Back in January 2007, before the primary elections, I suggested to voters in the City of Hilliard that they pay attention to the fact that former Franklin County Development Director Dan Nichter had suddenly moved into Hilliard and put his name in nomination for a City Council seat. Because there were three seats open and only three candidates in the Republican primary, he was guaranteed to appear on the November 2007 ballot. In the General Election, there were four candidates for three Council seats, so all he had to do was not come in last to win a seat. I suspect he became aware of this situation in late 2006 and moved to Hilliard specifically for the purpose of running for City Council.
Mr. Nichter is no friend of Brown Township, and seems to have some kind of special relationship with Homewood Homes, who has been involved in their own brand of shenanigans relative to the placement and construction of Bradley High School.
Mr. Nichter had a bad week recently. On November 14, he was arrested for drunk driving – by Hilliard police no less – and refused a chemical test on the scene.
A few days later, his license as a real estate appraiser was revoked by the Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Board. Apparently he declared a piece of property in Columbus to be worth $185,000 when it had sold four months earlier for $27,500.
Mr. Nichter has not publicly disclosed that he is also a defendant in a lawsuit filed by IndyMAC Bank in US Federal Court (case 2:2007cv00483) in which it is claimed that Mr. Nichter and several other people worked together to execute a scam that went like this:
- Buy an inexpensive piece of property (e.g. 498 S. Ohio Ave purchased by co-defendant Christian Inyamah for $56,000 in Feb 2005)
- Sell the property for an inflated price (498 S. Ohio sold to co-defendant Kedric Glenn for $185,000 ten weeks later)
- Get an appraisal for the property for the inflated amount (the appraisal firm was owned by Nichter, who supervised the appraisal)
- Using the appraisal take out a loan for most of the inflated value ($166,500 in this case, borrowed from IndyMAC bank)
- Take the borrowed money, split it up amongst the conspirators, and run (no payments were ever made on this loan, and IndyMAC foreclosed, finding it was a substantially worthless piece of property)
At this time, the lawsuit is postponed for an indefinite time because of the collapse of IndyMAC bank – in large part to its participation in the subprime loan market. Mr. Nichter and his associates are accused of taking things one step further and using these market conditions to repeatedly commit fraud (this Ohio Ave property is only one of several named in the lawsuit).
While the courts have yet to rule on his guilt, the Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Board was apparently satisfied sufficiently with the evidence to revoke Mr. Nichter's license. Note that as of November 21, 2008, Mr. Nichter is listed on the website of National City Bank as a "Loan Consultant." I wonder if that arrangement will continue…
As a member of Hilliard City Council, Mr. Nichter will participate in the decisions controlling the development of the Homewood property just annexed by the City of Hilliard, as well as the imminent annexations of the acreage north of the Homewood property.
What do you think will drive his decisions - what he thinks is good for the Hilliard community, or what is good for Mr. Nichter?