Joplin Concert Plan Misguided, Not Illegal

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office closed its investigation into a $60,000 loan taken from a Joplin tornado recovery fund and used toward a Sept. 11 Travis Tritt concert before the country singer pulled out amid controversy.

Concert organizers asked the Community Foundation for Southwest Missouri for the loan to cover the costs of the event, which was to raise funds for tornado relief and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

However, some residents complained about the loan and questioned how it was being used, so Tritt pulled out of the concert and returned a $30,000 payment.

Attorney General Chris Koster said in a letter that concert organizers had the right intentions but the wrong approach.

“The concert’s relationship to the stated purpose of the Recover Fund was unclear in the information provided to the public. We do conclude that the concert planners intended for the Recovery Fund to receive all concert proceeds from sponsorships, donations, and other sources,” Koster said.

“However, only days from the concert, organizers had not yet finalized agreements to televise the concert, nor to receive telephone donations. This uncertainty contributed to the questions over the concert’s relationship to the purposes of the Recovery Fund.”

Photo: AP Photo
Damage in a devastated Joplin, Mo. neighborhood.

Koster added that since all the money has been returned, the case is closed.