Kansas City councilman defends handling of Mayweather event - KCTV5 News

Kansas City councilman defends handling of Mayweather event

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It is one of the most high-profile events that never happened in Kansas City Hall history, and the man at the center of the controversy defended his actions Wednesday.

Councilman Michael Brooks said the planned event was aimed to offer inner-city youth a unique opportunity, and nothing inappropriate occurred.

Brooks gave his side of the story during a KPRT-AM radio program associated with his church. He refused to answer questions from reporters, including from KCTV5 investigative reporter Stacey Cameron.

Brooks finally spoke after Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she won't pursue criminal charges in relation to $15,000 intended to bring boxer Floyd Mayweather to Kansas City for the youth event.

Brooks said he asked City Manager Troy Schulte for the funding, which went to youth group leader Ossco Bolton of the group P.O.S.S.E. Brooks flatly said he did not do anything to "twist" Schulte's arm and that this type of request was routine at City Hall.

He said he made clear to Schulte that if he couldn't find the money that he understood, but he said they both agreed it was a good event.

But Schulte was unaware that Mayweather had battered a woman, which the boxer later admitted to. Once that came to light, the event fell apart.

Bolton traveled to Las Vegas on taxpayer expense in an attempt to line up Mayweather. Bolton spent thousands of dollars on travel, entertainment, security and other expenses related to the event. But the Kansas City Police Department found he spent the money on personal expenses, including clothing, movies and fast food.

Bolton never got anyone to replace Mayweather and the event was never held. The city has been unsuccessful in its efforts to get the $15,000 returned.

Brooks emphasized Wednesday that the $15,000 was just a start to get someone of Mayweather's caliber to come to Kansas City.

"It was seed money to get this thing started," he said. "There's no way in the world you are going to get Floyd Mayweather, someone of that stature for $15,000."

He stood up for Bolton, saying he is a good man.

"The money went toward paying for marketing and other things we were going to need to do," Brooks said. "It was going to cost $60,000 to $70,000 to bring Floyd Mayweather to town."

He said the council has changed the city's procedures for funding events that aren't part of the budget, but he said it is a falsehood by the media to claim it's as a result of the Mayweather controversy.

"A matter of fact, a few weeks ago, we passed an ordinance to make sure that this doesn't happen anymore, but what I did was not out of order based on how City Hall has operated at the time. It's not going to operate that way anymore, and that's good," he said.

In addition to criticizing the traditional media, Brooks had harsh words for blogger Tony Botello, who has used his blog, TonysKansasCity.com, to keep the heat on Brooks.

Brooks said he had kept silent until Wednesday on the advice of his attorney and God. He said he had been very angry and frustrated at how the truth had been twisted.

He said the event grew out of the need to give youth an alternative than going to the Country Club Plaza, which had seen a number of issues, including fights and gunfire.

He said it would have occurred if not for the media controversy.

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