(WKBN) – Ohio Attorney General David Yost has filed paperwork in Columbiana Common Pleas Court to dismiss a civil case against the Ohio Clean Water Fund and Michael Peppel.
The case began after Second Harvest Food Bank raised concerns over the Clean Water Fund raising money for victims of the East Palestine train derailment.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office filed a civil case after Second Harvest raised concerns about the Ohio Clean Water Fund in April.
Second Harvest said the water fund — started by Columbiana County resident Mike Peppel — was claiming it had a partnership with Second Harvest.
In April, First News reported the fund raised about $141,000 — over $131,000 of which was unaccounted for until Second Harvest got a deposit on Friday.
“[On Friday], we received $256,590 from the Attorney General. We understand that that is money that was clawed back by the AG’s office,” said Mike Iberis, executive director of Second Harvest. “My understanding is that maybe it’s not all of it and that we’d be getting even more than that.”
Kelly May with the attorney general’s office told First News: “We’re in good faith discussions with the fund to resolve the issue.”
In April, Peppel said the unaccounted-for $131,000 went to “agency fees that total up to $14,118.35 and data prospecting fees that add up to $91,769.26.”
“I obviously applaud the attorney general and the good work that his his staff did in digging through the facts and in coming up with this resolution of they pay the money back and it goes to the people in need,” Iberis said.
Iberis said the $256,000 will go directly to charities still on the front lines helping those in East Palestine, and they plan to distribute that money in about a month.
Iberis said he’s appreciative of the original donors.
“It’s heartwarming to know that there’s thousands of people out there that will give money to help people that they don’t know that are going through something very difficult,” Iberis said.
First News has reached out to Ohio Clean Water Fund founder Peppel and has yet to receive a response.