Even though Rich Miller has a criminal record, Editor Evelyn Dow published his hate-filled letter anyway. Shame on Evelyn Dow. She should know better.
On April 5, 2011 Rich Miller and his wife Kathleen Miller were arrested by Brockport Police and both charged with one count each of Perjury (a misdemeanor) and 3 counts each of Illegal Voting (felonies).
They had both voted illegally in the June 15, 2010 Village election, when they actually lived more than 15 miles away across the Monroe/Orleans County line in a house on 16729 Lakeland Beach Road in Kendall, N.Y.
A police investigation revealed that Rich and Kathleen Miller had also voted illegally in Village elections in 2009 and 2010.
On August 25, 2011 Rich Miller and Kathleen Miller pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, attempting to vote illegally, a Class A Misdemeanor.
Assistant District Attorney Raymond Benitez said that even though the Miller’s had been charged with a Class E Felony, the District Attorney’s Office allowed the Miller’s to plead to a lesser charge after weighing a “balance of factors” especially the fact that neither Rich Miller nor Kathleen Miller had a previous criminal record.
All of Rich Miller’s previous brushes with the law had been plead down to violations, such as Disorderly Conduct, and violations do not constitute a criminal record. This was the first time Rich Miller had ever been convicted of a crime.
From that day forward, Rich Miller had a criminal record.
Miller has previously been arrested, tried and convicted of assaulting the man who challenged his right to vote in Brockport elections.
At the August 3, 2010 Village Board Meeting, Miller had delivered an angry threatening speech during public comment. His remarks were so obnoxious that then Mayor Connie Castaneda, one of his closest political allies, told him to step away from the podium.
As he walked to the back of the room, he smacked Tom Mangan in the face with his elbow. Then Miller ran out of the board room, out of the village hall, and across the street into his rental property at 52 State Street.
Miller’s violent actions that night turned the Village Hall into bedlam, and the Village Board had to adjourn the meeting.
Rich Miller was arrested on August 9, 2010.
On January 20, 2011 Rich Miller pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct. Ogden Justice Court Michael Schiano scolded Miller for his disgraceful behavior, telling Miller that, “He was too old to act like this.”
As unusually happens in such cases, the lawyer representing Miler and the Assistant District Attorney had conferred beforehand, and had agreed to let Miller plead guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a nasty trial.
In his obnoxious letter to the editor in yesterday’s the Suburban News, Rich Miller claims that property values are lower in the Village than they are in surrounding towns because of Village taxes.
As any realtor can tell, property values are lower in the Village of Brockport because of the huge number of single-family houses in the village that have been converted to college rental housing, and then let fall into disrepair.
By their nature, college rental houses reduce property values in a number of ways. Students aren’t families, so the owners of the adjoining properties lose their neighbors every time a single-family house is converted to a college rental.
College students tend to be a lot noisier and a lot messier than families. Families don’t usually have beer parties on a Saturday night. But even the best groups of college students do it quite frequently.
Families also don’t usually pave their back yards and turn them into parking lots. College landlords do that so often it’s disgusting. Even “good” college landlords seem to think that is an acceptable practice, and don’t realize how it destroys the property values of the adjoining properties.
Think about it. With two identical properties, which one is going to be worth more: the one that overlooks a beautiful back yard with children playing in it; or the one that overlooks a makeshift parking lot filled with seven or eight rusty cars belonging to college students?
The surrounding towns don’t have to deal with those problems.
The surrounding towns also don’t have to deal with sleazy college landlords like Rich Miller, who absolutely destroy beautiful single-family homes by turning them into college housing and then failing to maintain the property.
On October 17, 2013, Rich Miller sold off the last two Miller rental properties in Brockport. Both of those properties were in Kathleen Miller’s name, as was always the case with the Miller properties.
At the time, Pam Ketchum, who is a realtor, a landlord, and the head of Pro-Brockport, went to the open house for each of the properties, and thought that things looked fishy.
She looked into it and found that the house at 52 State Street was not in compliance with the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the property.
The C of O allowed for two 2 bedroom 800 square foot apartments and the balance had to be used for commercial space.
But the entire building was being used for college rentals and there was no commercial space at all.
Three of the college students living there had a lease for the 2013-14 school year, paying $2500/person/semester plus utilities. The owner, Rich Miller (actually, his wife Kathleen was the owner) had indicated that he will be renting the other apartment on the first floor and also the garage below and part of the basement, paying $750/month.
In the 2nd floor apartment, there is the "walk-in" closet that is the size of a small bedroom with the window that people went through to get to the ladder and then to the cupola to inspect it during the open house.
Just past that room is a full-fledged third bedroom complete with bed, clothing, etc. That bedroom was not legal.
When Pam went through the house with a contractor, they both agreed that there was more than 800 square feet on the second floor. When you study the floor plans that Rich Miller had submitted when he applied for a C of O for the apartments, you can clearly see that the way the space was actually being used was not what he had presented to the Planning Board as two 800 square feet 2-bedroom apartments.
Moreover, there is a serious safety violation in the building. The doors to the elevator shaft can easily be opened even when they appear to be locked.
Under the provisions of Section 36-5 F of the Village Code, the C of O should have been revoked.
When people went into the Miller owner property during the open house at 49-51 Clinton Street, they found that the place was an absolute mess. There were holes kicked in the walls, and electrical sockets hanging out of the walls and down from the ceilings.
The place was a pigsty.
And yet in his letter to the Suburban News Rich Miller has the audacity to claim that “…there are at least 37 properties that are so adversely affected by the high cost of village taxes that they have forced families and individuals to abandon their property.”
Miller is dead wrong. College landlords have abandoned those properties after sucking them dry and pocketing the profits rather than investing any money into property maintenance.
But what else would you expect from Rich Miller? He’s been arrested, tried, and convicted of committing two crimes in Brockport.
Shame on Evelyn Dow, and shame on the Suburban News for publishing such trash.