EAST LIVERPOOL - It would appear that the county prosecutor agrees with the city law director's office that the school district has no criminal case against a promoter who has, thus far, failed to reimburse people for tickets to a canceled concert.
A concert by rap performer Bow Wow was planned for November but was canceled by Superintendent James Herring after the promoter, Terrance Smitherman of T&T Promotions, failed to provide adequate insurance coverage in time for the event.
Since then, those who purchased tickets have not been reimbursed, but following an investigation by city police, it was determined there was no intentional attempt to defraud anyone.
Assistant Law Director Tim McNicol said in December that Smitherman fully intended to repay the ticket money but had used much of it to promote the concert, for airline tickets for the performer and other expenses. He was waiting to be reimbursed for some of those expenses at that time.
"It was business deal that fell through," McNicol said then.
About 210 tickets were sold at $10 and $35 each.
At subsequent school board meetings, President Janice Martin had pledged to bring up the issue regularly until something is done to rectify the situation.
At this week's meeting, Martin again asked the status of the investigation and was advised by Herring that, although he has not spoken directly to county Prosecutor Robert Herron, all information had been forwarded to him by McNicol.
He said Herron had left a voice message saying he, too, does not feel there is enough evidence that this is a criminal case and that he does not feel there is any fraud involved.
Herring told the board he had left a return message with Herron, asking to get an opinion to that effect in writing, saying it appears this will be a civil matter and those who want to be reimbursed will have to pursue legal action.
"Remember, you're dealing with the ultimate politician," board member Richard Wolf advised Herring.
In other matters Monday, Herring reported he is looking into a recycling program he said will be a "good public service."
Starting initially by recycling just paper, Herring said the program could mean less trash being taken to the landfill, which would result in a savings to the district, as well as the district being paid for the recyclables.
He expects to start the program next school year, with recycling bins furnished.
Board member Larry Walton said a Midland school principal had told him about a clean office waste program in place there, saying, "They pay a premium for waste from your office."
According to Walton, he was advised one company received $15,000 in one year from its office recyclables.
He will attempt to find out more information to provide to Herring.
Herring reminded the board that starting with the April 23 board meeting, the agenda will include a report by a building principal about what is happening at his or her building.
Principals will report on a rotating basis, with Herring saying, "It's important that building principals share what's going on in their buildings."