Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Private group steers car show back home

Norwood event returns, without mayor

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NORWOOD — The city's annual car show, called off the last two years while Mayor Joseph Hochbein fought charges that he took money from the show and deposited it in his campaign fund, returns this weekend.

        This year, the show is being handled by a private group, with no involvement by the mayor or the city.

        Last year, Mr. Hochbein was indicted on 14 counts which included election falsification, two misdemeanor falsifications and theft. A judge dismissed all but one misdemeanor charge.

   What: Norwood Citizens Car Show.
    When: 6-10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
    Where: Surrey Square, 4524 Montgomery Road, Norwood.
    Admission: Free.
    Information: Call 531-3641.
    To enter a car: There is a $12 advance registration fee; it jumps to $15 on the day of the show.
        A falsification charge was reduced to illegal use of a taxpayer identification number. He was ordered to pay court costs and a small fine.

Getting back on track
        “We thought he would give our money back, but he didn't,” said Betty Howard, a member of a board of trustees of the Norwood Citizens Car Show Inc.

        “We are putting on the show without him.”

        Mayor Hochbein said no one has contacted him about the show.

        “I don't know what they are doing. I wish them well. I am sure the show will be good for the city,” he said.

        The group received incorporation from the secretary of state in January. Mrs. Howard said the group received a federal identification number.

        “We have correct ID numbers, a board of trustees, a CPA and a lawyer. I don't think anything will go wrong now,” Mrs. Howard said.

        Hamilton County prosecutors accused Mr. Hochbein of using the city's identification numbers to sponsor the car show, a tennis tournament and a basketball classic without getting permission from council.

        In 1998, he was accused of taking $1,000 from the car show and depositing it in his campaign.

        “Each year during the car show, the mayor would tell us that we were working to pay off last year's car show. We don't think we will have that problem this year,” Mrs. Howard said.

        Others on the board of trustees include Roy Partin, Pat Owens, Jerry Owens and Luke Owens.

        “We had lots of friends and agencies to donate for the car show,” Mr. Partin said. “I was one of the first persons to work with the show and it was always good until the money was missing.”

        Mr. Partin said any money left over will go to charity.

        The show was started in 1996 and draws owners of antique and classic cars from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.


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