About 50 supporters of the Anna Louise Inn held a rally Wednesday in front of the Hamilton County courthouse to increase public awareness about the Inn's legal troubles and to condemn judge Norbert Nadel's recent decision about the Inn.
The rally was organized by Cincinnati Homeless Coalition Executive Director Josh Spring. "We are very frustrated by the bullying tactics of Western & Southern. We are frustrated that judge Norbert Nadel has made what we believe is an immoral decision," said Spring.
Spring says Western and Southern, which has been trying to acquire the property , is trying to derail plans to renovate the Anna Louise Inn. "The Inn has investments to renovate it and Western and Southern and the judge know that if they stall too much those investments can go away and then the project can die through attrition," said Spring.
In our commitment to balanced news we reached out to Western and Southern to get their side of the story, but when they declined to comment we decided to ask some tough questions of Steve MacConnel, President and CEO of Cincinnati Union Bethel which owns the Anna Louise Inn.
FOX19 asked, "Why not take the offer that Western and Southern?"
"Their last offer was minuscule compared to the value of the real estate, now that last offer was made five or more years ago," said MacConnell.
"Can Union Bethel afford a prolonged lawsuit," ask FOX19.
"We can, we're going to make it work, because it's the right thing to do," said MacConnell.
The demonstrators later walked to Western and Southern where they presented a letter requesting a meeting with CEO John Barrett. The demonstrators say they'll give Barrett two weeks to respond. If they don't get a response they say they'll up the ante.