Blaine city council candidate John George filed for bankruptcy last month after falling more than $600,000 in debt to about 140 different creditors.
When contacted at his Blaine home, George said that circumstances warranted the move. “We made the decision to do this,” he said, “and there are some medical factors. This is not a choice I wanted to pursue but we felt we needed a fresh start. We’ve had the printing business [Fox Printing, also known as Graphic House] for over a decade. So many people have defaulted on us we got to the point to where we needed to regroup. This is the worst recession/ depression since the 1930s.”
Much of the debt is related to his business but there are also outstanding medical and dental bills and property and income taxes, according to court records.
George said he is still a viable candidate for the Blaine City Council in this fall’s general election, where he faces incumbent Charlie Hawkins. “I’m still a candidate, I got some good things for this city,” he said, adding that there are some facts about the city that will come to light in what he said is a pending investigation that includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). “The reality is that a lot of people don’t know what transpired at the city and we’ve got the state and the FBI, who have seen the material and it’s enough to warrant a full investifation,” George said, declining further comment because of pending litigation.
His claim, however, could not be independently verified.
Bankruptcy court, was not George’s only swing through the courts. In October 2003 George was charged with four crimes related to an incident at his home, including a suspected assault in the fourth degree (domestic violence), two violations of a no-contact order, and also a malicious mischief charge. The charges were all dismissed when George later completed some diversionary programs.
Jacque Peterson is one of George’s creditors. She runs her Lighthouse Printing and Design business out of her Birch Bay home and said she did a lot of work for him and was never paid.
“He blames the economy but his bills with me go back to 2007,” she said, citing one invoice dated December 27, 2007, for $1,100. “We also never got a re-sale certificate from him, which would allow us to legally sell work wholesale to his printing business and not charge sales tax. That’s pretty basic stuff,” Peterson said.
George responded by repeating that he “can’t make any comments, beyond saying that much of what’s been reported is grossly inaccurate from media that doesn’t like me.”
“This bankruptcy story has nothing to do with the election,” George continued. “There’s 2,500 bankruptcies per year in Nevada alone because the economy has slowed in every business I know of. But there’s litigation involved at this point so right now we really can’t comment any further.”
“I know times are tough,” said Peterson, “but owing that many people that much money is a chronic situation and not just due to market fluctuations.”