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Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame faces eviction, files for bankruptcy to 'pause' proceedings

Posted at 2:22 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 20:07:19-05

TULSA, Okla. — The troubled Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame files for bankruptcy. This comes as the Tulsa County Industrial Authority (TCIA) is currently in the middle of an eviction suit against the non-profit over taxes and utilities.

The attorney for the TCIA confirmed last Friday that they found out about the bankruptcy filing before a hearing about the eviction.

Now, the authority's case is on hold until the Jazz Hall's bankruptcy case goes through the court, which could take at least two to three months.

“The stay means we can't take any action against them nor can any of the other list of creditors that are in bankruptcy filing," said Kristopher Koepsel, an attorney for the TCIA. "We are not the only person or entity they owe money to.”

Koepsel also said this is not the first time the Jazz Hall has fallen behind on payments. He said, through the years, the authority has had to send multiple notices about failure to pay.

"They pay one dollar a year for rent and then they pay the utilities and they have a subtenant in there that pays 5 thousand dollars a month which probably covers utilities and those assessments,” Koepsel said. “So, I'm not sure. No idea where the money went. That is everybody's question. Where is the money going?"

James Goodwin, the attorney for the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame said the pandemic has taken a major toll on the organization and that the bankruptcy filing was out of desperation.

"There should be heart in the matter considering the nature of the program and it being a nonprofit, and a place that is trying to contribute to the cultural atmosphere of the facility, think a kinder and gentler attitude ought to be taken," Goodwin said.

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