City demands $15,000 refund on Mayweather event

Kansas City is formally trying to recover the $15,000 that it issued to bring a controversial boxer from Las Vegas to Kansas City to counsel young people.

City Manager Troy Schulte on Tuesday sent a letter seeking to recoup the $15,000 from the P.O.S.S.E. Program and Ossco Bolton, who had proposed the idea of bringing world-champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to the Gregg Klice Community Center on Saturday for an anti-violence, youth enrichment program.

Schulte says in the letter that the check was cashed but the promised event didn’t take place.

“Because the proposed event didn’t occur, this letter officially requests and demands the entire $15,000 to be immediately returned to the city in FULL,” the letter states. The city set a Dec. 20 deadline and said it “will avail itself of remedies allowed under the law” if the money isn’t returned.

Bolton said Tuesday he had not received the letter or seen its contents. He said he still hopes the city will allow him to spend the money to bring Mayweather’s father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., to Kansas City on Feb. 8.

The controversy surrounding the Saturday event has prompted an internal auditor’s investigation and has caused council members to begin work on new policies to prevent similar situations.

Schulte authorized the payment in late October, at the request of Councilman Michael Brooks. Both Schulte and Brooks said that Bolton had worked well with Kansas City youth for years, and they wanted to build on the positive momentum of this summer’s weekend nightlife program. Schulte said he didn’t initially realize that Mayweather had spent time in jail this summer on domestic violence charges.

Bolton and Brooks initially argued that Mayweather could still be a positive role model for youth and could counsel them to avoid the mistakes he has made. But after they received public pushback about Mayweather’s domestic violence record, Bolton said he postponed the event. He argued he should still be given a chance to change the speaker.

City Council members have said there needs to be a better way to vet proposals from individual council members.