Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Discussion with John Graham

I sat down with John Graham (and another person) on Monday to discuss his Good Samaritan Program. Many, many things were discussed - only some of which will be written here - but in fairness to Graham, I wanted to address some areas where he felt the prior DarkeJournal reporting was inaccurate.

#1 - The occupancy expense on the Good Samaritan Home tax returns

A prior story (link here) highlighted figures from the Good Samaritan Home tax returns, including specifically Graham's salary and the "occupancy expense" of the Good Samaritan Home, Inc. It was speculated that the "occupancy expense" could be money that the nonprofit was paying to Graham in rent. The entire ocupancy expense was listed in the original story. Later, Graham's accountant called clarifying that only about half of the occupancy expense was allocated to rent (and that clarification was added in the story).

Graham objected to the way the article was written because it gave the appearance that the allocation to rent was far more than it actually was, and that the article implied that he was "profiteering."

#2 - Six sex offenders living in the Ludlow Street property

The original DarkeJournal story on May 28 (link here) described how 12 sex offenders were living in three houses owned by Graham - with six being in a single house on Ludlow Street. A later story (link here) detailed how two of the Ludlow Street residents were moved to other Graham houses on the same day (5/28) as the original DarkeJournal article. All of this information was taken directly from the Darke County Sheriff website.

Graham claims this information was false, that six men were not living in the Ludlow Street residence on May 28th. Graham states that the Sheriff's website was wrong, and that nobody was moved in response a DarkeJournal article.

#3 - A sex offender living in the homeless shelter

Multiple stories (one link is here) have described how a convicted rapist is living in a building billed as a homeless shelter.

Graham states that this reporting is inaccurate. Graham owns a double apartment at 449-451 East Third Street in Greenville. At last check, there were two registered sex offenders residing at 449 East Third Street. A third registed sex offender, a convicted rapist, is currently listed as living at 451 East Third Street. And Graham's homeless shelter is also listed various places as being 451 East Third Street. However, Graham states that it is inaccurate to state that a convicted rapist is living in the homeless shelter because the convicted rapist is living in the downstairs unit of 451 East Third, and the homeless shelter is the upstairs unit of 451 East Third.

The DarkeJournal response: I will not take the time to write out rebuttals on all these issues. You have the links to the old stories and Graham's objections. You can make up your own mind.

Aside from the alleged inaccuracies, Graham objected that stories were written without consulting him. And even as to the presentation of facts, he felt that the way the facts were presented was misleading and created fear in the community. According to Graham, the stories lacked "balance."

Graham said repeatedly that the program is good for the community. Graham said that people would accept the program if they knew all the facts, and he was open to talk to anyone anytime. He was offered the opportunity to write anything he wanted to be posted on DarkeJournal, but he declined.

Graham also objected to the use of anonymous comments, so here is the challenge to DarkeJournal readers: leave your full name and email address if you want to comment on this story.

A very interesting story will follow in the next couple days. Stay tuned.

8 comments:

  1. Connie ShiverdeckerJune 23, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    I'm sorry, but I don't believe that anyone having a history of being a sexual predator, rapist, armed robber etc. could possibly be good for this community. I strongly resent that comment made by Graham. Another thing, why is he not wanting to put any comments or rebuttals in the dj? Sounds funny to me! My sister in law is a perfect example, he flat out lied to them when the first "Konia (sp) House" was opened. He told the neighbors what they wanted to hear to passify them. Needless to say, more and more of these homes are opening. JG, if you are the Christian man that you say you are and are doing it for the "GOOD" of the community then speak up and tell us what your plans are!

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  2. I used to work with John's wife and often saw John as well. They are good people, despite what news articles may show, what facts can appear to be, and no matter what is really going on, John is a good man with good intentions.

    The offenders themselves I don't trust further than they can be thrown, but I believe John's intentions are good.

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  3. Is he violating a law with the unit on third st, now being a as he says a three unit complex not the duplex it is?

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  4. Offenders should not be in town, period. You say Mr. Graham is a "good person". If his lips are moving when he talks about this issue.....

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  5. What burns me about the John Graham houses, is that they are not used for religion and salvation as so heavily marketed, they are used for a business. I have been personally involved in this experience from the beginning. John Graham opened his own home to ex-convicts, and as neighbors we were assured that he would not house an individual with a sex crime. Graham himself even went as so far to say, "they can not be rehabilitated." So then I, along with my neighbors, watched Graham remodel a "homeless shelter" on East Third Street from a double home that could house two families with children, to appartments that do not house children.

    Then along came the third Graham house on Ludlow, which houses registered sex offenders. So as concerned and responsible citizens, a handful of my neighbors and I took part in a city council meeting, just to obtain information on the matter. Graham himself promised that the sex offenders that would live in the Ludlow house would only be tier 1 or tier 2 sex offenders, which is a low calibur of crime. To this very day, he currently has six registered tier 3 offenders, which includes crimes of violence, kidnapping, and the rape of children! Not to mention that some of these sex offenders have broken the law for more than one sexual offense. Some of these men have had their second chance, and they blew it. And then while on a roll, Graham decided to add another sex offender house on East Main Street! Not to mention, Graham is re-modeling his fifth house on Fourth Street and he is labeling it "low-income housing."

    We have to protect our children first and foremost. The majority of these men that live in these houses over the years have committed sexual crimes against children. There are innocent children that live in these neighborhoods, and not to mention East Elementary School is just a mere two blocks away on East Fifth Street! There are many kids within my own neighborhood who play outside up and down the block all day long. How long will we have to wait before someone becomes a victim? We should not have to sit around and wait for someone to get hurt.

    We have to keep in mind that this is not about religion. Citizens4change and Councilmen Baumgardner have said nothing about religion from the beginning, and attacking us for wanting to protect ourselves and our children from sex offenders and ex-convicts is not the Christian thing to do. Graham has targeted different local churches in the community for money, goods, and free labor! Graham is the one who brought religion into this, not Citizens4change or Mr. Baumgardner, and most certainly not anyone in our neighborhood. Graham and his followers preach salvation and redemption for these convicted sex offenders and ex-convicts, but what about their victims? They deserve the acknowledgement, not the offenders. If anyone should receive charity, it is the victims of these heinous crimes.

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  6. [cont'd]

    Graham is making money off of these men, plain and simple. They stay for 90 days or less, then another batch of sex offenders is shipped from who knows where, and he collects a paycheck for each individual sex offender. Graham also receives government grants for all of this "charitable work." Not to mention all of the donations from churches and businesses. Hard-working everyday people have given their time, money, and effort to make sure this man can make a quick buck. This has to stop; could you look the first victim of one of these men in the eye knowing that you supported Graham and his "charity?" If we as a community continue to let these houses operate, we are bound to have a victim(s). Remember, it's a BUSINESS!!!

    We cannot allow Graham to make his fifth house operational because he has not lived up to his word on more than one occasion. It is highly unlikely that this new house will stay completely and 100% "low income housing." Our neighborhood cannot take anymore of Graham and his sex offenders, not to mention his ex-convicts. And Mr. Foutz (Graham supporter), can we please be civil about this matter? No phone calls or letters to my home please, everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in, and frankly, the phone calls and letters have been a bit frightening in the past.

    Susan Taylor, 516 East Third St, Greenville

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  7. East Third Street ResidentJune 23, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Seriously Mr. Graham.......upstairs in 451 E Third St and downstairs in 451 E Third St. Do you really think it makes much difference?

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  8. A important issue has been brought up concerning a sex offender living in or near to a homeless shelter? Is this wrong?
    There are people with criminal backgrounds,including sex offenders, living in Darke County. If a person with a criminal background, for example a sex offender becomes homeless, and they are ban from living in a homeless shelter where are they to live-under a bridge, along the creek beds near the Cty Park near the high school, where?
    "A homeless sex offender is a more dangerous sex offender,"say Elizabeth Barthomlome of Marylnd Division of Parole Probation."They are less likely to recieve mental health care and sustance abuse treatment and more difficult to monitor", says Jill Lerverson, a sex-crime policy analyst at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Leverson also stated, "Being homeless is also demoralizing".
    The safety of homeless persons and residents are require.Placing homeless facilities in a residentential area can put residents in harms way. For example, in Quincy MA a Tier III sex offender broke in a woman's home with a knife. Prior to tat night, he was sleeping in a homeless sheter (PatriotLedger.com dated 5/24/09).
    It is also understanding why a homeless individual includng a child or a woman would not like the idea of a dangerous criminal including a sex offender that close to their sleeping quarters.According to California Housing Law Project 43% of homeless children are molested, 60% are violently abused. More than 80% homeless women are victims of physical assault (the National Health Care for the Homeless Council).
    Would the solution to this problem to build another homeless faciltity in Greenville for criminals and sex offenders. Where would the location of this facility be?
    On the other hand, more shelters will not solve the problem. In fact, they actually increase the probem , by just managing the problem.Throwing money at the problem without having any end results, instead of investing money towards prevent and end homelessness. Wih a goal to end homelessness in Darke County, Greenville will be a safer place to live.

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