Commissioner George files for bankruptcy
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
"Let George Do It," a political campaign slogan made popular by Stacy George during two successful campaigns for the District 4 seat on the Morgan County Commission, fell with a thud last week when his petition for bankruptcy turned up in Federal District Court.
George filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Feb. 25 and appeared at a hearing before a court trustee and his creditors March 24.
The court record shows George has debts totaling $210,965 and assets totaling $206,525. Listed as creditors are Countrywide, a home mortgage company, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Union Planters Bank, Peoples Bank and Lowe's.
George said he decided to file for bankruptcy after a last ditch effort to sell his home failed.
"I had it on the market for six months but couldn't find a buyer," he pointed out. "I did everything I could to reduce expenses but it just got to the point where it was impossible for me to keep up with my debts."
George traced his financial troubles to a divorce settlement three years ago, followed by taking out a second mortgage on his house.
He said he is not sure how many of his assets will be liquidated and passed on to his creditors.
"That will be up to the court," he added.
George said he realizes that when you serve in a office you don't really have a personal life and said he understand why his bankruptcy is public news.
"It's like being in a fish bowl. You are constantly under surveillance. I have never tried to hide anything from the public and I never will.
"My financial status should have nothing to do with the manner in which I perform my duties for the people of my district and Morgan County," George said. "I have always advocated keeping a tight rein on the taxpayer's money and speaking out against waste and corruption in government, and I will continue to do that. During the five years I've been in office, my district has never gone over budget."
As far as his political future is concerned, George said he doesn't think his personal financial crisis will have a lasting effect.
"I have already had people who have gone through this call me and offer encouragement," he pointed out. "I believe in the future I will be judged by my constituents on the basis of my job performance, not on my personal financial status, as I have been judged by them in the past."
George was re-elected for a second consecutive term last November after receiving the largest number of votes of any local candidate in the general election