WASHINGTON -- A top U.S. lawmaker and GM seem to be at odds over whether an Ohio dealer has been reinstated.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Friday had been told by "a high-ranking GM official" that Rose Chevrolet of Hamilton, Ohio, had prevailed in arbitration, a spokesman said. Today, Boehner wanted to know why General Motors Co. hadn't yet informed the dealer.
GM declined to say if the dealership has been reinstated. GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney in an email today wondered who at GM might have spoken with Boehner.
For now, confusion prevails.
"There are some questions GM needs to answer," Boehner's spokesman, Cory Fritz, said in a phone interview today. "Why would they let us know without letting the dealer know? It doesn't make sense to us."
Boehner was contacted Friday, June 11, by a GM official, said Fritz, who declined to name the source.
Said GM’s Carney in an e-mail: “Not sure whom Congressman Boehner is referring to from GM.” Carney declined further comment.
Boehner's statement on Friday read: "Today's news is all that Rose Chevrolet asked for: a fair decision based on their record as one of the best dealerships in southwest Ohio."
Boehner since learned from the dealership that it had received no such call from GM, Fritz said.
Still, Boehner isn't backing off from his formal statement.
"The facts in our mind are no different from what we heard on Friday," Fritz said.
Boehner, whose district includes Hamilton, near Cincinnati, had written a letter to GM a year ago requesting that Rose Chevrolet be reinstated.
The dealership had been told last June that it was being wound down and would be closed by October 2010.
Rose Chevrolet, owned by Ed Larkin, confirmed today that it has not yet heard either from GM or the arbitrator about the outcome.
"We're all sitting on pins and needles," said Rose Chevrolet sales manager Mark Frauenknecht.
Rose Chevrolet had its arbitration hearing in Cleveland from Tuesday June 8 to Thursday June 10, he said.
The dealership didn't expect an arbitration decision until next week, Frauenknecht said.