Other deals, however, demand thorough and timely reporting – with great risk to the public if such deals are not fleshed out in advance.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber in 2008 sought more than $1 million in upfront payments to Tennessee-based Spheris in exchange for creating a 1,000-employee, work-at-home transcription operation with an average salary of $36,000.
The company, however, had losses totaling $2.8 million two years earlier. I reported that loss, the company’s instability, and the questions were brought up when the incentives were up for a final vote by the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust.
The deal never advanced any further. Spheris filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy less than two years later and its assets were sold in a public auction.
Maybe both sides of this debate are correct. It’s a balancing act that if anything will get more difficult.