Who Bought Edwards's Neighbor's Property? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Who Bought Edwards’s Neighbor’s Property?

My friend and former Carolina Journal/John Locke Foundation colleague Don Carrington (the one who got the aerial shot of John Edwards’s Chapel Hill estate) has a story posted today about how his former neighbor — once called “slummy” by Elizabeth Edwards — has sold his property and moved to South Carolina. Don writes that Monty Johnson was able to get his full $1.6 million asking price — no questions asked, no negotiating down.

Johnson, according to Elizabeth, is a “rabid, rabid Republican” who kept a “Go Rudy Giuliani ’08” sign posted in plain view across from the Edwards’s property, and also leased part of his property to 12 mobile homes and an auto repair shop.

The circumstances of the sale are odd. The only previous offer Johnson had received “was for a 600-foot strip of the land along the road across from the Edwards’s driveway.” Johnson would only sell all, or sell none. Don also reports about the buyer of record, Chapel Hill businessman Cowan Griffin:

Johnson said he was not interested in selling only a portion of the land. He said he was immediately suspicious that the unnamed buyer might be Edwards, but said he has found no evidence to confirm that.

Griffin, who ultimately bought the property, told Johnson he was paying for the land with family money, but records show that Griffin signed two separate deeds of trust, or mortgages, totaling $1.1 million to Richard I. Levin of Chapel Hill, a retired UNC business professor. Public records indicate that Griffin has none of his own funds involved in the purchase.

On Friday, Levin acknowledged making loans of more than $1 million to Griffin for the purchase of the Johnson property. He said he has no idea what Griffin plans to do with the property, and has no information that he is buying the land for someone else.

So what’s the deal? Did Edwards try to buy out his eyesore neighbor who just happens to live in the “other America?”

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