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Band boosters#039; suit to go to trial

The Ironton Band Boosters' fight to get back money lost in the Elizabeth Keating incident will now involve a civil jury trial.

Ironton Municipal Court referee John Kehoe ruled Tuesday that there are

disputable issues in the case about whether Keating had apparent authority to conduct banking affairs for the club. These issues prevented him from granting an order of summary judgment against First Federal Savings Bank.

The band boosters club has filed suit against First Federal and other local banks,

claiming the institutions acted improperly by allowing Keating to conduct business she was not authorized to do.

David Dillon, attorney for the band boosters, argued that even though Keating was treasurer for the club, her name was never added to the band boosters' account

signature card at the bank, and she was never given express permission to conduct banking business.

Kevin Waldo, attorney for First Federal, argued that previous treasurers had been allowed to conduct banking business, and because of this, employees did not question whether her name had been added to any club accounts.

Further, Waldo argued that bank employees knew Keating through her other business efforts and because of their long standing

business relationship with her, assumed she had authority to take out loans and cash in certificates of deposit.

Keating was elected treasurer for the boosters in late 1998 and was re-elected in 1999.

In March of 1999, Keating allegedly sent a letter to the bank that appeared to have been written by club president Jeff Massie, asking that Keating's name be added to the account. Massie said he never signed that letter.

Three days later, she allegedly went to the bank and signed for an $8,000 loan using the boosters' certificate of deposit as collateral. She also allegedly withdrew $3,650 from the club's account. In addition, she allegedly

withdrew funds held in club accounts at other banks.

Band boosters president Jeff Massie said he is disappointed with Tuesday's ruling, but resolved to take the case to trial.

"I definitely want to pursue this," Massie said. "I don't see how a bank can give someone a loan because she was a realtor and they had done business with her in that capacity. I'm not trying to take advantage of the bank, I just want what is rightfully ours.

"If we don't pursue this I feel, as president, I have failed not only the organization but all the kids in the band and the school board, which paid for our new uniforms in hopes we could recoup some of the money we lost."

Dillon said he will now ask for a court date to bring the matter before a jury. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune