Coliseum Defendant Wants Charges Dropped; Ex-GM Indicted Again | WGLT

Coliseum Defendant Wants Charges Dropped; Ex-GM Indicted Again

Jun 28, 2018

One of the defendants in the Coliseum fraud case wants the charges against him dismissed—and another now faces a fresh batch of indictments.

Paul Grazar of Normal is the former general manager at the city-owned arena’s in-house food and beverage company, BMI Concessions. Grazar, 50, of Normal, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of theft and tax evasion. He was one of five former managers of the Coliseum to be indicted in September 2017.

Grazar’s attorney, Phil Finegan, filed a motion to dismiss those charges June 18. Finegan argued that some of the allegations fall outside the three-year statute of limitations on theft charges. He also argued that the charges as filed did not provide enough detail about the alleged crimes.

“A defendant has a fundamental due process right to be informed of the nature and cause of the criminal charges brought against him,” Finegan wrote.

Grazar was previously in negotiations with prosecutors to resolve the charges against him, The Pantagraph reported in May.

“I would categorize negotiations as over,” Finegan told GLT.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have re-filed charges against Bart Rogers, the former general manager at the Coliseum. He worked for John Butler, the now-indicted owner of Central Illinois Arena Management. (The venue is now called Grossinger Motors Arena and managed by a different company, VenuWorks.)

Rogers, 47, of Morton, was initially indicted in 2017 on 13 counts for his alleged role in the multiyear fraud scheme. But a judge ordered those charges dismissed in April, after his attorney argued the charges were not specific enough and that some of them alleged conduct beyond the three-year statute of limitations for theft.

At the time, prosecutors said they might re-file charges. That happened May 30, when Rogers was indicted on seven new counts of theft. The new bills of indictment attempt to address the statute-of-limitations issue, with new language alleging Rogers breached a “fiduciary obligation” and that charges were filed within one year after prosecutors became aware of the alleged offense.

The new charges do not provide significantly more detail about the scheme or Rogers’ alleged role in it.

“The state isn’t required to provide charges beyond a reasonable doubt and is not required to present all facts which show guilt,” prosecutors wrote in a May motion. “All charges in criminal cases would have unanswered questions if analyzed for completeness.”

Rogers is due back in court Tuesday. Grazar is due back July 18.

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