My professional assessment re the RPS parking barriers, AKA spandrels, meeting “building code/standards” is a red herring as claimed by Co Prosecutor Tucker and others as a justification for not filing criminal charges in Jo Savage’s death in the RPS parking garage. This reasoning is specious and fallacious as I explain below.
There were multiple barrier failures over the FIFTEEN years preceding Savage’s death. The owners of the parking garage were fully aware of this imminent public hazard and did nothing to remedy/mitigate this hazard. What value are building codes and/or standards if they fail to protect the public. The barriers were failing even whether they met standards “as designed” or “as built.”
. . . if the barriers are presumed to meet any standard, they have failed numerous times and Savage died. The “standards” are meaningless if they fail to protect the public. Mind you two cars broke barriers and were left hanging precariously on their undercarriages in the 1990s. This is a ruse. At some point “common sense” must kick in – the barriers are failing. [my emphasis]
Mr. Tucker’s finding that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove this case beyond “a reasonable doubt” is a self-fulfilling prophecy of Mr. Tucker’s own doing. There was no complete and thorough criminal investigation that was taken to its logical conclusion that could have gathered the necessary evidence to meet the criminal reasonable doubt standard. Mr. Tucker and others structured the investigation and review of Savage case so that probative questions were not asked that could have implicated the owners. Mr. Tucker refused to empanel a grand jury to compel testimony from complicit and/or intimidated witnesses who may have provided the lacking evidence. I agree with Steve Eugster this “investigation was a “sham” and a “whitewash.”
Ron the Cop
[See the following email discussion]
On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 1:16 AM, wrote:
Ron: So what is the opinion now of your insiders re: no code violation? Berne.
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: No Code Violation
FYI – This is my initial assessment of what we have just witnessed with Tucker’s decision not to file any criminal charges in the Savage manslaughter case. I am sharing my assessment in the open. Our law enforcement community failed to do their job that WE THE PEOPLE have empowered them to do. Our political /governmental systems are so thoroughly co-opted/corrupted, they are dysfunctional and are incapable of carrying out their missions that the people have charged them to do.
Further in the RPS bond fraud our elected/appointed officials in essence allowed/ignored a “con game” that swindled the public treasury of some $100M. The public “bailed out” this fraud with the issuance of a second set of bonds that is draining $2M per year in public revenue to service the debt. The IRS in as much said so in their condemning and damning statement disallowing the tax exempt status based on the facts/circumstances surrounding the issuance of the first RPS muni bonds as a sham, “the casino was rigged.” The Savage death is only a small part/act of this much larger organized criminal activity. The illegal acts of this organized criminal activity were the proximate cause of the death of Jo Savage. The motivation is economic greed and acceptance of unacceptable risk to the detriment of the publics’ financial interest and safety. The operative question will there be more deaths because of the dysfunctional nature of our government.
The people must have a judicial remedy/redress to hold those who have failed us “personally” liable and accountable for their criminal acts so the people can act to excise this cancer from our midst to restore a civil/functional political /governmental environment.
Det. Ron Wright (Retired)
I don’t know what the others think but probably share my views. This “meeting standards” of these barriers is all “smoke and mirrors”, a slight of hand, blowing smoke to conceal the real facts, and/or a red herring. Eric Looney at KXLY was the only one who picked up on what Tucker and others were saying and counter with my expert opinion (see video at right side of page) re the lack of a complete and thorough criminal investigation that was taken to its normal and logical conclusion because of co-option and/or corruption.
First even if the barriers are presumed to meet any standard, they have failed numerous times and Savage died. The “standards” are meaningless if they fail to protect the public. Mind you two cars broke barriers and were left hanging precariously on their undercarriages in the 1990s. This is a ruse. At some point “common sense” must kick in – the barriers are failing. This was the finding of the Hinzman-Atwood engineering report in 1993 that the owners commissioned. While the barriers may meet some loading standards as designed/ as built, they fact remains that they were failing with regularity. In short the barriers will fail and install steel cables to prevent vehicles from striking barriers. The owners were full aware of this and did nothing for FIFTEEN years up until the Savage death. This is very clearly laid out in Rex Franklin’s sworn statement in the Savage civil wrongful death action.
Second – I go with Eugster that these “barriers” do not meet the “definition” of “vehicle barrier” in 2003 IBC because of their unique cantilevered design where most of the weight is hanging out over the actual garage floor. While the wall face may meet the compressional/force/loading standard, this force is not directly transferred to the structure but multiplies/force leverages the applied force to the fulcrum point at the edge of the garage floor. This is the exact point where the barriers fail. This is “Eugster’s” point. Ast. AG Marlow was alluding to this in his review of Tucker’s submitted material but set this issue aside because of their “limited review” and that the AG’s Office was precluded from conducting it’s own independent criminal investigation.
Also another nuance that no one has reported is Marlow said there was not enough evidence re the corporate/officer direct knowledge re this “defect.” He went with the WJE this was a “concealed” defect that the owners could not know. I strongly disagree with this point if Marlow did read the engineering reports. I find Marlow’s finding not in line with the facts. What I do agree with Marlow is there is Little or no EVIDENCE/TESTIMONY to link the owners based on their direct knowledge of this know defect. This was backhanded slap by Marlow at Tucker for not doing a full, complete, transparent criminal investigation that would have found this evidence in my opinion e.g., grand jury compelling key testimony from Beringer, Dragisich, Robideaux, Pupo and others who may have had this personal knowledge and given the necessary evidence that would have proved the owners’ knowledge beyond the “reasonable doubt” burden. In other words personal knowledge that Stacey and Betsy Cowle knew of this imminent hazard, took no action to remedy/mitigate this hazard for economic reasons (RPS bond fraud off this liability onto the City). THEY DID NOTHING FOR FIFTEEN YEARS – the Savage death was very foreseeable consequence of these ongoing barrier failures and was preventable. Tucker by his “inaction/passivity” “loaded” the deck and “structured” the outcome of the Savage case re “insufficient evidence” to meet the criminal “reasonable doubt” standard in the Savage manslaughter case. There are many parallels here with Tucker’s and US Attorney Jim McDevitt’s inaction/passivity re the RPS bond fraud.
There are compelling grounds in my mind for charging Tucker with malfeasance in office. His statement – the Savage case was not difficult to do is untrue. The reason why it was “difficult” is no one wanted to do their job and in essence turned a blind eye on Savage’s death. No one wanted to ask the probative questions and take Savage’s criminal investigations to its logical conclusion. This is the organized crime nature of the RPS bond fraud/Savage manslaughter case – the expected behavior/deference to the Cowles family. This is BS.
Agreed the RPS bond fraud would glaze one’s eyes over however certain aspects could be brought in for “icing on the cake”. These would be the “con/fraud” – the inflated price of the garage, laundering of $10M of money into the Cowles’ family pocket (Conversion and or gift/theft of public funds), and the sham of two sets of books. fulling depreciating this structure with the motivation of offing this serious liability (failing barriers) onto the City. This would be evidence of the motivation of the garage owners’ for their failing to act to remedy/mitigate this imminent public hazard.
The design issue if the “barriers” were at the edge of the garage floor it would limit floor space probably by two feet. This would interfere with the turning radius on the floor and limit parking.
A potential fix would be to install steel cables out on peers just inside the inner surfaces of the barriers to prevent contact from vehicles. The “barriers” then only would have to resist gravity and wind loading.
However if what Rudd says is true about the lower existing floors and the “crap” concrete that was used in the new section the whole structure may be compromised.
The bottom line of the “inspection” issue is where are the concrete test results of the concrete during the expansion. The inspection issue is more of a paper exercise. The test results would be the best forensic evidence. Since Rudd says he didn’t witness any concrete sampling then either they don’t exist or if the city has records they are fraudulent/counterfeit.
So this comes full circle back to doing a “hands on” on sight inspection by a credible entity that is not co-opted by the city or the Cowles. Mind you a new failure and civil liability would only be by preponderance and not the criminal “reasonable doubt” standard. This is why I believe the City must compel an immediate inspection as allowed by Rudd or they are going to be up “poop creek” if there is another injury do to another structural failure.
Ron the Cop
|show details 4:43 PM (1 hour ago)||
The problem with the so-called barriers is the fact, I emphasize fact, that many of the barriers have failed. What is the reason for the failures? They do not do what the so-called specialists say they should do. Why? Probably because the rebar, end to end through the curve, is not in the center of the concrete. It is on the outside! At least, it was on the outside in the case of the barrier which failed in the death of Jo Ellen Savage. This was readily apparent in the pictures of the failed panel. If there is another panel with this defect there will likely be another death in the course of time. To my knowledge the panels in place have never been tested to see where the rebar actually is in each of the panels. This is the real danger, this is where there should be reason for real inspection of each panel.
Actually in the last WJE study they used “ferroscanning” to measure the depth of the rebar from the inside surface. This was the ongoing debate between WJE and LSB the firm the City hired to review the retrofit engineering data. This is where the average of the panels was about 3.4 inches. All beyond the ideal placement. I would speculative [sic – ate] if you measured the depth at the “curve” as Eugster says it’s probably near the outside of the curve and provides little support. From my readings there really was no effort to maintain the optimal placement in the “curve” as this would require substantial more work and rigging of the rebar to keep it in place during the pour.
Ron the Cop