Councilman breaks silence on $15K Mayweather controversy, but dodges questions from reporters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks broke his silence about a controversial $15,000 payment of taxpayer funds, but would not answer questions from the media.

Brooks announced he would make a live radio statement on KPRT 1590 AM radio. The pastor at Zion Grove Baptist Church makes regular appearances on the station, but devoted the first portion of the broadcast to discussing the issue that has followed him for months.

As 41 Action News first reported back in December, $15,000 of taxpayer funds were supposed to help bring championship boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to town for an event where he would speak to local youth.

The organizer of the event was Ossco Bolton, the leader of an anti-violence group called P.O.S.S.E.

The check was immediately cashed by Bolton and the money was spent. However, the event never took place in December.

On the radio, Brooks defended Bolton and said he spent the money trying to promote the event and getting the boxer to sign a contract.

"Ossco Bolton has done some excellent work in this city and has done some excellent work with youth. His track record speaks for itself," Brooks said. "The investigation has proven there was nothing mismanaged with the money."

In May, the Jackson County Prosecutor declined to file charges after a lengthy Kansas City police investigation. However, city officials are still weighing whether or not they will pursue civil action to get the money back.

Brooks requested the funds directly from City Manager Troy Schulte. The police investigation obtained by 41 Action News shows that despite admitting the details had not been worked out, Brooks asked Schulte to expedite the payment in October.

The rules for similar funding requests have since changed in the wake of ethics reform at City Hall, but Brooks said it was standard operating procedure at the time.

"The lie to the story is that I used my influence to twist Troy Schulte's arm to make him give us $15,000, which was totally a blatant lie," Brooks said.

Brooks initially said he couldn't answer questions from 41 Action News because of an ongoing internal and criminal investigation.

However, six months later, he was still not willing to answer questions from reporters who had waited in the parking lot of the radio station.

Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@kshb.com. You can also follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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