"Contentious," "shocking," "confusing."

Those were some descriptions given to Monday night's Hoover City Council meeting by the media after Hoover City Council president John Lyda ambushed developer Broad Metro president William Kadish by revealing he was a convicted felon.

Broad Metro is the developing company for Stadium Trace Village seeking council approval for developing the second phase of Stadium Trace Village.

According to Lyda, Kadish was disbarred in 2007 due to grand larceny charges after he was accused of stealing money from clients.

"[W]e know things today, Mr. Bannister, that we did not know then," Lyda said, responding to Trace Crossings resident David Bannister during an open comment portion of the meeting. "We are dealing with a convicted felon, who had I known then what I knew then, Mr. Bannister, I would never vote to do business with this man. The city I represent, the values that I have, I will not waver on the values that I have for this."

In a statement provided to 1819 News, Kadish addressed Lyda's remarks:

His Statement:

I wish to address the events of last night, during which I found myself targeted by Councilman Jon Lyda, who chose to resurrect a mistake from over 24 years ago. It's disheartening to witness such tactics in a public setting.

However, I'm appreciative of the support I've received from many who have reached out to express their apologies for what transpired. It's evident that Councilman Lyda's actions have not gone unnoticed, with numerous individuals on social media rightfully questioning his judgment and labeling him 'John the Moral Dinosaur'. It's concerning to observe a reluctance to engage in business with individuals who have made past mistakes, particularly when there is an ongoing partnership with the City of Hoover.

Let me be clear: I am the same individual who successfully spearheaded the development of Stadium Trace 1 five years ago. However, I am not immune to human error. Following a medical procedure, I was prescribed opioids, leading to regrettable decisions involving gambling. Yet, I faced the consequences head-on, fully accepting responsibility and making amends, even forfeiting my law license. The Judge afforded me full relief from Civil Disabilities.

I treated this situation with utmost seriousness. New York state passed a statute three years ago, allowing me to apply to have the record of my transgression sealed. I want to emphasize that the crime was self-reported, underscoring my commitment to transparency and accountability. The record was sealed, and I received numerous letters of recommendation attesting to my character and response to adversity, including Judge Muraca’s statement as to my good moral character: 'The defendant has taken extensive measures that display to this Court that he is of good moral character.' I am more than willing to share these letters.

The most distressing aspect of last night's events is the denial of my opportunity to address the situation. It is disheartening to witness the disregard for fairness and due process in such a public forum.

In the midst of this unfortunate spectacle, the true tragedy lies in the potential hinderance of progress for our community, where vital initiatives, including the support for Hoover City schools set to receive over 2 million dollars annually, risk being compromised.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to clarify this matter.

Part of the Stadium Trace Village Phase 2 development is the proposed Hoover Performing Arts Center. In 2023, that $17 million was dedicated for the Performing Arts Center out of a then-$93 million bond issue.

Not everyone agreed with Lyda's tactic.

During an appearance on Birmingham Newsradio 105.5 WERC's "Alabama Morning News with JT," Lyda's colleague Hoover City Councilman Steve McClinton criticized the approach.

"Mr. Lyda brought that out, and as to gasps in the room — they thought that was kind of a low blow, again, you pay your price, you pay a fine, you move on," McClinton said. "He is obviously a proven entity. He helped build in 42 different states. He just built the golf suites in Opelika. He wants to do the same thing here in Hoover. So, I thought that was out of line to do that, and unprofessional."

Editor's note: Hoover City Councilman John Lyda's remarks suggest Will Kadish's criminal act took place in 2007. The actual indiscretion occurred in 2001.

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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