City continues Port investigation with new requestWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
More than a month since the firing of former Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority President and CEO James Hartung, the City of Toledo’s investigation into the agency remains ongoing, according to a Sept. 5 request from the city’s law department.
The letter, from acting law director Adam Loukx, requests copies of e-mails between any employees of the port authority and representatives of Communica Inc., the Toledo-based firm the agency hired for marketing work, for the past five years. In a July 31 information request to the port authority, the city asked for copies of contracts between the port and Communica and proposals, bids, invoices, statements, authorizations to pay and actual payments made to the company for the past 10 years.
In the same request, the city asked for similar documents from the port authority in regard to business it conducted with Poggemeyer Design Group, which worked on the Toledo Marine Passenger Terminal.
The city launched its investigation of the port authority and Hartung July 21, 10 days after Toledo Free Press first reported the agency’s board was looking into alleged improprieties committed by Hartung that involved his relationship with a former lobbyist hired to obtain federal funding for the port and other local government entities. The board fired Hartung Aug. 1 by unanimous vote.
Calls to port authority board chairman William Carroll were not returned. In a statement, Loukx said the city submitted its Sept. 5 letter to obtain documents it had not yet received from previous requests.
The city has yet to address why it is looking into the port authority’s business relationship with Poggemeyer and Communica.
Jack Johnson, Poggemeyer board chairman, said no one from the city or port authority has contacted his organization about the July records request. He said he learned of the request through media reports and is unaware of any issues that could arise from the city’s investigation.
Calls to Communica President Debra Monagan for comment were not returned.