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Former Mahogany's owner reaches deal with city

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati’s City Manager said Tuesday he has reached a financial restructuring agreement with Liz Rogers, who closed Mahogany’s at The Banks in August and still owed the city a substantial amount of money.  The plan forgives part of her debt and sets up a repayment structure.

Harry Black provided the details of the plan in a memo to Mayor John Cranley and city council members.

“This represents the most realistic means for the city to recoup monies owed,” Black wrote.  “Ms. Rogers has made plans for an upcoming food service business that will best position her to meet her financial obligations to the city.”

The proposal “restructures the loan repayment obligation to $100,000 to be repaid in monthly installments of $800/month.”  In addition, the city will release collateral on several items including a mortgage of a Hamilton, Ohio property owned by Rogers and life insurance policies.

An existing “personal guarantee” Rogers has will continue to be in effect until the loan is paid in full.

The city gave Rogers a $300,000 loan in 2012, and she was delinquent on her loan payments while the restaurant was operating.  She asked last fall that the amount be reduced to $115,000 and that payments resume in about 21 months, or about July 2016, after the restructuring.

Besides the loan, the city gave Rogers a $600,000 grant to open Mahogany's.

Rogers closed her restaurant after her landlord found her in default on her lease.  The landlord has since released the space.

Council Member Kevin Flynn recently asked the city to essentially "foreclose" on Rogers to collect the money.  But a council majority rejected his motion.

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.