Saturday, August 30, 2003

Corporate Extortion
Kroger is playing hardball. How close does this threat to move out of the city unless they get a parking garage really come to extortion?
§ 2905.11 Extortion

(A) No person, with purpose to obtain any valuable thing or valuable benefit or to induce another to do an unlawful act, shall do any of the following:
(1) Threaten to commit any felony;
(2) Threaten to commit any offense of violence;
(3) Violate section 2903.21 or 2903.22 of the Revised Code;
(4) Utter or threaten any calumny against any person;
(5) Expose or threaten to expose any matter tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to damage any person's personal or business repute, or to impair any person's credit.(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of extortion, a felony of the third degree.
(C) As used in this section, "threat" includes a direct threat and a threat by innuendo.
Bold Added.

Now, a creative person could construe a "person" to include the government. Kroger is arguably "threatening" to leave the city, unless they can obtain parking garage from the city ( a thing of value). Kroger's threat to leave the city it will cause the city government to be hated, be ridiculed by every media outlet, open up the city to other corporations looking for hand outs, and damage the city's credit rating by hurting city tax revenue if it does leave. Their are legal and factual reason why Kroger is not really extorting the city, but I have no idea what they are.

Wes Flinn comments on Kroger, as does Barry at CincyTomorrow. Here is the Post's article.

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