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Director makes another payment

May 19, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY-Washington County has received another loan payment from director Ron Maxwell, a week after county officials said he had stopped paying.

The county received $20,000 from Maxwell on Thursday, County Attorney John Martirano said.

The payment is Maxwell's third toward a $300,000 county loan in 2002 to help him film a Civil War movie called "The Last Full Measure." Because he didn't make the movie within three years, Maxwell had to repay the loan.

At 4.5 percent interest, Maxwell must pay back a total of about $340,000, according to Martirano. He now has paid about $60,000.

Maxwell filmed much of the Civil War movie "Gods and Generals" in Washington County in 2001. "The Last Full Measure" was going to be the third in a trilogy.

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Budget and Finance Director Debra Murray has said Maxwell made one quarterly payment on the loan - $19,107 - on June 26, 2006.

When he failed to make other quarterly payments, the county set up a schedule to help him catch up.

Murray has said Maxwell made one "catch-up" payment of $20,000, but missed other deadlines on that schedule.

On Friday, Martirano reiterated that the county might file a lawsuit to collect the rest, but would rather work with Maxwell as long as he makes payments.

After a story about the missed payments in the May 11 editions of The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail was picked up by The Associated Press, the newspaper received a faxed letter to the editor with Maxwell's name on it. The letter, which will be printed in Sunday's edition of The Herald-Mail, challenged the newspaper's coverage, adding, "The entire amount will be paid in the most amicable manner."

After the letter arrived, Maxwell did not respond to four requests - one by fax and three by e-mail - for an interview.

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