News 12 First at Five/ 5-13-14
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- One week before Augusta voters pick a new mayor, News 12 is learning new information about the financial past of one of the candidates.
Helen Blocker-Adams is admitting to owing thousands after three civil court cases.
She's going head-to-head with the other four candidates for mayor. Off camera, Helen actually cried as she talked about the bad string of events that lead up to the debt.
She says her story makes her able to connect with real working people with real problems.
"It was a combination of having a miscarriage first and then getting divorced. Then I lost the house and car things sort of spiraled out of control," Blocker-Adams said.
Blocker-Adams says they all created the perfect storm that led to three civil cases in Aiken County. She admits to owing three creditors more than $70,000 after foreclosing on a home, not paying a personal loan and having a repossessed. Adams says she got into debt with her ex-husband who is now deceased.
"It's kind of a sensitive issue and many people have gone through situations where they have gotten into debt and that happens to be the case with one of those civil suits," Blocker-Adams said.
The Mayor of Augusta could potentially be a deciding vote on the several million dollar budget for the city. So, it begs the question can someone with a shaky financial past make responsible financial decisions that affect Augusta's future?
"Life stuff happens when your in business for 22 years. The idea of going through hardship and staying focused and alive. Those are the type of skills that we need as mayor," Blocker-Adams said.
She told us she made payments on all three of those debts from 1997-2005 meaning her last payment was 10 years ago.
"It was my understanding that these debts were satisfied. There hasn't been any communications with these creditors since the 2005 through 2006 time frame," she said.
While she's running for mayor in Augusta, News 12 found all of the past cases on the South Carolina side. News 12 also asked her about a fraudulent check written in her name.
"Did that employee have permission to use your check book? No they didn't let me know that it happened at the time," Blocker-Adams said.
Blocker-Adams stood next to her mother and sister and read a prepared statement. She says after the divorce she was hit with a balloon house payment that she couldn't afford anymore.
"I'm still standing and that's the point I want people to see. I know a lot of people that are hurting in this community. I know a lot of people that have gone through much worse than me. She says if there is a legal debt then I'm going to honor those obligations," Blocker-Adams said.