“…While I was no-longer the owner of the property, the Government said I was responsible, as I had…”

Image result for caricature of a "good samaritanThe Story of a Good Samaritan:  About 15 years ago, I got a call from the State Environmental people…  about 2 days before Christmas… telling me to send them a check for $25,000.00. Ouch…what a Christmas present that was.

So… here’s the story… I had built a motel on a former gasoline station site… and somehow, after I had sold it, it was determined there was some environmental issues on the property. The people I had sold it to were wanting to refinance it, and the bank required an environmental survey. That opened up a can of worms.

While I was no-longer the owner of the property, the Government said I was responsible, as I had passed up an opportunity for the Super-Fund to pay for the environmental restoration. Under the terms of the Super-Fund, the owner paid the first $25K. The State Environmental Agency had determined that I was the responsible party.

I argued that I was no longer the property owner, as I had sold it more than a year earlier. I won. The government went back on the National Oil Company, whom I had bought the station site from, and they showed the government a BILL-of-SALE where I had taken title to the underground tanks (which had leaked). In effect… the National Oil Company had knowingly sold me an environmental disaster. So, then… I lost. I appealed… and lost again.  That $25K getting further out of my control.

I discovered that the Bill of Sale where I had accepted ownership was signed with my name… but wait… it was not my signature; seemingly, a forgery. I appealed, and the Oil Company lost. They appealed, and I lost. This was getting crazy by the moment.

A few months later, after a number of appeals (losing them all), I got a call from an out-of-state engineering firm, specializing in environmental issues….who was seeking new business in the area. Their representative asked if there was anything they could work on for me. So, I told this perfect stranger my story. “Let me see what I can do to help you,” he said.

Several weeks later, he called and said, the Oil Company had lost. W-O-W… how did that happen and what did I owe his company for saving me $25K? He answered, “Well, I just explained things to them in a language they understood, and they reversed their ruling. And, he added… “You don’t owe me anything; I’m doing it as a Good Samaritan.” I had WON!!  W-O-W!!  Thanks be to God…and this “Good Samaritan.”

The moral of the story is this: Good things happen when you least expect it, from people whom you least expect. The end of the story is this:  Never…  never ever…. give up.

Psalm 84:11 – For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” – Proverbs 25:26 ­ – Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

Blessings…cjlb… 11/20/16



About Charles Brooks

who is originally from Miami, Fla., moved to SC, holds two degrees from the University of SC. His business background is primarily in Real Estate Development (Motels, Hotel, Office Buildings, Restaurants, Residential) and Business Consulting. He currently is Managing Director of Brooks, Baker, Lehman & Kohlhepp - Investors in Real Estate and Mining, and has other business interests under the umbrella of Brooks Properties. FULL-TIME-MINISTRY: Fully engaged in spreading the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the Business Community.


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