Prospect Park developer faces jail time

Stan Thomas, the developer responsible for the failed Prospect Park development in Alpharetta, Georgia could be facing jail time for contempt of court. The legal case is unrelated to the foreclosure of the Prospect Park development but it does shed some light on the man the city trusted with our future.  The Times- Herald of Coweta County reports:

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Scheindlin on Oct. 12 issued a $13.5 million judgment in the case in favor of Jerde. Since that time, according to Scheindlin’s contempt order, Thomas transferred a $6.5 million promissory note, backed by real estate Thomas owns in the Cayman Islands, to an unrelated lender, in violation of the judgment. Scheindlin ordered Thomas to transfer $6.1 million and other considerations to Jerde. If Thomas didn’t comply by Dec. 30, he would be fined $10,000 per day. If he doesn’t comply by Jan. 20, he will be jailed.

You can read the whole article here.

If you want to know more about the man responsible for Alpharetta’s dirt mound on Old Milton Parkway you may also want to read here about Mr. Thomas’ dealings with former Governor Sonny Perdue:

That same year, Perdue sold off the family farm and invested his $2 million profit in 20 acres in Florida near Walt Disney World. Perdue never saw the land before buying it from developer Stanley Thomas, who Perdue had just appointed to Georgia’s Board of Economic Development, a plum choice for any state developer, and just after Thomas had given $250,000 to the Georgia Republican Party. The land was assessed at just $185,000, substantially reducing Perdue’s tax burden.“Perdue ethics charges linger,” Associated Press/Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, Dec. 27, 2006.(20)Perdue ethics charges linger,”

And you may recall that the city of Alpharetta investigated ethics charges involving Mr. Thomas last year as reported here in the Alpharetta Revue:

At the time, Thomas said he saw no conflict of interest with the donation. Later when he became aware of the size of the value of the work and the proximity of time between the in-kind contribution and the vote, Thomas said he would have probably advised DeRito “in an abundance of caution” to recuse himself from the vote.

I know Councilman Derito. He seems like a nice guy with a nice family and he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident reported above. And though I have no reason to believe Councilman Derito did anything illegal or acted with anything other than the best of intentions it was disturbing to find out about the events that took place regardless of how noble the cause.

The past few years have been unkind to Mr. Thomas and I take no pleasure in seeing a businessman struggle. But the city of Alpharetta and it’s community development department allowed Stan Thomas to turn the most important parcel of land in the city into a wasteland. It is instructive to see who they were dealing with.

Derito Imbroglio?

WSB TV in Atlanta has recently done two investigative reports about possible political shenanigans here in Alpharetta, GA. Both of the reports center around newly re-elected City Councilman (and presumed mayoral candidate) Doug Derito.

The first news report was that Councilman Derito steered $375,000 in advertising revenue from the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau to Alpharetta High School. I mentioned that story in an earlier post:

The latest story is even more troubling. According to WSB Councilman Derito introduced representatives of Alpharetta High School to the developer of the bankrupt Prospect Park development in Alpharetta. That developer, Thomas Enterprises, then performed $120,000 worth of grading work free of charge for the high school. Great news right? The problem is that within weeks Thomas Enterprises went before the Alpharetta City Council to ask for higher densities on the Prospect Park development and Councilman Derito voted in favor of the proposal. The increase in density may have been worth millions of dollars.

You can see the whole report at: