News Column

City attorney advised loan was legal without signed contract

February 20, 2014

News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.



Feb. 20--GREENSBORO -- The city attorney responded tonight to questions about how Greensboro handled a loan given to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan, in an statement sent via email, said he advised city officials they could issue a $750,000 check to the museum without a signed loan agreement for the money.

Shah-Khan said in the statement tonight that he advised then-City Manager Denise Turner Roth the city was legally permitted to provide the payment.

"I was fulfilling my role of providing legal guidance to the former City Manager," Shah-Khan said in the statement.

The check was the first of two installments on a $1.5 million loan the city has agreed to make to the museum.

The city released documents Tuesday that revealed some internal staff debate over whether it was appropriate to issue the check before documents were completed.

Emails the city released show that Shah-Khan told Roth the city could release the first installment to the museum before it and the city had signed the documentation.

But Rick Lusk, the city's finance director, contradicted the decision. He told Roth's assistant that the contract needed to be signed before a check was issued.

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Source: News & Record (Greensboro, NC)


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