The Warren Convention Center Authority may be defunct, but the City of Warren is working to make sure promises made to it are honored.
At its meeting Monday, City Council unanimously approved a motion to authorize City Manager Nancy Freenock and City Solicitor Andrea Stapleford to pursue a claim in small claims court against developer Tim King of Warren Development Group (WDG).
The members of the authority collectively resigned in October, pending approval from council, leaving the city with its liabilities of about $9,600.
Council member John Lewis made the motion Monday suggesting that the city work to recover money publicly promised by King and WDG to the authority.
In a letter to the authority, King wrote, "In our work to move forward we will provide for repayment of all funds advanced to the WCCA by the City of Warren. We thank the WCCA for their work and participation through a very arduous period."
In the absence of a convention center project, the authority relied almost exclusively on the city to pay its debts.
The amount promised may exceed the $12,000 maximum for small claims court. The authority indicated that the city had provided more than $16,000 for its operations.
Freenock cautioned council that assets located more than 100 miles from Warren would be out of reach. "You may have a jurisdictional problem," she said.
Two council members said King may have local assets.
Lewis said he hoped the action would alert other municipalities that might be approached by King regarding development.
Stapleford said records would only exist in Warren County.
"If we file against Mr. King, on the basis of Mr. Lewis' motion, the action taken and any subsequent judgment, if one is obtained, would only be on record in Warren County," she said. "It would not be on record everywhere in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
King did not respond to email sent earlier this week.