSDC’s all-American Negro board and director. He arrogantly showed up at a BSSDC board meeting and boisterously gave “instructions” for them all to submit their resignations and re-apply for their positions.
Menesse in the background had been advising Hopkins to merge BSSDC with Bell Burten Carr as part of Ratner’s “vision” to consolidate the CDC’s and to reduce the fighting that comes for them all competing for dollars. There’d be no block grant competition if Menesse had delivered HUD dollars to the Clevelanders living in the census tracts for whom Congress intended the money to be used.
As a “force them out of business” strategy, Ratner had advised CNP’s board to cut-off funding to BSSDC after a series of derogatory news stories that appear to have followed Menesse’s flawed perceptions about the non-profit and Johnson were published on cleveland.com as written by Slovenian writer Mark Naymik. Johnson previously told EJBNEWS he had suspicions Naymik was being paid by Ratner to target him.
AdvanceOhio is led by Chris Quinn and markets itself as an opinion shaping marketing firm. Naymik has identified himself as a “political consultant.” AdvanceOhio doesn’t identify the clients hiring its editorial “consultants” to create opinion shaping information under the guise of it being “news.”
Quinn was a Plain Dealer reporter during former Mayor Michael White’s administration when he and Mark Vosburgh were writing about council’s 21-way split and I was serving as one of the mayor’s special assistants. Quinn should know like I do from his quotes of then community development director Linda Hudecek; and from his attendance at council’s meetings that the legislative authority’s “evenly split” block grant ordinance must be repealed.
Johnson, an American Negro with roots to slavery, Jim Crow racism and the civil rights movement was militantly offended about that “Eastern European white supremacy” bullshit an allegedly drunken Ratner disrespectfully displayed with his disruption of the BSSDC board meeting. So he took to the council floor and voiced how Ratner and CNP were siphoning away money intended for the poor to non-profits in the city’s wealthier and less American Negro-controlled wards and neighborhoods. Johnson ripped Ratner’s “deprive the poor” mindset as racist.
“In 2015, 2016 and 2017 Ratner and CNP delivered $6.3 million to west side non-profits and $1.4 million to east side non-profits,” Johnson told EJBNEWS. The “retaliation” from Menesse was immediate.
Menesse forwarded a July 3, 2018 letter to BSSDC’s Hopkins and former board president Brad West giving them 6 days until July 9, 2018 to deliver audits she identified as not being current. Menesse’s correspondence failed to identify the specific audit years she believed BSSDC was behind. She also failed to identify evidence of non-compliance from monitoring reports Cleveland’s community development directors had compiled over the years from their site visits and offers for technical assistance.
HUD’s monitoring requirements for Menesse mandated that acts she took to strip BSSDC of its funding were authorized by federal laws and followed federal regulations. There were three federal law options available to Menesse to remedy what she perceived were BSSDC’s compliance issues. Limited denial of participation, suspension or debarment, but only “on adequate evidence that support claims of program violations.” All three remedies were temporary which conflicted with Menesse’s intent as she implied in her correspodence to “put BSSDC out of business.”
Replacing an incarceratead near-pedophile put Menesse in the position where she couldn’t prove the city had ever site visited or offered technical assistance to BSSDC as the basis of her decision to cut off its funding. [NOTE: Menesse is now in the job Ratner held. Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) executive director Jeffrey Patterson is CNP’s board vice president.].
The Jackson employee’s reckless decision obstructed BSSDC’s ability to comply with Title 4113.15(A) of the Ohio Revised Code.
“Every employer doing business in this state shall, on or before the first day of each month, pay all its employees the wages earned by them during the first half of the preceding month ending with the fifteenth day thereof, and shall, on or before the fifteenth day of each month, pay such employees the wages earned by them during the last half of the preceding calendar month. ”
The individuals whose lives she maliciously disrupted were all American Negro youth who relied on the money for their living accomodations; and who all met the characteristics for whom HUD dollars were intended. Despite Menesse’s and Naymik’s “East Saint Louis Holocaust-style” attack on their jobs their once permanent employment was exactly the intended use of HUD’s job creation funds. Menesse’s decision lasted for only three days after one of the youth she’d harmed filed a civil claim for his wages.
Menesse’s attack on BSSDC deflected away from the Jackson administration’s prior and current mishandling of its grant management duties with the CDC’s. Late audits from CDC’s underscored Cosgrove’s “dereliction of duty” more so than it did the non-profits neither he nor Menesse were monitoring.
The most recent BSSDC audit on file with Cleveland was for program year 2014 that would have been completed in 2015. Ohio’s Auditor of State doesn’t release a prior year’s audits until October of the following year. When I served as East Cleveland’s mayor neither state auditor’s Betty Montgomery nor Mary Taylor audited my records for four years though they were required to be done annually. It wasn’t until David Yost’s election to the job when he released East Cleveland’s 2006 through 2009 audits in 2012.
What Hopkins said was missing were audits from 2015 and 2016 that HUD block grant regulations allow to be conducted bi-annually or every two years. An “allowable” two year audit would then be released in late 2017.
Hopkins told EJBNEWS how he shared with Menesse that the audits were being prepared and BSSDC needed three days beyond her deadline to deliver them. Menesse refused.
Cross believes Menesse’s decision to abruptly cut off BSSDC’s funding for a director who’d only been on the job for three months was strangely intentional. This is particularly so since all HUD decisions are appealable and not final until “administrative” appeal rights are exhausted.
Menesse’s correspondence completely ignored BSSDC’s appeal rights found at 2 C.F.R. Part 180 and 24 C.F.R. Part 26, Subpart A. There’s language in 2 CFR Part 180 that 2 C.F.R. Part 180 that required Menesse in her “demand” correspondence to BSSDC “to include a term or condition in all lower tier covered transactions” or contracts and subcontracts. Menesse’s poorly-written correspondence was deficient in its failure to identify by specific federal law, regulation and policy the “terms and conditions” she believed BSSDC had violated.
Menesse had taken issue with Johnson’s adopted sons working for the non-profit without recognizing the laws Congress enacted empowering them with the individual right to request an “exception” in writing to any “perceived” conflict of interest. As members of the class of Americans for whom HUD dollars were intended, they merely had to disclose the conflict, show how it addresses HUD’s Continuum of Care; and demonstrate that their income and social status makes them eligible for HUD assistance. BSSDC’s director and board simply had to refer to their “conflict of interest” policy and it was Menesse’s duty to advise them to have enacated one consistent with 2 CFR 200.112 and 2 CFR 200.318.
(2) Exceptions. Upon the written request of the recipient, HUD may grant an exception to the provisions of this section on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the cumulative effects of the criteria in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, provided that the recipient has satisfactorily met the threshold requirements of paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section (i) Threshold requirements. HUD will consider an exception only after the recipient has provided the following documentation: (A) Disclosure of the nature of the conflict, accompanied by a written assurance, if the recipient is a government, that there has been public disclosure of the conflict and a description of how the public disclosure was made; and if the recipient is a private nonprofit organization, that the conflict has been disclosed in accordance with their written code of conduct or other conflict-of-interest policy; and (B) An opinion of the recipient‘s attorney that the interest for which the exception is sought would not violate State or local law, or if the subrecipient is a private nonprofit organization, the exception would not violate the organization’s internal policies.
(ii) Factors to be considered for exceptions. In determining whether to grant a requested exception after the recipient has satisfactorily met the threshold requirements under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, HUD must conclude that the exception will serve to further the purposes of the Continuum of Care program and the effective and efficient administration of the recipient‘s or subrecipient‘s project, taking into account the cumulative effect of the following factors, as applicable:
The decision to abruptly cut-off BSSDC’s funding violated the non-profit’s appeal rights and went far beyond the authority HUD grants entities to correct compliance issues. HUD regulations allow elected officials to serve on CDC boards and for one-third of the appointees to come from a political source. The authorization simply has to be written into the non-profit’s bylaws. If Menesse believed Johnson’s outside involvement with the non-profit was a “conflict of interest” she failed to identify it in writing.
Menesse’s “time allocation sheets” should reflect “unannounced site visits” annually at each of the city’s Community Housing Development Corporations’ (CHDO) most people call “CDC’s” or Community Development Corporations. They don’t.
Former BSSDC officials say Menesse only visited the agency once for a meeting between Jackson and local business owners. The ongoing and contractually-required “monitoring” was supposed to give Menesse an in depth look at the management operations of the CHDO’s or CDC’s to detect and correct federal law compliance issues she discovered.
Former BSSDC board chairman Marvin Cross signed correspondence that I drafted for him in 2019 asking Menesse for technical support. She never responded in writing, by email or by phone. Cross said he met with Menesse, once, prior to his technical support request and she told him her intent was to “close” Buckeye.
Menesse’s refusal to respond to the retired Cleveland police commander’s request for a meeting and help was an act of “dereliction of duty” for which he had the authority to file a criminal complaint against her. At all times Menesse’s statutory duties pursuant to the city’s grant management agreement with BSSDC was to monitor and assist every sub-recipient of HUD dollars to achieve the federal agency’s three national objectives. Menesse’s biography as CNP’s new “president” in her own words say she failed … miserably.
During Menesse’s tenure at the City, she led the community wide equitable development taskforce, started the Middle Neighborhoods initiative, was an active participant in establishing the Lead Safe Home Fund and kicked off the City’s Ten Year Housing and Investment Plan.
Does anything Menesse describes as an accomplishment above read like she complied with the federal block grant laws I’ve shared.