PEKIN: Judge declines to let congressional candidate out of lawsuit deposition
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#1 May 31, 2008
More on Ozinga's Marshall County Legal Troublesby Mose Buchele on May 30, 2008
On Nov. 8, 2006, 11th District GOP congressional candidate Marty Ozinga and Barry Voorn, the vice president and chief legal counsel of his concrete company, attended a public hearing in the town of Henry, Illinois. The purpose of the meeting was to secure the town's approval for a gravel mine and river port that Ozinga Bros. Concrete Company hoped to construct in the small rural community. In the process of attempting to persuade the town to enter into a land incorporation and re-zoning agreement with the company, Voorn repeatedly asserted that they were interested in buying large swaths of county land only to provide "contiguity" between the Town of Henry and a proposed port and gravel mine. "I want to assure the board this evening that the petitions being considered tonight are not in any way any type of a disguised attempt to mine either the section 4 or the section 9 properties […] It's off the table," Voorn said, according to minutes of the meeting.
As Progress Illinois has previously reported, Ozinga Bros. Cement has become involved in a lengthy legal battle with residents in Marshall County over property rights to the proposed site. Initially, Ozinga claimed not to have ever met Raymond Kunkel, the 87-year-old owner of the land. Once witnesses came forward asserting that Ozinga was present at negotiations with Kunkel, a judge compelled him to give a deposition in the case. Then, during the deposition, Ozinga appeared to backtrack from his flat denial, instead saying that he "had no recollection" of meeting with Kunkel and the others.
But another troubling contradiction surfaced during Ozinga's deposition when he indicated that the company indeed had plans to mine the land in question.
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He was asked by Kunkel's attorney: "Would it also be your intent in the long run for Ozinga Brothers to be able to mine the sand and gravel reserves on Section 4?" Ozinga responded under oath, "[S]ubject to agreements and ongoing discussions of probably a long term view, the eventual answer would be yes."
Yet in the 2006 hearing, Voorn, in the presence of Ozinga, told a concerned citizen that that same tract of land was "going to stay agricultural."
"We will continue to have it farmed to take advantage of the real estate benefits from having the property farmed," Voorn said.
This apparent change in policy towards the Marshall County plot already has Kenin Edwards, one of the parties in the lawsuit, accusing Ozinga Bros. Cement of misrepresenting its intentions at the time of the hearing with the Town of Henry.
Edward's lawyers have requested that Ozinga be deposed again in the ongoing legal discovery process. While that testimony may yield more answers, one thing is clear: A drawn out legal dispute of this nature could reveal a lot about Ozinga's tactics as a businessman.
#3 Mar 23, 2010
Kenin Edwards is a shady character.....a businessman.......just like Marty Ozinga. That does not change the fact that for months on end it was NO MINING.....NO MINING....signs in yards and windows and cars and meetings and blah, blah, blah......and now? Mining is going on by the truck, railcar and barge load. I told all who would or would not listen that it would go through eventually. And like it or not it is here......but all is quiet(except for bush hog)....nobody beating the drum and waving the flag. Why? Did everyone get tired? Maybe the economy is bad enough now that those jobs look pretty good? Or maybe not many know what is REALLY going on out there. Sorry, for your gullibility. I know what you were told.......
Just wait until Material Service/Hansen Materials/Heidelberg Aggregates.....or whoever they are this year open up that 475+ acres to the south of town. They have owned that for 40 some years or more.....you won't buffer zone them or tax their tonnage or zone them to death.
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