JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Love Shack owner John Cornetta raised $1,400 at a public event on Sunday designed to benefit civil services in Johns Creek - but the city has not yet agreed to accept the money.
Cornetta and porn director Mike South served as the targets in a booth where participants paid $20 for the chance to douse them in flour. South stood in for Johns Creek mayor Mike Bodker, who refused the Love Shack owner's public challenge to participate in the event.
Cornetta has been locked in a legal battle with Johns Creek since he opened his Love Shack store in the city over a year ago. The adult retailer has lambasted the city for spending over $150,000 to shut down his store when that money could have been used to fund fire and other rescue services.
After a Memorial Day fire killed Fulton County firefighter Felix Roberts and Johns Creek resident John Callahan, Cornetta established a charitable foundation for the victims' families and the city's fire department. He dedicated a percentage of the Love Shack's summer profits to the cause, setting out a collection bucket in the store for customers to contribute.
Cornetta presented a check for $2,913 to the city Sept. 28, but the city sent it back on the grounds that it could be perceived as an attempt to influence the outcome of the Love Shack litigation.
Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few angrily chastised Cornetta in an e-mail for attempting to make the donation as a publicity grab to push his own agenda.
"You have sought to use the death of a hero and other firefighters in order [to] move forward with or push an agenda," Few wrote in the e-mail, "and I personally find that unpleasant."
Ironically, as Cornetta and South were holding the event Saturday, a massive fire destroyed the home of a local single mother and her two daughters. All three survived, but the family lost everything.
Said South, "Playing the mayor was very tough for me to do — I had never been that big of a putz my whole life."
Should Mayor Bodker reject the money raised Saturday, Pastor Michael Cole — chairman of the Cornetta Charitable Foundation Board of Advisers and clergyman at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill — will decide how it is disbursed.
For more information and/or donation inquiries, contact Kate Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 458-4386 ext. 105.