LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the headliner for LITFest calls off her concert, new connections are being revealed between the former festival’s organizer and city hall, including a sitting city director.

Ticketmaster’s website shows Grammy-award winner Ashanti has canceled her Saturday night concert. The ticket company has notified customers that refunds should be issued within 30 days.

Regarding other refunds to vendors and sponsors, a Think Rubix spokeswoman directed the question to the City of Little Rock because she said LITFest is a city event.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.’s spokesman Aaron Sadler could not share exact refund details as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Many of those details are still being worked out,” Sadler said. “We should know more in the next few days.”

Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore terminated the contract with the festival’s organizer, Think Rubix, a consulting firm, on Monday for alleged contract violations.

Tristan Wilkerson

Little Rock Technology Park Executive Director Brent Birch confirmed that Think Rubix’s Managing Principal Tristan Wilkerson was appointed by Scott as a board member of the Little Rock Tech Park Authority in 2020.

When the mayor’s office was asked for a comment about the board appointment, Sadler issued a statement noting Wilkerson’s appointment was nearly three years ago.

“It was clear he [Tristan Wilkerson] could be an asset to that board because of his experience in innovation and entrepreneurship,” Sadler wrote. “That appointment was fully within the scope of the Mayor’s responsibility. It’s quite a stretch to try to make a connection between an unpaid appointment to a board to a nullified contract in order to continue to advance a specific narrative.”

Wilkerson did not want to comment.

Earlier this week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the mayor’s former chief of staff Charles Blake assisted in Think Rubix’s bid tied to LITFest, which contradicts the city’s initial statement that Blake was not involved.

Blake currently works for Think Rubix as the company’s Vice Principal.

The city noted earlier this year that Think Rubix was the only company that submitted its proposal to a Request for Qualification.

Federal court records reveal another city connection to Think Rubix.

In a statement Tuesday, Scott said Think Rubix and the city did not do anything wrong.

“Throughout this process, both Think Rubix and the City have acted legally and within the normal bounds of contracting and procurement,” Scott wrote. “Think Rubix is a reputable company with a strong background in event planning and management, and, despite heavy scrutiny, it had been implementing plans for LITFest on behalf of the City since the contract took effect June 9.”

Little Rock Position 9 At-Large City Director Antwan Phillips

Little Rock Position 9 At-Large City Director Antwan Phillips, first elected in November 2020, represented Think Rubix in a 2021 lawsuit.

Phillips, while in his elected position, did not take part in any board vote related to Think Rubix.

Phillips did not respond to our request for comment as of Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier this week, Little Rock Vice Mayor Lance Hines called for an investigation into LITFest.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley said he carefully and fairly considers “several options.”

FBI Little Rock spokesman Connor Hagan said Wednesday he cannot comment on the vice mayor’s plea for an investigation.

“The FBI cannot confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. However, people are encouraged to contact the FBI if they have information on potential federal crimes,” Hagan said.