The city of Jacksonville has a message for two shell corporations for which Jacksonville City Councilwoman Katrina Brown is title manager.
Pay us the $210,549.99 you owe us.
And while you’re at it, tack on another $10,585.01 for interest, calculated back to June 2016, when the city of Jacksonville began to move toward litigation.
An amended motion for default was filed by the city with the Duval County Court on Jun. 20, with the city pressing two shell companies — “CoWealth LLC” and “Basic Products LLC” — for the interest on top of the originally-sought $210,549.99.
The disputed sum is a clawback provision in a 2011 economic development deal, as the BBQ sauce plant the Brown family was starting up was supposed to create 56 jobs in the economically-challenged Northwest side of Jacksonville.
However, after five years plus, the plant created exactly zero permanent jobs, 56 jobs short of the 56 job goal.
CoWealth originally borrowed $2.65 million from Biz Capital, in addition to $380,000 from the city of Jacksonville and $220,000 of grants, for the sauce plant. The city’s interest is subordinate to that of Biz Capital.
Despite the failure of the BBQ sauce plant, the fortunes of the companies’ title manager have only gotten more favorable.
Brown is a first-term Jacksonville City Councilwoman who will spend her second straight year ensconced on the Finance Committee, in which capacity she evaluates economic development deals that, in all likelihood, will work out better in terms of tangible goals than the BBQ sauce swamp in which millions of dollars of incentive money was sunk this decade.
Brown, who drives a Porsche SUV, had shown up last Monday morning at the Jacksonville City Council for an Ethics Meeting, at which point we attempted to ask her the status of this case.
“I continue to tell you no comment. You can ask me a thousand times and I would still say no comment,” Brown said.