Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Something stinks, frankly: Portsmouth investors learn of Lucas’ large stake in project

Something doesn't smell quite right. I knew there were things about this project that I just didn't like. But it was a gut feeling, nothing more. Something wasn't right.

Well, now we have more information about the proposed conference center. From Jen McCaffery at the Virginian Pilot:
State Sen. Louise Lucas owns all but a small percentage of a multimillion-dollar conference center she wants to build and would be the sole owner of an adjacent headquarters hotel, which could be the most profitable part of the venture.

The longtime Portsmouth leader also has appointed her daughters to help run the conference center despite the family’s lack of experience in the industry.

These and other details were provided in a “disclosure document” sent earlier this month to investors in the project. An investor provided a copy to The Virginian-Pilot. Lucas has raised more than $1.9 million from about 600 investors largely from Hampton Roads. The document was the first such disclosure sent to investors.

According to the document, Lucas bought shares in the conference center for about 2 cents each while her investors paid $1.33 each. In all, she spent about $139,000 for her 7.5 million shares, an 84 percent stake, while investors anted more than $1.9 million for the remaining 1.44 million shares, according to the investment disclosure.
I'm all in favor of a person making some money, but this smells fishy... and even more so when Ms. Lucas continues to seek public funds for this project.

No way.

And what irks me even more is that she has not been upfront about this whole project. She must think we're all not as smart as she is.

If the project is going to succeed, let is succeed on it's own merit. Without the use of public funds.

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