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SunCal’s Announcement of $500,000 for Oak Knoll Was a Sham

Facing criticism and bad publicity over their failed Oak Knoll project that was beginning to negatively impact their chances with their Alameda Point Revitalization Initiative, SunCal rushed out a press release earlier this month, announcing $500,000 in maintenance funding for Oak Knoll. Trouble is, there was no substance behind the announcement.

Court documents show that SunCal is not putting up the $500,000 themselves – clearly, they don’t have that kind of money. So they tried to get it from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate. Lehman’s attorney’s and the bankruptcy trustee are reluctant to let any money go to SunCal for Oak Knoll. But they apparently worked out a tentative deal for one of Lehman’s non-bankrupt subsidiaries, Lehman ALI, Inc., to loan $500,000 to SunCal Oak Knoll LLC.

Now let’s take a look at the budget for that $500,000. (See below.) Over $34,000 of that is going to insurance premiums to protect Lehman ALI and the bankruptcy trustee. $17,833 is going to a fire hydrant survey, which does nothing to abate the risks at Oak Knoll, and is unnecessary because the Oakland Fire Department already knows well enough to bring their own water and not rely on the hydrants at Oak Knoll to provide water.

The onsite security will last through to January only – what will happen come February? And the money funds no demolition of the tinderbox buildings – only weed abatement and removing wood stock piles that can serve as “fuel loads” in the event of a fire. What about the fuel loads represented by the half-demolished buildings?

In any event, none of the money has been released yet, and none is being spent on any of the activities in the budget, as the lawyers are still fighting over it. SunCal’s press release was a little premature.

SunCal 500k Budget Oak Knoll

3 comments to SunCal’s Announcement of $500,000 for Oak Knoll Was a Sham

  • Alan

    Now it’s time for Oakland’s City Attorney John Russo to step up to the plate, and begin a lawsuit against the entities which own the SunCal Oak Knoll property. They do have money and other assets. Lots of them. They are not bankrupt.

    The City Attorney has to do it quickly, because if Lehman Brothers’ lawyers have their way in the Oak Knoll bankruptcy court, all of the Lehman entities will be released from any liability for abatement of these fire hazards AND released from liability for personal injury and property damage arising out of a fire which starts at Oak Knoll. Even worse, Lehman Brothers’ lawyers are so presumptuous, they include in their Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan of reorganization a provision that no Lehman entity every has to do any fire hazard abatement work at Oak Knoll, and no one unrelated to Lehman who might buy Oak Knoll from Lehman has to do any fire hazard abatement work either.

    Oakland is in the grips of Wall Street rip off artists more brutal and vicious than the worst street gang members in the City.

    It’s time for the Alameda County District Attorney to prosecute these brutal Wall Streeters as well.

  • barb

    We have a newly “appointed/annoited” DA who will be seeking validation of her generous hand off of Tom Orloff’s baton. Let’s see if she will do anything to earn it and thereby keep her seat at the upcoming election. If she were to enforce the law for the 9300 plus misdemeanors committed in the name of SUNCAL when the Alameda Point initiative was fraudulently circulated, and get $100 per violation, she would have a tremendous bankroll to start with. And the proof is all on video tape. How easy could that be? Nancy O’Malley would be preventing another Oak Knoll from being created. And she could seek fines, legal costs and abatement of the criminal nuisance created by SUNCAL at Oak Knoll. Maybe she could even pierce the corporate veil of the sham entities created by Lehman and SUNCAL to shirk the resposibility of their own financial incompetence.

    And if the DA refuses to act, then Jerry Brown who is seeking a return to the Governor’s position (not the mansion) should have jurisdiction as well.

    Come on you two, let’s see if you are entitled to be elected, or if the citizens of Alameda County need to step up to the plate themselves because of a noticieable lack of action. Is it business as usual? Bailouts for the corporations at the expense of the neigbhorhoods and families that make up this country.

  • RM

    SunCal needs to be stopped from ever working in the San Francisco Bay Area again.

    We must keep them away from the Alameda NAS.