Cash-Strapped Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame Negotiating Unpaid Insurance Bill

Thursday, January 22nd 2015, 1:17 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Financial troubles continue for the Tulsa Jazz Hall of Fame and Thursday the organization was forced into court to pay its bills.

The Jazz Hall of Fame has been chronically late paying bills and has been close to eviction before.

Thursday, an insurance company was trying to collect and so is Tulsa County, the landlord of the building, which has given notice of possible eviction in 30 days.

The Jazz Hall of Fame continues to struggle to pay the most basic of bills to keep operating.

The organization was months behind paying State Farm for workers compensation insurance, prompting a court order to either pay the bill or reveal what could be sold to come up with the money.

Jazz Hall Director Jason McIntosh declined comment through an attorney, but that was only after he showed up without a lawyer and the judge ordered him to produce one or else.

Jazz Hall supporter and Attorney Jim Goodwin was hired on the spot.

“These are hard times, guys give him a break. We need public support, he's doing a fine job in my opinion," Goodwin said.

Goodwin and attorneys for State Farm went into talks about the bill for several hours before resolving the State Farm claim with a payment.

A State Farm spokesman said the company has not verified the check would clear the bank.

As of Thursday morning, the Jazz Hall owed State Farm Insurance $11,200, but also owes the County $2,900. The County got a check for that amount late last week according to Tulsa County Commissioner, John Smaligo.

"We received a check and deposited the check and it was returned for insufficient funds; we have not actually received the check back yet," Smaligo said.

He said the county notified the Jazz Hall of a breach in contract, triggering 30 days' notice of eviction.

"For us it's a situation where we're trying to protect taxpayer assets. That's what each commissioner has to do and that's what we're going to continue to do," Smaligo said.

Goodwin said patrons have come forward to help, but admits the situation is critical.

"Obviously things are not well, financially, with the Jazz Hall of Fame and we can use all the help we can get," Goodwin said.

The Jazz Hall's attorney said the bills have been paid, but Tulsa County reports nothing has changed on their end. They still have a bad check for $2,900.

State Farm is waiting to see if the payment they have clears the bank.

The Jazz Hall continues to appeal for support from their patrons.

9/7/2012 Related Story: Jazz Hall Calls Overdue Tulsa County Bills 'Misunderstanding'

9/24/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Jazz Hall Given Final Chance To Pay $60,000 In Unpaid Bills