Koster looking into tornado recovery fund

Jessica M. Karmasek Sep. 13, 2011, 12:00pm


JOPLIN, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office says it will review the use of a tornado recovery fund to help float a special 9/11 concert featuring country singer Travis Tritt.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office told the Joplin Globe that it decided to look into the situation after receiving calls about the concert.

The office, she told the newspaper, hoped to have the matter resolved by the end of the week.

According to the Globe, Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr last week asked the Community Foundation for Southwest Missouri to loan the city money to put on the concert Sunday.

Rohr said the concert was an effort to raise money for the tornado relief fund.

But because it was being organized last-minute, the committee needed money to help with expenses. Rohr assured that the money would be repaid through donations.

However, Tritt backed out and the concert was canceled.

Rohr told the newspaper that he understood concerns about using the fund's money for the concert, but said he "would do it again if I had to."

The tornado struck Joplin on May 22. It was the third tornado to strike the city since May 1971.

The tornado ranked as one of the state's and America's deadliest, with at least 150 people killed.

It also is one of the costliest. The cost to rebuild Joplin could reach $3 billion, officials have said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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