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This is Freddie Ramirez.  I wrote about him last week because he wants to become a State Representative for West Kensington and Fairhill in the 197th District in Harrisburg.   He owes the state thousands of dollars in back income taxes.

The previous occupant of that state rep. seat, Leslie Acosta, was booted out because she was convicted and sentenced for her role in a money laundering scheme related to a health clinic in Juniata.  Governor Wolf even begged her to resign her seat.  She refused.   She then lobbied Democratic ward leaders to hand-pick Ramirez as her replacement and won.  The Democrats put Ramirez forward as their candidate for the 197th.

There is just one problem:  there is a growing body of evidence that strongly suggests he doesn’t live here.

The Pennsylvania Constitution states in Article 2 Section 5 that state representatives must live in the district that they want to represent for one year before the date of election.  The special election to replace Acosta is March 21, just weeks away.

The Invisible Neighbor

In Commonwealth Court today the Republican City Committee presented evidence that Freddie Ramirez is rarely if-ever seen at his home located at 430 West Annsbury Street.

Is anybody home? 430 West Annsbury, the registered home of Frederick Ramirez
Is anybody home? 430 West Annsbury, the registered home of Frederick Ramirez

This Google Street View photo taken in September 2014 long before his entry into politics shows weeds at Mr. Ramirez’s house growing out of control and crawling up the burglar bars on the first floor and a rose bush that has reached the hight of the first floor kitchen windows.   The rear yard consists of a masonry wall with badly overgrown plants and broken fences. (Click here to tour the outside).

Two witnesses who live on the block came to testify.  One witness said she had never seen Mr. Ramirez enter or leave the house since she moved in.   Another witness who lives directly across the street from Ramirez testified that she neither saw Mr. Ramirez coming and going from the house and also has never seen trash put out for collection for that house as opposed to the other houses on the same block which are occupied.

Water Analysis

Over 20 months of Mr. Ramirez’s electricity and water bills were entered into the record.  Philadelinquency pulled Mr. Ramirez’s most recent water statement and this is what we came up with:

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Mr. Ramirez’s water bill for January is $27.87 which is the lowest water bill you can possibly have for a residential row-home and not be on public assistance.  That amount represents 0CCF water usage as the amount you owe solely consists of basic charges.

I’ll use my own water bill to explain:

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This is the last bill I got from the Water Revenue Bureau.   I normally only pay my water bill about 3 times a year because this is the only utility I have that still to this day does not support a BillPay service that everyone gets for free with their bank’s checking account.   I refuse to give access to my checking account to a City agency, much less a City-owned company.

My stormwater charges are exactly the same as Mr. Ramirez’s:  $14.12

A service charge of $13.75 is assessed on every water bill for every residential rowhome in Philadelphia.  The technical term for it is “Meter Type R”.  The Service Charge includes a water fee of $6.58 and a sewer fee of $7.17.   $6.58 plus $7.17 equals $13.75.  Simple enough.

You should be able to see where I’m going with this:   the only way you can have a bill for $27.87 in a rowhome is if you showed 0CCF of water usage.

If you look carefully at the water account summary, Mr. Ramirez showed a payment of $30 in January against his account and a current balance of $25.74.

Mr. Ramirez has a $25.74 balance because he didn’t use enough water in December and got a bill for $27.87.  He overpaid that bill with his $30 payment by $2.13 and when you subtract January’s water bill by $2.13 you arrive at his current water balance.

During court testimony Mr. Ramirez’s water bills were read aloud.   He recorded 0CCF water usage on his water bill for several months in a row before he would finally tick the meter over.

I guess Fred Ramirez for State Representative doesn’t ever bathe and certainly doesn’t do his laundry at home.  The only way that I know of achieving 0CCF water usage for 3 months in a row for several stretches over 24 months is to never bathe, rarely flush the toilet, don’t do laundry at home and to eat off paper plates all the time.

Perhaps instead of showering he uses baby wipes?

Bristol, PA

So if it’s possible that Fred Ramirez doesn’t live on Annsbury Street in Philadelphia, then where does he live?

A source that doesn’t want to be named provided me an address with where he claims Mr. Ramirez could be spending a lot of his time.  That address points to the Delaview Apartments on Radcliffe Road.  I decided to follow up on this and started looking.

Mr. Ramirez seems to be pretty involved with the Bristol community.   For instance:

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That photo I found from a newsletter mentioning the Bristol Rotary Club.  The man in that photo looks an awful lot like a younger version of the Mr. Ramirez I saw in court today.  In fact it’s from 2010.

 

Hmm.

Then there’s the White Pages with a VERY interesting listing that matches Mr. Ramirez’s name and age.

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Well… do I really need to show any more evidence here that Mr. Ramirez doesn’t live in Philly?

Despite All This, He Expects You To Vote For Him

I don’t think I have really ever seen anyone disqualified from a Philadelphia election because they don’t live in the district they’re running in, much less even inside the state.   It’s easier to prove a first degree murder case on flimsy circumstantial evidence than it is to prove residency before a Pennsylvania judge, even if you paid a private investigator to tag that person for months to show that they don’t live in the city.

The most famous example of this adage is none other than T. Milton Street, Sr. the brother of the former Philadelphia mayor John Street.   Milton Street has been challenged multiple times over his residency.  In 2015 he defeated a ballot challenge before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court without the services of a lawyer representing him.  In both instances he was accused of living in Moorestown, New Jersey.  Many of his Facebook postings on his personal page are geo-tagged to Moorestown.

When asked by lawyers representing appellants: “where do you go to bed at night?” he famously replied “I sleep where I get tired.”

 

Seriously, Democrats: when faced with replacing a convicted criminal in a voting district that’s well-beyond 80% Democrat, this person is the best you could come up with?   This is the safest State Representative district in the entire state.  You could have picked anyone, and I mean ANYONE, to replace Ms. Acosta.

You couldn’t find someone who has neighborhood bona-fides who you’re certain actually lives here?

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Frederick Ramirez, president of Pan American Mental Health Services, was picked by the Philly Democratic Party to replace Leslie Acosta in the 197th District in the PA House.

Freddie Ramirez was picked by ward leaders to replace disgraced, convicted and sentenced State Rep Leslie Acosta.

As of this week, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now after Freddie for failure to pay $6,700 in state income taxes on his personal returns.

Fun!   THANKS DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Freddie Ramirez Taxes

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Records Scam

I know our District Attorney, Rufus Seth Williams, is going to be fucked with a Federal prosecution any minute now, but that’s no excuse to let an economic crime continue to run in this town when it’s been well-publicized for months.

So I am going to write about this, AGAIN.

This letter appeared in the mail of a brand new Germantown home-owner.   I have received photos of the same letter from new homeowners in Kensington, Bella Vista and in West Philly.

The phone numbers on the letter do not start with (215) 686-, which is the prefix code of most City phone numbers, including the official recorder of deeds: the Philadelphia Records Department (that’s its actual title).

There IS no such thing as “Deeds and Registry Office”, the address that the letter points to in the Land Title Building only has one city office having anything to do with real estate directly, and that’s the Sheriff’s Office, and they have nothing to do with new homeowners.

This letter is a fraud and it is a scam and yet you have let this gone on for months, even after multiple people have brought it to your attention.  You just don’t know how to deal with an economic crime like this because you are incompetent.

I really hope this is the last time I have to write about this stupid letter.  No telling these scammers are bilking brand new Philly property owners out of their money.  They have to be making money because the letters keep coming.   And they will continue to go to homeowners until you fucking DO. SOMETHING. ABOUT. IT.

For the love of Christ and all that is Holy in his name… do your fucking job.  You are a law enforcement agency.  Enforce some fucking law for a change.

Holy crap you are the worst municipal law enforcement agency in this country.  A complete disgrace to the profession.

And I’m not even talking about cops, here.

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Poor Chestnut Hill.  Their land must be contaminated.
Poor Chestnut Hill. Their land must be contaminated.

A reader to PDQ has brought up a fairly sobering point about the controversy surrounding OPA’s attempt to update land values across the city.   He writes…

[E]everyone who filed the first level appeal by the May deadline has still not received a response. Of course, the BRT deadline is the first Monday in October. Seems like the city is slow playing it in hopes that most will miss the October deadline. Think of all the homeowners who will receive a letter denying their appeal between now and October 1 who will have to scramble to file an appeal. 

Right now, anyone appealing to the BRT will not have access to the vacant lot data, so by the time the hearing rolls around, they will be at a huge disadvantage. 

Seems odd to me.

A dataset that Philadelinquency keeps which monitors changes OPA makes to accounts reveals that OPA has been making vacant land value changes in batches, but it certainly has yet to reach all the vacant parcels all across town–ergo not enough to the point where OPA could announce that they’ve completed the work, which it promised earlier this year would be completed and posted to property accounts by the end of June.

PDQ’s 2017 Land Value Assessment Map prepared earlier this year after the OPA had only re-assessed developed properties revealed how much the Office of Property Assessment factors building value into land values with vacant land being assessed at $1-$3 per square foot while newly developed rowhomes raise the land value in some areas of the city to $100 per square foot.

That thinking rewards blightlord investors who have no intention to develop a property to continue to sit on vacant property by allowing them to pay less taxes than their developed counterparts and shifting the real estate tax burden on to residents.

The most alarming aspect of this are the people who have challenged their appraisals this year.   Does OPA not intend to send first-level appeals at all this year?  That would be a first.

Luckily for you, if you are appealing your property assessment you do not need to wait for OPA to respond.  The Bureau of Revision of Taxes must accept your petition challenging your property appraisal no matter what the status of OPA’s assessment is.  If OPA does not respond that does not take away your right to appeal.   Since the deadline to get your appeals filed this year in time to be heard this calendar session is fast approaching, just anticipate you won’t get any response at all back from the Office of Property Assessment and prepare for a BRT board appeal.

That also means you need to be speaking with a lawyer if you haven’t already done so.

In the spirit of this bureaucratic fiasco, if you are one of my many law-office fans who happen to regularly represent Philadelphians before the BRT and would like to pimp your law practice out on my site, I’m more than welcome to post up a listing.  Send your deets to philadelinquency@gmail.com   I will run a feature on Philadelinquency before the BRT deadline for disparaged residents to contact for appeal board help.

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This is a painting of Seth Williams, commissioned by Seth Williams, of him in a smoke-filled room.
This is a painting of Seth Williams, commissioned by Seth Williams, of him in a smoke-filled room.

District Attorney Seth Williams, Philly’s chief law enforcer, might be in a lot more hot water than his press secretary seems to lead on.

The Inquirer has revealed that FBI agents have been interviewing employees at the District Attorneys office and asking specific questions regarding loads of expensive gifts that Williams received during his tenure in office.  Williams failed to report $160K in gifts and just recently he hurriedly filed amended campaign finance reports to disclose them.  That has been leaving questions swirling among the political classes.  Why is Williams in such a rush to report all these gifts… right now?

Talking to sources familiar with the DA’s office’s internals, there is one prominent theory surfacing as to why Williams is coming clean on his gift reporting right now.

“He’s reporting the stuff now because an indictment is coming.   If he reports the gifts now, no ethics board could jeopardize his pension.  By the time a Federal prosecution concludes he has plenty of time to pull the pension lever.”

Another theory that is less exciting is that Williams is simply negotiating an ethics board settlement.  If that is the case it won’t be be known that there’s a punishment deal being brokered until the PA Ethics Commission issues a determination which is a ruling disclosing an ethics violation and a negotiated penalty.  In prior cases of irregular campaign finance reporting by other pols that has come shortly after amended reports are filed.

Williams has been at the DA’s office since at least 1992 when he worked as an assistant prosecutor for Lynne Abraham.  He has vested enough into his pension as an employee and public official of the City to be entitled to withdrawals.

What About That $45,000 Roof?

City and State has taken a look at Seth Williams’ house in Overbook and a disclosure Williams made about a free $45,000 re-roofing job done to it.  The most interesting thing about it is the roofer, Michael Palmieri.

It turns out that Palmieri is an interesting character and not your ordinary neighborhood roofer with a card from Local 30.  City and State reveals that Palmieri is a significant campaign contributor to Williams and several other long-time Philly Democrat incumbents.  He also lives in this house in Burlington County, New Jersey…

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…compared to some slumlords I know, their houses are dumps compared to this place.  The house includes a large amount of land.   He’s got to be one of the most well-off roofers in the whole Del Val.

If that’s not enough for ya, City and State also uncovered links between Palmieri and the Brown estate, the owners of the local Shop Rite grocery store chains.  Whether or not they factor in to the FBI and IRS probe into Williams remains to be seen, if an indictment surfaces.

Odds of an indictment?   I asked my source.  “Bank on it,” he said.

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