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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two companies headed by a state senator who operates gas stations and convenience stores in the Columbus and Cleveland areas have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reported the Associated Press.
State Sen. Jeffry Armbruster, a North Ridgeville Republican, is president of Armbruster Energy Enterprises and CEO of Pinzone Armbruster Inc., both of Westlake in suburban Cleveland. The filing comes after Shell Oil halted gasoline sales at 18 of Armbruster's central Ohio locations. Shell shut off the pumps to the central Ohio stores on Oct. 29 for what it called a "banking-related issue." The pumps began to be turned on Friday night. The convenience stores and carwashes stayed open.
Court records show the companies owe $43,753 in delinquent state taxes and $9,879 in lottery tickets. Armbruster Energy Enterprises also owes Shell Oil $198,722, according to court documents.
The companies run stores and gas stations as part of relationships with Shell, True North Energy and Marathon. They also have 19 lottery terminals in central Ohio and five in the Cleveland area, the lottery commission said.
Armbruster Energy avoided having its lottery terminals shut down by meeting a Friday deadline to pay $22,000 for lottery sales the week of Oct. 24 in central Ohio, the commission said.
Lottery spokeswoman Marie Kilbane said the lottery is reviewing the situation. Typically, it stops lottery sales at locations involved in bankruptcies.
Gas sales at several Cleveland stations continued uninterrupted. Shell is not involved in the Cleveland stations.