John Carr began his alloted three minutes to address the council in the Open Forum/Citizen Comments section of the August 21st meeting by saying Brian Brooks has defiled his name and misquoted him. He encouraged everyone to listen to the tape of the recordings from the August 7th meeting. During that meeting, John Carr spoke of the contractor the City of Forney has been using to help research different possibilities of acts, contract terms, and the different aspect involved in the planning of events at the Spellman Amphitheater. He ended saying, "Freedom isn't free in Forney."
It all began on August 7th during the regularly scheduled Forney City Council Meeting. John Carr, along with several other people, stood up in opposition of the sale of beer and wine at the Spellman Amphitheater. The Forney Post on August 9th quotes Carr as saying:
“I want to point out that in your hurry to approve this proposal and hire a promotions company someone has not done their homework and mistakes are being made. Look a little closer at the promotion group and you will discover that someone on your staff did not do their job with the diligence due or they would have discovered that the PM Entertainment Group that your considering was recently required to bid on a contract they had had with the Oklahoma City Council for five years. They will discover that the Oklahoma City Council had trouble with them because they were over serving alcohol at events. It was published in the Oklahoma papers . It wasn't that hard to discover.”
The actual recording, in pertinent part, from the night's events reveals, the following:
“[John Carr states his name and address for record] I don't feel good about what's going on with the amphitheater and ya'll know why, I'm not going to break that up. The people that you've been looking at to run the venues, the main contractor, probably need to do a little more due diligence. They have lost their bid to the City of Oklahoma City because of poor conduct on their part, they have allowed too much alcohol. They, the City of Oklahoma City has had a lot of trouble keeping them in line, so for the first time in 5 years they cannot get it without a bid and they lost that bid to somebody with no experience. So in the hurry to get this done there are mistakes being made in the process that need to be, that somebody needs to put their brakes on and do their due diligence and don't just make it about the alcohol. Make sure that when you get a promoter in that it isn't just about alcohol, that it's about whether or not they are qualified, what's their track record, are they going to bring in the kind of people that we want in our community or whatever that means. Uhm you know because if you do decide to go with a coordinator I think that's a good idea, we don't want one that's been essentially kicked out of a city of a million people. I personally don't, but somebody didn't do their due diligence on that.”
After the August 7th City Council meeting, several council members asked City Manager Brian Brooks to explain the information presented to them by John Carr during the Open Forum/Citizen Comment portion of the meeting. An internal memo sent on Monday, August 13, 2012, at 5:02 p.m., by Brian Brooks to the Forney City Council, city attorney, city engineer, and the Forney Police and Fire Chiefs details the information that was gathered:
“On Tuesday Night, John Carr spoke in Citizens’ Comments regarding the reputation of PM Group. First and foremost, the City does not have a contract with any company. We have spoken at length with PM Group, and they have provided the City with advice and information with regard to the amphitheater. Second, the information stated by Mr. Carr was completely false. He stated that PM Group was dismissed by the Zoo Amphitheater for poor performance and “overselling” alcohol. There was no information to support this fact online. Moreover, I personally spoke with the City Manager of Oklahoma City, Jim Couch, about PM Group (known as FM Group in Oklahoma) and their performance. He stated that the Zoo Amphitheater Board chose a different contractor simply because they wanted different kind of acts. When asked specifically about overselling alcohol or any issues with safety and security, Mr. Couch stated that they had no issues with PM Group. Whether Mr. Carr intentionally misstated information or not, I have been informed that he may be subject to a defamation suit for his public comments.”
According to Carr, the PM Group, through Forney's Guest and Gray Attorney's Office, has served a Cease and Desist order on him for his remarks in open public pertaining to the character of the PM Group. John Carr feels Brian should have contacted him first to clarify his remarks in the open meeting on August 7th. But Brian Brooks said he didn't need to, that he had made himself very clear. “[Carr] said we didn't do our diligence but what he accused me of is exactly what I did, I went back to do my due diligence. I read through the websites and didn't see anything there, I went through and looked through all the contracts, I contacted the only contact I had with the company, which was Scott Gray.” He went on to mention that he also contacted Jim Couch, City Manager of Oklahoma City, for more information as referenced above in his internal memo.
All of the above events led to John Carr's comments on August 21st at the City Council meeting. With no evidence to substantiate any wrongdoing on the part of PM Group, Carr made unsubstantiated statements that the PM Group felt may be deemed libelous.
The MP3 file below is the recording from the August 7th meeting.