As discussed in this prior post, Georgia School Superintendent Kathy Cox and her husband filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition in the Newnan Division of the Northern District of Georgia. In re John Hamilton Cox, Jr. and Kathryn Burgess Cox, Ch. 7 Case No. 08-13461-WHD (filed November 17, 2008). The filing came just two months after she won, and gave away, $1 million dollars from the TV game show Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.
The Chapter 7 Trustee is apparently investigating whether or not the game show winnings, which Fox TV apparently still retains, should be part of the Chapter 7 Estate.
From Fox 5 Atlanta:
It is unclear if three public schools for deaf and blind students will get the money Cox won in August on Fox’s “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” Alex Teel, the attorney for the bankruptcy trustee, said his client was exploring making a claim on the prize money….Cox said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that it is “sad that banks and lawyers are standing in the way” of the money getting to the schools.
From Another Fox 5 Report (which includes a video interview):
Creditors, who have a legal right to seize assets from Cox and her husband, are now looking into Cox’s game show appearance. If Cox represented herself as an individual, playing for herself, the creditors may take her winnings, If it was clear that Cox was playing for charity, the money will go were Cox wants it to go, three Georgia schools for the deaf and blind.
"The evidence is all there, that I got asked to be on the show because I was the state superintendent of schools. I got asked to be on the show to play for charity. The original email that I received from FOX Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader Productions asked, ‘Would you come be a part of our charity edition shows?’" Cox recalled.
From the Atlanta Journal:
The investment firm hired to create an account for distributing the money to three public schools for blind and deaf students returned the check to Fox Broadcasting Co. in December, according to Cox and her attorney. The company, Fidelity Investments, did not want to become involved in the bankruptcy case, Cox attorney Karen White said….
White said the bankruptcy trustee representing creditors has asked for records concerning the prize money. “Whether he will ultimately assert that the state has a superior legal right to that of the [school fund’s] legal right, I don’t know,” she said. A lawyer representing the bankruptcy trustee confirmed Wednesday the creditors might make a claim on the prize money. “It is what we’re looking into,” said attorney Alex Teel. “As of yet, we haven’t seen those documents.”