pe-tp-basilstewart

Summerside Basil Stewart insisted there would be a concert months after the city started trying to get its money back. ((CBC))

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart was insisting that a major concert was on for Summerside just days before the Nov. 1 election, even though the city had been trying to get its money back since April.

In an interview recorded with CBC News three days before the municipal election, which never made it to air, Stewart insisted that there would be a concert in July.

"This concert that will be held next year will be probably one of the bigger ones on the Island," said Stewart.

"We do have a contract. There's an inaccurate comment get out there a month or so or two ago about no contract. We do have a contract. The concert will take place next summer."

Late in January Summerside filed a lawsuit against American promoter Katrina Berg Sussmeier. In its statement of claim the city alleges Sussmeier promised the city it would be the first stop for a Michael Jackson tribute concert featuring Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Usher. The documents allege the show was a fraud from start to finish.

The city paid $1.3 million for the tribute concert, and it wants its money back. The statement of claim says the city first started working to get its money back on April 27, and continued those efforts up to the time it filed the lawsuit.

In addition to saying in the pre-election interview the concert would be going ahead, Stewart responded to a question about the $1.2 million price tag for it and whether that was a good investment.

"I'm not going to comment on things my opponents bring up and their figures," said Stewart.

"Some of them are so out of whack it's hard to believe."

Basil Stewart told CBC last week he can't remember when he was told by senior staff that there was a breach of agreement and they were trying to recover the $1.3 million.

Sussmeier responded in a news release last week that the claims against her are meritless.