HOOVER — The press release arrived at 6:52 p.m. on Memorial Day with the subject line: “The City of Hoover to Participate in CON Hearings Starting Tomorrow.” 

The hearing began at 9:00 a.m. (roughly 14 hours after the press release). It was the first public hearing to address the contested Certificate of Need (CON) for a new ambulatory surgery center and medical diagnostics center at the Riverwalk Office Park. The Hoover Sun published a story on the hearing at 2:47 a.m., giving residents little time to attend and adding to growing concern about the lack of transparency in city operations that has led to citizens taking matters into their own hands. 

While a line buried below the meeting details in the release hinted at the fireworks that would erupt at the meeting, it did not foretell the bombshell that Mayor Frank Brocato would drop towards the end of his questioning by attorneys representing the City and the counter allegations that would follow. 

CON Opposition Hearing Media Advisory Alabama News

Colin H. Luke from Holland & Knight, an attorney representing the Hoover Health Care Authority, said, “The opposition to this project has nothing to do with health planning or community need. The opposition is costing the City of Hoover taxpayer dollars unnecessarily and is intended to stop this important project. The opponents should be ashamed of their conduct and behavior on so many levels.”

Opening statements framed the argument with the opposition to the CON, saying that the City did not “need” the health care development—they just wanted it. The City focused on its longtime desire to improve local access to care.  

With the mayor under oath, the City attorney's line of questioning focused on his vision for the entirety of the 90-plus acre site that would house the proposed medical facility. Rather than focusing on the health care benefits of the facility in question, the mayor's testimony frequently veered into longwinded answers touting the future economic development impact that the health care facility would have on the city.

During the questioning by City attorneys towards the end of his direct examination, Mayor Brocato made a serious allegation. He claimed that local lobbyist Pat Lynch had approached him and asked, “How important is this CON?”

He then accused Lynch of suggesting that if concessions were made in a rival development's incentive package, the opposition to the Riverwalk CON would be dropped. The mayor said he was “stunned” that he considered Lynch a friend who would never do anything like this. He said it “sounds like blackmail.” After the call, the mayor claimed he first called City Council president John Lyda and then the city attorney and wrote it down. The affidavit was submitted to the CON board.

The development in question is the second phase of a project spearheaded by William Kadish. As previously reported by 1819 News, Kadish has found himself at odds with the mayor and some city council members. 

These allegations are directly contradicted in an affidavit 1819 News received and reviewed. In his response, Lynch stated emphatically, “At no time has BroadMetro or any of its owners or representatives sought to intimidate, extort, or blackmail the City of Hoover or any member of the Hoover City Council.”

Copy of (8) Pat Lynch Affidavit by Trent Baker on Scribd

Lynch’s response indicates a more sinister and coordinated plan against Kadish. According to Lynch, Lyda told him, “If you release the PR video to the public, then I will not be in favor of the project. It would also be viewed negatively towards its approval by the council.”

Lynch stated, “To me, Mr. Lyda’s comment was a form of intimidation because he did not want the public outcry for the performing arts center.”

Lynch also alleged Lyda told him that “Broad Metro and Will Kadish will never do business in Hoover no matter what changes he makes.” And he said Lyda went on to say he would do “whatever he can to ensure that Mr. Kadish does not do any business with Leeds and Trussville.”

Attorneys opposing the CON asked the mayor during cross-examination if he managed the public information officer who released the statement saying that “opposition should be ashamed of their conduct and behavior” and if he agreed with the quote. The mayor said that he did to both questions. 

That lawyer then stated that he “was not ashamed”; the City lawyer objected to his statement, and while the objection was sustained, the point remained clear: This fight has become personal to many involved.

Apryl Marie Fogel is a Birmingham resident who frequently appears on, and guest hosts radio programs around the state. She can be reached at aprylmarie@altoday.com or on X and Facebook at @aprylmarie.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.