Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dan Nichter

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A few days later, his license as a real estate appraiser was revoked by the Ohio Real Estate Appraiser Board.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?


  1. Seems Mr. Nichter has quite the history of shenanigans in Central Ohio! I'm beginning to understand Paul's trepidation when it comes to the Hilliard City government, and how it affects the HCSD. While I applaud the efforts to increase the commercial development in the district, I think I may have been blinded to the residential side of things, and if it is allowed to continue, we will be getting hit in the pocketbook, heavily, sooner rather than later. It seems that no one is looking out for the current residents of either the city or the district. I know I received no acknowledgment from Mr. Talentino
    after e-mailing him to inquire what possible benefit we would see from
    any residential development - but then, I have e-mailed the school board members before and never received any response from them either. Apparently, none of them considered my communications worthy of any type of response, which is why we need our new group to stand up, make some noise, and gather some attention. God knows no one else is looking out for our interests.

  2. I'm not surprised that you haven't heard from John Talentino. He's a member of the Mayor's staff, and not a policymaker himself, so unless given permission by the Mayor, it would be insubordination for him to state his opinion.

    Maybe it's worth asking your questions to the Mayor directly, with copies to City Council.

    School funding in Ohio is pretty simple, but folks get caught up in the 'noise' of all the relatively insignificant details.

    See you tonight.


  3. I asked Mr. Talentino to forward my concerns to the mayor and the council, as I could not find an e-mail address for the mayor himself. Maybe I need to look harder for that?
    I always have the feeling I am just venting when I send those e-mails, as I am so used to never getting a response of any type.

  4. The mayor does not use email. The medium is fraught with danger for a public official. Although I don't necessarily agree, that is the truth. How about a trip to a council meeting?

  5. The supposed 'danger" is that all e-mails would be considered public records. We couldn't have that now, could we? Maybe that is why I get no response to e-mails to the HCSB too? I never thought of that but I guess it makes sense. They say that is why the President-elect has to give up his Blackberry. I might try a trip to a council meeting, but only if it is more productive than a trip to a HCSD Board meeting, which is pretty much a waste of time. I did re-send my e-mail to the Clerk of City Council, who supposedly passes them on to the Council. Not holding my breath waiting for a response.

  6. Thanks Paul.... now I'm scared! lol

    Just when I start feeling better about this community and school district, you go and put rality in my face again. Man I hate that!

    Denial is such an easy place to be!

  7. Everything what you said is a lie and you, blogger are a bad person, a bad citizen. I know Mr. Nichter and everything what you said is just not true. Work, live a life, do something better.

  8. Isela:

    Mr Nichter will have his day in court, although not on any of the matters I have mentioned above. Instead, he is being tried in Franklin County Criminal Court for multiple charges of passing bad checks (Case number 10 CR 001852).

    Note that after these charges were filed, Mr. Nichter resigned his seat on the Hilliard City Council.

  9. Friday the 13th, 2012 was certainly a bad luck day for Mr. Nichter. He was convicted and sentenced to 4 years in prison. He'll likely only serve a fraction of that, but his days of holding public office are over.