Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Assiduity and Professionalism of Mel Green - A Prevo Crime Exposed?

Mel and Me during the Prop 64 Battle
Mel Green, who blogs at Henkimaa and is the current editor of the most important Alaskan LBGT news blog, Bent Alaska, has covered a number of local or statewide events in notable ways.  Her 2009 look into how Sarah Palin's legal bills were most likely apportioned during the long denouement of the quitter's aborted gubernatorial term was an example of the very best in Alaska investigative journalism.  It should have earned Green a major award, particularly, her post, The 2 Million Dollar MemeHer coverage of the Proposition 64 battle in the late spring and summer of 2009 was the most thorough and detailed in the state.

Her position as a leading writer in the Anchorage LBGT community has gotten her to understand the importance of covering Alaska's most prominent  homophobe, Dr. Jerry Prevo.  Mel, who is one of Alaska's better poets, even wrote a poem about Prevo during the 2009 Prop 64 battles:

No Questions, Questions

The man, smug in his pulpit,
has no questions.
He never has questions
except the rhetorical
question always followed
by his ready knowing answer read
from the book at his right hand:
the book at the right hand of God,
the book — the right hand of the judge
who judges the quick and the dead
to damn whoever fits
the words of his ready
answers read from that book.

 I have questions…
What makes one so certain?
How does one live inside a closed book
behind closed doors in a windowless room
surrounded by a great great wall
blocking off all the horizons,
everything known, counted, familiar?
How does one live on a flat, flat Earth,
a horizonless planet where nothing new
ever walks, is seen, is encountered?
How does one breathe there?
How does one breathe where there are only
two kinds of people, the damned and the damning? —
and the smug man in his pulpit smiles,
knowing himself as the latter,
casting the former to flames,
smiling to serve such a God
who made things this way.

Somewhere beyond a horizon
on a round Earth set among stars
crafted by illimitable god,
I catch my breath.

Melissa S. Green
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Anchorage, AK
Rev. Prevo recently came to the attention of Anchorage blogger, UAA student activist and Young Democrat leader, John Aronno, with John writing a feature article for the Anchorage Press, Religious Extremism: From Phelps to Prevo:
Here's another quote: "If God doesn't judge America for its sin, he'll have to apologize to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, because we're guilty today of the same sin they were guilty of."
And another: "Now, some bible scholars believe that Babylon of Revelation 18 is referring to the United States of America... I want you to notice the colors of Babylon here. The colors: fine linen, that's white. Bible purple is blue. Scarlet is red. Red, white, and blue. What is the color of our flag? Red, white, and blue."
The Westboro doom-speak is very similar to the two statements in the paragraph above. Both are examples of things that would cause a sane person to develop a tick, if subject to prolonged exposure. They are also not from Phelps, but instead from our neighbor, Pastor Jerry Prevo, of the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Prevo has warned his followers: "I wonder how many more tornadoes, how many more hurricanes, how many more floods God's going to have to send on America for America to get right with God?"
But the frequency and the pitch of Prevo's public antics largely center on LGBT issues, something the average working stiff (at least the straight ones) don't have an immediate personal stake in. This tends to result in a live and let live and don't talk about it approach: "That's just ol' crazy Jerry. I don't pay attention."
 Monday, Mel Green posted an article at Henkimaa with details of an ongoing divorce settlement between  Prevo's only son, Allen Prevo and Holly Jo Prevo,  Prevo divorce documents raise loosey-goosey questions about Anchorage Baptist Temple house.  Steve Aufrecht, whose series on the Alaska redistricting process might be the best long blog series on public affairs in Alaska history, was quick to recognize the importance of what Green had written:
Mel Green's long piece at Bent on the divorce proceedings between Jerry Prevo's son and daughter-in-law focuses on the status of the house they live in.  It's one of the tax-exempt properties owned by the Anchorage Baptist Temple.  From what Green has found in the court proceedings, it appears that Allen Prevo gets paid a housing allowance which goes to pay for a rent-to-own arrangement.  Is the property tax-exempt house the church's or Allen Prevo's?  This is all coming out because the judge is trying to determine how the value of the house is to be factored into the divorce settlement.  Allen Prevo's attorney, Wayne Anthony Ross, has filed a motion to seal the court documents.
 Later Monday,  Allen Prevo's attorney, Wayne Anthony Ross, managed to get the case sealed.  But by noon on Monday, Shannyn Moore was covering the story on her KOAN radio show, and Alaska Dispatch editor, Amanda Coyne was calling around,  asking questions:
[P]erhaps the most interesting part of the story deals with equity that the son has in the property that is supposedly owned by the Anchorage Baptist Temple. The judge found the arrangement strange. "I'm willing to have you explain a lot more but if there was a tax appraiser or a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News, things would not look good," he said during a hearing.

Alaska Dispatch has a call into the mayor's office about this. Kelly Taylor, the city's tax assessor who would answer such questions, said that she was not allowed to talk to the media.
Frankly, in my opinion, looking at how this tax evasion and cheating scam is structured, we should not be calling the Anchorage tax assessment people, we should be calling the white collar crimes units at the Anchorage Police and the office of special prosecutions at the Alaska Department of Law.   Whoever structured this scam knew it was a scam, and should be indicted and prosecuted.  The ABT should lose their hallowed tax exempt status.

Good job, Mel.

Lets see how many city and state apparatchiks get their heads out of their butts and go after these people I regard as serial criminals.


Anonymous said...

Do we know what grounds the judge used for basing his decision to seal the case?

(BTW well-done Mel!)


Mel said...

Clarification: he didn't seal the files but made them confidential -- there's a legal difference. Per Alaska Rule of Administration 37.5(c)(4) and (c)(5):

(4) “Confidential” means access to the record is restricted to:
(A) the parties to the case;
(B) counsel of record;
(C) individuals with a written order from the court authorizing access; and
(D) court personnel for case processing purposes only.
(5) “Sealed” means access to the record is restricted to the judge and persons authorized by written order of the court.

His grounds: "The court finds that the public interest in disclosure is presently outweighed by a legitimate interest in confidentiality. See Alaska R. Admin. 37.6(b). Specifically, the court finds that confidentiality should be maintained in order to protect the best interests of the minor children. See AS 25.20.120."

There are other and much more personal aspects of this divorce, which could potentially have impact on the kids, that I chose not to discuss in my story and that undoubtedly had bearing on the judge’s decision to make the files confidential.

Anonymous said...

Cool... so a different judge on another day, say one who might be investigating the history of tax-exemptions on *religious-owned properties could take a peek at the pertinent documentation within this case and eventually use the information as evidence in that other case?

So this can be construed as good news, right?

*I don't know the correct term to use here - parochial? diocese? church? I'm old and my brain is leaking...

honestyingov said...

Phil, I tweeted your story and it was picked up by the P2b Daily so it should get a little bit more publicity as well. Lots of Stories posted on Progressive websites and blogs.
Do you follow @P2blogs on Twitter ?



Philip Munger said...

"Phil, I tweeted your story..."

Thanks, but not my story, it is Mel's. Hopefully, soon it will be part of one of the last chapters of Jerry's.

sendlawyersgunsandmoney said...

If anyone had to predict who Prevo's attorney would be, the most obvious would be WAR. Stink follows scum.

Philip Munger said...

"Stink follows scum"

stnk and scum might object to the comparison.