Thursday, November 15, 2001

Olympics bid shuts down

Cincinnati 2012 returns $61,860 in state funding

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati 2012 on Wednesday sent a check for $61,860 to the Ohio Department of Development.

        The money represents the portion of a $250,000 grant not used in the effort to win the Summer Games.

    The month of August, when the United States Olympic Committee paid Cincinnati a visit, was the biggest month of public spending for Cincinnati 2012, at more than $123,000. That figure includes $4,000 for shirts, $5,000 for buses to haul USOC members around town and nearly $11,000 to rent the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.
        Along with the check, the organization sent invoices showing how it spent more than $188,000 in public money between July and November.

        Nick Vehr, president of the organization, said he believes the invoices prove that the money was spent in accordance with the grant contract he signed with the state.

        The expenses include:

        • Salaries of Mr. Vehr and his bid development director, $69,595.

        • Consulting services for things such as graphic design, bid preparation and a newsletter, $49,615.

        Mr. Vehr, who was busy Wednesday boxing up items in the Fourth Street offices of Cincinnati 2012, said the organization will close its doors Friday.

        Many of the organization's documents are being shipped to the Cincinnati Historical Society, which will decide which to keep and which to discard.

        Mr. Vehr said he's not sure what the next step will be with the Department of Development.

        “I assume they'll accept these expenses as allowable because we followed the spirit and letter of the contract very diligently,” Mr. Vehr said.

        Bruce Johnson, director of the Department of Development, said in a letter to state Rep. Tom Brinkman Jr. that he will ask for an audit of the Cincinnati 2012 invoices.




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