UPDATED WITH HENDERSON STATEMENT BELOW
Mike Ford, who was trying to help broker the land deal in Henderson that went sour, has issued a blistering broadside against the city in the wake of its settlement with developer Chris Milam.
Ford had been portrayed by the city and its "newspaper" handmaidens as a double-dealer in the land deal, which Henderson settled with Milam by doing the Old West thing: Get out of town by sundown or else.
But, says Ford, the city is trying to muzzle him after its lawsuit "disparaged me, savagely." Ford, in a statement I have obtained, said Henderson is "demanding that I give up my First Amendment Right and constitutional guarantees to speak out and voice my opinion, or criticize the government, regarding the City's misconduct and actions in this case, or anything else."
(I have asked for a comment from the city.)
Ford's full statement is below, along with follow-up comments in which he says his partner, former national BLM boss Bob Abbey, who referred to the city officials as "f---ing idiots," also is being unfairly maligned. He also criticizes City Attorney Josh Reid as being "inexperienced," and wonders about the motivations of the city and its outside counsel, Bailey-Kennedy.
The City of Henderson and Mr. Milam made their deal without my involvement.
When we received the draft Settlement Agreement, late on Tuesday, we asked
for a handful of minor clarifications and changes which in no way affected
the Agreement between Milam and the City.
Unfortunately, the City summarily rejected those suggestions without any
discussion, once again showing their inability to act in good faith.
I am merely asking for the opportunity to speak the "truth" related to my
actions associated with the BLM land sale and I am not interested in making
any comments or statements about anything else that may have occurred.
Now, after the City of Henderson has disparaged me, savagely, they are
demanding that I give up my First Amendment Right and constitutional
guarantees to speak out and voice my opinion, or criticize the government,
regarding the City's misconduct and actions in this case, or anything else.
That the City of Henderson (the Government) would even ask for such a
provision is personally offensive. Frankly, it is a travesty that it would
elect to spend taxpayer money on litigation rather than withdraw such a
demand. I would hope this gives pause to the voters of Henderson -- and the
public in general.
And the follow-up:
I assure you we personally welcome the Department of Interior IG investigation so they can make an independent finding (sooner rather then later) in an effort to further validate all that we know to be true.
Specifically, there was no wrongdoing committed on anyone's part (especially Bob Abbey) and Bob was not directly or indirectly involved in the transaction at any level, he does not stand to benefit, he has not accepted any money (or intends to accept any) for work we (Robcyn, LLC) accomplished in support of this transaction. The sale was conducted in complete compliance with all appropriate BLM laws, regulations, and rules and the land was sold as fair market value as determined by the Department of Interior's Office of Valuation Services.