Status of $250,000 check sought

Published 10:08 am Friday, March 13, 2015

The county is making its third request to the state auditor on whether it can spend a quarter of a million dollar check it was given almost two years ago.

“We are very much concerned and believe the $250,000 can be utilized,” Lawrence County Commission President Les Boggs said.

Boggs asked that another letter from the commission be sent to the auditor’s office this week.

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In 2013, LeRoy Eslinger of LM Associates asked the commission for help in his negotiations with the Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority. He wanted a reversion clause removed from the lease between LM and the housing authority on the Sherman Thompson Towers, a senior citizens complex in the west end of Ironton. LM had managed the building. If the clause were enforced, the housing authority would own the building in 2032.

For help with the negotiations, Eslinger gave the county and the city of Ironton each $250,000. In October 2013 chief deputy Chris Kline sent a letter to the office of Dave Yost asking his office to determine if the county could keep the check and how it could be used.

The city has already spent its check.

In December of 2014, at the time when Eslinger sold the complex to Millenia Housing Development for $5.5 million, the commission sent its own letter to Yost asking for his determination. The commission has yet to receive a response.

Periodically, Kline checks on the status of his letter and is told it is still with the department’s legal counsel.

The money is currently in escrow.

A call by The Tribune to the state auditor’s office on Wednesday was not returned by press time.