The Courier-Journal’s Andrew Wolfson (a for real journalist at the C-J finally works the story!) has two great profiles of Robert Felner today.
Here’s an excerpt from the first piece, which is a pretty juicy read:
Trying to help the University of Louisville’s new education dean find a house in 2003, real-estate agent Judy Johnson says she spent hours showing him one in a Harrods Creek gated community.
Only later did she learn that Robert Felner had gone back and bought the house on his own, cutting her out of the deal. Yet he still had the nerve, she said, to call afterward and complain that she hadn’t told him that the house stood in the path of a proposed Ohio River bridge.
To former colleagues within U of L’s College of Education and Human Development — and some other educators around Kentucky — the story perfectly captures Felner: arrogant, outrageous, abusive and duplicitous.
In a 90-minute interview last week, his first since the investigation was disclosed, Felner declined, on the advice of his attorneys, to answer any questions about his handling of grants, how he could afford to buy four homes in three states worth a combined $2.66 million, or the purchase of the house in Harrods Creek.
Instead, he spoke about growing up poor in Brooklyn and Connecticut and the improvements he made at U of L after his hiring in 2003.
You’ve gotta read the entire thing. The things he had to say in his 90-minute interview with the C-J will blow your mind. I didn’t even excerpt the juicest parts. Just ignore the part in the story where the paper once again spreads the outright mistruth that federal investigation of Felner is only re: a $694,000 No Child Left Behind grant, which is inaccurate.
Wolfson also did a story about Felner’s $2 million dollars in real estate, his expensive cars, boats and all that. It’s all information you already know about (like most of the info in the other story, just in greater detail) but is definitely worth a read.
Take a look:
They are paying a combined $1.96 million in mortgage payments, record show.
Felner also owns a black 2005 BMW and a white 2005 Lexus, according to AutotrackXP, a commercial database, and a powerboat, about a 20-footer, said Marty Bell, a Jefferson County Public Schools deputy school superintendent who said he’s gone boating with Felner.
On the advice of his attorneys, Felner declined to discuss any of his assets. Marilyn Felner did not return phone calls or e-mails sent to her in Rhode Island.
Property and tax records show that the Felners bought a $318,000 split-level in Narragansett, R.I., in 2002, putting down $64,000 in cash.
In 2004, Robert Felner bought a waterfront lot and mobile home in St. James City on Florida’s Gulf Coast for $320,000, without a mortgage.
Also in 2004, he and his wife jointly purchased a home on the Ohio River in Prospect, Ky., for $580,000, putting down $18,000 in cash.
The next year, again on his own, Felner bought a waterfront home on Pine Island in Bokeelia, Fla., for $1.45 million, putting down $300,000 in cash and financing the rest through the seller.
$2 million in real estate, BMW, Lexus, big ass boat, paying $300,000 down on a home IN CASH. I think it’s safe to assume that Felner isn’t getting off scot-free.