SHOULD I ALLOW MOHAMMED SORIANO-BILAL WASTE YOUR MONEY OR NOT?
If you don’t know it already, the Freedom West Board is in a frozen state right now. That is because we have an elected board that the Management does not recognize and a non-elected board that the Court likely will not recognize. Obviously the court is the one that has the final say but Freedom West will not get a hearing until September 3. In the meantime, the legitimate board could not do anything and the fake board was ordered not to do anything to prevent further damage done to the community.
However, it’s not as if the fake board headed by Mohammed Soriano-Bilal had exhausted its bag of tricks. And I write this to elicit your opinion on the next step. That is because Soriano-Bilal and his group of attorneys are asking my team go to mediation with them. The catch is that mediation costs lots of money. And Soriano-Bilal is using your money for such expensive undertaking.
Also read my letter to Supervisor London Breed and Assemblyman David Chiu about my concern for my personal safety.
I was so busy dealing with all the extra-legal shenanigans concocted by Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and his Freedom West attorney, and now “attorneys”, that I could not even catch my breath until now. The ordeal I endured the past two months is worthy of a fiction thriller, except it occurred in real life and continuing in this very same moment.
We are in a very dangerous situation now, much of it caused by Soriano-Bilal and his accomplices because they don’t want to be cooperative and don’t want to give up the absolute power they held the past two years.
But first the letter I wrote to San Francisco Board of Supervisor President London Breed and Assemblyman David Chiu. I also cc to the office of Mayor Ed Lee, the Mayor's Office of Housing, and Congresswoman Pelosi's office.
Hi Assemblyman Chiu and Supervisor Breed,
It’s almost seems like deju vu that I am address this email to both of you. Five years ago I let then Supervisor Board President Chiu about the concern for my personal safety when I was spearheading the effort to expel the corrupt management at Freedom West Homes. The management then had its “Toughs”. Right now I’m also spearheading the effort to expel Mohammed Soriano-Bilal, the Executive Director of the African American Culture and Art Center, from his leadership position from Freedom West Homes.
I am convinced there were abnormal practices and/or corruption under his supervision of Freedom West. I am addressing my same personal safety concern to Supervisor Board President Breed now, as I had to then Board President Chiu previously. I had, during an unlawful board meeting set up by Soriano-Bilal, received threat, from one of his “Toughs”. In fact, I felt even more threaten by Soriano-Bilal than by the previous Alton Management, who ruled over Freedom West for over twenty years. Alton Management knew the rules but Soriano-Bilal doesn’t seem to understand how far he can go.
How the huge Freedom West Project evolves should be of great concern not only to present Freedom West residents but also to The City as our evolution should affect the City’s approach in solving the housing crisis. I had seen the connection five years ago and felt it even more so now. However, at this point Soriano-Bilal has created a lawless jungle atmosphere within the community just to hold on the power he lost after a duly held election. What’s occurring now had never ever happened in Freedom West’s forty-year history and according to a long time and experienced Freedom West resident, the most vindictive.
I’m making this a record of my personal safety concern.
Board President-Elect, Freedom West Homes
I will explain the above letter when I get the chance. But I need your input on what's come next below:
I could have told you more of what went on in recent weeks were much worthy of a novel. But I have to fast forward to today because of a “mediation offer” proposed by Mohammed Soriano-Bilal’s “Freedom West attorneys” from Los Angeles. Why he pick these attorneys from Los Angeles to represent Freedom West you have to ask him.
Below is a synopsis of recent events.
July 18: Board Election Night – The Humble Team led by David Tse won the election with David Tse, Curtis Oler, Felix Fernandez, and Chong Park received the top four votes. There was a three way tie between Hing Sang Chiu, Samuel Shamonda, and Renita Mason for the fifth director seat. According to election inspector Rick Lewis, the fifth seat is vacant until further disposition of the new Board, which is now compose of 8 Board Members, the ninth seat vacant because of the tie: David Tse, Curtis Oler, Chong Park, Felix Fernandez, William Yi, Khorla Henry, Mohammed Soriano-Bilal, and Gideon Tesfaye. Election Inspector certified the election results the same night. Gideon Tesfaye angrily threw back the invitation for the July 19 organization meeting because his team lost.
July 19: Invitation email send out to all Board Members for an organization meeting according to the Freedom West Bylaws. Soriano-Bilal and Gideon Tesfaye refused to attend. The remaining six members elected David Tse Board President, Khorla Henry Vice President, Curtis Oler Secretary, and William Yi Treasurer
July 20: Board President David Tse informed HUD and Kalco of the election and organization meeting results. Asked Barry Levy of Kalco Properties notify Freedom West shareholders of election results. He refused. Instead Kalco mailed out the 8-page Mohammed Soriano-Bilal slandering letter against the newly elected board members this very same day. The Bilal Board prepared for this moment way before the election result. If they win, fine. If they lost, they’ll continue to hang on to power.
July 28: Bilal and Kalco requested the San Francisco Community Land Trust and the League of Women Voters to participate in an unlawful Recall/Organization Meeting. The Recall attempt aborted and Soriano-Bilal unlawfully adjourned the meeting but majority of Board Members stayed behind. The original July 19 Election of Officers was again ratified under extremely stressful situation created by Management and the Freedom West security guards.
August 3: Second attempt for a Recall. The five newly-elected board members were unlawfully removed by in a vote count done by the League of Women Voters. The League claimed not to take responsibilities for any illegalities if and when incur for this vote.
August 10: Mohammed Soriano created a fake board with its concomitant slate of board officers: Mohammed Soriano-Bilal Board President, Gideon Tesfaye Vice President, Renita Mason Board Secretary, and Samuel Shamonda Treasurer. Note only the first two are real Board Members, the latter two are mere shareholders.
August 11: Kalco quickly posted the fake board officers name throughout the complex, with the expectation that Soriano-Bilal will appoint his other accomplices to be board directors four days later, on Friday August 14. The same day, an extremely biased shareholder panel put together by Bilal and chaired by his friend Daryl Stitt stripped David Tse of his Freedom West tenancy.
August 12: David Tse et al. filed Temporary Restraining Order at the California Superior Court to prevent Mohammed Soriano-Bilal and Kalco from doing further damages. Judge granted TRO.
August 14: The illegal board meeting cancelled. Soriano-Bilal’s unlawful plan to stack up a fake board aborted. Freedom West Board frozen: any board actions by either the elected board or the fake board members prohibited.
August 17: Received Fisher Forensic lab results of election ballot. Soriano-Bilal must have spent thousands of Freedom West money for this company to prove his allegation of ballot frauds. No frauds found.
August 18: The newly hired Los Angeles attorneys to represent Freedom West (bringing a total of three lawyers represent Freedom West) proposed a mediation session on Friday August 21 to Chong Park and Curtis Oler to reinstate them to be board members (no offer made to his chief opponent, David Tse). The mediation service at ADR would be cost free for these members. Freedom West will foot the entire bill of at least $4,000 and that doesn’t even count attorney’s fees.
This blog is long enough already and I have yet to give details to the individual events. I should stop at this point but I will continue later. I have expressed extreme dismay at how Soriano-Bilal never blink his eye to waste Freedom West money just to keep himself in power.
I have expressed to the team members mediation in general is good, but we should not spend Freedom West’s money for this service. If Bilal wanted it, let him spend his own money to ADR and we will listen. The Freedom West attorneys fee still must be paid though. I received enough criticisms from my African American supporters for even walk into the Bilal’s Eviction Committee trap without any legal representation and got hammered as such.
My conversation with the team members were the following:
"I don't know we are going to mediate over what. Freedom West pay, paying on service over conflicts that shouldn't happen in the first place. This is just amazing. Confidential? (Who cares?) I think people should know about this outrage."
"Do you want to participate or not? Please advise."
"I'll participate if it's FREE, really cost-free, not "Freedom West paying for it". I could not in my conscience spend Freedom West money on this. It's a stigma against my character just for the convenience of appearing "reasonable"."
"I'm available at that time too. And I concur with Curtis in that (we questioned) what mediation might accomplish at this time and why should we spending Freedom West public money for something we don't clearly understand.
Also I'm preparing to go public on this initiative of theirs. I do not like the "confidentiality" aspect of this so-called mediation. I've been fighting all these years for transparency. Let everything spoken go public. We have nothing to hide. If anything, they are the one who's hiding something. Let's set a good example for the community."
Overall you can see I'm pretty pissed off at Soriano-Bilal's wastage of Freedom West funds.
Curtis Oler, being a pretty good lawyer himself, advised us to listen to what the other side has to say, otherwise we could be construe as unreasonable to the judge during the September 3 court hearing.
Well, dear readers, what do you think? It’s your money! Should we conspire with Mohammed Soriano-Bilal to spend thousands of your dollars this Friday to pay ADR and his L.A. attorneys. Or should we ask him to pay out of his own pocket because it’s mainly about his hanging on to power. Why should we have to pay for him?
I also wrote William Yi and Sam Shamonda:
Hi, Sam and William,
Do you know Mohammed is hiring two more attorneys from L.A. to represent Freedom West on top of Julian Davis? They also ask us to go to a mediator to talk about whatever we don't know anything about. They said we don't have to worry about the mediation cost because we (me, Oler, and Park) don't have to pay for it. Freedom West is footing the bill. Do you realize that mediation cost at least $3,000 per session, and that's excluding attorneys (and mediator’s hourly) fee?
Furthermore, Bilal has already got a forensic company to examine the 7/18 ballots. I got the result from the company and that doesn't even prove anything. Don't be surprised that cost another thousands of dollars. Had anyone of you approved that expense?
I hadn’t gotten any response from either one yet. But I do know months ago Sam Shamonda complained vehemently to Soriano-Bilal about his transfer of the control of Freedom West bank account to Kalco at San Rafael without the Treasurer’s knowledge.
Sam Shamonda says he always defended me in front of Bilal whenever the rest of the Bilal bunch tried to swamp me with lawsuits. At least there’s somebody of conscience under the Bilal Board. I wonder about how he thinks about this type of misuse of Freedom West funds now.
Once more, what's your opinion of what I still consider, a flagrant misuse of Freedom West funds by Soriano-Bilal on useless "mediation service"? Actually his attorneys' letter sounded more like veiled threats to the two board members. Should I and the team go to this complete wastage of what little money we have?