Sunday, June 24, 2007

Airport developer sues Allegheny, others - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Airport developer sues Allegheny, others - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review As a result, Ferrone filed an eight-count suit alleging these violations: civil rights, conspiracy, neglect to prevent conspiracy, defamation, commercial disparagement, conversion, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy.
Wow. This is sorta big news.

I send out blast emails. Do they get to all the parties I am sending them to? I hope so.


Anonymous said...

full article:

Airport developer sues Allegheny, others
By Michael Aubele
Sunday, June 24, 2007

While being sued by two banks that claim he defaulted on loans for improvements at his airport, Rock Ferrone is suing Allegheny County; its executive, Dan Onorato; a few other county officials; and several people in the private sector.

Ferrone's two lawsuits allege the defendants violated his civil rights. He is suing for compensatory damages and an injunction "ordering the government defendants to cease their unconstitutional conduct."

Ferrone claims in one suit that Onorato blocked e-mails Ferrone sent to various county officials, including county council members.

The suit states the e-mails were "redirected to one or more agents of both (Onorato) and Allegheny County Director of the Department of Economic Development Dennis Davin for review, dissemination and/or censoring."

Ferrone claims Onorato and Davin ordered the redirecting of the e-mails.

The e-mails were sent from Jan. 4, 2005, to Feb. 8, 2005, according to the suit. County council passed a motion on Jan. 4, 2005, supporting Ferrone's RockPointe Business Park project. Council asked Onorato and the economic development office to meet with Ferrone to promote the airport's development.

Ferrone claims he learned about the alleged blocking when he replied to an e-mail from Maurice Strul in the economic development office.

The e-mail reply, which was copied to Davin, never went through, Ferrone said.

Ferrone said he spoke with Davin by phone and that Davin commented, "Dan (Onorato) may have blocked your e-mail, if it was the e-mail address that those 'blast e-mails' were coming from."

The suit does not clarify what "blast e-mails" means.

As a result, Ferrone filed an eight-count suit alleging these violations: civil rights, conspiracy, neglect to prevent conspiracy, defamation, commercial disparagement, conversion, invasion of privacy and civil conspiracy.

County council discussed the issue during a public meeting in February 2005. According to minutes from the meeting, council passed a motion that recommended a special committee be formed to investigate the problem.

However, John Mascio, council's chief clerk, said the issue never went beyond that public meeting, and no committee was formed.

Council motions are nonbinding, Mascio said.

The problem, he said, most likely was handled internally.

Beyond the e-mail-blocking issue, Ferrone alleges in the suit that Onorato said during a radio interview that Ferrone's e-mails to him were "venomous."

He also claims Onorato told a West Deer official: "I am familiar with the (airport) project. It's a good project, but we have to do something about the owner."

Ferrone further alleges Onorato told members of the Deer Lakes Pilots' Club that "Rock's been sending me about (32) e-mails a day, and he sent me a picture of his family, complaining that they are starving."

Ferrone claims Onorato's behavior and comments had a negative impact on the airpark's development.

The second suit involves Ferrone's claims the county prevented him from using the proceeds of a loan to settle an earlier lawsuit.

Ferrone earlier had a dispute with his previous engineering firm, S. E. Technologies. The sides agreed Ferrone would pay S.E. to settle. Ferrone attempted to use funds from one of his county loans to pay the settlement, but the county blocked him.

The settlement collapsed and Ferrone eventually paid S. E. about $400,000, he said.

In his suit, Ferrone also alleges that numerous people inside and outside of county government conspired to sabotage his relationships with the banks that lent him money and ultimately derail his airpark project.

This second suit alleges civil rights violations, conspiracy, contractual interference, commercial disparagement, invasion of privacy and breach of contract.

Davin, Onorato and Strul are named in the suit as defendants, as are the county, its redevelopment authority. Other defendants include local consultant Brian D. Clark and his firm, attorneys Michael Yablonski, Kevin McKeegan and the law firm Meyer, Unkovic & Scott and RockPointe tenant Management Science Associates and its CEO, Alfred Kuehn.

On the county's end, a spokeswoman in Onorato's office said the county couldn't discuss pending litigation. In its response to Ferrone's legal complaint, the county denied the allegations.

The other defendants named in the suits either declined comment or could not be reached for comment.

The two bank lawsuits against Ferrone claim he defaulted on loan payments to First Commonwealth. The bank is seeking $2.4 million.

Ferrone said he has made his payments to the bank and doesn't know why it sued. He said he plans to countersue First Commonwealth over the matter.

Michael Aubele can be reached at or (724) 226-4673.

Anonymous said...

After meeting with Rock Ferrone, I have found him to be a dishonest, highly-arrogant bully who is interested in only one thing, Rock Ferrone. His frivolous lawsuit against the county is his way of shifting blame from his own business failings and crooked dealings to the good people of Allegheny County.

Shame on you Rock Ferrone!

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough I know Rock Ferrone VERY well, and he is probably the most honest person I know
His business dealings with all of our companies have always been fair and he is above reproach.
If the previous comment is based on truth ... That person should say what the dishonest dealing are or were.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I don't like Anonymous postings -- on either side. Oh well.

"Cool your jets!" (PUN intended)

Have a good weekend -- all.