Washington Board of Education member Frank Shaffer-Corona has been accused by hotels in Mexico City and San Francisco of paying bills with checks that bounced.
The hotels have asked the school board to help collect their money. But board president Minnie S. Woodson said the bills are a "personal matter" between Shaffter-Corona and the hotels even though in one case, she said, Shaffer-Corona has been paid travel expenses by the city government.
When asked about the hotels' complaints, Shaffter-Corona declared, "I don't go around the world passing bad checks." He said both incidents were caused by "lack of understanding and poor communications," and added: "They're being taken care of."
However, in telephone interviews yesterday, officials of both hotels, the Luma in Mexico City and the Commodore in San Francisco, said the bills still have not been paid.
Roger Krakow, the manager of the Commodore, said Shaffer-Corona owes $111.79 for a check he signed Nov. 8 that was returned for insufficient funds.
Luis Carranza, the assistant manager of the Luma, said his hotel is owned $220 for a check Shaffer-Corona signed Nov. 26.
Shaffer-Corona said he asked his bank to stop payment on the check to the Luma after he learned that his hosts in Mexico had paid the hotel bill with a money order.
"I'm sorry," Carranza remarked yesterday. "Nobody has paid that bill. We're trying to do it in a nice way. The only thing we want is the money." Carranza said Shaffer-Corona's check had been returned for insufficient funds by the Hemisphere National Bank of Washington.
Yesterday evening, Carranza said Shaffer-Corona had phoned him shortly after a reporter had asked about the bill. He said Shaffer-Corona promised that the bill would be paid promptly.
"We'll wait and see," Carranza said."
Shaffer-Corona said the check he wrote to the Commodore in San Francisco was drawn on the account of Inter-American Enterprises, a Washington firm with which he is associated.
"I have an accountant who handles these things for me," Shaffer-Corona said. "There must have been a book-keeping error."
Krakow, the manager of the Commodore, said he only accepted the check becuase Shaffer-Corona identified himself as a member of the Washington school board and said he was attending a convention in San Francisco of big city school boards.
After the check bounced twice, Karakow said he wrote to board president Woodson. He said she replied that Shaffer-Corona had been paid travel expenses, but that the board had no control of the money after that.
"It's such a discouraging thing," Krakow said.