Skip to Content

City council’s bill to formally investigate City of Fort Wayne receives 5-3 preliminary vote

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Members with the Fort Wayne City Council voted on a bill to formally investigate officials with the City of Fort Wayne. The bill received a 5-3 preliminary vote.

On August 3rd, the members of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission terminated the Economic Development Agreement with RTM, the original developers of the project.

Officials with the Redevelopment Commission said the developers did not meet the full private funding within the agreement by the deadline.

However, the developers said they had documentation to show a bank was willing to support the remaining amount.

Officials with the Redevelopment Commission said the documentation was not an official document they were willing to accept.

On September 8th, leaders with RTM Ventures and officials with the City of Fort Wayne and the Redevelopment Commission attended Tuesday's City Council meeting. Both sides shared their thoughts on the Electric Works project.

Leaders with RTM said they have the full funding as agreed within the original contract to move the project forward, however, city officials said they no longer have confidence in them to be the lead developer of the project.

During the meeting, members of the city council said they want to understand a timeline of events that led to the termination of the contract.

They introduced a bill to formally investigate officials of the City of Fort Wayne. They said under the proposed bill, city officials would be required to tell the truth under oath, otherwise, they may face charges.

"We have people who say they were lobbied, the Redevelopment Commission members that they were lobbied to vote a certain way, and today they say that didn't occur," said Councilman Glynn Hines. "Under sworn testimony, anyone who makes a false statement, stands to purger themselves, so I think we'll get more truth in that point in time."

This Tuesday, majority of the council supported the bill with a 5-3 vote.

"I voted no because I don't see what the point is, we're going to rack up a bunch of legal costs and subpoenas, and what not, and it's not going to change the outcome of this outcome of this," said Councilman Jason Arp.

Those who supported the bill said the bill would allow them to access records and enable them to compel the mayor's testimony.

"The most important thing for all of us on council and the mayor, we need to think about what's best for the community at large, and not our personal egos and not our personal vendettas," said Councilman Glynn Hines.

Fort Wayne's NBC News reached out to the mayor's office. They shared the following statement:

"We believe the City Administration and City Council share the same goal in wanting to see the former GE campus redeveloped. With tonight's preliminary vote by City Council to proceed with looking further into the cancellation of the Electric Works economic development agreement, we'll have to wait and see how the process plays out moving forward once a final vote is taken next week. We're committed to finding a path for a successful redevelopment project that protects taxpayers and is viable now and in the future. It's also vital to keep Do it Best as a corporate partner with good jobs in our community as part of the efforts to redevelop the former GE campus."

Council members told Fort Wayne's NBC News the final vote on the bill will take place next Tuesday.

Stay with Fort Wayne's NBC News on this developing story.

Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at ltran@wpta21.com.

Skip to content