OREGON — Ogle County Treasurer John Coffman released a statement Tuesday night in response to a story that broke last weekend in the Rochelle News-Leader and on the Ogle County Life website about current staff member and treasurer candidate Linda Beck filing for bankruptcy eight years ago.
Coffman, who is retiring from the treasurer position this year after several terms, said Beck’s past personal financial struggles never affected her work in his office and he believes the bankruptcy is a non-issue when weighing the qualifications of the two candidates running in next week’s Republican Primary Election.
“I was aware of Linda’s bankruptcy when it occurred in 2010 and it did not affect her job performance in any way,” Coffman stated. “I’ve never had any reservations about employing Linda in my office.”
Details of Beck’s 2010 bankruptcy filing emerged last week when several local media agencies and county board members received the bankruptcy documents from a supporter of her opponent Patrick Wiesner.
When reached for comment, Beck explained that a divorce and raising two children alone led to her financial difficulties and the tough decision to file for bankruptcy at that time.
Last Friday, Wiesner was asked for comment about the situation and he said he firmly believes the information presents a valid concern which voters should know about going into the election.
Coffman pointed out Tuesday that Beck had already acknowledged she experienced and overcame her past marital and financial struggles in a campaign letter she mailed out prior to the story coming out on Friday.
“She was forthright about it in the letter she mailed out to more than 8,000 Ogle County households before any of this was reported by the News-Leader and Life,” he stated. “There are checks and balances in place within the office to protect the county’s finances and people should not be concerned about an employee with past personal problems working in the treasurer’s office.”