Mamtek Hearings Underway

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JEFFERSON CITY - Mamtek hearings filled the entire room at the state capitol Tuesday, as witnesses lined up to testify about their roles in "Project Sugar." Only witnesses with first hand involvement in the project were allowed to testify.

Representatives from Morgan Keegan, the bond underwriters for the project, testified first. They repeatedly insisted it was Moberly's responsibility to investigate Mamtek. Representatives said Morgan Keegen made their decisions to go forward with the project based solely on Moberly's credit. Morgan Keegan said they "asked participants and Googled Mamtek," as research for the project.

The Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability presented an e-mail from DED, dated April 2010, that expressed concern over the existence of a Mamtek plant in China. Morgan Keegan had no knowledge of the e-mail.

The attorney for UMB also testified, making it clear his only responsibility was to protect the rights of bond holders. He had no part in issuing the bonds. The attorney also had no knowledge of the e-mail from DED's China correspondent, questioning the China plant's existence.

Next, the Moberly Mayor, President of Moberly Economic Development and Director of Finance testified. Corey Mahaffy, of economic development, broke down soon after starting the testimony. Mayor Bob Riley momentarily took over. The Moberly officials stated the city did do it's due diligence in researching Mamtek. However, Moberly officials are not experts, and relied on the diligence of DED and Morgan Keegan, along with other attorneys and bond underwriters.

Before last week, Moberly officials had not seen the e-mail from China's DED correspondent.

Moberly officials said DED has not helped in the search for a new company to fill the Mamtek space. The committee chair said he will present a suggestion to DED Wednesday, to stop other work, and make finding a replacement company DED's top priority.

The hearings are set to run throughout Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

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