Legal Involvement of OFBF
At this point OFB wrote contract, We were very trusting that this contract would protect us. We had Bob Soles from Black & McCuskey advise us and we felt comfortable that we had nothing to fear as OFB was in the fight for PPR and for compensation for illigal shutdown of the Amos's.
Start up budget. All funds were distributed on monthly or weekly basis. There would be no personal use and all money is accounted for in receipts. It was decided by Atty. Frank Merril and OFB agreed that Amos needed to be back in business for the best results to come about in future court hearing of the "takings claim" to be filed. It went from that to the opening up of the large bog to press the hand of OEPA. Farley was asked if he would be able to stand the heat in doing this. We complied again as new money was being run up with no harvest yet. We were able to dig a very small amount out of the small bog before changing to open big bog. New roads had to be built. The money was running up as we were complying to OFB strategy
The pictures above with new road are premature by sequence of date. Was interjected at this point. Actually new roads were not put in until after contract was signed. It took a lengthy time to get equipment up and going again. The bulk of money went to Bankruptcy as their strategy but not as agreed and B&E lawyers to file claim on behalf of Amos. That did not happen either. It all went for research. The issues that did not happen as promised caused Amos even before turn of events to start to be suspicious of their actions. They had not kept their promises from the beginning. All we could do was comply until the end when John Fisher sat at our table one day with Keith Stempert and Scott Pullins and told us that we were going to change our life style and look for a new place to live as they proceeded to maneuver a sale of our property through Auctioneer Wilson & Harvey 4 and 1/2 years before contract was up. They used a non payment or their own scenario for claim against us. Again another lie. As you see documents down the line it comes to Amos counter suing for a jury trial to prove all untruth. We keep every document and indexed for proof. The dates were set for pretrial and trial. That day as we sat before Judge Runyan within about 5 minutes he claimed he would not hear the case and instantly gave a summary judgement to OFB. Now OFB members, and as old members ourself, we wonder how that happened??? Court of Appeals ruled for a stay and sent back to now Judge Deborah Woodward and ditto.
TURN OF EVENTS
The first initial letters of involvement as seen above impresses the Amos's of OFB's intentions on what they were going to do and how they would do it. As it turns out, all that was written meant nothing for the Amos's in the end, but a well prepared avenue to take Amos property. All promises written did not happen except for one thing. The money!! Money spent for the PREPARATION of the harvest of peat. A very minimal amount had been taken out of small bog before OFB wanted to open big bog. OFB claims they did all they could to get us started back in business, the fact remains that the amount was so little that Amos took in leaves, brush and chips from around small villages to mix. The peat material used was so small that we called the buyer to come in and inspect the mix before we would bag it. We ground over 3,000 yards of scrap. The buyer OK' d it as the processor did a great job and it looked really good . Just the quality of growing medium was not there. We did this in order to finish out orders. Another portion of residue peat that was left from purchasing from Tom Moherman after shutdown was also mixed in. Even though most of the material was not from small harvest we still offered to pay the 10% of all sales and foreign material as agreed in contract. OFB claim and only claim against us was that we refused to pay them. And Keith Stempert and Irene Messer know this to be fact. Pat Casey (deceased now) was there also. A total out right lie. We were stopped from taking any more peat from the little bog to open the big one. We were truthful about actually taking peat out, but the small excess came from digging a ditch for a culvert in the construction of a new road to get into large bog. That was considered taking new peat out that they used in claim that we harvested as agreed in contract. OFB knew that we spent fuel for grinding and had to buy new cutters for processor after extensive grinding. As the documents go on from here you will see unbelievable actions of maneuvering all from the so called "helper" of the farmer OFB. They hired Jones, Day!! Amos's were penniless by this time. So returning back to the facts in sequence.......
Going back to December 1996 OFB now informs OFB members their fight for Private Property Rights in OFB Magazine artice. This is very informative of OFB wanting to set presidence for the state of Ohio with the Amos "Taking" case. Read article below
In the portion below, you will see that the OFBF abandonded their mission in the Amos case
Army Corps and OEPA Inequities dealing with simialr issues on Private Property Rights. Sept. 15 1996 to Cliford Kelly as he prepared to harvest peat. Quite a bit different then the Huntington Branch dealings with Amos. Also many other cases to show prejudices.
Fax is sent to OFB atty. so they can look over agreement of B & E agreement with Amos and with many details. Details will soon lead to the events of complete turn around of OFB
On Feb. 4, 1998 Amos is sent a whole Memorandum of "CLASSIFICATIONS OF WETLANDS. This is a bold attempt to further extend "Regulatory taking" by ignoring guaranteed rights. NO MENTION OF COMPENSATION!!. OFB asked Farley to comment on this NEW RELEASE for his presentation on the OFB Feb 12, 1998 meeting. Farley also sent copy to Senator Bill Harris. This further shows how it would affect us. We have document but at this time will show Farley's reply to Frank Merrils and Tom Workman's above letter of April 14, 1997.
Letter from Keith Stempert requesting our first visit since operation start up to compare notes on finances. Irene Messmer and Keith Stempert came to Amos's at 9:00 a.m. on Thur. June, 18 1998. At this time Irene had full access to our computer. She was told that Joyce was just starting on computer and did not understand yet how to make reports from what was entered. Irene knew how and took some reports then decided to just take floppy disks and copy both systems of Microsoft Money and Peachtree. I entered transactions and kept records on both. All bank records to compare with computer records were handed over and brought back at a later date. At the time of meeting, money was in account to pay the 10% . Keith said that at that time in front of Irene that they were not interested or concerned about any money and don't even worry about it. They were just there to compare money notes. We found that Irene was off some thousands of dollars. I had complete update. Below was just scratch note that I wanted to ask about because Beneficial was never taken care of as contract called for. We paid for 3 years $70,000 interest for $70,000 loan. The balance was still the same. Then OFB finally because of contract did go and put in escrow another $70,000 so Amos could get another loan from Key Bank. But with no peat to sell, Amos falters and Key Bank goes for foreclosure. But figures below show that at the meeting we were prepared to pay OFB 10% of sales even when most of material was not our peat and mostly ground scraps. Total 10% of sales would have come to $4,860.00 but we told Keith and Irene we would just make out the check for $5,000.00. They would have to lie under oath to deny this. This is the truth of the matter. This was the way they could file on the Amos's. IF their case was the truth then why didn't they bill us at any previous time as in the contract they were to notify us by billing. Never once.
OFB's only recourse against the Amos's came from the 2 articles you see above. Amos complied with every rule.
When OFB knew that the Amos's would be the "Poster child" for the Private Property Rights Fight, OFB and Atty. Frank Merrill concluded that one of their main concerns was that it would be of the best interest for the Private Right suit that the Amos's Business showed a viable business to the court in their litigation.
So when it came down to being denied permit for small bog with intention of harvesting part of big bog then OFB felt that opening the big bog WOULD FORCE THE HAND OF THE OEPA therefore the cost sheet impacting the large bog was requested by OFB. We still had approximately 2 years business left in small lake. Tree removal, culverts, new haul roads, 2 trucks purchased to keep backhoe busy. Money is running higher now.
HUGE PROBLEM STARTS HERE.
AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE AND TURN OF EVENTS with the response of the "Other Case" National Mining with EPA. Amos knew nothing of this case BEFORE signing of contract of Oct 14, 1996. Other documents show that B&E knew of this case from Research records in other file.
OFB response or action to this was "BENEFICIAL LOAN" promise not kept. It was not taken care of for 3 years. This resulted in the Amos's paying thousands of dollars more then necessary. JUST 4 DAYS AFTER EPA LETTER Irene Messmer is having us send application for Key Bank to assume loan at Beneficial . It took until Sept. 15, 1999. and all the problems we went through over it....WHY??
OEPA LETTER THAT IS VERY DAMAGING AND THE DIVIDING FACTOR BETWEEN AMOS'S AND OFB. Letter below clarifies the fact that OFB should have continued with Private Property Rights issues specified in loan contract.
EXPLANATION On Aug.. 10, 1998 at the request of then State Rep. Bill Harris, now Senator Harris, Farley Amos wrote a summary of the situation after the 5th circuit of District Court in D.C. had ruled in 1997 & 1998 on the "incidental fallback" clause of the TULLOCH RULE. Farley informed Rep. Harris of the results of a meeting between Representatives of OEPA and Amos's represented by Atty. Frank Merrill at this meeting that the OEPA PLANNED ENFORCEMENT ACTION IF AMOS'S ATTEMPTED TO USE THIER LAND THAT HAD BEEN DELINEATED 'WETLANDS' EVEN THOUGH "INCIDENTAL FALLBACK" PROVISIONS HAD BEEN RULED "INVALID" AND "UNLAWFUL" BY FEDERAL COURT. Rep. Harris forwarded copy of the letter to OEPA.
INTERJECTION: AMOS CAN NOW HARVEST LEGALLY.
June 24, 1999 OFB wants to follow up with Beneficial and will be coming to Amos's July 13, 1999. This will also include yearly records that we are responsible to give. Keith and Irene were present again. We offered to pay again and the response was still the same. We did bring up the back taxes of $10,000 and a few other situations like Beneficial that never happened when promised. The taxes are still over our head. They at that time told us verbally that OFB decided NO MORE HELP AND WANTED OUT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. We just understood that and knew we had to take the fight on our own. We had no idea of their future plans for the Amos's. But to us it did mean no more B & E. An updated timeline letter is sent out to every Congressman and Senator. Responses back from OEPA to interested parties wondering what was going on was just too unreal, unfounded, untruthful and a waste of time and money.
ATTENTION: This letter is out of sequence in timing but want to interject it here for proof that as was indicated by Mar.11 '97 contract between OFB & Brickler & Eckler this pursuit of property right issues involving the Amos's was being directed by OFB. After and expended amount of hours by law firm of B&E it was agreed that the OFB would be further consulted and involved in direction of the "taking" case.
ACCIDENT: March of 2000 Farley fell 15 feet and landed on huge rock on his back breaking 6 ribs from spine, broken shoulder blade, bleeding internally, spleen and liver, and collapsed lung. It took a year to recuperate
On June 2, 2001 In conversation OFB now comes across as if they want to help us harvest again and tell us to get estimates on how much it would cost to dig 20-30 thousand yards of peat . And "OH YES!" says OFB "it would probably be wise for the OFB board's sake to get an updated appraisal". Also along with this they wanted to get the cost of the harvest from outsiders. Farley already had harvest equipment and the cost was $.80 - $1.00 per yard in expense. So why this?? This will be obvious soon. All this would be presented before the board for this added help.
Now readers if you recall back a few documents (Sept. 16, 1998) on this page that OFB asks for budget to harvest. At that time that did not happen because of their decision to open large bog. So that is why you will see at the top of page ( for previous site) We sent first document that we originally sent. Then when they knew for a fact that they had NOT DONE THIS EITHER that maybe we should have had at least a harvest. They know we did not harvest to amount to anything. THEY REQUEST AGAIN. This made Amos believe that they were going to do what they said so we could be off and running. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. IT GOT WORSE.
Amos's are anxiously awaiting the boards help on the matter. Meeting has come and gone but the anxiety causes Farley to call a friendly board member to ask how the meeting went. His next question was if our situation was discussed at anytime. His answer was no, truthfully, nothing was discussed at all. In fact your name was not even brought up. A letter that came (not in hand to insert at this time)was a request from OFB for a meeting at Amos's on July 12 at 2:00 to discuss contractor proposals and appraisal of property report. THAT HAPPENED AND THE CAT WAS OUT OF THE BAG HERE AND NOW.
ALL THE MONEY IT TOOK TO PROVE THE VALUE OF AMOS PROPERTY FOR THE LAW SUIT FOR INSTANCE THE JOHN AKERMAN REPORT. THE AMOUNT OF YARDAGE AND THE PROOF OF SALES WAS GOOD ENOUGH THEN. IT WAS IRONIC THAT ABOUT THE SAME DAY AS REPORT CAME THROUGH THE $25,000 WAS HANDED OVER TO B & E TO FILE ON BEHALF OF AMOS. WE WERE PRESENT AT THAT TIME. WE BELIEVE TO THIS DAY THAT JOHN ACKERMAN NEVER GOT PAID FOR HIS SERVICES. NOT LONG AGO A BILL CAME TO US THE FIRST TIME STATING THAT. WE ARE VERY SORRY AND REGRETFUL THAT THIS HAPPENED TO JOHN A. AS WE HAVE BEEN PUT INTO POSITION THAT WE CANNOT DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
BUT ALL THE MONEY IT TOOK TO DO THIS, NOW IS TAKING MORE TO DISPROVE THE VALUE BY THE NEW APPRAISAL. THIS EXTENT OF CALULATING TO DO THIS IS QUITE AMAZING IN ORDER FOR THE OUTCOME TO BE AS IT IS.
PEAT HARVESTING PROPOSALS
The Amos's already realized with the mention of reappraising, what it meant. They had out appraised the harvest cost and came up with SUPPOSEDLY negative board. Farley had asked to personally talk to the board. That was not permitted. The Amos's always realized in many conversations with OFB that although most 200,000 members throughout Ohio realized the help or their propaganda that OFB was going to fight for property rights. WHAT THEY DID NOT KNOW WAS HOW THEY WOULD REACT IF THEY KNEW THE FINANCIAL HELP THAT WOULD BE EXPENDED IN ORDER TO FIGHT THE BATTLE. This we knew was addressed by executive and board members only. (and if you caught it written in an upper document pg. 1) The July 12 meeting at Amos's was high pressured, nasty and they brought along this time Wilson-Harvey auctioneers to put our farm and business up for auction. IF not then they would give us a couple of days to think about it.
This is the exact time that we were told that we were going to have to change our life style and look for another house. MAYBE they might let us have our house and 5 acres if we could agree NOW. These words all came from Jack Fisher. Keith Stempert and Mike Pullins were present also. In excruciating emotional pain, Joyce said to Jack Fisher that the mere mention of the appraisal is when she knew what they were about to do. The Amos's were cordial during the meeting but soon called on now State Rep. Bob Gibbs that was previous President of OFB. Bob Gibbs advised us to address all issues and make the proposal to the board for the forgiveness of the debt because he knew that the debt was written off long ago. It made sense to us now why OFB told us not to worry about paying the figures of 10% that we already established and presented to them.
Later our atty was called and they offered Amos $75,000 to just leave.
Just to mention: after last meeting at Amos's the next OFB requested meeting was held at Key Bank social room.(where Key Bank held certificate for loan of Beneficial) Also to mention the fact that by this time OFB president and most all board members are very unaware of situation of the Amos's because they are all new and not familiar with the on going members of executive committee.
THE APPRAISAL THAT DEVALUATES THE AMOS PROPERTY AND DOUBLE TALKS WITHIN THE APPRAISAL.
HERE IS SOME REAL MENUVERING (and they call the Amos's frivolous??)
PROPOSALS for someone else to come in and harvest peat. OFB does know the rules from OEPA that now enabled them to dig that came down in Circuit Court ruling. A one step mining process of which we have. A system called High Line. It is entirely impossible to take equipment out on the bog. A very common sense situation. Look at proposals below. They bring in backhoe excavators. We realize this but have always been cordial, and willing to comply. We knew what the outcome pricing would be, but felt now they can compare our system of $.80 - $1.00 per yard. My husband is the expertise on this business not them. But that was not their reasoning to this maneuver. We even had our own trucks that we purchased with the upgrade of business. But we are even charged excess with the people using their own trucking.
All this "frivolous" information was handed over to Wilson & Harvey and therefore came up with a "frivolous" "double talking Appraisal" They based their decisions on OFB information but yet could not deny the John Ackerman report. So as they gave us $230,000 for farm and $800,000 - $1,000,000 for peat. Now the double talk, They do confer that there is 2,470,000 cu. yrd. X $9.00 per yrd gives $22,230,000.00. Our records in business shows that we always made at least 52% until the year we forced to buy material from T. Moherman. Now if OFB did not believe this then why did they have B & E send this letter to Attorney General as requested??
Since we could not address the board meeting, this proposal to OFB was prepared for 8-22-23-01 meeting as OFB Bob Gibbs instructed. Later in news articles (Columbus Dispatch) he admitted that he said it and then in (Ashland Gazette) He claims we misunderstood.
We were told by certain board member the above was never mentioned at the meeting.
Jack Fisher's answer in letter dated 8-28-01
Statement made by Jack Fisher. "OFB can not possibly justify that statement. (Meaning Bob Gibbs). There was no court challenge! There was no 'case law' precedents' THIS IS WHY OFB WAS INTERESTED IN AMOS'S CASE IN THE BEGINNING. This letter was signed by Jack Fisher. This was known to OFB in 1996. "no further case law precedent relative to the subject of Property Fights or compensatory taking is likely". If OFB believed the Wilson and Harvey Property appraisal then why are they so concerned about acceleration of mortgage by a time period of more than 4 years and especially at our lowest financial point. Their money would still have been guaranteed at end of Oct 31, 2006
THE MEMBER ELECTED BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND ELECTED PRESIDENT COULD FORGIVE ALL DEBT. JACK FISHER IS THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT. NOT THE ELECTED PRESIDENT!!!
Sept 14, 2001 meeting with OFB
Keith Stempert asked us to be ready to answer these questions prior to meeting.
Sept 14, 2001 Keith Stempert wanted above questions answered by Amos for up coming meeting at the Key Bank social room. UNDERHANDED ACTIONS CONCERNING BENEFICIAL LOAN. At this time a serious situation happens. Instead of taking care of Beneficial loan as stated in contract, 3 years passed, OFB needed to comply for their best interest so they secured a loan with a guaranteed certificate of the same amount of money. Irene took care of the application for Key Bank. It took almost a year before loan was engaged. Farley's accident and other circumstances from buyer brings the above pressure from OFB. We think this is the reason for questions to be answered.
Amos can't make NEW loan payment. (PAYMENT'S ALREADY MADE TO BENEFICIAL FOR 3 YEARS $70,000) NEW LOAN WAS TO PAY THAT AGAIN. We were doing that until accident.
Key Bank now tells us that certificate has been withdrawn by OFB and we have to come up with complete balance or face foreclosure. We call Keith Stempert and ask about the guaranteed loan and if they withdrew the money. Keith for sometime told us that he had not heard anything or knew any thing about where the money was at. This went on for sometime between OFB and Key Bank of neither one telling Amos anything. Only that Key Bank was going to foreclose on us. We had a couple of meetings with Shirley Ruhl manager at Key Bank. She basically told us that she was not able to find the status of what happened to the certificate because it would not happen that a bank would give up a loan that was secured. Finally the Atty. Joe Olecky that handled the situation with buyer for non payment looked into this for us. OFB and Key Bank finally had to admit an underhanded situation happened. Someone from Key Bank unauthorized handed over the certificate ONLY to OFB. Key Bank still had the money. OFB waited many months to make resolution. Interest was eating up over and above security certificate. When OFB finally moved to resolve the Amos's ended up with all interest owed what was on certificate with interest mounting. this was all admitted in front of lawyers at mediation hearing Jan. 10, 2003
We get to this point! MAY 5, 2002 Maybe all is not lost. Everything still cordial. Going with the flow--Amos still complying. OFB asks again and supposedly realizes in proposal above that Amos has found a source for peat that they would like to have removed for a good price. That was discussed. Now they request another cost for getting a really truly HARVEST OF PEAT AGAIN. We do all the work and comply again. There is another meeting where we will go to Columbus and meet with OFB and took cost prepared. We were now hopeful of actually getting our business really going. Farley is doing well again and spirits are up. Meeting will be May 13, 2002
LETTER OF MAY 24, 2002 IS SELF EXPLANETORY.
MEETING OF OFB AND AMOSES OF MAY 13, 2002
FARLEY AND JOYCE AMOS NOW HAVE 30 DAYS TO PAY OFB OR ELSE.
OHIO FARM BUREAU v. FARLEY AMOS
Farley and Joyce have already been through mountains of problems with the injustice of OEPA and Army Corps. Never expecting this National Organization, OFB to get us in, then take us out. And if by chance you think this is bad just go to the web site of www.ashlandco.org and see 5 years of motions filed against the Amos's for their property and 10 years of unspeakable damage, grief and loss. It will be amazing and disbelief to see the courts rulings against all motions. Against state law, case law, or whatever. It was always ruled against. First denial was going to pre trial and in 5 minutes Judge Runyan said he would not hear it and gave summary judgement. Judge Woodward has followed suit.
We are putting these documents up on this website for investigation. Not only us, but our children have paid the price. Our parents on both sides passed away in our arms knowing we would soon be on the street. If you have taken the time to read we appreciate. If you have any questions to clarify anything please call.