(LFC Comment: We are providing a forum for the patriots in Knox County to know how city officials have abused a taxpayer at every turn. Beware residents of Knox County, this could happen to you.)
Ohio E.P.A. Fact or Fiction
I have tried over the last seven and a half years to understand how the Ohio EPA works to enforce regulations and have uncovered the worst case of double standards I have ever seen. They operate like the local Health Department. They believe they can enforce or suspend laws at their discretion but there is nothing in the state or local laws that give
them this power.
A felony was committed on my property by the construction crew hired by the county. The EPA is aware of this, the local Health Department is aware of it and the county waste water Department is aware of it but refuse to enforce any laws or regulations because they were hired by the county. They do not have sovereign immunity because a felony was committed.
I have petitioned every state and federal agency connected to such regulations and they do not want to get involved. I have tried to follow the money but have found one of the biggest shell games you have ever seen.
The enforcement arm of the EPA is supposed to investigate its own violations? How does the tax payer get justice when the fox is watching the chicken house? But as a tax payer if I violate any of these regulations or laws they will come down hard on me. It’s time the
double standards were stopped and the officials replaced with someone who represents us.
The Fix Is In
We have all heard about the level of corruption at the national level, but we seldom see such shenanigans at the county level. A case in point happened in Knox County in September 2011.
When a county sewer project was close to completion the last house to be connected was the residence of Francis Flood on RT 36 in Millwood. The project was running over budget and not on time when the construction company found that Mr. Floods house was below grade and required a grinder lift pump next to the house. After lift pump that they installed was supposed to be a small unit placed in the basement of the home. Instead they delivered an 8 foot high unit that was designed to service 15 homes.
In the process of installing the pump the construction company had to break up a sand stone shelf next to the house. A creek bank exists about 20 feet next to the house that is about 60 feet down. About a month after the construction the rock shelf started to slide down the creek bank causing the house to start to twist and separate.
After numerous attempts by Mr. Flood the get numerous governmental bodies to address the issue of his damaged house he filed a writ of mandamus with the court. A writ of mandamus asks a judge to order the relevant public officials to address the damage to his house.
The following is a copy of that request:
Case # 170T05- 0136
PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS AND/OR PROHIBITION
On September 2011Knox County Commissioners started a project in the unincorporated village of Millwood to install a public sewer. In the process of this sewer project, numerous procedural and regulatory violations were committed, which also resulted in the illegal taking of Francis Flood’s electrical service, structural damage to his home due to the bedrock being broken when improperly installing a grinder pump, and damage to his retaining wall resulting in erosion of a hillside.
Around 2008 The Knox County Commissioners notified the residents of Millwood Ohio that the Ohio EPA would no longer allow septic tanks in Millwood. A sewage system would be installed to replace the existing individual residential septic systems.
The project started in Sept of 2011 and was completed in summer of 2012. There were two meetings with the commissioners. I attended both of these meetings. Engineers from
ADR engineering told me that since my house was below the main line (below grade) they would install a sewage grinder pump in front of my house next to Ohio route 36. My house was the last house in Millwood to be hooked up to the sewer system.
The morning the crew came to my house the foreman from Elite Excavating walked me out front of my house and showed me where they were going to put the pump.
When I got to work he called me and told me they could not put the pump in the public right of way because the county had neglected to apply for a permit from the Ohio department of Transportation to put it there. I didn’t know where they were going to install it. When I got home they had already dug the hole in the back of my house between the house and the creek bank. They had dug 3 holes toward the front of
the house but had hit bed rock. They had moved the pump fifty five feet from its original location in the public right of way. Gregg Sanders OEPA told me if the pump was moved more than thirty feet there had to be a blueprint redraw and be resubmitted for approval.
I later discovered that the Knox County Water and Waste policy requires that the grinder pump be for a single dwelling, and be used and installed in my basement. (See Exhibit “A” Pg. 15 Paragraph “B”). The grinder pump they eventually installed was a large multi dwelling unit approximately 8 Ft tall and 2 feet wide that was in the Knox County Water and Waste Water specifications for use in Apple Valley only. (See exhibit “A” Pg. 15 paragraph “A”)
They started digging at the base of my chimney stack and hit bed rock. They then dug 10 feet down beside and below my foundation and footer half way from the back of my house to the front. In the process of digging the hole for the grinder pump they jack hammered the bed rock next to my house and hauled it off. Shortly after they removed the bed rock next to my house I began noticing movement of my basement wall next to the grinder pump installation. Consequently my house wall started moving and my
roof started to shift. There was a four foot square concrete porch on the rear corner of the house which they ripped off with a track hoe. This cracked the concrete patio adjacent to the four foot section that they removed. Now the back of the house and porch and patio are sagging toward the 10 foot hole they dug for the grinder pump.
At the meeting with the county commissioners they told us if we had any complaints about damage they would handle whatever the problem was. I would like to state here that the west side of my house has relatively flat ground for approximately 15
feet before rolling off into a steep gully down into a creek. The drop off is approximately 60 feet down. (See attached Photographs Exhibit “C”).
The crew of Elite Excavating shoved about 60 feet of trees over the bank of the creek next to my house so they could swing the arm of the track hoe. They tore out half of a hand laid sand stone containment wall that had been there since 1940.
From the beginning of the project until completion no one said that they were going to hook up the grinder pump to my residential electric panel. I contacted Ray Withers, Superintendent of the Knox County Water and Waste Water Department and asked him who gave them permission to hook the grinder pump into my electricity. He said that the commissioners had a meeting and that they set policy and that I did not have a say so in the mater.
I was not invited to this meeting. I believe this is a violation of the state sunshine laws that prohibits closed meeting. I also asked Ray Withers who authorized the grinder pump to be used in Millwood because the Knox County Water and Waste Water policy clearly states in bold letters on page 15 Paragraph “A” That these grinder units are designed for Apple Valley use only (See exhibit “A” Pg. 15 “A”). I never received an answer about who authorized the use of the grinder unit they used.
On June 18 2012 I had attorney Korey Kidwell Write a complaint to the county commissioners and the people responsible for the project to meet with me at my property to assess the damages. At the first meeting Charles McConville, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, and Korey Kidwell were the only ones who showed up.
I started to research the Knox County Water and Waste Water Policy and found that almost every aspect of the policies had been violated. I started filing complaints with the Ohio EPA who also refused to enforce their own permit. I called the US/EPA and was told my issues should be handled at the state level.
The county commissioners and the state EPA are relying on an inspection of my house foundation by two engineers from ADR engineering who took part in the design of the main line of the sewer system. I do not believe that these two engineers are building structural engineers. This not only disqualifies them from inspecting my property it would appear to be a conflict of interest.
I also have in my possession a letter from Susan Headman’s office who was the project manager in the federal EPA office which provided the grant money for the project. She states that the county commissioners also inspected my basement. They are not structural engineers either. To the best of my knowledge they have never been on
I called the Knox County Health Department in 2012 and talked with Julie Miller, Knox County Health Commissioner. I wanted the health department to inspect the sewer pipes that were taken out that connected my house to my old septic system and thrown into the creek next to my home by employees of Elite Excavating. Some of these pipes were later removed by employees of Knox County Soil and Water Conservation who were at my house to see what could be done to stop the bank erosion caused by the removal of trees from my property by Elite Excavating. I also wanted them to see how close beneath my kitchen window the grinder pump had been placed. (See Exhibit “A” Pg. 14 Paragraph E).
Julie Miller informed me that she could not get involved in any county projects. I informed her that I thought that this was a Health hazard but she refused to act. Further research showed that she had violated the health departments own regulations. (Section 1601). (See exhibit “B” Pg. 4 Section 1601.03, Pg. 5 Section
1601.08. Subsequent to this occurrence I was told I could no longer contact Julie Miller and that any further communications had to be done through Charles McConville the county prosecutor.
The US/EPA office told me the county must use state of Ohio EPA approved drawings and engineering for this sewer system. You will find included on the drawings used by the county for this project, they have no signatures of any Ohio EPA official or EPA stamps to show that they were Ohio EPA approved. There are no specifications as to what was used under the ground to connect me into the main line. Ray Withers failed to do any inspections before the backfill for the lateral hookups. (See Exhibit “A” Pg.14
When asked why there were no inspections he said he was too busy. The state of Ohio
and local regulations state that inspections must be done before backfill.
I have repeatedly asked for numerous public documents and inspection reports pertaining to the sewer project and its involvement of my property and have received no response from any of the parties. However, I did receive a cease and desist letter from the Knox County Health Department because I was making requests for documents.
The only thing the county has done to address my complaints is for the prosecutor to publicly call me a liar.
Whether the Knox County Commissioners are required to comply with the legal requirements of this sewer project, whether Francis Flood is owed compensation for injuries he has suffered, and whether Francis Flood is entitled to public records held by governmental bodies.
Petitioner seeks a Writ of Mandamus requiring the Knox County Commissioners to return his property to its original condition, or to compensate Francis Flood for damage to his property, a Writ of Mandamus requiring the Knox County Commissioners to fix all non-compliance in the sewer project so that the project is done meeting all legal requirements, which also includes but is not limited to EPA regulations.
The Petitioner also seeks a Writ of Mandamus requiring various governmental agencies and agents to provide public records Francis Flood has requested.
The Petitioner also seeks a Writ of Mandamus ordering an independent prosecutor to review the entire sewer project to ensure compliance, and for the independent prosecutor to also investigate possible public corruption with environmental taint
and any other possible violations of law and to work in conjunction with the BCI and OSI.
The Petitioner wants compensated for all past, present and future damages to his property, resulting from the sewer project.
The Petitioner wants the County to repair the containment wall and erosion on his hillside, and such work to return the property to its original condition this also includes compensation for all trees removed and replanting of comparable trees.
The Petitioner objects to the taking of his electric service to operate the county owned sewer grinder pump without due process and reasonable compensation.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Knox County Health Department to investigate the Petitioner’s complaint about exposed sewer pipes, sewer pipes thrown in the creek, and the grinder pump being installed directly under the kitchen window.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Ohio EPA to investigate the Petitioner’s
complaints about the sewer project not being done in compliance with EPA rules.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office to turn Francis Flood’s complaint of property damage to the bonding agent for the construction company the county hired to install the sewer project, so that the bonding agent can compensate the Petitioner for damages.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Knox County Water and Sewer Department to enforce their regulations during this sewer project, including but not limited to sewer lines being within 5 feet of gas lines.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Knox County Commissioners to provide engineering drawings of lateral sewer lines.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Knox County Commissioners to have a
meaningful meeting with the Petitioner to address the Petitioner’s concerns and for the Mandamus order to require the Knox County Commissioners to make a good faith effort to resolve and address the Petitioner’s complaints.
The Petitioner also seeks Mandamus ordering the Respondents, Elite Excavating, Knox County Health Department, Knox County Commissioners, Ohio EPA, Knox County Water and Waste Water Dept., Knox county Prosecutors office, ADR and Associates Engineering to provide all records to Mr. Flood, whether written, e-mail, telephone log or any other electronic means relating to the Millwood sewer project and/or Mr. Francis Flood.
The Petitioner also seeks a Writ of Prohibition barring Knox County Prosecutor Charles McConville from having any involvement in any issues pertaining to the sewer project and Francis Flood as Prosecutor McConville has publicly called the Petitioner a liar for complaining of damages, and that the Petitioner was just trying to milk the taxpayers. McConville appears to have a personal vendetta and his actions appear to be trying to sweep this issue under the rug and do everything possible to prevent properresolution. This creates a conflict of interest so Prosecutor McConville should be barred from any further involvement.
A Petitioner is entitled to Mandamus if they have the right to obtain what they are demanding, the opposing party has the obligation to perform that, and the Petitioner has no other way of obtaining a remedy. In the case at hand, Francis Flood is the owner of record of 26101 Coshocton Rd Howard, Ohio 43028 which is where the Knox County Commissioners were doing the Millwood sewer project and where the damage occurred, Francis Flood is a citizen of Ohio, and has the right to protections under the law and to expect governmental bodies to comply with the laws of Ohio, and the Knox County
Commissioners are legally responsible for the Millwood sewer project. Francis Flood also has the right to access public records under Ohio’s public records laws. Francis Flood has filed complaints with various governmental bodies asking them to address the issues at his property, and these complaints have fallen on deaf ears and been swept under the rug.
The Petitioner has also hired an attorney to file a complaint with the county, which did not get the problems fixed. The Petitioner also tried filing a suit in federal court, which was recently dismissed because the judge said the Petitioner was required to file for
Mandamus first in a state court. Federal Case # 2:16-cv-778 filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
In light of the facts, this court should grant Mandamus so that the responsible parties are required to make the petitioner whole and to ensure that all laws and regulations are complied with.
Francis Flood, Pro Se
As you can see this complaint has been stone walled at every turn by public officials who are supposed to be serving the tax payers.
The Judge dismissed this mandamus with prejudices which means that It cannot be refilled again.
As of November 11 2019 this problem is still unresolved.