Has the Worm Turned for All Aboard Florida?


WHEN SHAKESPEARE USED THAT SIMPLE PHRASE, “THE WORM HAS TURNED,” he knew his audience would understand its meaning and origin. A widely used expression even today, it indicates a reversal of fortune, but few who use it know why. (www.FunTrivia.com)

This is the first of three articles on how last week there were three significant setbacks for All Aboard Florida (AAF).  With these setback so significant, it’s curious why the press has not reported on them, as far as we can see.

The first has to do with why AAF has stated that the issuance of Private Activity Bonds are “critical” and a “linchpin” to the project, when AAF president P. Michael Reininger “has made conclusory representation to this Court that AAF could and would go forward without the PABs.” (Attorney Philip E. Karmel, representing Indian River County at May 29, 2015 hearing before Federal Judge Christopher Cooper regarding invalidity of the Florida Development Finance Corporation issuing the bonds.)

On June 19, 2015 Attorney Karmel, filed a Motion (to Justice Cooper) for “Expedited Jurisdictional Discovery” in IRC’s lawsuit against Peter M. Rogoff et.al. for the U. S. Department of Transportation’s approval of the Florida Development Finance Corporation’s issuance of Private Activity Bonds for the All Aboard Florida (AAF) project. Mr. Rogoff is Undersecretary of Transportation.

According to the motion, “without Expedited Jurisdictional Discovery, the plaintiffs (IRC et. al.) will be unable to obtain documents and other evidence that it (AAF) would proceed with Phase II of the subject railroad project without (emphasis added) the Private Activity Bonds approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Expedited Discovery is requested because the Private Activity Bonds may be issued in the near future.”

Attorney Karmel provided Judge Cooper with a “Proposed Order,” which read: “Upon consideration of Plaintiff’s Motion to Expedite Jurisdictional Discovery…it is hereby ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED”

Of Course, on June 22, Attorney Cynthia Taub, representing AAF, wrote to oppose the Motion.

In an email from IRC Attorney Dylan Reingold on July 7, 2015 he wrote: “The parties had a status conference call with Honorable Judge Cooper yesterday afternoon. This morning the court issued an order granting Indian River County… their request to obtain expedited discovery regarding All Aboard Florida’s finances, and its claim that the project can be funded even without the private activity bonds.”

The worm started to turn.  IRC can now begin to examine AAF’s finances.

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