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Forum Post: City of Aspen sues co-architect of Occupy Aspen to kick him to the curb

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 14, 2015, 5:25 p.m. EST by skiaspen50 (27)
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Housing authority sues Aspenite Lee Mulcahy By CAROLYN SACKARIASON • DEC 4, 2015 SHARE Twitter Facebook Google+ Email

The Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority is suing a prominent local. Carolyn Sackariason reports.

APCHA has filed a lawsuit against Burlingame resident Lee Mulcahy, claiming he doesn’t meet residency requirements to own his home in that neighborhood. The suit alleges Mulcahy has ignored the authority’s repeated requests for proof that he lives and works in the county.

The lawsuit asks the court to rule that Mulcahy is violating his deed restriction and must put the house up for sale. Mulcahy most recently unsuccessfully ran for school board… and has had run-ins with SkiCo, and other prominent Aspen institutions.

. Carolyn Sackariason, Aspen Public Radio news.



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[-] 1 points by skiaspen50 (27) 2 years ago

Judge orders man to sell his residence by Curtis Wackerle, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Printer-friendly version Email this Story A judge on Thursday ordered Lee Mulcahy to sell his deed-restricted home, faulting the outspoken artist for failing to follow through with an administrative appeal of his case because he was on a trip to Africa.

Judge Chris Seldin of Pitkin County District Court granted the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority’s motion for summary judgment in a 10-page order, meaning he decided the case based on the motions filed without holding a hearing. Mulcahy said Monday he plans to appeal.

APCHA opened a compliance case against Mulcahy last May, after a neighbor called in a tip that he was not meeting the minimum work requirement, among other violations. Mulcahy won a lot in the Burlingame affordable housing project in 2006, and over the past five years has done most of the work himself building his single-family home. It’s valued by the Pitkin County Assessor at $791,000.

Mulcahy contends that, through his art and other jobs, he was meeting the 1,500-hour-per-year work requirement that binds affordable housing residents. But those arguments were not material to Seldin’s order, and he never made them before the housing authority board.

A former ski instructor, Mulcahy has been a topic of local news articles since his 2011 firing by the Aspen Skiing Co., which contends he lost his job because of performance issues. Mulcahy believes it was because of his activism for higher wages, which included distributing fliers in Gondola Plaza. He has since sued SkiCo, which has banned him from its resorts and other properties; he has also taken aim at what he sees as the elitist practices of The Aspen Institute and Aspen Art Museum. Mulcahy has also ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Colorado Senate and Aspen School District Board of Education.

APCHA sent Mulcahy two letters informing him that he was believed to be out of compliance with housing rules — the first on July 14, followed by a second on Aug. 5 — followed by a formal notice of violation on Aug. 25. The notice carried a Sept. 9 deadline to either list the property for sale, document his compliance with the guidelines or request a hearing in front of APCHA’s board.

Mulcahy throughout this timeframe was in communication with APCHA compliance officer Julie Kieffer, who requested tax and employment records. But Mulcahy never sought the hearing before the housing board, nor satisfied Kieffer’s compliance concerns, and on Oct. 1, APCHA issued a final letter demanding that he list his home for sale within 30 days, Kieffer said. He also took an extended trip to Africa in September and October, where he worked on bringing clean water systems and laptops to remote Kenyan villages.

When Mulcahy did not comply with the Oct. 1 notice, APCHA filed suit in Pitkin County District Court in December. The authority sought a “decree of specific performance,” requiring him to list his home and also provide documentation on the value of the home so the housing authority can determine the sale price.

Madeleine Osberger A Pitkin County judge last week ordered Aspen artist Lee Mulcahy to sell his home in Burlingame.

In his order, Seldin agreed with APCHA that Mulcahy’s arguments are moot because he did not exhaust all his potential administrative remedies.

Mulcahy argued that he should be excused from being held to the requirement to exhaust all administrative reviews because of the Africa trip, but Seldin repeatedly took apart that reasoning in the ruling.

“The court concludes that Mulcahy was aware of APCHA’s pending enforcement proceedings when he elected to travel to Africa,” Seldin wrote. “He cannot blame his travel choices on APCHA, and he cannot use them as an excuse to avoid compliance with the plain language of the deed restriction.”

Seldin later in the order writes that “the court finds it surprising that someone facing the potential loss of his home would neglect” to follow through with APCHA procedures for contesting a compliance-enforcement case.

“Despite being on notice that a notice of violation was coming ... Mulcahy evidently decided to travel to Africa where it was not possible to reach him. Mulcahy cannot lay the consequences of this choice at APCHA’s door,” says Seldin’s order.

Mulcahy on Monday said that APCHA’s case against him was convoluted, and as late as mid-October he was debating with Kieffer on how an artist is to demonstrate compliance with the work requirement.

He alleged that APCHA could have pursued the compliance case at any time in the past 10 years, but waited until his home was finished to try to kick him out. He contends that APCHA is prevented from taking its enforcement actions because the statute of limitations has expired.

He also said the housing authority earlier in its investigation said that it would make him sell the home for under $200,000.

“This was done with a message to anyone who speaks truth to power who wants to be a whistleblower — watch out in Aspen,” Mulcahy said.

He did not pursue an appeal to the housing board because he said he was not confident in the body’s ability to treat his case fairly, adding that it hinges on “matters of law” of which the board is not well equipped to deal.

As for the Africa trip, Mulcahy said it was taken in honor of his late father to complete a service project he started before his death in May 2015. He called Seldin’s scolding of him for the trip “shameful.”

Seldin, in the order, writes that he does not “perceive any manifest injustice” in the case, as Mulcahy argues.

“Instead, the court perceives a simple enforcement action whereby APCHA is pursuing its rights under the deed restriction after giving Mulcahy ample notice of its intentions, his rights and the consequences of failing to pursue them,” the order says. “… The court concludes that it would be inequitable for those who benefit from the tremendous advantages of affordable housing to not hold up their end of the bargain by working in the community as they agreed to do.” curtis@aspendailynews.com

[-] 1 points by skiaspen50 (27) 2 years ago

Judge kicks Occupy Wall Street artist out of self-built home

Co-leader & creator of Occupy Aspen responds

Kicking an artist to the curb Friday, June 10, 2016

Printer-friendly version Email this Story http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/letter-editor/171388


“When political and financial elites are shielded from any consequences for their actions, they are no longer subject to the law. Instead, they become the law’s masters, using the legal system for their own purposes: to safeguard and expand their perquisites; to ensure that their cheating and corruption are not punished but rather rewarded; and to keep any outsiders from challenging their superior status. The law, which was meant to keep the powerful in check, is now used instead to sustain and perpetuate their power.”- Glenn Greenwald.

Regarding the article on the city of Aspen kicking artists out of homes they self-built, three points:

  1. In August and October 2010, as a snowboard instructor, I filed state and federal labor whistle-blowing charges against Aspen Skiing Co.. Six months later I was fired by billionaire Lester Crown’s Aspen SkiCo. Note: The same day I passed out a flyer promoting a living wage for employees, Mr. Crown* banned me from public lands under Skico’s purview. This has yet to come to trial. Meanwhile, I’ve been harassed repeatedly through the legal system by the SkiCo, as well as the Aspen Institute.

  2. The City of Aspen’s housing authority (APCHA) claims that I did not provide evidence of compliance with their requirements regarding employment. I’ve supported myself with the only two jobs I was able to find after being fired by SkiCo via the newspaper; however APCHA summarily disqualified those jobs — as a property manager and a fundraiser for a charitable project in Africa — leaving only my work as an artist for consideration. APCHA did not know what they would accept to qualify my work as an artist. It was not until Oct. 14 that they researched art and made a final determination. Unfortunately for me, my goose was already cooked: the city had already sent me a certified letter two weeks prior informing me that I must sell my home.

  3. The court has criticized my “travel to Africa” while APCHA had me bidding against myself in a no-win situation; however it’s a sad statement when escorting my 80 year old mother in the place of my recently deceased dad to complete his charitable legacy in Africa and delivering used laptops donated by the community would be used to kick to the curb a man that built his own home.

It is outrageous that the court faulted me for honoring the legacy of most amazing man I’ve ever met, my father**, while simultaneously not faulting APCHA for lying in wait for years until the house was complete to snatch it.

The whole thing smells funny.

Lester Crown's penchant for bribery has been covered by both the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. *My father: http://www.aspentimes.com/…/16534705…/edward-lee-bud-mulcahy

Lee Mulcahy Aspen

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 2 years ago

Alas consider: “Hey elites, you’ve divided us long enough. Be fair to us little people OR you’re gonna have pitchforks and guns at your door. Yea, some of us white trash at .. occupy aspen believe in the N.R.A. too. #Remember the Alamo. Raise your glass to the Old Aspen.” ... posted by Lee Mulcahy on Septrember 2012 on the Institute’s Facebook page, probably from his own FB a/c, which also includes:

''Mulcahy said he didn’t mean to alarm anyone but the Institute took out a restraining order against him."

Finally ... ''Also that year, the U.S. Secret Service agent visited Mulcahy’s home, which was then under construction, after neighbors complained that “Kill Obama” had been written on the outside. Mulcahy at the time said he was not responsible, The Aspen Times reported.'' also culled from:

I really have very li'l idea wtf is actually going on in Aspen - vis a' vis the local & national level. 0.01% (Chicago Crown family etc.) - but 99% Occupy Solidarity to Lee Mulcahy at this difficult time for him. This seems to be another example of the piss-taking & entitled 0.01%'s propensity to bully 99%ers!!

pax, amor et lux ...