Loose Lips

At-Large Candidate Says Bankruptcy Won’t Hurt Chances

LL recently checked through court records to see if any of the candidates for the special at-large D.C. Council race had any legal problems involving stealing large amounts of public funds or lying on a bank loan application in order to buy a boat. Everyone passed!

But LL did find a bankruptcy filing by John Settles, a political noob who had a campaign event today at Ben's Chili Bowl that's being hosted by some associates of former Mayor Adrian Fenty. Settles filed for bankruptcy in 2011, with court records listing $3.4 million in unpaid liabilities, including several years of federal tax liens.

Since personal financial problems, to one degree or another, played a role in the resignation and guilty pleas of former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. and former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown, as well as in the recent defeat of former At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown (who's running again), any candidate with recent financial problems might have a serious liability.

But Settles says his situation is far different from the above-named pols and he doesn't see it being a major issue on the campaign trail. Settles says his bankruptcy is the result of some real estate investments in Georgia gone sour during the housing collapse, not because of any mismangement of his personal finances.

"I was an entrepreneur," says Settles, who is currently a mortgage banker. "This isn't an ethical thing, this is an entrepreneurial thing."

Settles says the tax liens resulted after he was audited by the IRS and there were some issues involving capital gains tax exemptions. He says he filed amended returns and has since paid what he owed.

A native Washingtonian who says he felt compelled to run for the Council because he was frustrated with the city's current elected leaders' "lack of focus" on key issues, Settles also notes that filing for bankruptcy is not uncommon for real estate investors.

Settles adds that he's been up front about his bankruptcy with potential supporters and is more than happy to explain what happened to potential voters.

"Entrepreneurship is tough," he says.

  • Petworthy

    As long as he realizes his chances are zero, he can't be hurt! Settle for less . . .

  • oldbiddie

    So is counseling a city tough, Mr. Settles. Why should anyone think you would do better than other candidates who have not filed for bankruptcy or had tax liens filed against them because of audits?

    I'd just as soon keep the devils I know........

  • Timmy

    JOHN SETTLES IS A REALLY GOOD GUY, SADLY THE BANKRUPTCY IS RECENT. HE WANTS TO LEAD OUR CITY, WHILE NOT HAVING HIS OWN HOUSE IN ORDER. NOT GOOD.

    BETTER LUK NEXT TIME. HE SAYS ENTRAPRENUERSHIP IS TOUGH, THAT'S THE LAST THING WE NEED ANOTHER ENTRAPRENUER WHO WILL BENEFIT WITH DEVELOPERS LIKE DONATELI, JAMAL, LANIER, ABDO and JBG.

    SORRY JOHN, STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW.

  • Truth hurts

    Didn't Reuben Charles say the same thing?

  • oldbiddie

    Tee Hee @ Truth.

    Where is that peacocky scoundrel anyway?
    Doing time in the mid-west or something?

  • drez

    @TH- Yes. But unlike Settles he also had multiple independent judgements against him. Or so I recall.

  • Typical DC BS

    Wasn't it Forrest Gump's mama who said "Stupid is as stupid does."?

  • noodlez

    YO MR. SETTLES THE FOLLOWING IS NOT ONLY FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE BUT IT IS ALSO SOME SAGE ADVICE THAT I'M SURE YOUR FOLKS DIDN'T GIVE YOU.

    PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTN ESPECIALLY STARTING AT THE 1:45 MARK!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vQaVIoEjOM

  • DC Guy

    This is really a shame. I was all set to support this candidate. However, I cannot do so given these circumstances.

    This really should kill any viability he might have had to be on the Council in the short term.

    He should really consider stepping out of the race.

  • truth hurts

    My brother from another planet -- Creative and funny you tube link. Nice.

    I take it you're not supporting Settles, right? Who, if anyone, do you like for the special election?

    At LL: Don't be so quick to conclude Settles (or other candidates) have no legal problems (eg, unsatisfied judgments). Most bankruptcies are preceded by civil suits from creditors. Given Settles' claim that bad real estate deals in Georgia triggered his bankruptcy petition, did you check court records in Georgia? Remember Charles? Most of his judgments/liens were in Missouri and Illinois. Why? Because that's where the business ventures were located.

  • truth hurts

    @ oldbiddie -- check around South Capital Street bridge construction. I suspect you'll pick up his trail.

  • noodlez

    @TRU-IS THE FINAL GROUP SET?
    DOES EVERYONE HAVE THEIR SIGNATURES?

    I THINK THIS IS M.BROWN'S RACE TO LOSE.
    HE HAS NAME RECOGNITION. HE HAS BEEN THERE & DONE THAT.
    HE SHOULD HAVE TOOK THE TIME TO CLEAN UP HIS ACT AFTER THE LAST ELECTION. THIS IS IT FOR HIM!

    NOW IS THE TIME TO SHOW ALL THAT FAKE ASS ALL-MET BASKETBALL GAME BROWN WAS TRYING TO LAY CLAIM TO.
    MAN UP CHUMP!
    IT'S EITHER GOING TO BE JORDAN OR EHLO FOR M.BROWN AFTER THE ELECTION.

  • Drez

    It's a sad day.

  • Truth hurts

    Noodlez, your brain needs a check up. jordan, ehlo, 1989 playoffs, and dc pols. Put that spliff down, my brother.

  • NE John

    LOL, next

  • Jimmy

    Seems bankruptcy is a right of passage to being on the City Council.

  • CityRez

    Thanks for sharing information about a candidate who appears to have absolutely nothing to offer. We do not need any more elected officials lacking in vision, lacking in independent thought and leadership skills and whose own personal life sounds like a mess. On what planet does this guy spend most of this time?

  • Anonymous

    Is this guy for real? This city is full of people without vision. Why put yourself through this, go hide in a deep closet, and stay FAR AWAY form the public. SICK.

  • noodlez

    JOHN BOY THE WAY BACK SHAPE UP IS PLAYED OUT.
    SHAVE THAT SHIT OFF!

    DON'T BE A BAMMA ALL YOUR LIFE.

  • http://www.bankruptcyhelpohio.com/ Eugene Roebuck

    I really dont't believe this! This is terrible thing!

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