KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A city council member is ducking questions about taxpayer money intended to bring world-famous boxer Floyd Mayweather to Kansas City, Mo.
As reported on Tuesday, Kansas City is asking for a refund of $15,000 from the local organizer of the planned event.
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The Mayweather appearance, originally scheduled for Dec. 8, never happened. Prior to that, the event had sparked controversy because of the boxer's domestic violence background.
Councilman Michael Brooks requested the $15,000 from City Manager Troy Schulte.
Kansas City then cut a check to Ossco Bolton, executive director of P.O.S.S.E. (Peers Organized to Support Student Excellence), which was immediately cashed.
However, Mayweather's adviser told 41 Action News that the boxer had never been contacted or agreed to a speaking appearance for young adults in Kansas City.
After Brooks did not respond to calls or emails for a week, 41 Action News investigative reporter Ryan Kath found the council member at City Hall.
Here is a transcript of the interview:
Kath: "How much vetting did you do before requesting that money?"
Brooks: "This is my only response. The city manager's office is taking care of that and any questions you have about it, he can probably answer better than I can. I've been asked by the legal department not to get involved or have any more involvement with it because of the investigation. So any questions you have can come from his office."
Kath: "Because of the internal investigation, they are telling you not to talk about this?"
Brooks: Yes, not to be involved with it or...
Kath: "Why is that?"
Brooks: "Well you'd have to talk to the city manager about that, so if you have any questions, I'd recommend you go talk to the city manager in his office."
Kath: "Since you requested the funds, do you feel any responsibility for what happened to that money?"
Brooks: "I'm not sure what happened to the money, so their investigation will bring that out."
Kath: "Do you want to know what happened to the money?"
Brooks: "I'm finished." (walks away)
Citing attorney-client privilege, City Attorney William Geary declined to say if he advised Brooks not to discuss the Mayweather issue.
Previously, Schulte indicated his office is working on a new policy that will address how to better handle individual funding requests from council members.
Internal Auditor Roy Greenway, who was asked by Schulte to investigate, said he is still gathering information and does not have a timetable for when his report will be complete.