• FOX23 INVESTIGATES: The Jazz Hall of Fame hits a sour note for donors

    By: Janna Clark

    Updated:

    Quick Facts:

    • The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame lost its charitable status.
    • It claims on the website it's a "charitable organization" with a "501c3 status," which means if you donate, you get a tax write off. 
    • But it lost that status last year in February 2017 for not filing tax forms.
    • The IRS revoked it for failure to file for three consecutive years.
    • FOX23 has been investigating problems at the Jazz Hall for 6 years.
    • Tulsa County Commissioners says they've bounced checks and paid late many times.
    • A local musician says musicians don't get paid on time, and programming and education are declining.
    • Former board members tell FOX23 they quit over questionable finances.
    • WATCH FOX23's Janna Clark's full story above.

     

    The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is in trouble again. The Jazz Hall lost its charitable status, which hurts anyone who makes a donation. FOX23 found out the CEO Jason McIntosh hasn't been filing necessary tax form with the IRS.

    FOX23 asked McIntosh for an interview, and when we didn't hear back, FOX23 went to the Jazz Hall to get answers.

    "Can you please just talk for a few minutes?" asked a FOX23 reporter when she found McIntosh outside the Jazz Hall. 

    McIntosh took off and said he'd send an email.  FOX23 has not received an email explaining the Jazz Hall's failure to file tax forms.

    McIntosh also ran from a FOX23 news crew in 2014 and locked the door and wouldn't let them in.

    "He's very slick... our city watches and every time there's a story, they say tsk tsk, it's so bad over there. But no one does anything," said Jazz Musician Rebecca Ungerman.

    Ungerman says musicians don't get paid on time and events and education programs at the Jazz Hall are declining.

    "It breaks my heart... it's shrunk and shrunk and shrunk, and it's going to disappear if we don't do something," Ungerman said.

    The Jazz Hall has claimed on the website it's a "charitable organization" with a "501-c-3 status." That means if you donate, you get a tax write off. 

    But it lost that status last year in February 2017 `for not filing tax forms.

    The IRS revoked it for failure to file for three consecutive years.

    The state no longer sees the Jazz hall as a charitable organization, either.  It expired in 2016.

    "So if people are donating, there's no tax benefit to them," Ungerman said.

    FOX23 has told you about financial problems since 2012.

    It's problem after problem. It's a mountain of problems. I don't know how you get rid of a mountain of problems," Ungerman said.

    The Jazz Hall pays only $1 a year to use the Union Depot building that taxpayers paid $4 million to renovate. The Jazz Hall does pay for insurance, but Tulsa County says the Jazz Hall's bounced checks and paid late many times.

    "He catches up and cleans up and brushes it under the rug," Ungerman said about McIntosh. "Everyone knows the CEO (McIntosh) is not an effective manager. That's the nicest way I can put it."

    The Jazz Hall's website mentions three other board members. FOX23 couldn't find two, and the other wouldn't let us in his gated neighborhood.

    "Every other board member has gone away because they don't want to part of bad practices," Ungerman said.

    Sharon Moore and several other board members say they resigned over questionable finances. Moore quit eight years ago.

    "Was the board's role to provide oversight for the jazz hall?" FOX23 asked.

    "Yes," Moore said.

    "Did you feel you could provide oversight?" FOX23 asked.

     "No," Moore said.

    "The financials weren't adding up?" FOX23 asked.

    "No, Moore said.  "Nothing made sense... we asked repeatedly and couldn't get a straight answer."

    "I don't know how the organization still exists," Ungerman said. "When you constantly do the wrong thing it will catch up to you sometime, but I don't know when. I thought there would be change long before now. There needs to be change."

    "I think it's probably near the end, and that's sad." Moore said.

    Tulsa County Commissioners say their hands are tied by this 99-year lease signed in 2004.  They say losing charitable status doesn't affect the lease.  The only thing that would is if the Jazz Hall is more than 30 days late paying the county.

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