The DEA Warrant and Complaint
Speaking of "special exceptions:" How about the psychic's office next to Dr. Ahuja's clinic? (He owns this building, too.) It stays lit up like a Christmas tree until 11 PM or later. Can someone (Jim Lunney?) explain how this is legal in a single-family R-10 zone? It looks like something on the boardwalk in Atlantic City!
AHUJA CLINIC IS BACK TO HAUNT US!
(Here's where you might ask, "Is this guy ON DRUGS??" But, having read the DEA case, you already know the answer.)
Falsehood #2: The next sentence states: "Additionally, the proposed Clinic is suitable for this Site because it is adjacent to a commercial neighborhood (CN-District), and provides a transition to the lower dense [sic] uses, i.e. single family homes, that are present to the south." A-hem...what about the single-family homes that are present to the north and the east?:
OK, enough tea-leave reading...let's get to the special-exception application. First, ignore the typos, such as "lower dense," "relative large," and (my favorite) "Bulls Hill" for Bull's Head. (C'mon...did Atty. Ahuja even bother to proof-read this thing before he sent it to 10 City departments and two official boards?)
Falsehood #1: Paragraph 3 on PDF Page 6 states: "The proposed building is 7,000 square feet. The two existing single-family homes on both lots are approximately 6,000 square feet - hence, not a significant change, in terms of density, to what is already present on the site." Let's fact-check this claim. The first (and only) floor of 831 High Ridge Road is 1,200 square feet. And the first floor of 833 High Ridge Road is 719 square feet. That's a total footprint of 1,919 square feet--just over one-fourth of the 7,000 square-foot footprint of the proposed clinic. (And this doesn't include the parking lot--we'll get into that below.) FYI, here's the layout of the building, which is 101 feet wide x 70 feet deep:
Continuing on with the impact to the single-family neighborhood: Paragraph 4 on PDF Page 14 states: "The proposed building is 7,000 square feet along with 35 parking spaces to the rear (east) of its location. The proposed hours of operation are from 8am to 8pm Monday through Sunday. The employees will consist of (1) physicians; (2) nurse practitioners; (3) clerical workers; and (4) miscellaneous workers, such as those who provide janitorial services. An estimated number of physicians or nurse practitioners on site are 10, and the number of patients will vary, but it is estimated to be between 20 to 30 per hour." [bolding emphasis added]
So the residents who invested (in total) tens of millions of dollars in the 27 single-family homes on Donata Lane, Vine Place, and Saxon Court are expected to just "suck it up" and allow these selfish, greedy bullies to lower all of the property values in this quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood. Being invaded by hordes of drug-addicted Suboxone patients coming and going every two minutes--twelve hours a day, seven days a week--is NOT what these people signed up for when they bought their homes. (If the Ahuja's wanted to build a commercial development, perhaps they should have purchased a commercial property instead of the single-family homes that they bought.)
On 3/21/17, Dr. Ajay Ahuja and his son, Atty. Nicholas Ahuja, applied (AGAIN) to build a 7,000 square foot “Clinic” at 831-833 High Ridge Road (on the corner of High Ridge and Donata Lane). They used the generic term “Clinic” because they are still vague about exactly what they plan to do with it. But, as you can see from the federal judge's order above, it can't be good for our neighborhood. For the juicy details, let's dive right into the Drug Enforcement Adminstration's (DEA's) lawsuit against Dr. Ahuja.
On 2/20/14, the DEA applied for an administrative inspection warrant for Dr. Ahuja's Stamford Immediate Medical Care Center clinic at 825 High Ridge Road. Item 7 on Page 2 states that Dr. Ahuja ordered 54,000 (!) 1-mg. Xanax tablets (as well as several other controlled substances) in 2012 and 2013. Instead of writing prescriptions for these drugs (as per more common medical practice), he allegedly dispensed them directly to his patients. He also allegedly failed to properly inventory and secure them. And he allegedly prescribed controlled drugs to family members (including Nicholas Ahuja) without maintaining patient charts for them.
Item 9 states that Dr. Ahuja allegedly prescribed the generic form of Percocet for himself, as well as for one of his apartment tenants, Diego Montoya, without chart entries for himself or Mr. Montoya. Item 14 states that Dr. Ahuja also allegedly prescribed controlled substances six times (between May and October 2013) for his son, Nicholas Ahuja. (When you see Nicholas's latest application for a medical clinic, at least you won't have to ask yourself, "Is this guy ON DRUGS?" Apparently, the answer is "yes.")
Item 15 states that Dr. Ahuja allegedly prescribed 90 Xanax pills to Daniel Anderson, who was apparently on criminal probation at the time. Mr. Anderson allegedly shared all but 18 of those pills with his friends--in less than one day. (Allegedly, Dr. Ahuja later told Mr. Anderson's probation officer that, if Mr. Anderson comes back, Dr. Ahuja would give him MORE Xanax!)
So, on 10/22/14, the DEA filed a civil complaint against Dr. Ahuja for 23 counts of violation of the Controlled Substances Act in United States of America v. Ajay S. Ahuja, M.D. Count XI on Page 3 states that Dr. Ahuja allegedly received 600 bottles (54,000 tablets) of Xanax but could only account for 541 bottles (48,690 tablets). (After reading about Daniel Anderson's 72 missing Xanax pills, we can only imagine what happened to Dr. Ahuja's 5,310 missing doses of Xanax!)
Count XII states that, between 2011 and 2014, Dr. Ahuja allegedly dispensed 517 bottles of Xanax without properly maintaining a log for them. Count XIII states that he allegedly could not account for 630 generic Vicodin tablets. Count XIV states that he allegedly did not properly log 92 bottles of generic Vicodin liquid. And on, and on, and on. (You get the idea.)
At the end of the complaint, the DEA asks the court to assess over $10 MILLION in fines ($10,010,000, to be exact), and to order Dr. Ahuja to comply with the Controlled Substances Act (something that he had allegedly clearly failed to do in the past).
Look at all those single-family homes on Donata Lane, Vine Place and, Saxon Court--ALL of which are quiet cul-de-sacs! Sticking a commercial clinic next to these homes is not a "transition"--it's an imposition!
Assume for a moment that you didn't know a thing about the DEA's lawsuit against Dr. Ahuja and his alleged 23 infamous violations of the Controlled Substances Act. (OK, at least try to pretend that you didn't.) Even if you didn't--as you will soon see--you can bet that the latest incarnation of the "Clinic That Won't Go Away" is the worst yet.
Here's the 3/21/17 application filed by Ahuja Holdings LLC (i.e., Dr. Ahuja and Nicholas Ahuja). It is actually two applications: one is for three "text-changes" to Stamford's Zoning Regulations, and the other is for a "special exception" to build the clinic. Since Attorney Ahuja signed the application, we'll assume that he's responsible for hatching this awful beast.
Let's start with the "text changes," which are contained in Application 217-14. The memo on Page 1 states that Ahuja Holdings wants "to amend Section 19 3.2.e. and to exempt Clinic (#23.1) from special standards for single family districts for Special Exception uses and to amend Appendix A - Table II to change the Special Exception review authority for #12 Clinic (Use # 23.1) from "A" to "B" in the R-10 district."
(Well, that's perfectly clear, isn't it?)
So what is a "text change," and how does it differ from a "special exception?" Developers use both of these sneaky loopholes to get around zoning regulations, which are supposed to dictate the size and type of developments in different zones (areas) of the city. A special exception seeks to do just that: grant an exception to the zoning regulations for a specific development. In contrast, a text change seeks to change the zoning regulations themselves. It's like the difference between asking a cop to give you a warning for driving 75 MPH in a 55-MPH zone, versus being able to change the speed limit to 75 MPH to reflect your fast driving habits.
Let's examine Atty. Ahuja's proposed text changes one by one. First, check out the 12/31/16 revision of Stamford's Zoning Regulations. Section 19.3 (Special Exceptions) begins on PDF Page 310. Section 19.3.2.e (Special Standards for Single Family Districts) starts at the bottom of PDF Page 312. And Section 19.3.2.e(6) (Separation of Uses) is at the top of PDF Page 314.
19.3.2.e. (Special Standards for Single Family Districts) The special standards of this section shall not however apply to Yacht Clubs (#113.5), Group Day Care Home (#22), Hospital Complex (#47) or Senior Housing & Nursing Home Facility Complex (#92.1).
Here is the first "text change" that Atty. Ahuja wants (the red text would be added to the end of the sentence shown above):
19.3.2.e. (Special Standards for Single Family Districts) The special standards of this section shall not however apply to Yacht Clubs (#113.5), Group Day Care Home (#22), Hospital Complex (#47) or Senior Housing & Nursing Home Facility Complex (#92.1) and Clinic (#23.1).
So Atty. Ahuja wants to exempt clinicsfrom the special standards required for all single-family districts in this section. Note that the Ahuja properties at 831 and 833 High Ridge Road are located in an R-10 (single family / 10,000-square-foot lot) zone. But there are other single-family zones named here: RA-3, RA-2, RA-1, R-20, and R-7.5. You can check them out on Stamford's Zoning Map.
As you can see, most properties in North Stamford and Westover are in RA-1, RA-2, and RA-3 zones. I'm sure that those residents would be thrilled to know that, if this text change goes through, they could end up with a Dr.-Ahuja-like Suboxone clinic in their very own back yards. You can also see that most properties in the Mid-Ridges, as well as much of Glenbrook, the Cove, and Shippan, are located in R-10, R-20, and R-7.5 (R-7-1/2) zones. In other words, Atty. Ahuja is asking the City to allow "clinics" to skate special standards pretty much EVERYWHERE in the city. (How do you like Atty. Ahuja's "text changes" so far?)
Moving on--here is the relevant portion of Zoning Regulation 19.3.2.e(6):
(6) Separation of Uses: In order to preserve the essential character of residential neighborhoods and avoid undue congestion of non-residential uses, no special exception application shall be approved authorizing a new nursing home (#69), church (#23), clinic (#23.1), or public charitable institution (#79) within 1000 feet of any other such uses.
The second "text change" that Atty. Ahuja wants is to omit clinic (#23.1) from this section, to read as follows:
(6) Separation of Uses: In order to preserve the essential character of residential neighborhoods and avoid undue congestion of non-residential uses, no special exception application shall be approved authorizing a new nursing home (#69), church (#23), or public charitable institution (#79) within 1000 feet of any other such uses. (Note that "clinic (#23.1)" is now missing.)
Why would Atty. Ahuja want "clinic" omitted here? That's obvious: His father's existing clinic, Stamford Immediate Medical Care Center, is located within 1,000 feet of his proposed clinic! The existing regulation does not allow him to build a second clinic so close to his father's existing clinic. (As I said, "if you don't like the law, just change it." How convenient...)
BTW, note that, on PDF Page 14 of the application (under the heading "TEXT CHANGE"), Atty. Ahuja's states: "There is no other Clinic on High Ridge Road, thus, there is no implication of that zoning regulation." As we just saw, this is patently false. In fact, a quick Google search shows at least 10 clinics on High Ridge Road! (Check them out for yourself.)
Finally, here comes the third "text change" that Atty. Ahuja wants. (This one is even more ridiculous than the first two...if that's even possible.) Check out this scanned portion of Appendix A (Land Use Schedule) from PDF Pages 321-322 of the zoning regs. (I'll wait right here.) Read the highlighted text in the Notes at the top: "Where such use is marked with an "A", it is subject to approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals.... Where such use is marked with a "B", it is subject to approval by the Zoning Board."
Now look at the table on the second page, specifically Line 12 - Clinics (23.1). Notice how there are all "A's" on that line under these residential zones: RA-3, RA-2, RA-1, R-20, R-10, and R-7.5. In each of these single-family residential zones, all special-exception applications must be presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals(A). (Notice the highlighted / circled "A" under R-10.)
Atty. Ahuja wants to change the "A" in the R-10 column to a "B", which would allow all special-exception applications in R-10 zones to be presented to the Zoning Board instead of the Zoning Board of Appeals. But WHY?
A little history will tell the real story. This is not Atty. Ahuja's first attempt to put something obnoxious on his single-family-zoned properties at 831-833 High Ridge Road. It's not his second attempt, either. In fact, he has already tried at least three times to get the Zoning Board of Appeals to agree that putting a commercial building on a single-family residential property is OK. And the ZBA has (rightfully) rejected Atty. Ahuja's specious arguments each and every time.
Atty. Ahuja's first application (in March 2012) was for a day-care center. The ZBA tore that one to pieces. (BTW, here's a 3/26/12 memo from former City Traffic Engineer Mani Poola about the adverse impact that the proposed Ahuja day-care would have on traffic. Coincidentally, Atty. Ahuja's current application includes a 6/26/16 memo from Mr. Poola suggesting that the new development will be just peachy, traffic-wise. The only problem here is that Mr. Poola retired on 10/28/15. Pity....)
Atty. Ahuja's second application (in September 2015) was for a clinic instead of a day-care. But, on 9/9/15, the ZBA denied that application, too. (See the last entry on Page 2 for the vote.)
Atty. Ahuja came back for a third strike in July 2016. But a well-organized, widespread community effort (including a Change.org petition by 16th District Representative Matthew Quinones, an Advocate op-ed article by 16th District Representative Steven Kolenberg, and an update on the [in]famous stopnagi.com website) helped convince the ZBA to reject that application, as well.
So NOW you know why Atty. Ahuja wants to change the "A" in that table to a "B". He could then go to the Zoning Board instead of the Zoning Board of Appeals to apply for a commercial development on his single-family-zoned property. On PDF Page 15 of his application, Atty. Ahuja states that "A change in the zoning authority that reviews and approves of special exceptions in a residential zone is not unprecedented. For instance, a special exception in the RM-1 zone was formerly decided by the Zoning Board of Appeals; but that was amended to grant the Zoning Board the authority to approve of any special exceptions in that district."
The big problem with this sleazy comparison is that RM-1 is a multi-family zone. But all of the zones that require ZBA approval (including his R-10 property) are single-family zones. If he really, really needs to have a commercial development on his property, then he should attempt to change his zoning to multi-family, such as RM-1. (Good luck on that, BTW.)
Look at that Appendix A - Land Use Schedule again. Do you see all those "A"s on the left side of the row for Clinics? They are ALL under single-family zones, and for good reason. What legal argument could possibly support changing the approval authority for only the R-10 zone and not the others? (Answer: None.) The Zoning Board of Appeals is not too happy with Atty. Ahuja's attempt to undermine their authority in single-family zones, either--check out the ZBA's June 21st memo to the Planning Board.
(BTW, note the 10 exam rooms. That's a lot of Suboxone....)
You already know the judge's decision (since it appears at the top of this page). But United States District Judge Janet C. Hall also wrote a carefully constructed memorandum to support her ruling on the $200,000 penalty levied against Dr. Ahuja. As you can see, it's full of case-law citations and references to federal statutes. And here's the actual judgment filed against Dr. Ahuja.
"The court finds that Dr. Ahuja's level of culpability weighs in favor of imposition of a substantially stringent penalty, because Dr. Ahuja engaged in numerous violations over several years, demonstrated gross negligence, even reckless conduct, and provided misleading information to investigators. The court finds that the level of public harm weighs in favor of imposition of a severe penalty, as well..."
"Dr. Ahuja is hereby ORDERED to pay a civil penalty of $200,000, and to comply with all federal laws and regulations pertaining to receipts, dispensations, and inventories of controlled substances in the future."
Dated at New Haven, Connecticut this 5th day of May, 2017.
Judge Janet C. Hall
Let's examine the transcripts of the court hearings themselves. Dr. Ahuja's attorney, Glenn Gazin's 1/16/17 amended witness listreveals that Dr. Ahuja's wealth is scattered among several legal entities: the Ajay Ahuja Revocable Trust, the Ajay Ahuja 209 Family Trust, and Ahuja Holdings LLC. It also reveals that Dr. Ahuja's ex-wife, Gurpreet, passed away unexpectedly on 12/28/16. (BTW, this sad event put yet another delay on Nagi Osta's $1.6 million lawsuit against the Ahuja's. Sorry, Nagi....)
Now for the craziest twist in the whole case.... On Page 3 of the 11/22/16 hearing transcript, a last-minute bombshell is dropped: just before the jury is to be picked, Attorney Gazin tells the judge that Dr. Ahuja will plead guilty to the issue of liability and thus avoid a jury trial! Page 8 reveals that the government had intended to call 40 or 50 citizens to pick the jury. On Page 10, when the judge explains that she (not a jury) will determine how much Dr. Ahuja will have to pay in fines, Dr. Ahuja replies, "But I don't want to pay anything." (He then says, "I'm sorry. Just kidding.") On Page 11, Dr. Ahuja asks if the judge will consider his income when imposing the fine. (Attorney Gazin warns Dr. Ahuja that this is an improper question, and Dr. Ahuja withdraws it.) *** On Page 15, Dr. Ahuja admits--under oath--to all 23 counts against him.***
The 3/17/17 hearing transcript, on the "penalty phase" of the DEA's suit is 175 pages long (!), but here are some highlights:
Page 26 - DEA Agent Rodrick Marriott's affidavit states that, in 2014 alone, Dr. Ahuja allegedly issued 283 prescriptions for alprazolam (generic Xanax), 99 prescriptions for drugs that contain narcotics, and 784 prescriptions for drugs that contain buprenorphine--generic Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction. (Wow! I guess the photo at the top of this page is spot-on!)
Pages 29-30 - Agent Marriott's affidavit states that DEA Agent Lele spent 680 hours on the Ahuja investigation. At her pay rate of $43.208 per hour, that works out to over $29,000!
Pages 35-38 - DEA Supervisor Leonard Levin reveals that Dr. Ahuja is allegedly also the subject of a disciplinary action by the DEA: an "Order to Show Cause" to revoke Dr. Ahuja's DEA registration (and thus his ability to prescribe controlled substances).
Page 40 - DEA Supervisor Levin's affidavit states that the retail value of Dr. Ahuja's 5,310 missing Xanax pills is $28,462.18.
Page 44 - DEA Investigator Marcie Johnson acknowledges that Dr. Ahuja was, at times, uncooperative during her interviews with him.
Page 54 - Dr. Adam Perrin's expert-witness report about Dr. Ahuja's alleged prescribing practices notes the following: The American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics states that "physicians generally should not treat themselves or members of their immediate family" because their professional objectivity may be compromised in those situations. (Dr. Ahuja must have missed that ethics class in medical school.)
Page 58 - Attorney Gazin again notes that the U.S. Government (presumably DEA) allegedly has a separate investigation of Dr. Ahuja.
Page 64 - Attorney Nicholas Ahuja states that he is the manager of the Darien Immediate Care Center. (This medical clinic, which, according to Nicholas, is 50% owned by Dr. Ahuja, is located at 484 Post Road in Darien, CT. Dr. Ahuja's late wife, Gurpreet, owned the other 50%...which apparently will be passed to Nicholas Ahuja through Gurpreet's estate.)
Page 65 - Attorney Ahuja states that he had been taking Zolpidem (generic Ambien) during the last six months of 2013. He is then questioned about the 180 Ambien pills that were missing from his father's inventory, but he denies knowing what happened to them.
Page 69 - Attorney Ahuja states that he owns 99% of Ahuja Holdings, LLC, which, in turn, owns 825 High Ridge Road, 815 High Ridge Road, 831 High Ridge Road, 833 High Ridge Road, and 25 Donata Lane. Attorney Ahuja then gives a low-ball estimate of "between a half a million to $800,000" for the total value of these five properties. (Attorney Ahuja, despite having claimed that he manages these properties, could not give an estimate of their combined net rental income. And he later said that his low-ball estimate represented the equity in these properties instead of their total value.)
Page 75 - Attorney Ahuja states that Dr. Ahuja, in addition to giving him 99% of Ahuja Holdings, LLC, gave him $800,000 to buy a property in [638 North Street] in Greenwich, CT. Attorney Ahuja later states that Dr. Ahuja owns 1% of Ahuja Holdings.
Page 89 - Dr. Ahuja (after acknowledging that he had been sworn to tell the truth) is asked the following simple question:
Q. "And on November 22, 2016, you admitted to each and every count of the Government's complaint against you, correct?"
A. "But --"
Q. "Did you, yes or no?"
Q. "No? So you are telling the Court now that on November 26, you didn't admit to each and every count of the complaint?"
Page 95 - Dr. Ahuja accuses a woman who used to work for him of stealing checks and Xanax from his office. He states that he fired her and reported her to the police.
Page 98 - Dr. Ahuja states that he was upset because he just finished a long battle with Heather Lindsay, so he assumed that she called the DEA on him. (Actually, State Probation Officer Clemenson contacted the DEA--see the info on Daniel Anderson, above.)
Page 102 - Dr. Ahuja admits that he did not check Connecticut's computerized Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) system to determine if his patients were "doctor shopping" for any of the 43,000 doses of Xanax that he dispensed, nor did he upload data for these controlled-substance dispensations to the PMP.
Page 104 - Dr. Ahuja admits that, despite the name of his clinic ("Stamford Immediate Medical Care Center"), and despite not being certified in addiction medicine, he nonetheless treats patients with Suboxone for opioid addiction. (Dr. Ahuja also admits that he is not certified in internal medicine--only in urgent-care medicine, as his clinic's name suggests. And he admits that he is not currently certified in any form of medicine, as he had allowed his certification to lapse.)
Page 106 - Dr. Ahuja states that none of his Suboxone patients paid for his services with cash. Then he changes his mind and says that some of them paid with cash.
Page 114 - Dr. Ahuja states that Heather Lindsay had stressed him out so much that he took Xanax himself for a year and a half.
Page 121 - Dr. Ahuja states that his former secretary must have found the keys that he had hidden in a box under a cabinet, and used those keys to steal the hundreds of now-missing controlled substances from his office. (Dr. Ahuja stated earlier that he did not report this apparent theft to the police or the DEA, even after he discovered it.)
Page 125 - Dr. Ahuja's accountant, Stefan Peleschuk, states that he was not aware that a criminal complaint had been filed by Heather Lindsay against Dr. Ahuja in 2008, shortly before the Ahuja Family Trust was created in 2009. (As you can see from the next few pages, Mr. Peleschuk seems to know almost nothing about Dr. Ahuja's finances, despite the fact that he is Dr. Ahuja's accountant.)
Page 140 - The DEA's attorney sums up the government's case against Dr. Ahuja as follows: "Dr. Ahuja has demonstrated, at best, benign neglect for a closed system of distribution designed to help protect the citizenry from the dangers of controlled substances that can have a beneficial effect on those suffering from serious medical issues when utilized correctly and have a devastating impact on the loved ones of all of us when those substances are used for illicit or inappropriate reasons....The United States sees the imposition of substantial penalties having a deterrent impact to discourage other physicians and pharmacies from contributing to the opioid crisis that horrifically impacts every man, woman and child in Connecticut and every man, woman and child in the United States."
Page 150 - The DEA's attorney states that the statutory maximum penalty for Dr. Ahuja's alleged violations is $11.5 million (!!!).
Page 157 - The judge asks the following question: "Can you think of a more egregious [civil] violation? And let's accept for the moment it was not intentioned, but can you think of any more level of gross negligence that you could describe to me other than what's described in this case by Dr. Ahuja? I mean, it seems like at every turn, he kept no records, he made no notes, his pills are missing, they are not kept under lock and key."
Falsehood #3: Paragraph 6 on PDF Page 6 states: "The location of the building is designed so it abuts the southern boundary line as much as possible to lessen any impact that the development may have on the neighbors residing on Donata Lane." Uh-huh...and what about the DRIVEWAY and the PARKING LOT off Donata Lane? Take a look:
Speaking of the building plans...here is Note 7 from the "Phase II" section in the "Erosion Notes & Details" PDF that Atty. Ahuja submitted with his application (!):
Part 1 - The Text Changes (a.k.a., "If you don't like the law, just re-write it!")
Falsehood #5: (Now we get to the biggest turd in Atty. Ahuja's whole bag of you-know-what....) Paragraph 2 on PDF Page 7 states: "This Application contemplates having a traffic control signal installed at the intersection of High Ridge Rd. and Donata Lane. According to the findings made by former Traffic Engineer Mani Poola, the proposed signal will "benefit the general public with enhanced traffic operation and safety."
Wow...where do I even begin? Maybe we should call this "The Zombie Traffic Light," since it keeps popping back up from the grave after it has been killed and buried. There are already SEVENtraffic lights on High Ridge Road in the less-than-one-mile stretch between Vine Road and the Merritt Parkway. NOBODY (except the Ahuja's) wants another one. (Try driving along this stop-and-go stretch during rush hour, and you'll quickly agree.)
Fact #1: Yes, Mani Poola did have a traffic-light fetish. (Here, again, is the memo that he wrote on 3/26/12 about the Ahuja daycare application, in which he demanded $300,000from the Ahuja's for a traffic light. (Hmm...that's an awful lot of money for a light, isn't it? I wonder why?)
Fact #2: However (as stated earlier), Mani Poola retired on 10/28/15. Therefore, the memo that he allegedly wrote on 6/16/16 probably shouldn't have been written in his former official capacity. Speaking of...check out the 10/28/15 Gmail exchange between Atty. Ahuja and Mani Poola on PDF Page 21 of the clinic application. Note that, on 11/5/15, Atty. Ahuja wrote: "The new application will eliminate the full access to Donata Lane." He also based his failure to supply a new traffic study on Mani Poola's "as-is" approval of the prior application (which eliminated the driveway on Donata), as described in the email. But, now that the driveway on Donata is back, a new traffic study is mandatory. And the Land Use Bureau agrees here, as shown on Page 2 of their 3/31/17 letter to Atty. Ahuja. (BTW, check out all of the other unresolved issues raised in the letter; this application should never have seen the light of day.)
Fact #3: Despite Mani Poola's fetish, on 5/9/16, the Stamford Board of Representatives unanimously voted to remove this traffic light from the City’s 2016-2017 Capital Budget. (See the top of Page 6 of the meeting minutes next to the video. And here's the word-for-word transcription of the vote.)
Fact #4: On 10/26/16 the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) DENIED the City of Stamford's application for a traffic light at Bradley Place / Donata Lane. (Can this get any clearer?)
Fact #5: On 12/1/16, the Stamford Board of Representatives Transportation Committee held a meeting in which former Traffic Engineer Robert Zaitooni was questioned about the traffic light on High Ridge at Bradley / Donata...specifically, why the Traffic Department had even re-applied for it after the DOT had rejected a previous traffic study on it. Here is the transcript of that meeting. If you click on the link in this PDF, you can even watch the video. And note this excerpt from the minutes: Mr. Quinones explained that this has been a concern in District 16 in terms of a light being placed there. The Zoning Board also denied this light with opposition from the neighborhood. Mr. Quinones asked Mr. Zaitooni will the City continue to try to get a light at this intersection since it was denied. Mr. Zaitooni said they have no intent to pursue this issue.
In spite of all of these documented facts, Atty. Ahuja wants us to somehow believe that the City wants and needs yet another traffic light to add to the 209 unsynchronized lights that we already have. (BTW, Mani Poola had 27 years to synchronize our lights before he retired to his quiet home in bucolic Brookfield, CT. So don't hold your breath on this ever happening.)
Clearly, the residents and the 30,000+ commuters who use High Ridge Road every day do not want another traffic light there. Nor does the Connecticut Department of Transportation or the Board of Representatives. So Atty. Ahuja needs to put the traffic light back in the grave, where it belongs...along with the rest of his "clinic" application.
(And THIS guy wants to build another clinic? In a single-family zone? Hide your kids....)
Dr. Ahuja may know that his days of prescribing controlled substances for a living are over, for he has apparently started his own question-and-answer blog! (Think of it as a wacky cross between The Dr. Phil Show and The Jerry Springer Show. After you check it out, you'll see why.) Now, it's possible that a Dr. Ahuja impostor started this blog. But the photo is of Dr. Ahuja (although from probably 20 years ago), the credentials match Dr. Ahuja's, and the writing style is similar to Dr. Ahuja's speech mannerisms revealed in the court transcripts. In any case, if the blog is taken down, here is a PDF of its contents to date. Enjoy!
(The Ahuja clinic application now goes to the Zoning Board. Click here for details. )
Now, you would think that Dr. Ahuja would be happy to pay only $200,000 instead of the $11.5 million maximum penalty that the federal government could have levied against him. (This is about 1.7% of the maximum...like paying $1.70 on a $100 traffic ticket.) But remember Dr. Ahuja's own words while on the witness stand: "But I don't want to pay anything." Even though he said that he was just kidding, apparently he wasn't. Because, on 7/5/17, Dr. Ahuja filed a Notice of Appeal against Judge Hall's decision! (Some people just can't resist looking a gift horse in the mouth.) So Dr. Ahuja's case will now drag on in the United States Court of Appeals--using more of our federal tax dollars in the process. Speaking of taxes: Dr. Ahuja's sworn revelation of the large sums of money that he gave his son, Nicholas (in the form of liquid assets and controlling interest in Ahuja Holdings LLC) might very well draw the attention of the IRS. So there will probably be another federal "alphabet agency" investigation commencing soon.
The driveway and parking lot on Donata Lane that Atty. Ahuja says are not part of his Clinic--
even though they are IN THE BUILDING PLANS that he submitted with his application!
827 High Ridge Road (7/26/17, 9:00 PM)
and now...The 2017 Clinic Application
(a.k.a., "Here we go AGAIN!")
831-833 High Ridge Road (7/26/17)
(Some things never change...like all the vehicles in that driveway....)
The Court Hearings
Although the Stamford Planning Board voted unanimously to deny Atty. Nick Ahuja's text change and clinic application, it now goes to the ZONING BOARD! Click here for a copy-paste letter to the Zoning Board. And PLEASE attend the Zoning Board's public hearing:
* Monday, October 16, 2017 *
at 7:00 PM
Government Center Cafeteria, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford
A New Career for Dr. Ahuja?
831-833 High Ridge Road (7/10/16)
Part 2 - The Special Exception(s)
Falsehood #4: Paragraph 7 on PDF Page 6 states: "Additionally, the landscaping to the West of the building (facing High Ridge Road) enhances the quality of life in that part of the neighborhood because it provides environmental, ecological, and social benefits in a predominately urban neighborhood." (Yeah, I'm trying not to barf, either.) Anyway, scroll back up to those two photos of the Ahuja rental house at 833 High Ridge Road, with all the vehicles piled up in the driveway. And, while you're there, don't forget the night shot of the "Psychic's Den" at 827 High Ridge Road. This is what the Ahujas call "being good neighbors." Case closed....
Doctor or Druggie?
So Atty. Ahuja apparently recycled the five-year-old plans from his defunct day-care application for the clinic application! (But, as most good attorneys will warn you, "Always read the fine print.")