Saturday, March 5, 2022

SOS: Sansoucy's Ohio Sanctions Issues Say Alot About His Slick and Slippery Past

                      (Image for parody purposes only, not actually George Sansoucy)

By: Rich Bergeron

     There are some people so slick and slippery that they can easily get away with being the proverbial fox in a hen house. George Sansoucy is the kind of fox who gets paid handsomely, even when he eats all the chickens. 

     Trouble follows him and his GES firm like tumbleweeds follow the wind in the desert. We already outlined some of his questionable New Hampshire moves. Here we start with Ohio. The legal jargon gets pretty thick sometimes when outlining the crucial filings and rulings that truly tell the story of Sansoucy's worst Ohio cases. 

     We'll start with some links to a few news stories that break down Sansoucy's bad stint on the witness stand and the efforts to sanction him that followed: 

Ohio utility attacks NH appraising rival's integrity | Courts |

Sanctions for gas plant witness asked | News, Sports, Jobs - Morning Journal (

No penalty for consultant involved in United/gas plant valuation dispute | News, Sports, Jobs - Morning Journal (

     The sanctions motion described in these links ultimately failed, but if you're a fan of the movie A Civil Action starring John Travolta, you know judges rarely ever approve those Rule 11 motions. The very reason this site has to exist is because there truly is no accountability for professionals who should know better and choose to use their positions to game the system everywhere they go. It's pretty much just a way to throw a legal middle finger at your opposition, but in a perfect legal world sanctions motions are truly designed to keep all the professionals honest. 

     I recently obtained a nice cache of documents related to the sanctions motion in this instance. They are worth a careful read and include Sansoucy's "I didn't lie, I was just mistaken" defense brief. The local prosecutor and the auditor in the area also joined in to cheerlead for the main motion and follow up brief:

     Sanctions motions are rare, and even more rarely granted. I speak from experience. I wrote one requesting $150 million to be paid to burned shareholders because their main pipeline to information (me) was shut down by a bogus legal threat. was born. These links above are well worth exploring, even though they are long and winding roads to the truth. Even though only one wise jurist decided to support the motion, it needed to be written. 

     Get your reading glasses out, there's more Ohio reading to do. The next case goes all the way back to 2007:

pdf_viewer.aspx ( starts right off with this gem at #2: "The Board erred in finding Mr. Sansoucy's testimony admissible under Ohio R. Evid. 702 and in failing to exclude the testimony as patently unreliable, or in failing to exclude Mr. Sansoucy's testimony as a sanction for pervasive provision of false testimony, purposefully failing to disclose evidence contrary to his opinion, admittedly lacking the ability to perform the work and calculations he claimed to have performed in this case, and for engaging in a pervasive pattern of providing inconsistent, contradictory and evasive testimony."  

      The same matter extended into 2008 due to the appeals process. This January, 2008 Appellees/Cross Appellants Brief has a particularly notable footnote on page 25: 

"Mr. Sansoucy's testimony suffered from irregularities which included false claims of technical skills he did not possess, offering deliberately misleading testimony about his education and fabricating explanations to create phantom expertise when he did not know an answer to a technical question or to bolster credibility when he was caught offering untrue testimony. The BTA's Attorney Examiner who presided over the hearing and witnessed Mr. Sansoucy's demeanor grew frustrated and asked Mr. Sansoucy to explain himself about the truthfulness of his testimony on numerous points. (E.g., Supp. 82, Vol. 11: 514 ("so your testimony wasn't true before. Is that true now?"); Supp. 83, Vol. 11: 521 ("do you consider your initial testimony...misleading?"); Supp. 84, Vol. 11: 522 ("so your prior testimony was not true, is that correct?"); Supp. 84, Vol. 11: 523 ("...was your earlier testimony untrue?"); Supp. 85, Vol. 11: 528-529 (Examiner: "Do you see significant inconsistencies with your testimony in these proceedings?" ...Is it your testimony that your testimony has been both consistent, number one, and truthful throughout these proceedings?" Sansoucy: "'s been consistent...I made a mistake"); Supp. 86, Vol. 11: 549 ("...the question is, are you telling the truth?").)"

     The same firm and some of the same lawyers were behind both efforts to expose Sansoucy. They obviously had their own agenda to carry out and their own way to spin the story. But they also put in a great deal of work to teach the young assessment guru a lesson. Sansoucy was coming into their territory trying to make utilities pay their "fair share." In his earlier days trying to foster his tax rigging scheme, Sansoucy relied on Jedi mind tricks. He still follows the old dirty tricks book of legalese in terms of "burying them with paperwork." If I had to characterize some of the explanations he's given in some of the transcripts I've read, I'd compare it to when you write a big college book report even though you haven't read the book. So you find the Cliff Notes and you bullshit your way to a C. 

     Sansoucy attracted more unhealthy attention in the media due to his work in Nassau County, New York: 

Water authority releases study | Herald Community Newspapers |

American Water ( (Sidebar story)

     This is a snippet from the above-linked article by Claudia Borecky:

But what we didn’t realize then was that the Town never was going to allow a public takeover to happen. The Towns dragged their feet, taking nine months to make their appointments. We held their feet to the fire and in July 2012, WASENC hired George E. Sansoucy ("GES"), a New Hampshire company, to conduct a “preliminary” study to determine the value of New York Water's portion of LIAW. It found a value of $80 million, which we believe was grossly inflated since LIAW purchased Aqua Water for $71 million in 2012 and it included four systems throughout New York State, while we were only looking to acquire Nassau County’s portion of the system.  Allowing for $20 million in operating expenses, GES determined that if the Water Authority bonded for $100 million, it would cost the average resident $133 per year for 30 years to pay for the acquisition.

Since the Towns never intended to seriously look into a public takeover, WASENC never asked GES to look at a takeover by Hempstead, which studies and history has found to realize savings to residents from day one.  Instead, GES was only asked to conduct an appraisal of LIAW and do an analysis of a takeover by WASENC, which was by far the most expensive scenario in that it assumed we would have to pay $8.8 million in taxes anyway. However, the analysis compared apples with oranges.

The problems lie in what the study omitted. The bottom line is that the Public Service Commission (“PSC”) allows LIAW to get 7.85% on its investment.   That profit amounts to about $73 per year out of our pockets.  Hempstead does not pay school, town or county taxes.  LIAW pays $8.8 million in property taxes, making up one-third of LIAW’s expenses, which we pay through our water bills.  What the report does not even look at is:

North Merrick School District received $64,000 from LIAW in 2009.  If we had public water, we would only pay $30 per year per household to fill the hole left from lost revenue from LIAW.  However, we are already paying those taxes and more through our water bill, but we can’t deduct them on our income tax.

   The firm that "Skip" Sansoucy built fits a pattern of making municipalities happy at the expense of the deepest pockets available. Sometimes that means the taxpayers or utility "ratepayers." The most wealthy utilities, businesses and industries in towns and cities he "works" in New Hampshire get taxed the hardest and highest if he can help it. 

     Sansoucy and Boldt appear to be coordinating to extend appeals to the bitter end, and this series traces their connections and common efforts to shape property tax legislation. They both fit the profile of "hired guns." They have a quiet understanding of what their clients want done before anyone tells them what to do. They are fixers, finders and fiddlers of a different tune. 

      Sansoucy bombed on this Massachusetts case as well, which is used in a 2018 handbook on appeals cases. It was a perfect example of a two-time losing strategy. Use the find on page feature and type in "Sansoucy." There's hardly a line in the decision that paints him in a favorable light. 

     Sansoucy often gets caught overplaying his hand in this high stakes game of who will fold their legal team first. Up in Seabrook, New Hampshire, Sansoucy made a costly slip up on nontaxable, tax-break-qualifying conditions for a nuclear power plant property. Just Google "Sansoucy, Seabrook, NH" to read all about that fiasco. Sansoucy refused to testify on behalf of the town to fight the abatement requests, using the excuse that he only contracted with Seabrook for general testimony, and not testimony specific to the plant.  

     I found another interesting report from Nassau County, New York that speaks to how bad things can get when the process is hopelessly rigged. I am going to include it as a whole here, because it is a perfect way to tell the "why should I care" class of readers that this is how it happens:

American Water-Gate
In December 2017, three months after the Ratepayers Article 78 was commenced against NYAW, the DPS and the PSC for their egregious rates and property tax calculations, NYAW purportedly found that it inaccurately overvalued its properties in the Sea Cliff District to the tune of $2,027,646 since 2013. That is, after the rate proceeding concluded, and after the Ratepayers Article 78 was filed, NYAW admitted that not only were the utility's property tax rates based on significant errors, but NYAW knew about the error for years.

On June 29, 2018, the DPS issued a scathing report, finding that NYAW engaged in fraudulent, deceptive and illegal conduct. The DPS Report states that NYAW representatives knowingly and intentionally filed false and fraudulent testimony. "Staff's investigation on the Company's withholding of material information in rate proceedings focuses primarily on the members of the Rates and Regulatory Team who knew of the material errors and failed to disclose that. information in rate proceedings before the Commission." P. 21, lines 2-6. What the DPS Report failed to report is that during the 9-hr evidentiary hearing in Albany, CAWS was the only one asking questions regarding the erroneous property taxes. The DPS Report conveniently does not mention that the withholding of information by NYAW and its fraudulent acts were in response to CAWS inquiries and questions at the Evidentiary Hearing. The PSC, by its attorney, objected over 75 times to CAWS' questions regarding property taxes, seemingly enabling NYAW to further its diabolical scheme to deceive the PSC and the public.

Over the years, NYAW consistently lied to the DPS, PSC and ratepayers about property tax values, capital improvements, infrastructure repairs and the quality of our water. 

CAWS asked the U.S. Attorney, Albany and Nassau District Attorneys and the Attorney General to investigate possible criminal acts of fraud, mail fraud, perjury and violations of the Securities Exchange Act. It is imperative that such fraudulent and deceptive acts by NYAW not go unpunished.

Under state law, the public is forced to trust that the PSC is protecting them from fraud and ensuring that utility rates are fair and equitable. Here, the PSC failed in its duties to protect the public. 

CAWS and ratepayers asked Governor Cuomo to revoke NYAW's franchise agreement, or charter, to provide water in the State of New York be revoked. The reasons for revocation are simple - NYAW rates are anything but fair and reasonable, NYAW withheld information and engaged in fraudulent, deceptive and illegal conduct and the public has been, is and will continue to be harmed. 

     Do we want New York's stench to rub off on our state? The Public Utilities Commission case titled: "City of Nashua: Taking of Pennichuck Water Works, Inc." features testimony by a competing expert that eviscerates Sansoucy's modus operandi with this bitter pill in his conclusion section: 

"I concluded that Mr. Sansoucy's stated intent to reach a particular value conclusion for his client, namely, a number that would permit the City of Nashua to purchase the PWW assets without having to raise rates, resulted in the numerous fundamental errors I discovered within the Sansoucy Appraisal. While Mr. Sansoucy may have accomplished his stated goal, he did not estimate the fair market value of the PWW operating assets. The number and nature of the errors within the Sansoucy Appraisal renders the conclusion totally unreliable as an estimate of the fair market value of the PWW operating assets." 

     New Hampshire, a state that lives free or dies based upon how much tax money it collects, looks for all kinds of ways to give homeowners tax breaks. It is really the only "legal" way for a politician here to bribe the voting base. 

     The front-page story from a recent Union Leader edition on the latest marijuana legalization bill included this very peculiar line: "The bill earmarks 90% of the rest of the profit to cut the state's share of property taxes paid by homeowners and businesses."

     Sansoucy seemed particularly confident advising the board of selectmen in Gorham last year on how to spend their money (according to the Berlin Sun):

"The trio leaned toward transferring $800,000 from the fund balance to reduce town taxes. They decided first, however, to seek the advice of assessor George “Skip” Sansoucy on how much they should transfer from the fund balance into the town’s overlay account to deal with potential abatements."

     Who's in charge up there? I mean, honestly, how does that sound to you? These are three selectmen getting fund transfer advice from an assessment guy. 

      The same article describing that meeting referenced inflation and supply chain issues being among future problems Gorham town officials were worried about. Gorham is one of those lucky towns looking at a year 2022 revaluation. With the dynamic of the current market, the housing market is at a very high zenith right now. It is still a seller's market. It is going to be interesting to see how Sansoucy manages to avoid hitting homeowners hard this year. Will he try to skew his statistics to illustrate how much homes would sell for in Gorham right now rather than how much they are actually worth? Only time will tell what Skip will do.

     Another concerning document Sansoucy seemed proud to air at an Assessing Standards Board Meeting came in the form of a letter about a complaint against him filed with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA). The letter from the DRA commissioner in 2018 contained the following paragraph:

"Accompanying your Request was an email from Representative Patrick Abrami, dated December 21, 2017, suggesting that Mr. Sansoucy’s conduct may have constituted a “major ethics violation.” However, even assuming that to be the case, ethics violations are not covered by the ASB’s existing rules. See Asb 308.03. Consequently, I cannot make a determination about such as requested."

     Sansoucy found himself saved by the lack of oversight abilities the state has to throttle "experts" like him when they try to push the envelope. The fact that he's proud of getting off on a technicality betrays a need to send the message that his detractor took a shot at the king and missed.  

     Every time I think of all the territory Sansoucy's covered in his municipality-friendly mission to manipulate tax rates, the Johnny Cash Song "I've been Everywhere, Man" plays in my head. 

      When I think of all the harm Sansoucy and Christopher Boldt have caused in New Hampshire alone, I go through something completely different in my mind. I run through all the many reasons the law should never be treated like a game where you can hoard all your greedy gains and gloat when you bring a garbage case the distance and get paid win, lose, or draw. It's not a system that should be abused, neglected, and wielded like that. 

      Cronyism and patronage are killing our state. The Bard lover and his Boy George perform better when they don't have a huge audience or any major scrutiny to face. It's time to make it a little difficult for them to keep their inconvenient truths hidden from the public. Boldt has been chastised at least once for trying to assume the role of Sansoucy's legal representative. Some would say they are thick as thieves and move through other people's money likes snakes through grass. 

      New Hampshire cannot sustain this complete dereliction of duty, lack of accountability, and abandonment of all sense of professional responsibility perpetrated by two people so ingrained in the political and legal framework of this state.  

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