Our opinion: Someday, a trial by jury

GRO-Warren’s response to the lawsuit filed against it, its former executive director and her husband took 25 pages to say, basically, “we did nothing wrong.”

Included was also a contention that, in fact, the city administration reneged on promises it had made the public-private entity that contributed to the implosion of a downtown redevelopment project and the waste of a half million dollars of taxpayer money.

With that, the public is really no farther ahead in understanding the debacle that was the Allegheny Center for the Arts building project than what it was a year ago.

But, a brief demand printed on the cover page of the legal response could hold promise that at some point in the future, the real facts of the matter will be brought to light in a public forum: :Jury Trial Demanded.”

Because of the public-private nature of the organization, which placed in outside the grasp of open meeting laws, right to know laws or any other requirement for transparency, all the public was privy to were the periodic fantasies of development offered up by one person whose name has not appeared in either the city’s suit or GRO-Warren’s answer to that suit: The talkative head of Warren Development Group and a handful of other hurriedly founded groups, Tim King.

And, we find that curious, given King’s and GRO-Warren’s acknowledgment of their financial and organizational links.

King, who in a request for an update of the progress, if any, on the hotel/conference for which he was listed as lead developer and to which GRO-Warren, allegedly on orders from the city, diverted ACA project funds, responded by saying: “I am no longer involved in any project in Warren.” And, he hasn’t been heard from since.

For those with long memories, you may recall that GRO-Warren rose from the ashes of the Warren Main Street program, which had gone broke. That rebirth and transition was helped along by a check for $30,000 from King along with an agreement that for the money GRO-Warren would act as a sort of promotional agency for King’s development ideas.

What followed was a litany of false hopes, broken promises, failed dreams and what in hindsight may best be described as fantasy.

It is a tangled web, making a jury trial the best opportunity for a final unraveling and revelation of the truth.