Waddington, Widman at odds over Marina District check

SANDUSKY City commissioner Dave Waddington grilled city finance director Ed Widman during a city com
jasonsinger
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

City commissioner Dave Waddington grilled city finance director Ed Widman during a city commission meeting Dec. 14, but neither man seemed happy with the exchange after it ended.

Waddington wanted to know more about Marina District developer John Eymann's $100,000 good-faith deposit that was supposed to be cashed by the city when the Marina District developer's agreement was signed in December 2008.

The city didn't deposit the check until May, however, four months after then-city manager Matt Kline told city commissioners the check was "in escrow at Citizen's Bank."

Although Widman couldn't recall many specifics, he said no one told him to not cash the check.

"I think one of the core issues with the check was: Did someone ask me to sit on it, not cash it (or) hold it up," Widman said. "I would say no. No one told me to do that."

The check was dated Jan. 14, 2009, but he didn't know when the city actually received it, Widman said. City e-mails show the city didn't receive the check until at least late January, and Widman acknowledged that shouldn't have happened.

The agreement with Eymann also required the payment be made with a certified check but that didn't happen, either, Widman said. Widman told Waddington he might have not noticed that detail because he's not sure he inspected the check.

"There was a note attached to (the check), and I don't even know if I removed the note to look at it," Widman said.

Widman said because of the budget issues facing the city, he probably "lost track" of the check. At some point, he said, likely in early May, he remembered the check and realized it might expire.

He contacted then-city economic development specialist Scott Schell, who contacted Eymann. Eymann asked the city to hold the check for another day until Eymann came to Sandusky.

"That's the only time I was instructed or asked to hold it," Widman said.

Widman said he deposited the check shortly thereafter. The Marina District agreement expires at the end of the year, and the city has thus far balked at returning the funds to Eymann.

Waddington expressed concern after the exchange with Widman.

"So a $100,000 check you just put in a safe and forgot about it?" Waddington asked.

Widman wasn't very happy with his own explanation.

"I've had some folks say you need to get your stories straight," Widman said. "It's a crappy story, but it's my story and it's the only one I know."

Comments

Exxcellent

This will have to wait until after the first of the year when we have new honest commissioners. We cannot trust any decisions from these current corrupt commissioners.
To Columbus Ave. : If you don't like a particular restaurant, you should stay away. They won't miss your shabby tips anyway.

outsider

Mr. Widman have you packed your bags? Your handling of the $100,000 check is suspect at the least and has fraud written all over it. You will be remove the same as your buddy Mr. Kline. The clock is ticking.

tk

If I were having a budget crisis and received a large check, I hardly think I would forget about it.
But then what do I know? I'm just a little old homemaker not a city finance director.

Bailey

Is this the first time Waddington actually became agressive for the citizens? I appears to me that in the past he's been sort of a panzi and didn't want troubled waters or to hurt anyones feelings.

Minnow

FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!FINISH THE PAPER DISTRICT!!!!!

Factitious

oh, it's finished

Factitious

but seriously, the paper district will probably never be completely finished -- it's likely to be a work in progress. It would be nice to see a good transient marina complex sooner, no later.

Factitious

The "good faith deposit" was understood by some to compensate the city if the developer failed to perform, which he did. Unfortunately, the agreement seems to be a little fuzzy about what the deposit was for, except that by its very name, there could be no doubt that any breach of good faith of the developer should trigger forfeiture. IF the developer was party to any conspiracy to avoid actually committing those funds in a timely manner, would that not in and of itself be flagrant breach of good faith?

Anonymous

Come the first meeting in January, the new commissioners should kick it into high gear and give Widman his walking papers. It should be the first order of business. Waddington mentioned the check in public because his constituents are putting pressure on him to perform his duties and not sweep it under the rug and take no action. The five voter block can't see past what they need to be doing, so it will have to be done with the new commissioners. It was good Waddington got this out in the public so the public can witness the stupid statements Widman made about the check and how it came about that it was held in the safe for five months. Kaman summed it up better, corruption. What accountant in his right mind puts a check in the safe and forgets about it? The only reason you would do that is because you had prior knowledge the check wasn't good to cash. The first indication that the check wasn't any good was it came in without it being certified. Widman does need to get his story straight because what he stated does not add up with the sequence of events that took place. As soon as the check came in, it should have been taken to the bank and an escrow account set up as instructed.

Maxwell House

moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks and libelous or defamatory statements.

MINE

~Waaaaaaaaah~

Fireside

Hey MINE.... does Waddington like anybody?

Fireside

Hey INFOMAN.....do you think SMOOCHY and WHINER Warner will come clean on ALL the illegal stuff?
The firehouse meeting, the contract steering, underpass paint job, hiring of the grant writter, 100 thousdand dollar check, chesepeake walkway/marina, secret meetings resulting in 5-2 votes with no discussion, the list goes on.......

SamAdams

He "lost track" of $100,000 due to budget issues? And then he, for some unknown reason, suddenly remembered it four months later? Oh, yeah, THAT'S a believable story!

There are only a couple of ways this could go:

The story, involving a stunning lack of competence, is true. Widman should be fired.

The story, involving a stunning lack of truthtelling, is false. Widman should be fired.

Am I missing anything?

MINE

You are kidding right? I got deleted for saying something as simple as ~waaah~? All of the horrible things that this newspaper says and LETS people say and you delete that???? Too many simpletons.

MINE

SCUTTLEBUTT....dunno~does he? He is your hero not mine.

Chung Lee

Chung Lee rather here truth instead of story anytime.

top dog

Waddington should ask Ferrell if he is going to give up his insurance to save the city money, if he does not then he should resign as a trustee for Perkins. This shows the people of Perkins, Ferrell does not care for them he only cares for himself.

MINE

CHUNG LEE.....Um, what are you doing here then?

T. A. Schwanger

Mr. Widman should have just pleaded the 5th amendment. He didn't spell out anything of clarity anyway.

NineMM

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

outsider

"That's my story and I'm stickin to it" Wonder how that will work on your resume? I'm guessing ...not very good.

Quicksand

I'm glad he finally found a story to stick to, as pathetic as it makes him sound! I knew he was one of the Klown, Schell and A$$. I think there's a few more that we are still gonna find out were involved. Seems like everyone with the title of Director, Specialist or Manager behind his name was in on it!
Wonder how long this would have went on for and how far it would have gone had the dice not tumbled as they did?

Truth or Dare

I'm wondering why the guy still has his job, figuring he must for a reason? Probably a whole lot more going on than just the handling of this $100K check? He doesn't seem to be too sure of anything, does he? Pretty scarey thought, especially when the Taxpayers' buck stops w/him!

I know one thing, this guy stays hired, there is no way I will vote for any of the sitting Commissioners, period. I'll not vote for a one of em that had a hand in costing us millions, let alone would allow this cr@p to continue through using the excuse they didn't know what was going on w/our Finances! Open up the books and do an audit of the TAXPAYERS finances! Feelin the same about the Law Dept as well, but then we don't get to vote for them!

Quicksand

Have a feeling the current interim manager is the reason he still has a job? Time to step up to the mound once again, Danny K and strike him OUT!

Seriously

How des a city commisioner who is so "out there" for the city......and whoo has been in office during all of this......Now get to play "Citizens Advocate" if you will.....throw his hand sup and start questioning......Isn't he part of the problem or does he get to pull the "Janitor" card here???