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How an accident pushed one Orlando woman into the intersection of our city's professional-incest machine...
Published: February 23, 2012
In her down time, Pfeiffer became obsessively interested in the facts surrounding her case. She took to the Internet to check out its principals: Lamb, Campbell, Newlin, Morgan and even Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. She saw that Morgan was politically connected to Dyer and was part of a secret funding machine to bolster Dyer’s future political ambitions. She saw that Lamb sat on city boards and received city grants. She found a picture showing Campbell’s charity, the Getaboard Foundation, getting what appeared to be a giant cardboard check from the office of her former attorney, Dan Newlin. She broke down.
Corey Lamb started O-Cartz in January 2007 under the banner of his company L3 LLC. He was heralded by local media as trailblazer with an eye for the modern – at the time, a city spokeswoman told Orlando Weekly that it was “culture” – but O-Cartz was maligned by the city’s established pedicab brigade. The service offers $4 rides at 25 mph speeds for downtowners in search of a quick pick-up and drop-off downtown. Bikes were going to be things of the past.
The guff? A citywide pedicab ordinance came to bear in August 2007 requiring the previously unregulated carriage bicyclists – of which there are up to 100 in Orlando – to obtain city permits and carry $500,000 in liability insurance. Though city officials were initially confused about how to codify the new O-Cartz, they soon settled on vehicles for hire, in line with tow trucks and taxi cabs.
Meanwhile, Lamb was establishing himself in another venture, Oopsy Scoopsy, a shop that serves yogurt, for which he’d later get a license to serve beer and wine. Through the city’s Minority and Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance grant, Lamb – who coincidentally joined the volunteer, OPD-monitoring Orlando Citizens Police Review Board in late 2010 – sought $40,000 in city funding to help out his shop in June 2011, including a stipend to fund advertising on his own O-Cartz for the shop. It was a bold move, especially considering that MEBA grants don’t typically cover marketing to that extent and given that Oopsy Scoopsy was already selling beer and wine without a permit to do so, according to city documents from a June 1, 2011, MEBA advisory board meeting. City spokeswoman Heather Fagan says that L3 LLC has yet to be reimbursed for any of the $14,895 it was eventually approved to receive – applicants have to meet certain benchmarks, she says, and Lamb has yet to do so – although the shop did get more than $24,000 in rent abatement to cover costs of improvements in the city-owned building.
In a bizarre twist, Lamb’s restaurant is now part of a $3.5 million lawsuit against the city, along with nine other businesses, protesting the erection of a wall in front of their storefronts to promote the NBA All-Star Game this weekend. Lamb is more than 120 days late on his rent and owes the city nearly $10,300.
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