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August 2007

A Platinum Endeavor

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It was the Worst Times  
Public Service Commission - June, 2007

At this stage in time:

Building 109 Platinum Drive had buckled and lifted up out of the ground. It appeared to be on it's way out, (built over a coal seam).

Building 113 Platinum Drive's rear, Locust Post Supported Parking Lot area, had an accelerated level of deterioration.

109 and 113 Platinum Drive had a recent quitclaim deed executed to Platinum Leasing.

Their underground drainage system was collapsed and/or damaged.

Utilities

There was a large concentration of existing utilities, that was supported by the same Locust Post Fence. Of speical concern, was the City of Bridgeport's Six inch high pressure water line, along with its sinking fire hydrant. 

An un-addressed situation that could lead to structural collapses of parking lot area and possibly the building 113 Platinum Drive itself. Especially when the City of Bridgeport's high pressure water line ruptured.

Platinum Properties was able to acquire a Terradon Engineer who presented a report, discounting Platinum Properties involvement.

All indications appeared that vested interests were only monitoring the deterioration.

Who is in a better position to file a complaint....than you?

During one period, I had injured my hip and leg during a protective work attempt. This limited my ability to physically manage the tangible property issues.

The only conclusion, based on almost five years of experience with Platinum Properties, was that said developer was not going to do to anything. The fall rains would soon appear, which would accelerate their deterioration into a complete slip.

So, Valerie and I could only sit back and watch it all happen. However, during a conversation with my wife I mentioned that as each day passed there was more deterioration and thus more strain on the City of Bridgeport's Six inch high pressure water line. That a rupture of this high pressure waterline was likely. She asked what would happen. I told her what I was told by other professionals. A rupture would quickly blow out a section of their rear parking lot and likely a part of the developer's building (C) 113 Platinum Drive; not to mention the other utilities that were located within this area.

My wife said; forget the property. What would happen to someone, if he or she, was walking back there; Like a woman with kids and a family? Could I live with myself, if I had this knowledge of this and did not act on protecting others? My profession centered around safety, especially the safety of the public. It is one thing of a state agency to monitor companies that was headquartered outside of the state. However, this company was a conglomeration of entities who operated in-state larger West Virginia companies, as such I believed a certain level of accommodation would be granted them. 

So, I did not believe a PSC complaint would matter. My wife insisted. Who is in a better position to file a complaint than you? So, I filed a PSC complaint asking that the area at the rear of these buildings be sectioned off. At least when the line ruptured no one would get hurt. (I know, you had to live it to understand it).

It did matter

I sent in a "Heads Up" In-Formal PSC Complaint. I heard nothing. I then sent in a Formal PSC Complaint with surveys and imagery on June 15, 2007.

The answer to my "Heads Up" In-Formal Complaint arrived in the afternoon of June 15, 2007. Which was the same day I had sent the latter Formal PSC Complaint. They had passed in the mail.

The answer to my "Heads Up In-Formal PSC Complaint was answered by a local City Engineer: "Anthony complains too much, go away".

Once the PSC received my Formal PSC Complaint, I was immediately contacted by a representative of the PSC.  She wanted to know who owned Platinum Properties and who owned the company that currently resides in 113 Platinum Drive? Once she was informed. She stated that she was going to send the case to the administrative law judges for a ruling. The few time stamped images that accompanied the Greenleaf survey of existing utilities, along with the accompanying complaint were irrefutable, an investigation was not needed.

Nevertheless, I requested an onsite investigation of the area. (Even though the PSC representative was sincere, I believed once the ball started rolling the PSC staff would be under extreme political pressure from political and legal interests to look the other way. They would need their own regulatory staff to perform their own on-site investigation to give them more of a chance to withstand the pressures that I felt would soon befall them). The PSC informed me that an onsite investigation was scheduled for September, 2007. The case would then be sent to the administrative law judges for a ruling.

Years later, it was revealed that an Attorney for Jackson and Kelly, the same law firm that came up with the Fraudulent 2005 Agreement to correct the area before it collapsed, had been placed on the PSC Board in February of 2007. So, it was likely I would be dealing with him in the future. Go figure.

I received a long technocratic letter from a City attorney. The letter gave multiple reasons to the PSC that the utility safety complaint was a" Landowners Issue" and for all intents and purposes to butt out. The PSC discovered that I was mailed a copy of a letter that was meant for them. This agitated the PSC.

Work to correct the area began on August 3, 2007, about six weeks after the complaint was filed. One month before the PSC was going to investigate the area.

The proceedings can be followed here.

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