In December 2012, we submitted extensive documentation to Louisville Metro’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) regarding LDG, Overlook Development and Frontgate Apartments. We respectfully asked the HRC to properly investigate Overlook Development’s relationship to LDG (as evidenced by a variety of statements, actions and decisions regarding Frontgate Apartments during 2012) and revoke Overlook Development’s certification as a Female Business Enterprise. We look forward to their timely action on this issue.
This shorter portion gives sufficient documentation in and of itself for revocation of Overlook Development’s FBE status. However, the extensive additional documentation (all of which has been provided to the HRC) is available for review in the posting below as well. WAVE3’s Eric Flack also investigated these questions. His reports are linked in a separate posting below.
Exhibit 1 provides the first 2 pages of Louisville Metro Ordinance No. 102, Series 2007. On page 2, the following definition is provided:
“FEMALE OWNED BUSINESS. A business enterprise legally constituted under the laws of the state, including but not limited to an individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture, association, or cooperative, which enterprise is not an affiliate or a subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation and has employees identified in its own payroll records, working specifically for such entity and which entity is majority owned and controlled by a person or a combination of persons who are female and legal residents of the United States.” (emphasis added)
The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission (HRC) carries out its duty to certify a legitimate Female Business Enterprise (FBE) according to the definition above by use of its MBE/FBE/HBE Certification Application (Exhibit 2). Please note that the HRC indicates on the last page (page 6) that one of the expected statements to meet the definition for certification is: “The Company is not an affiliate or subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation.” Page 2 of the application asks about this issue as follows: “Are you an Affiliate or subsidiary of another company that provides any of the services listed above?”
Exhibit 3 is a pdf totalling 16 pages that shows how Lisa Dischinger of Overlook Development and Carolyn M. Bauer, an attorney of the Adams Law Group, submitted this application in 2008 and 2010.
In 2008, Lisa Dischinger did not provide an answer to the affiliate-or-subsidiary question (see the first page of the pdf). Attorney Bauer’s letter at that time did assert: “The Company is not an affiliate or subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation.” (page 4 of the pdf). Pages 5 & 6 of Exhibit 3 show that the HRC certified Overlook Development as an FBE based on the application materials submitted.
In 2010, an interesting series of events occurred in their application for continuation of FBE status. Page 7 of the pdf shows the application form where the question “Are you an Affiliate or subsidiary of another company that provides any of the services listed above?” is truthfully answered “Yes.” However, attorney Bauer’s letter at that time asserted once again that: “The Company is not an affiliate or subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation.” Due to the contradiction, Bobbi Selmon notified Lisa Dischinger that a “corrected application and/or attorney letter” would be needed to be considered as an FBE. Lisa Dischinger decided to switch her answer to “No” – which means that Overlook Development claims to not be an affiliate or a subsidiary of another company that provides “Development of Affordable Rental Housing.” It should be noted that Lisa Dischinger signed the following statement on the application: “The undersigned hereby swears under penalty of law that all statements made and information provided in this application are true.” (see page 12 of the pdf). The final pages of the pdf (15 & 16) show the certification obtained based on this changed application. This FBE certification is what was used in the April 2012 application for government funding through the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).
One big problem for Lisa Dischinger and Overlook Development is…
Bill Bardenwerper, the attorney for the developer of Frontgate Apartments, directly contradicted the FBE-qualifying claims of Lisa Dischinger and Carolyn M. Bauer in his testimony before the Planning Commission on December 6, 2012 (see Exhibit 4). According to Bardenwerper:
“LDG is a company we’ve always mentioned because LDG, which is Lechner Dischinger Group, like any developer has a number of entities that work under it. Some of our clients, every time they do a project, they put it under a different name. I mean, that’s just very typical in the development business. So, actually, Overlook Development LLC, which is a related entity of the Dischinger and Lechner group with which Michael is associated, is the official applicant now…” (emphasis added).
Bardenwerper’s statements above are sufficient basis for the HRC to immediately and permanently revoke Overlook Development’s FBE status. But there’s more…
The profile section of LDG Development’s website ( http://www.ldgdevelopment.com/ ) indicates that LDG was founded by Mark Lechner and Chris Dischinger in 1994. The various applications provided in the name of Overlook Development to both the Human Relations Commission for FBE Certification and the Kentucky Housing Corporation for awards of government funding indicate that Overlook Development LLC was formed in 2004 by Lisa Dischinger (51%) and Mark Lechner (49%) with ZERO employees. To summarize:
LDG Development (1994-) Overlook Development (2004-)
Chris Dischinger Lisa Dischinger (51%) – Chris’s wife
& Mark Lechner & Mark Lechner (49%)
with employees with ZERO employees
Therefore, any actions by Chris Dischinger are in regards to LDG Development, not Overlook Development.
While Bill Bardenwerper’s Dec. 6th explanation of the relationship between LDG and Overlook was accurate, his declaration that Overlook Development is the actual developer was not accurate. Exhibit 5 shows that AFTER Bardenwerper’s Dec. 6th “it actually is Overlook Development LLC” claim to the Planning Commission, he wrote to our attorney, Steve Porter, saying, “I took what you said and ran it past Chris and Michael.” That is Chris Dischinger and Michael Gross. Why Chris – NOT Lisa? As it has been all along with Frontgate Apartments – Chris Dischinger (thus LDG) continues to be a primary decision-maker – NOT Lisa (Overlook).
Much more documentation exists (and is presented in the post below).
Our request to the Human Relations Commission is simple – please respect and enforce the following HRC policy statement from the “Approval of your Certification Application” letter (page 15 of Exhibit 3):
“This certification is based on the information and documentation that was submitted and if it is later found to be false the approval will automatically be revoked pending an investigation by the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission.”
Recently, the HRC emphasized its commitment to protecting the integrity of their certification process by posting the following on its website (see Exhibit 6): “NOTE: Effective December 15, 2012, the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission requires all vendors to completely, thoroughly, and accurately complete and submit all documents.” Only by investigating and revoking the FBE status of Overlook Development will the HRC affirm the integrity of its certification process.
For much more documentation of the role of Chris Dischinger and LDG Development in the Frontgate Apartments proposal (in contradiction to the claims made to the Human Relations Commission and the Kentucky Housing Corporation in order to gain advantage in seeking government funding as a Female Business Enterprise), see the first submission we provided to the HRC – restated in the post below.