Fest organizer investigated over bad check
JEFFERSON -- An organizer of the Warriors & Wizards Festival held in recent weeks in Jefferson is being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department for the possible felony issuance of a worthless check.
According to Jefferson Police Department Chief Deputy Jeff Parker his department has received a written request from the city of Jefferson Police Department asking it to investigate a worthless check written or distributed in the city of Jefferson. According to sources, these checks are related to money owed to city businessman Steve Lewis from Warriors & Wizards Festival organizer Scott Cramer. The festival utilized Lewis’ Jefferson Area Business Center during its run in late October.
“The reason they requested that we investigate this is because there is an ongoing relationship (between the accused and the city) and the city police chief feels that any complaints that come in would be better handled through a neutral third party law enforcement organization. Our agency is in the beginning stages of looking into the various complaints out there of worthless checks,” Parker said.
Parker said there are two such complaints in the city of Jefferson at present.
“But, as on any other cases, you have to prioritize the needs for that case to be investigated over another and as time becomes available we will look at it properly and potentially pass it along to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office,” Parker said. “This will be handled like any other case of the issuance of worthless checks, we don’t let any personal emotions come into this. My job is to stay away from the emotional elements and to focus on the task being given to us.”
A call to Cramer was not answered. His voice mailbox indicated it was full and did not state the call would be returned.
“Staff, in particularly me, will be completing a report for the council regarding the festival,” Jefferson City Administrator Tim Freitag told the Daily Times. “We went through the same process last year. The report won’t be finalized until the end of the month. A council discussion won’t likely take place until one of the December meetings. There is not too much more for me to comment on until the report is finalized and shared with council.”
At Daily Times press-time today, Attorney Joann Miller, who helps operate the Jefferson Area Business Center with Lewis, talked with the Daily Times, saying Cramer indeed bounced checks to the center totaling $4,095. She said they last had contact with Cramer on Oct. 31 when he told them the payment issue would “be resolved,” then thanked them for their patience.
“He said he was trying to work some financial issues out,” Miller said, “and that was the last we heard.”
Miller added that since news of Cramer’s apparent payment problems surfaced, there have been other people who have come forward complaining they are owed money by the Warriors & Wizards Festival, as well.