Augusta mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams had multiple eviction notices, records show

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Even more financial baggage surfaced Wednesday on Augusta mayoral candidate Helen Blocker-Adams.

Richmond County Marshal’s Office records show that between June 2007 and January 2013 Blocker-Adams was served with eviction or dispossessory notices more than 40 times at two Augusta apartment complexes.

The pro-business candidate, for whom former presidential candidate Herman Cain headlined a February fundraiser, acknowledged Tuesday that she was far behind on payments on three Aiken County court judgments totaling more than $70,000.

Blocker-Adams said Tuesday that she thought the debts were paid off because creditors stopped corresponding for several years. One of the creditors said he contacted her last week, and a court notice showed she was informed of a $12,000 debt last year.

The civil dispossessory and eviction actions are included in a searchable database on the city Web site created to help landlords identify problematic tenants who don’t pay rent or otherwise violate the terms of a lease, said Marshal Steve Smith.

Landlords pay a fee to have a dispossessory notice personally served to a tenant who hasn’t paid rent, Smith said. If the tenant doesn’t respond, the second action is evicting the tenant.

Woodcrest Apartments off Sibley Road had Blocker-Adams served with a dispossessory notice 29 times and eight times with an eviction notice between 2007 and 2011, according to records.

More recently, Hunters Run apartments had her served with dispossessory notices in September 2012 and January 2013.

Blocker-Adams offered the explanation Tuesday that her unpaid debts were a common phenomenon, and that hers came about during a dark period of her life.

She said little Wednesday about why she had nearly lost her Augusta apartment so many times.

“I will make a statement at a designated time,” she said.

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Willow Bailey
20624
Points
Willow Bailey 05/15/14 - 08:33 am
7
1
Yes, edcushman, and

Yes, edcushman, and eliminated they should be!
One does not need to be wealthy to have integrity, but they must be honest and a good steward of what they have to qualify to manage the funds of others.

Marinerman1
13942
Points
Marinerman1 05/15/14 - 08:34 am
10
2
Say What You Want, BUT.....

While HBA may have skeletons coming out of her closet, a segment of ARC elected the same kind of individual as HBA -- "I can't pay my property taxes", "I have a copy of Fred Russell's hard drive", Marion Williams.

nocnoc
106231
Points
nocnoc 05/15/14 - 08:41 am
4
2
Austin - there is a problem in what you say....

Too many of us know how good you are at digging up dirt and the enormous connections you have. (serious)

So if you are 1/2 as good as we sometimes begrudgingly must admit
there lays the problem in your statement.

Many feel you are too good, not to have know earlier.
In short you are fighting your own persona.

Btw: while we pick at you from time to time many of us appreciate your skills and community service.

Austin Rhodes
3500
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/15/14 - 08:40 am
4
5
Edward1968

You have a reading comprehension problem? How much more quickly should UNVETTED information be put on the air?

Edward1968
1007
Points
Edward1968 05/15/14 - 08:46 am
4
4
Austin

My comment was posted before I read your reply and explanation of why you didn't post the information sooner. Too bad you didn't consider that possibility. But I guess that is just you being you.

Willow Bailey
20624
Points
Willow Bailey 05/15/14 - 08:42 am
1
1
Marinerman1, that kind of

Marinerman1, that kind of thinking says, previous mistakes justify future ones. Also the information on Williams did not surface until after he was elected, although it likely would have made no difference in his district. As a community and a nation, we need to think forward by taking what we have learned and making better decisions.

Austin Rhodes
3500
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/15/14 - 08:47 am
7
3
Nocnoc...

I learn new stuff all the time. While I would love to say I am better, smarter, and prettier than everyone else in local media, the searchable database with the Marshal's dept was a new one on me. Never heard of it before yesterday.

...and with the earlier info...unless we run AIKEN COUNTY background checks on all local Georgia candidates, we may never know what else is out there...

I strongly suggest we ask for financial background info for all candidates for important office. That is the only way to make sure these things are known.

rmwhitley
6379
Points
rmwhitley 05/15/14 - 08:48 am
0
0
She is
Unpublished

the answer to all of y'alls problems: black, female and financially challanged. democrats love those traits in a woman. "The War on Women Continues". And coyotes don't have fleas.

Austin Rhodes
3500
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/15/14 - 08:50 am
3
5
Edward1968

I have been discussing this nonstop on my show...and my show's Facebook page since it started. Also there is a full column on this topic currently running in the Spirit. Shoot me your address, and I will make sure to come by your house and give you the musical version of the story, complete with laser light show.

b1
1360
Points
b1 05/15/14 - 08:56 am
0
0
unbelievable

She needs to bow out of the race. no way she needs to be a mayor with these issues.
Just throwing this in...Vote YES for splost. 40% is funded from people that live outside Richmond County. that is a no brainer!

Riverman1
163294
Points
Riverman1 05/15/14 - 09:03 am
4
2
Hey, this may help her with

Hey, this may help her with some segment of the voters actually. She appeared to be a little weak in that category previously. Remember Marion Barry?

corgimom
55849
Points
corgimom 05/15/14 - 09:18 am
7
2
This isn't an "attack" on

This isn't an "attack" on HBA, but the truth.

Voters have a right to know if their candidates are financially irresponsible.

She seems to have a problem with paying her bills.

Austin Rhodes
3500
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/15/14 - 09:25 am
3
3
Dicho...

The Marshal's searchable database is a new one on me, as I said before. The only way to know this stuff about a person, the financial background, is to run a confirmed credit check, complete with SS numbers. Doing that type of thing without proper permission, or reason, I believe is illegal.

Ironically, REVEALING what the illegal background check uncovers, is NOT illegal. Go figure.

The Aiken County stuff is kind of a fluke, because she is running for Georgia office. The reason we had it "delivered" to us, is that the guy who is owed the money decided he wanted to release it.

Willow Bailey
20624
Points
Willow Bailey 05/15/14 - 09:30 am
3
2
Why attack the messenger? And

Why attack the messenger?
And if something really matters to you, it's relatively easy to do your own investigating. Just saying.

It's also more important than "paying the bills". It's about owning what is true, learning from our mistakes, and making the right decisions. She's had way too many learning opportunities to keep on this destructive path. That doesn't make her a bad person, just not one who is up to the challenge of this office.

Riverman1
163294
Points
Riverman1 05/15/14 - 09:51 am
4
3
Austin NOT Talking...Heh

Yeah, Amen to what Willow says and all that. I hope HBA works it all out. But for goodness sakes, don't get on Austin for NOT talking. We are usually trying to get him to shut up.

Riverman1
163294
Points
Riverman1 05/15/14 - 09:55 am
6
2
Anyone Could Run A Credit Check

I think most anyone could run a credit check on you. When you try out cars at a dealership, don't they usually do that? The thing with HBA and the Chronicle is that she had been around so long everyone thought they knew everything about her. Michael Ryan cut her too much slack always is my take on the endorsement. The red flag to me is she had never actually DONE anything. The Chronicle whitewashed all that.

Austin Rhodes
3500
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/15/14 - 10:00 am
3
3
HBA's career centers on "community organizing"...

Seriously...so a tangible track record is a bit difficult to disclose even under the best of conditions...

As far as running a credit check...the only accurate credit checks must include SS numbers and date of birth. I do believe that running an unauthorized check is illegal.

prov227
7894
Points
prov227 05/15/14 - 10:19 am
3
2
Community organizing ...

Who else do we know who came from the profession of "community organizing"? And which community is being organized? "Community organizing", code for "running for office". We need to reduce the allowances (salaries) of all elected offices in Richmond County.

mllange
156
Points
mllange 05/15/14 - 10:30 am
0
0
Someone must really be

Someone must really be threatened by HBA. Will the Chronicle also now run some investigative reporting into ALL other mayoral candidates finances or background. Since several commenters have mentioned that we deserve the truth on the candidates.

RivieraRed
24
Points
RivieraRed 05/15/14 - 10:48 am
0
0
No Dirty Tricks

I have read some of the conspiracy theories floating around this morning and specifically set up this account to respond:
- I am the individual that released the copies of the Civil Judgments against Helen Blocker Adams on Monday. The information was released to Austin Rhodes (exactly as he has characterized) and the Augusta Chronicle late morning.
- Contrary to Ms. Adams' statements, her campaign website had received notice Sunday that these facts were to be released Monday.
- I have no direct connection to any of these candidates for Mayor. The only one I have any personal knowledge of is Ms. Adams. This release was not politically motivated but morally motivated.
- I am a personal friend of one of Ms. Adams victims.
- I have known about her failure to pay her debts or even communicate with this family for over 10 years.
- I only released the information AFTER I received permission from the victim, which occurred Friday of last week.
- As some of you have commented, this information and what it says about Ms. Adams' character is absolutely germane to this campaign.
- Ms. Adams said Tuesday that she will pay any legal obligation that she has. We should all hold her to her promise. That would reflect positively on her character.
- If she does fulfill these obligations in a timely and responsible fashion (i.e. paying her debts in full), She should be praised for doing the honorable thing and we should entertain her candidacy in the future.
- If she does NOT fulfill these obligations in full and in a timely fashion, she should not stand for election and we should reject her and anyone who victimizes others (physically, financially or psychologically).
- I hope to hear TODAY, that she has taken complete responsibility for her actions/choices, without rhetorical qualifiers and that she has committed to an aggressive plan of restoration of her financial health and her credibility. That would demonstrate humility, honesty, transparency and leadership. I anticipate we will hear more excuses, deflections and equivocation which, for me, will relegate her to the trash heap of dishonest politicians who will say anything to get elected.

In closing, this situation brings me no joy. My friend and his family have been harmed. Any individual who has purchased a Ford automobile or borrowed from any bank has been harmed by her (and others like her) who make a pledge to re-pay and don't. EVERYBODY ELSE has to pay her debt if she doesn't. That is how our economic system is and it isn't fair for innocent responsible families to have to pay for the irresponsible. I am not judging Ms. Adams but her actions. She invited we, the voters, to do so. She has this moment in the spotlight to lead and teach, as she has aspired. I will await pure, honest, true responsibility and action on her part.

Truth Matters
14515
Points
Truth Matters 05/15/14 - 10:54 am
2
3
Hopefully, HBA will realize

Hopefully, HBA will realize that it is possible to make a contribution to one's community without being in public office. Judging from comments here she has fostered a lot of goodwill from many in the public, but understandably not from her creditors.

Having had to take a tenant to court before, I can tell you it leaves a very bitter taste in ones mouth. I had to take off from work and travel to make the court appearance, not to mention the run around and broken promises that the bill would be paid. Being in the public eye, HBA has some serious fence mending to do with her creditors. Those who advised her to pay her debts were spot on. Also, forget about public office, you have more pressing priorities.

Riverman1
163294
Points
Riverman1 05/15/14 - 10:59 am
4
2
Psychological Problem?

The number of times she would be late enough on her rent to require legal action indicates more than a money problem. Does she have some kind of psychological problem?

Truth Matters
14515
Points
Truth Matters 05/15/14 - 11:56 am
3
2
AC endorses HBA

To me an assessment of which candidate is most qualified is relative to who else is running in said race. Just because AC gave HBA their endorsement before, did not necessarily mean she merited same endorsement this time against a different field of candidates.

I wonder if the AC felt their hand was forced by the Metro Spirit asking if they would endorse HBA again.

Many think the endorsement was political staging. For some an endorsement from the AC is a death nail. There are people who vote the opposite of the AC, no matter what. For that reason, one wonders if the endorsement of HBA was a calculation that has now back fired.

Riverman1
163294
Points
Riverman1 05/15/14 - 12:10 pm
4
1
The AC endorsement was not a

The AC endorsement was not a death knell for HBA. It helped her with the white voters who are a sizeable lot. I believe all this came about exactly as Austin said, more or less by accident.

So who do the white voters go to now? Alvin or Hardie? I suspect Hardie. For whatever reason, Al Mason's campaign never caught on against the machine Hardie Davis commands.

shamrock
585
Points
shamrock 05/15/14 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Not Surprised

While I was a little surprised at the financial problems of HBA, I really wasn't surprised at how many people are willing to give a "pass" on the financial woes. I find it hard to believe that since failing to pay a debt is not legally theft .... it is morally. If it was, she would be facing jail time. She does not need to be the Mayor!

Sweet son
17729
Points
Sweet son 05/15/14 - 12:30 pm
1
1
So, Austin

why don't you post the exact link to these civil problems that HBA seems to have so the rest of us can make our own decisions.

I know you can check criminal and civil matters on the City/County site but it would be nice for you or someone would make it easier by posting the exact link.

Thanks.

Austin Rhodes
3500
Points
Austin Rhodes 05/15/14 - 12:34 pm
1
1
Everything I have discussed...

...is verified in this article by the AC...it is all right there on the Marshal's website.

carcraft
52276
Points
carcraft 05/15/14 - 01:13 pm
2
3
I supported HBA, I really do

I supported HBA, I really do hope she gets her financial act together.

srheault
2
Points
srheault 05/15/14 - 02:00 pm
0
0
Really? We need intensive background checks!!

You know. This is what i don't understand. We "hire" these people but no one does a thorough background check on these dirt bags! And we acted surprised when this arises!
I apply for a job I give urine. Sign a non compete. Have a background check. Social media is checked, etc. Here is a state employee that feels "entitled" again!!

RivieraRed
24
Points
RivieraRed 05/15/14 - 02:24 pm
0
0
No Political Dirty Trick

I am new to this Blog and submitted a better version of this earlier (that didn't show up for some reason). If it does show up, I apologize for posting twice.

I have been reading the comments being posted by others and wanted to offer an informed perspective on the HBA Aiken Civil Judgment disclosure. There are no political dirty tricks here. The Press had nothing to do with this. This is about the victims of Ms. Adams' financial misdealing and exposing her lack of transparency.
- I was the one who released copies of the Aiken County judgments on Monday. They were printed off at the Aiken courthouse the previous Monday so they are current. I sent copies to Austin Rhodes (exactly as he has described) and to the Augusta Chronicle.
- I only released these records after asking permission from one of Ms. Adams' victims. That occurred last Friday (the 9th).
- I have no connection to any of the candidates for Mayor. My connection to this is through the family Ms. Adams has a debt to.
- I have known about this debt for over 10 years and know Ms. Adams has made no legitimate attempt to resolve this matter, though it remains a legal obligation. She didn't pay as prescribed, she didn't bother to call or write, she simply ignored her obligation and the efforts made to have her pay her debt.
- Ms. Adams' campaign was notified Sunday May 11th that this information would be released Monday May 12th.
- As many of the comments have indicated, this information is germane to the campaign for Mayor. It speaks of the character of the person seeking office. Her statements that she thought these matters had been resolved years ago should be examined by the press and the voters. Resolved how? She knows that she has not paid the family covered by one of the judgments. New public information has shown that she knew Ford Motor Company (one of the other judgments) was still pursuing payment as recently as last year. The records of the debt are still on public view in Aiken County. How could she make such a statement?
- On Tuesday, Ms. Adams looked into a camera and said she would pay her legal obligations. I hope she will honor that commitment and pay all her creditors, in full and in a timely fashion. If she does, we should all celebrate that she did the right thing, then give her consideration for public office, but not until.
- If she does not follow through and pay all of these debts in a timely fashion, the voters of Richmond County should hold her (and anyone else in the same boat) accountable for victimizing all of us. You see, when anyone defaults on a debt, we all pay. If you have bought a Ford automobile in the past few years, you have paid extra to cover Ms. Adams' "bad debt". If anyone has borrowed from any bank, you are paying higher costs to pay for Ms. Adams' "bad debt". That is how our economy works.
- Ms. Adams has hurt my friend and his family by failing to fulfill the commitment she made to them. I do not doubt that she has experienced hard times, but so has my friend. Hard times do not excuse the obligation or the decency to stay engaged in an effort to make good on ones commitments.

In closing, we should all hope Ms. Adams looks into the camera at today's news conference and tells the truth about her obligations and her plans to resolve each one, with or without the title of Mayor. If she does and if she follows through, she will have the subject of her next book. But if she looks into the camera today and makes excuses, accusations or carefully parses her words so as to qualify her commitments, the voters of Augusta should relegate her to the trash heap of dishonest politicians who will say anything to get your vote! Here's hoping for honesty, humility and a plan to restore her credit and reputation by fulfilling all of her obligations.

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