Weeks after seeking city records concerning ticket sales at the Civic Center, an attorney for local promoter Mike Blackwell confirmed Friday that he has filed a claim against the city of Columbus.
Columbus attorney Leslie Cohn would not comment further on the claim, citing the city’s ongoing audit of the Columbus Civic Center.
“We have made a demand on some issues that they need to address,” Cohn said. “But we’re going to let the city have an opportunity to complete its audit before we discuss the matter publicly.”
City Attorney Clifton Fay confirmed that the city has received a claim from an attorney representing Blackwell, but would not comment further, citing pending litigation.
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“We will discuss it formally with council later this month,” Fay said, adding that he has discussed the matter with Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.
“As you know we are conducting an audit related to the Civic Center,” Tomlinson said. “We expect that to be out in about two weeks. As soon as it’s made public, I will be able to comment further.”
Blackwell, who has booked acts such as Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Darius Rucker and REO Speedwagon into the Civic Center, recently filed a Georgia Open Records Act request with the city for Civic Center records regarding contracts and ticket sales for shows he promoted, Fay confirmed.
The claim comes as the city is conducting an audit of the Civic Center. City officials have said the audit is standard operating procedure when a department head leaves his position. Former Civic Center Director Dale Hester retired suddenly from his position in January.
In his letter of resignation, he cited health concerns and said his retirement was on advice of his physician. He had worked at the Civic Center for 15 years, 7 years as its director.
The audit, being conducted by City Auditor John Redmond, is nearing completion, and could be presented to Columbus Council as early as June 14.