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Mr. Yellon and His Spots

2012-03-08

Last week, a reader posed a question in response to a piece we did on disclosure, specifically the challenge the association faces in structuring a governance framework that allows fair and proper disclosure to be conducted when an individual decides to run for office.  The question was asked, “Is that in our policies or bylaws?”  The answer is no, there is no such requirement when running for office.

It’s been proven that absence of such a policy in NAPPS is harmful to the association and for candidates.  Several elections come to mind that prove this point but perhaps our disclosure argument is best illustrated by Mr. Yellon, the current NAPPS president.  For those who follow the facebook group,Service of Process Looking Forward, you’ll know that Mr. Yellon was quite active over the weekend taking questions and putting forth answers about the recently enacted regulations governing process servers in New York.

We respect the fact that Mr. Yellon takes a public position on such issues and is willing to take a hit now and then.  But if you take a step back and examine his words, the message is the same – look what we (NYSPPSA) did for you – look at what NAPPS did you for.  Sure, it’s a good story with some truth to it.  What Mr. Yellon conveniently leaves out however, is his role in how New York got where it is today.  And it’s quite a story.

A New York Times reporter named Bruce Lambert ran an article dated April 4, 1999 entitled, What Happens if Process Server Doesn’t Serve?’   Mr. Yellon is figured prominently in the article which goes into detail of how he systematically engaged in sewer service while falsifying affidavits and notary signatures.  The article goes on to say that criminal charges were brought with Mr. Yellon ultimately pleading guilty.

Testimony during hearing

Later in June 2000, the Public Safety Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature held a series of meetings to discuss citizen complaints of sewer service related to Mr. Yellon and his agency.  The chairman referred to the NYT article and in those hearings, the consensus from the committee seemed to be that legislation was needed to reign in bad process serving actors.  It took another 10 years for the regulators to finally catch up to these errant and illegal practices; what’s that saying about the wheels of justice.

Testimony during hearing

Fast forward to today.  Mr. Yellon is clearly a subject matter expert on the new regulations regarding service in NYC.  Ever since the New York situation exploded on the scene, the message process servers have consistently heard is that the problem was caused by a single rogue process server, who by the way, wasn’t a NAPPS member (i.e, it’s not us, it’s the other guys).  We know this is patently false; several agencies, many process servers and thousands of cases have come under regulatory and legal review because of sewer service and robo-signing. Now everyone knows what Mr. Yellon has known all along, that the problem of sewer service and fraudulent affidavits is systemic and has been for at least 15 years.  Mr. Yellon, as the article states, was simply ahead of his time.  So why such the big surprise when New York regulators decided to finally do something about the problem.  Based on the testimony given in 2000, New York process servers shouldn’t be surprised at all; instead they should pay homage to Mr. Yellon for all that he has done to save them.  He says as much in his facebook posts this weekend and maybe that is why his state association amended its bylaws allowing him to serve a 3rd term as president.

Readers can judge for themselves how difficult winning leadership positions would have been for Mr. Yellon if this stuff was known.  With the problem in New York peaking and NYSPPSA needing funding, Larry provided the answer.  A win-win deal and no one can argue with his success in bringing home the bacon.  NAPPS is into the deal for at least $100K.  Mr. Yellow touts this ‘victory’ (notice the terms he uses; ‘we won’ ‘they capitulated’) every opportunity he gets and that works well for him and it works out well for NAPPS.  Process servers everywhere – you need us – you should be thanking us for what we did for you.

Mr. Yellon would like you to believe, as would NAPPS, that this was a national fight. Everyone knows that, right?  That is why NAPPS chipped in the $100K.  Well, perhaps not – what if it really wasn’t?  In a close reading of the facebook postings (and referenced materials) this weekend, there appears to be an open and valid question that Mr. Yellon never was able to adequately answer nor offer any specific proof that backs up his statements.  Yet, Mr. Yellon himself is on the record stating non-NY agencies would have been impacted if NAPPS didn’t come to the rescue allowing him to justify the significant funding requests.  He is staid in his defense of that specific question but as NAPPS Watcher digs deeper, it appears Mr. Yellon has begun to back away from an absolute.  He now says things like,

“At the original onset of the draconian laws on NYC, it was the intent of the City of New York to create a law that affected every process serving agency in all 50 states.”

When asked for proof of this intent over the weekend, the response is a bristling, ‘you must be joking’.  Things like, I was there and you weren’t.  Everybody knows this was the case.  Open your eyes.  He repeats that answer again and again but as we all know, just because something is repeated a thousand times, it doesn’t necessarily make it true.  Perhaps NAPPS has this proof, some draft document perhaps?  Certainly it would need to see something in writing before doling out all that money.

Also consider for a moment, that competition in New York City appears to have been greatly diminished.  Mr. Yellon’s words last weekend; As an aside, last Monday, February 27 2012 there were 1800 licensed process servers in New York City. Yesterday, there were 497.”  How convenient is that?  Where is the NAPPS PR piece that says how they’ve helped those displaced servers?  Guess what small and solo shops; NAPPS used your dues money to screw you over – how’s that for a membership benefit?

That brings us to…what did NAPPS members really get for their money?  If you’re outside of New York or a small shop inside, you probably got didley.  In addition, you never even got a vote or say in the matter.  Jeff B. was your voice – your vote and he was ousted.  And again, Mr. Yellon was right in the thick of it, enabling and condoning the process.  He reneged on Eric V. heading up the investigation, allowed Jack L. to step in as stooge #2, all the while perched on his dais overseeing the kangaroo court.

Beware the message Mr. Yellon beckons with.  He is a charming, charismatic personality.  Looking back at the New York Times piece, it’s fair to say Mr. Yellon has arrived; he’s made the miraculous transformation from the shithouse to the penthouse.  And while it wouldn’t be fair to solely judge Mr. Yellon today on his past, we’ve come to believe that like a leopard, Mr. Yellon isn’t able to change his spots.

New York Times Article

June 20th 2000 Hearing

August 1st 2000 Hearing

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Patricia Karotkin permalink
    2012-03-08 21:04

    I wonder why this conversation keeps coming back to Jeff Bannister? This is the one problem I have with your logic NAPPS WATCHER.

    While I think Jeff Bannister CAN be charming – in fact I have had one of the best conversations at a NAPPS conference with him that I have had with anyone in NAPPS – when he is clear-headed; and Jeff B. is certainly knowledgeable about many things and runs a top notch business and MAY have been a viable President of NAPPS; his conduct when under the influence (let’s call it like it is) changes him into a rude, crude who wants to even know this A hole and make him go away; easy target to get and speak badly about…and worse, way too easy to gain consensus that he is an awful person.

    Look you know that’s wrong – I know that’s wrong – and so what! Jeff B. being a horrible person can be sold…has been sold!

    The real issue here it seems to me is this analogy; NAPPS has become a large kitty litter box that has never gotten emptied of its urine and feces; only new litter put on top of the old – the same litter that was not top quality to start with and now it is a stinking mess and most people don’t even know is stinking. The folks that can smell the stench hold their nose, I think, and say well this is how it is, and maybe I can make this smell a little different. Yeah right!?!

    I think that is where you come in NAPPS WATCHER – continue to point out the inequities and disparities and wrong doings that you (and others) see in NAPPS; the ones known about and suspect and can prove; but unfortunately you may be preaching to the choir.

    Some of the members I speak with about this site don’t like it because real names are not used and it sounds like sour grapes but so what; at least someone is speaking out and that is remarkable!

  2. B Frise permalink
    2012-03-09 01:44

    The plot thickens. And I guess the location of Boston was a strategic move to assure low attendance at this years convention.

  3. Thomas E. Dewey permalink
    2012-03-09 05:23

    They will stop at nothing impose their will on the members of NAPPS. If you read your NAPPS monthly supplement in the last few days, you might have noticed that NY State had a miraculous NAPPS membership drive. 14 new applicants this month. If you look at the names of the applicants you will notice four of them are either a Yellon or someone working in the Yellon offices. You will also notice that one of them is from the newest board members office Jillina Kwiatkowski (Smart Serve) of New York. For those not following closely she was the appointed board member to replace Jeff B, and the timing could not have been more perfect. She managed to get appointed just before the last vote to give NY another 50K. What timing.

    Where were all these applicants last year or the year before? I guess they are feeling like it is time to pay NAPPS back, right? NO! It is clear that the Yellon Mafia is planning on buying the next election.

    Is this who you want representing NAPPS for another year? Apparently this IS the best we can do. SAD, so very SAD.

    • Jeremy permalink
      2012-03-13 03:25

      Building the membership, what an awful idea. maybe the NY servers now realize how important the National Association is. Maybe they realize numbers are what counts. Maybe they realize what Napps has done for them and this is the thank you. Maybe they realize they missed the boat over the years and have now come to realize all the positives of being connected to a national trade organization like NAPPS.
      Doesn’ t seem like an ulterior motive. This is NY. Look at what we are going through. What we have gone through. The success of the NYSPPSA organization fighting the battle for all Servers has been under the leadership of the President of NAPPS and his board.
      Thank you Thank you.And my Family thanks you Mr Yellon
      He wears two hats so what. What is the purpose of this organization anyway. I think this is the purpose. Hats off to you Mr Yellon.

  4. Ashamed of NAPPS permalink
    2012-03-11 15:56

    Mrs. Karotkin, I have met you several times and you don’t talk in this manner.

    I wish your husband Joe (who is one of the most arrogant “rude, crude who wants to even know this A hole and make him go away” drunk or sober) who writes under your name would have the guts to sign his own name.

    Joe, you love to start problems at least have the guts to at least once sign your own name and not hide behind your wife. You California guys like to start stuff but don’t have the guts to follow through.

  5. Patricia Karotkin permalink
    2012-03-12 15:28

    Dear Ashamed of NAPPS,

    Yes it is true Joe does use my FB page to go onto SOPLF and while my husband DOES speak his mind and do so in a manner that some people see as offensive, too assertive (rude even) he has always has the best interest of NAPPS in mind.

    That being said you offend me to say that he has put words in my mouth or that these words are not mine!

    i believe that Jeff Bannister had the best interest of NAPPS in mind as well. Just not the best choice for President – a time bomb ready go off!

    While you are at it you should get your facts straight – my husband and I are not “California guys” and have been doing business in Texas since 1994.

    And speaking of guts – have the guts to sign you name if you want to call me out sir!

    I will be doing another posting this week – under my name – at my hand – and like it or not sir…written by my mind , my thoughts as a Founding Member of NAPPS saying what I think is wrong with this organization – I feel I have earned the right!

  6. Ashamed of NAPPS permalink
    2012-03-13 00:01

    And Mr Tamaroff was not a “time bomb”? What did he accomplish? Nothing. Between Mr. Yellon and Mr Tamaroff they did not accomplish 1/2 of what JB “The Rhino” did in one year.

    Joe nice job of hiding behind your wifes name.

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