LeDuff: Bing pal Emmett Moten $4M behind on loan from Detroit - New York News

LeDuff: Bing pal Emmett Moten $4M behind on loan from Detroit

Posted: Updated:
Emmett Moten and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing Emmett Moten and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing

"Just because a contractor or friend that's influential wants to meet with you to cut some kind of deal, that's the worse thing that I think can happen because anytime that the public loses its trust in the leaders of the city, you can only go downhill," Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told Fox 2's M. L. Elrick in March.

Bing should have taken his own advice because not only does he have a big public scandal brewing, he is being looked at by the FBI.

First let's go back a little.  A few weeks ago we named Bing's longtime friend, Emmett Moten, Detroit's "Deadbeat of the Week."  He owes the city nearly $200,000 in back property taxes on his downtown hotel -- the Fort Shelby.

It turns out Moten is also $4 million behind on a loan he took out with the city.

Back in 2008, the city borrowed nearly $19 million from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and lent it to Moten to redevelop the hotel.  This is known as a Section 108 loan.

When developers like Moten, and there is a handful of them in Detroit, don't make payments on those loans, HUD simply takes it out of another pot of federal money, grant money they give to the city to refurbish the neighborhoods -- money designed for things like playgrounds and demolishing dangerous buildings near schools.

So if the city doesn't watchdog these loans, it is an easy way to give rich people money intended for the poor.

Now Moten is not just any old developer.  He is a longtime pal of Bing.  What's more, Moten is the campaign treasurer for the Committee to Elect Dave Bing, as well as the treasurer of Bing's political action committee.  Where is that headquartered?  At the Hotel Fort Shelby.

Enter Dave Bing.  In 2010, his office drafted a secret letter to Moten, even misspelling his name.  It says, in part, "This letter will confirm certain understandings and the willingness of the City of Detroit to forbear from declaring a default relative to the loan by the City to the Fort Shelby Hotel, LLC."

Wait it even gets more ridiculous.  "We will continue to work with you to develop a plan for repayment that is realistic and acceptable to both.  You're specifically authorized to share his letter with your lender."  It was signed by Karla Henderson, group executive for Planning and Facilities.

"The city doesn't always do as good and as aggressive a job of collecting as it ought to, but in my experience, I've never seen a letter like this be issued.  This is a first for me.  So I'm not saying there's wrongdoing here, but I am saying that it's highly unusual, and I think it merits a closer look," said Detroit City Council Member Ken Cockrel, Junior.

So let's break this down.  Bing's pal, Emmett Moten, gets a nearly $19 million loan to redevelop the Hotel Fort Shelby.  He can't make the payment, so Bing's people write him a letter saying don't worry about it right now.  But the loan is not in default.  Somebody is paying the note.  Who could that be?  You Detroit.

"What about the city loan from the HUD money to develop this place [the Hotel Fort Shelby]?" I asked Moten.

"That's being paid over the next quarters," he said.

After nosing around and asking a few questions, I received a letter from City Hall late Thursday afternoon.  It turns out that the city now wants to talk to the hotel about making payments on that loan, and let's hope they also discuss repaying the federal money we fronted him, stuff that's supposed to go for children and their neighborhoods.  And if they can't get a deal done, according to the letter, the city is going to sue Moten.

  • Charlie LeDuffCharlie LeDuffMore>>

  • The Americans with Charlie LeDuff: A righteous voice from the Ferguson chaos

    The Americans with Charlie LeDuff: A righteous voice from the Ferguson chaos

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:21 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:21:50 GMT
    Charlie heads to the frontlines of Ferguson and finds a voice of reason and bravery against impossible odds.
    Charlie heads to the frontlines of Ferguson and finds a voice of reason and bravery against impossible odds.
  • Court: Ex-judge Wade McCree immune from civil suit

    Court: Ex-judge Wade McCree immune from civil suit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:04:29 GMT
    The infamous selfie taken by Judge Wade mcCree. The infamous selfie taken by Judge Wade mcCree.
    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
  • LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

    LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like NYC or LA.
    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like Los Angeles., Washington, D.C. or New York.  If you live in New Jersey, you're in the shadow of the Big Apple.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Man sucker punched in knockout attack

    Man sucker punched in knockout attack

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:00:46 GMT
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, N.J. Police say an assailant attacked three people on the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes.
    The so-called 'knockout game' where a person punches another unsuspecting person has made its way to Hackensack, N.J. Police say an assailant attacked three people on the same day. Surveillance video shows the athletically built suspect punch a man in the face and stroll away. The man fell to the ground. Two other assaults took place within less than 15 minutes.
  • NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:09:22 GMT
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:59:22 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
  • Charlie LeDuff: Off The ChainCharlie LeDuff: Off The ChainMore>>

  • Sayonara Bingaling

    Sayonara Bingaling

    Friday, December 13 2013 7:35 PM EST2013-12-14 00:35:18 GMT
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
  • LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:57 PM EST2013-12-04 00:57:27 GMT
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
  • Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Friday, November 8 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-11-08 23:12:53 GMT
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary:a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary: a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices