PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The city has initiated a criminal investigation and the sheriff has filed a lawsuit following the cancelation of the Three Rivers Regatta.
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich assigned detectives to investigate the conduct of LionHeart Event Group, a promotions company owned by Derek Weber that was hired to operate the Three Rivers Regatta, which was canceled Tuesday morning.
“We believe there is enough to initiate a criminal investigation and to determine potential victims,” Hissrich said in a statement.
Among those victims, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office said it is owed over $32,000 for security services provided last year.
“He gave assurances that he was going to forward the money that was invoiced,” Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kraus told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
“However, on multiple occasions, he didn’t pay and ultimately still hasn’t paid.”
On Thursday, the sheriff’s office became the first to file what could be a number of civil lawsuits against LionHeart for failure to pay vendors and government agencies involved in last year’s regatta.
“Once we learned that there were also other entities and organizations that weren’t paid, that raised a red flag that prompted us to file this action immediately,” Kraus said.
Among others owed are the city of Pittsburgh and the state’s Department of Conservation & Natural Resources — responsible for Point State Park.
Sources tell KDKA that Weber and LionHeart took a bath financially when few people showed up at another event Weber promoted — the LionFire Music Festival in Butler in May 2018, shortly before the regatta.
KDKA reached out to Weber, but he has not responded for comment.
A private residence in Ross is listed as the registered office of LionHeart Event Group.
While packages were in the driveway and a legal notice of the Sheriff’s lawsuit was stuck in the door, nobody answered when KDKA knocked.