GarageGate may yield civil action - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

GarageGate may yield civil action

Every criminal agency from Memphis to Washington is trying to find out if someone broke the law at FedExForum.  But at the end of the day, the big question for City and County leaders is, "how do we get our money back?"

Shelby County Commissioners pressed their attorney for details about the scandal now known as "GarageGate," the mystery of the missing MATA bus terminal that the feds agreed to pay for with twenty million in grant money.

Some County leaders are ready to talk dollars and cents.  "In a situation like this, compensation is about all you can get.  That's the best you can do, other than punishing the guilty," says Commissioner Julian Bolton.  He says the County may have to sue.

Here's the twist.  The garage is City property and the City of Memphis has already been fined six million because the bus terminal was never opened.

But the whole FedExForum project is a joint City/County investment and County Attorney Brian Kuhn tells us there is a chance the County may be affected too.

"We may have collateral damage effect, if you will.  If it somehow damaged any of our contractual rights in the contracts we are a party to," says Kuhn.

Kuhn says he's drilling deep to find wrongdoing, if there is any.  If he finds it, the County Commission would have to vote to sue.

Bolton says the FBI isn't out to protect County dollars.  "A criminal investigation - and the results of a criminal investigation - would likely only lead to the punishment of wrongdoers and lost is a benefit that we should have had and contracted for."

County Attorney Brian Kuhn handed out a timeline of events compiled this week but he says - so far - it doesn't identify any criminal wrongdoing.

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