Mo. AG says Joplin concert promoters were well-intentioned

Jessica M. Karmasek Sep. 22, 2011, 10:56am


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the organizers of a special 9/11 concert featuring country singer Travis Tritt were well-intentioned in using a tornado recovery fund to help float the event.

In a letter to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, Koster said despite their intentions, organizers didn't provide the public with enough information about how the loan met the purpose of the recovery fund.

Earlier this month, Koster's office agreed to review the use of the recovery fund after receiving calls about the concert.

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr had asked the Community Foundation for Southwest Missouri to loan the city money to put on the concert.

Rohr said it 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.

Koster's office noted that the finalized agreements to televise the concert and solicit donations were not ready days before the event.

"This uncertainty contributed to the questions over the concert's relationship to the purposes of the Recovery Fund," the attorney general wrote.

The loan has since been returned to the fund and the matter is considered closed, Koster said.

The tornado struck Joplin on May 22. It 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 price tag to rebuild Joplin could reach $3 billion, officials have said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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