Friday, August 7, 2009


Follow the unclosed circle and check marks added by the SCPR to a judgment lien filed by the State of Ohio against Pete Ferguson.

Note that the lien was filed on December 11, 2008. Ferguson was elected Stark County commissioner November 4, 2008. Nothing was said by Ferguson during the campaign about owing Ohio taxes.

Now do you think he knew in the run up to the election that he owed Ohio $13,164.31 in personal income taxes and that Ohio would be filing a lien against any property he owns which is located in Stark County?

Are voters entitled to know about material like this concerning a candidate for public office?

Do you think that maybe just maybe so folks who voted for Ferguson might have made a different choice had they known about the tax arrears?

Remember that the SCPR has already written a blog revealing that Ferguson is the subject of lawsuit in foreclosure by National City Bank (NCB) saying that Ferguson made a loan with the bank on May 1, 2007 alleges he is now in default on to the tune of some $458,000.00 plus.

In the NCB situation, it is less clear whether or not it is likely he knew (during the period he was campaigning) the lawsuit was coming post election. The SCPR believes that likely he did know and made a decision not to inform the voters.

The SCPR is of the opinion that his handling of personal finances is directly relevant to whether or not voters should have entrusted Ferguson to be part of the three person decision making processes in county budget formulation and appropriations to the tune of some $55 million annually.

Of course, we now know and only could have known as of April 3, 2009 and the foreclosure lawsuit (5 months after the election) that Ferguson has been having difficulties coping with his personal finances.

The question is: when did Ferguson first know between May 1, 2007 and November 4, 2009 that he was going to or likely to end up as a defendant in a foreclosure action.

Also, when did Ferguson first know in the context of this campaign for commissioner that the Ohio Department of Taxation would be filing a tax lien to recover $13,364.31 in personal income taxes? Hmm? Filed December 11, 2008. Does Ferguson mean to suggest to us that he was surprised when Ohio filed the lien on the 11th. The SCPR believes that the is awfully hard to swallow for most Stark Countians.

On the tax lien question, the SCPR asked Ferguson how much he owed Ohio on taxes. He pleaded ignorance only saying that he was in the process of paying the taxes.

The SCPR (which did not have a copy of the lien at the time) asked Ferguson on Wednesday how much money was the lien filed for. Again, he said he could not remember.

Another interesting thing about Ferguson's response to the SCPR's inquiry is that he refused to provide any background information as to extenuating circumstances (e.g. health care issues, etc) as an explanation for his financial difficulties.

To the SCPR, Ferguson is not credible on "not remembering" how much a lien filed only about 8 months ago was for in terms of dollars. It is equally unbelievable that he does not know how much remains to be paid on the back Ohio taxes.

Yours truly certainly would have such information fresh in mind as would most readers of this blog, if similarly situated.

According our common human experience, Commissioner Ferguson simply is not believable on his claimed ignorance on the tax lien questions posed by yours truly.

Apparently, he thinks that we Stark Countians were "born yesterday," and he can spin matters any way he wishes and the account be accepted as believable.

Think again, Commissioner Ferguson!

One other point.

As politicians are wont to do, Ferguson, playing the role of "the magnanimous one," promised to give a part of his commissioner salary - if elected - to charity.

And he may or may have actually done so. However, the SCPR is skeptical enough of this guy to want documentation and will not assume he has kept his promise.

What are the chances he will provide documentation?

If he acts like he has on e-mails (not answering an e-mail sent 3/6/09) asking specific questions and your truly's telephone conversation with him Wednesday about his financial troubles (highly unresponsive and incredible), the chances of him providing documentation on charitable giving are between "Slim and None" and "Slim" just left town.

Obviously, he doesn't understand as a public official he is accountable to his Stark County constituents. One has to wonder if he is getting counsel and advice from Canton's Mayor Healy. Because Ferguson's modus operandi is very Healy-esque.

At the end of the day the SCPR feels that Ferguson may well have run for commissioner to generate income to deal with his financial problems. And, for yours truly, this is not acceptable.

Ferguson has not come into office demonstrating a lot of initiative in coming up with ways and means to solve Stark County's many problems.

Stark County can ill afford to have Pete Ferguson as a Stark County official!

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