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Cincinnati Manager will meet with Mahogany's owner

Jay Hanselman

Update 09/29/2014 at 8:00PM:  Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black told council members in a memo Monday evening he will meet with Mahogany's owner Liz Rogers.

"Due to threatened litigation, I have been intentionally measured in public statements on this subject," Black wrote in the memo.  "To be clear, I intend to meet with Mrs. Rogers, soon, in order to discuss this situation."

Black told council he would report back on the results of his meeting with Rogers, and seek direction on how to proceed.

Original Post:  Cincinnati Council's Budget and Finance Committee spent two hours Monday discussing a motion to have the city manager sit down and talk with Mahogany's owner Liz Rogers.   

But a vote on the item was postponed for two weeks unless there's a special meeting before then.  

Only four members were present to vote yes on the motion, and five were needed for it to be approved.  

Rogers has requested a meeting with Harry Black.  But he has said there's nothing to discuss.  

“You are my partner, I expect for you to do the right thing,” Liz Rogers told the council committee.  “I am now holding you accountable.  I am a fighter, you will not break me, you won’t.”

Rogers closed her restaurant at The Banks earlier this month after her landlord found her in default on her lease.  

The city gave Rogers a $600,000 grant and a $300,000 loan to open Mahogany's in 2012.  She has said she wants to work with the city to find another location for her restaurant perhaps in Over-the-Rhine.

Council Member Yvette said she has no interest in Rogers and Mahogany’s being in the news anymore.

“I think it’s enough,” Simpson said.  “And what I’d like to do is not to have to draft a motion and have 5 people sign it in order for our administration to talk to one of our partners.  But that is what the city manager said to me and two other members of council in my office.  And this is the only way he has expressed to me that he’s willing to speak to her.”

Council members who support a meeting between Rogers and the city manager said they are trying to find a way to protect the city investment and work with her to repay the loan.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.