From the Editor: Crowd calls “Shame” on Judge Nadel.

By Jason Dean

Supporters of the Anna Louise Inn call shame on Judge Nadel. Photo: Jason Dean

Since August I have been following and writing on the case of Western & Southern (W&S) versus Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB) and the Anna Louise Inn (ALI), but the case started long before that. Each time I’ve been to court to record the arguments from W&S and the defense from CUB it has pretty much been the same story each time; very little was added or subtracted each time Judge Nadel presided over the case, and despite Nadel saying in August that he would reach a quick decision he took nine months to deliver a decision that favored W&S.

Back in August CUB cautiously made it clear that they suspected W&S of having judge shopped for Nadel and that W&S were using stalling tactics in order to jeopardize the time sensitive grant money that CUB had raised for the renovation of ALI; W&S seem to have got everything that they wished for . . . everything that money could buy.

Judge Nadel has a reputation for being a business friendly judge, which could be why W&S skipped the zoning board review processes in order to secure him as the judge for their case against CUB; the case was later brought before the Zoning Board of Appeals and they ruled in favor of CUB. In his verdict that took him nine months to decide, Judge Nadel has declared that not only are CUB in the wrong, but the City of Cincinnati and the entire Zoning Board process have not followed the letter of law; “thankfully” we have W&S brave enough to step up and make sure that everyone has correct zoning permits . . . even though the Zoning Board twice approved CUB application to renovate their building.

CUB provided ample evidence that the law, the City, the Zoning Board, and a large room full of supporters were on their side, but unfortunately they did not have Judge Nadel on their side; his verdict took the side of W&S.

Wednesday, May 9th, at noon, church leaders and close to a hundred supporters of ALI gathered outside the courthouse to protest Nadel’s choice and then deliver a letter to W&S CEO John Barrett calling for him to talk directly to CUB. Nadel’s decision may be a set back, but CUB has not given up on its legal property rights.