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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RivieraRed 05/15/14 - 01:24 pm
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.

harley_52 05/15/14 - 02:37 pm
It Really Is Odd....

...that with all the time spent in public life, this information is just NOW being discovered. I agree with @dichotomy. What took so long?

Not blaming Austin Rhodes in any way here. He did the Community a real service, even if partly by accident. Also, give Harley Drew a little credit for stumbling into a good story.

Riverman1 05/15/14 - 03:17 pm
Different Twist

"Also, give Harley Drew a little credit for stumbling onto a good story."

Now that's a different twist. Harley lives in North Augusta, keep in mind.

harley_52 05/15/14 - 04:47 pm
...point to ponder
...point to ponder 05/15/14 - 10:17 pm
vote NO on splost…and elect Alvin Mason Mayor...

Heard on the street that the candidate presumed to be behind HBA's late breaking news isn't all that great either….*Buyer beware…if it sounds to good to be true…then just maybe…..

**another reason that early voting isn't all that good of a thing….

**another reason that candidates must allow for a credit check when they choose to run for office…

**another reason that if an elected official while in office(*say a commissioner or mayor) does not pay property tax, income tax or is late paying fees, etc…then they are immediately suspended from their elected seat and all benefits cease. **like an immediate vacancy needing a special election.

**all of the above might help clean up our elected positions.

Graymare 05/16/14 - 04:48 am

It's the eleventh hour for the election. Are there going to be other skeletons falling, or shoved out, of any other candidate's closets?

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