Coshocton County Common Pleas Candidate Filed for Bankruptcy in September
Coshocton County Common Pleas Court candidate William Drown filed for bankruptcy last month, raising questions about his suitability for a court with an annual budget approaching $1 million. The court’s spending amounts to roughly 10 percent of Coshocton County’s total budget.
On September 6, 2012, Drown filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio. In his petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Drown indicated he had between $1 million and $10 million in debts and between $1 million and $10 million in assets.
In a supplemental document filed with the bankruptcy court, Drown listed personal debts to the IRS, Mercedes-Benz Financial, Chase, American Express, Verizon Wireless, Capital One, Bank of America, and other lenders.
On October 8 the Coshocton Tribune reported that Drown had filed a request that his bankruptcy case be dismissed, indicating “the bankruptcy is no longer needed.”
While Drown refused to comment further on the pending case in a Tribune interview, the filing and subsequent request for dismissal is a costly decision in and of itself. A federal court summary of Chapter 13 bankruptcy lists $281 in filing fees for requesting Chapter 13 protection.
Drown, a local attorney and a registered Democrat, serves as a bankruptcy court private trustee appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice. In this professional capacity, Drown is responsible for the legal and fair collection, sale, and distribution of debtors’ assets. Federal law prohibits the government from removing trustees who file for bankruptcy themselves from the program.
Drowns apparent inability to manage his own finances despite his experience dealing with bankruptcy cases calls into question his suitability for office as a Coshocton County Common Pleas Court judge; the court’s budget expanded to $962,428 in 2012, the Tribune reported.
Drown is running against Republican Van Blanchard II, who was appointed to the position by Governor John Kasich in September 2011.