XENIA — City council is expected to discuss the potential conflict of interest between the proposed entertainment center/movie theater and councilmen John Caupp and Dale Louderback Thursday.
An amended agenda sent by the city Wednesday indicates a motion to hold an inquiry will be made. Council Vice-President Josh Long confirmed Wednesday that the inquiry is being proposed for Aug. 19-20 to determine whether the pair violated the city charter by attempting to invest in the project and work for the management company.
Caupp and Louderback announced earlier this year that they were named to management positions by High Velocity Entertainment — which is part of project developer Creative Entertainment Concepts — and that they would be investing in the project.
Section 4.08 of the Xenia City Charter states:
No Council member, including the Mayor, may hold any other public office during their term on the Council, nor shall any member of Council have an interest in any contract, job, work or service with or for the City, nor in the profits or emoluments thereof, nor in the expenditure of any money on the part of the City other than the member’s fixed compensation, and any contract with the City in which such Council member is, or becomes, interested may be declared void by the Council.
Section 4.09 of the charter indicates that a council member shall forfeit office if one of four actions occur including if: “The Council member violates any express prohibition of this Charter.”
Creative Entertainment Concepts is no longer part of the movie theater aspect, City Manager Brent Merriman said last week. However the city does own the land on which the entertainment center would be located — the site of the former Fulmer grocery store.
The city has also referred the situation to the Ohio Ethics Commission, which has yet to make any public statement.
Dave Beauregard, CEO of CEC did not return a phone call or email seeking clarification of the two councilmen’s involvement. Caupp declined comment. Louderback could not be reached as of press time.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.