(Richmond, IN and Lewes, DE)--Former old Reid Hospital developer Bob Ciprietti is facing some questioning from residents in one Delaware town about delays in converting an old building into a new restaurant. On Monday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News Director Jeff Lane appeared on WXDE Radio in Lewes, Delaware and asked Ciprietti why he has continually failed to respond to Wayne County officals who are trying to collect a massive tax debt. Cipretti was a guest on the show to answer questions about the Delaware city and was unaware he would be asked about events in Richmond. Here is a transcript of the on-air conversation between Lane and Ciprietti:
Host: He’s calling from Indiana…Jeff, hello.
Lane: Good morning.
Ciprietti: Oh, here we go…
Lane: As you know, in 2010, Bob, you went before the Common Council in Richmond, Indiana and asked for some tax credits and abatements to develop a hospital only to later abandon that hospital, leave the taxpayers with a $500,000 tax and a $4 million clean-up price tag. How do the people of Delaware know you’re not doing the same thing here:
Ciprietti: First of all, I didn’t do that. I owned part of a company that tried to develop that project after we had developed another successful project prior to that in Indiana. The mayor at the time (Sally Hutton) dragged her feet.
Lane: Why, then, would you have not responded to county commissioners who did try to collect the over-half-million-dollar tax debt?
Cipretti: It wasn’t my responsibility.
Lane: If you were the owner of the LLC, then whose responsibility was it?
Ciprietti: I was not the owner. I was an investor. There was, like, five other people.
Lane: Well, there was one. That’s Ernest Zamparini, and he also has been unresponsive. Do you feel bad for the taxpayers…
Cipretti: (cutting off question) There were five or six investors in that and I was not the managing partner of that, just so you know.
Lane: So you had very little responsibility?
Host to Ciprietti: Do you know this guy Jeff? Do you know who this is?
Ciprietti: I have no idea.
Lane: What about in Denton, Maryland, Bob, where essentially the same thing happened back in 2006? That was another development that you walked away from. In fact, the town manager there had to come to Delaware to find you and serve you with papers.
Ciprietti: I didn’t walk away from it. I sold all that property to Habitat for Humanity. Please, get your facts straight.
Host: Thanks, Jeff. (the host then hung up.)
Spring Grove, LLC now faces a Wayne County property tax debt that has grown to $1.3 million. A lawsuit is pending.