Texans for Public Justice

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William O. Brisben

Occupation: CEO
Employer: W.O. Brisben Companies
Home: Cincinnati, OH
William Brisben has a history of bait-and-switch developments in Ohio, in which neighbors and local officials find out after the fact that the homes or condos he pledged to build turned into rental units or low-income housing. Brisben struck a deal to build 198 residential condos in Springdale in 1985. When the units went up in 1987, neighbors were angered to see “For Rent” rather than “For Sale” signs out front, prompting one council member to say, “We got snookered.” Residents of Cincinnati’s Kennedy Heights neighborhood were shocked in 1994 when Brisben announced that he would build low-income housing next to them instead of the condos he first proposed. This allowed Brisben to receive federal Low-Income-Housing Tax Credits, which developers can sell for cash. Part of that development deal with the city obligated Brisben to build a recreational center in the low-income development. The city reported in 1995 that the “recreational center” was actually being used for a rental office and storage, prompting Mayor Roxanne Qualls to say, “It appears Mr. Brisben is in breach.” Cincinnati CityBeat reported that Brisben similarly pulled low-income surprises in Liberty Township and Price Hill. By 1999, Brisben had a reputation and Miami Township residents urged the Ohio Housing Financing Agency to deny his application for low-income tax credits for another development. With Vice Chair Jay Buchert, a Brisben development partner, abstaining, the agency unanimously approved the tax credits. Brisben also waged a seven-year battle with the city of Montgomery to put an office tower in a residential area. After winning that court battle in 1994, Brisben sued the city for $19 million, which he claimed was the amount he lost during the project’s delay. Pioneer Commerce Secretary Don Evans headlined a fundraiser for the reelection of Ohio Governor Bob Taft at Brisben’s home in 2001. President Bush appointed Brisben U.S. representative to the executive board of the United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2002.
2000 cycle; Minor League Pioneer
2000 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Major League Pioneer
2004 cycle; Ranger

Of Special Interest
Bush Appointee
Corporate or Campaign Scandal
Corporate Welfare Recipient/Dispenser
White House Sleepover Guest

  Profile last updated Dec 4, 2003