Patrick Michels
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Rasansky on Leppert: "He Doesn’t Give a Darn About the Citizens of Dallas."

In this week’s paper version of Unfair Park, we discuss Mayor Tom’s plans to build the convention center hotel despite what voters may say at the polls in May. And council member Mitchell Rasansky continues to express his disgust regarding Leppert’s tactics, telling Unfair Park it’s “not right” to be spending money on the hotel and a convention center expansion before the referendum. The council, save for Vonciel Jones Hill, voted moments ago to move forward with spending $4 million on the hotel and to begin construction on April Fool's Day, no kidding.

“This guy’s got chutzpah. He doesn’t give a darn about the citizens of Dallas,” Rasansky says, referring to Leppert. “It’s damn the torpedoes, full-speed ahead.”

Rasansky recalls a time when former Dallas Mayor Bob Folsom made a “smart move” when he stopped plans on a multistory building near Belt Line Road and the Dallas North Tollway because of a downturn in the market -- even though piers were drilled and concrete had been poured. “Leppert’s not going to do that,” he says. “It’s a résumé-building tool for whatever he has on his agenda.”

As he nears the end of his time on the city council, Rasansky is getting more candid, especially about the mayor, whom he supported in the mayoral election. He’s quick to point out that Leppert was associated with what has been labeled the largest bank failure in U.S. history as a board member for Washington Mutual, citing Mayor Tom’s quote from a September 11 story in The Dallas Morning News when he commented on the status of WaMu by saying, “The feeling is that there's sufficient capital and good things ahead." Because Leppert was on the bank’s board of directors and audit committee, Rasansky says he should have known what was about to happen.

“There could be some fraud. I’m not saying it of WaMu. I’m not saying that at all,” Rasansky says. “But I know people whom the government accused of not following policy and procedure, and it determined [that] as bank directors, they are personally liable.”

Also, please check out the slide show we posted of the plans for the hotel, which include design renderings, cloth samples and a wooden model. --Sam Merten

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