An operator of a Wichita inflatables business was found guilty Wednesday in Municipal Court on two of three misdemeanor charges for running an amusement ride business without being properly licensed.
Jesse Zogleman was ordered to pay $730 in fines and court costs for the two cases and put on probation for 12 months, according to court records.
Judge Bryce Abbott found him guilty of one charge resulting from a sting operation on July 27, when he entered into a contract to provide and operate temporary amusement rides within the city limits to a Wichita detective.
Zogleman was also found guilty of offering to provide inflatable rides owned by Moonwalks for Fun to Heartspring, which serves children with special needs, at its site on East 29th Street North on April 14. Moonwalks for Fun had its license to operate an inflatable business revoked for two years by the City Council in June 2011.
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He was found not guilty of entering a contract to provide inflatable rides to the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland at Pure Entertainment.
Zogleman runs the day-to-day operations for Moonwalks for Fun and Pure Entertainment; his father, Duane, owns the businesses.
Moonwalks for Fun owns inflatables, and Pure Entertainment has rides at its events venue. Both businesses are in the same building in west Wichita, near Tyler and Kellogg.
The companies have been under scrutiny by city officials since a 5-year-old boy died at Pure Entertainment in 2010 after falling off an inflatable provided by Moonwalks for Fun.
Moonwalks for Fun’s license was revoked because of a lapse in liability coverage. Last spring, Zogleman’s application to the city to operate an inflatable ride business under Jesse Zogleman Enterprises was denied.
In the police report on the case involving Heartspring, a city inspector noticed that Moonwalks for Fun was listed as the provider of the rides. The inspector notified a Heartspring employee that the company wasn’t licensed to operate in Wichita and also called the city’s law department.
When that employee brought the matter up to Zogleman, he told her the license would be approved by the date of Heartspring’s event, according to the police report dated April 30. The employee told a detective and the inspector that a voicemail from Zogleman said, “Everybody was rolling on the license with the city of Wichita. It’s all down there.”
On the first voicemail message the employee received from Zogleman, she said Zogleman represented himself as Jesse Zogleman Entertainment, the police report said.
After the detective and inspector finished interviewing the employee and returned to City Hall, the employee called the detective to say that Zogleman had called and told her that he was getting his license specifically for Heartspring’s event. He also said he had spoken with the city inspector that morning and he had approved it.
The detective wrote in the report that wasn’t possible because the inspector had been with him, and the inspector also said he hadn’t talked to Zogleman that day.
Zogleman did not return phone messages.
His probation is non-reporting, meaning he doesn’t have to report to a probation officer. The only other stipulation is that he has to obey all federal, state and city laws, according to court records.
Kevin Zolotor, his attorney, said a decision hasn’t been made whether Zogleman will appeal to Sedgwick County District Court. Deadline for appeal is Nov. 7.