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Wake County Republican Party County Example Site

For Immediate Release

For More Info Contact Charles Hellwig

 

Will The News & Observer Treat Sheriff Candidate Gerald Baker The Same Way They Treated A Republican Town Council Candidate?

Wake County Sheriff candidate Gerald M. Baker, a Democrat, declared bankruptcy just two years ago. Baker declared he owed $277,000 in secured and unsecured claims. In addition, he’s had two civil actions against him in just the last four years: a homeowner’s association lien for $675 and civil suit for over $14,000.

The Wake County Republican Party wants to know when the News & Observer will take the same interest in Gerald Baker that they took in Stephen Xavier, who was a candidate for Apex Town Council in 2015.

On Oct. 29, 2015, less than a week before Election Day, the News & Observer ran a harshly critical news story about Mr. Xavier, a Republican candidate for Apex Town Council(1). Mr. Xavier’s business had been impacted by the recession and declared bankruptcy three years before. Mr. Xavier also owed over $120,000 to the IRS. Mr. Xavier was upfront about his struggles- trying to resurrect his business during a tough economy while also raising two children. But that didn’t stop the News & Observer from publishing the story, which included critical commentary from a known left-wing partisan.

The Wake GOP believes that if the financial troubles of a town council candidate were newsworthy in 2015, then certainly the more recent and far more alarming financial troubles of a candidate for sheriff are just as newsworthy.

Mr. Baker declared bankruptcy in May, 2016(2). According to his filing, despite making almost $73,000 per year as a sheriff’s deputy and earning an extra $17,000 in rental income, Mr. Baker owed $176,333 in secured claims and $101,836 in unsecured claims (3).

Mr. Baker was also the subject of a 2014 civil suit filed against him by Atlantic Credit in June 2014. In 2007, Baker had taken out a $7500 loan with Atlantic’s predecessor, Beneficial Mortgage. Baker stopped paying back this loan in March 2011, and Atlantic filed a lawsuit seeking reimbursement plus interest, a total of $14,425. Baker didn’t respond to the complaint and after 30 days a default judgment for $14,425 was entered for Atlantic.

Two years later a Writ of Execution was entered against Baker for the original $14,425 plus an additional $1,682 in interest. The sheriff’s department was ordered to “satisfy the judgment out of the personal property of the defendant… then out of the real property belonging to the defendant”.  The Writ was not served, however, because by that time Baker had declared bankruptcy and his property was protected.

Mr. Baker’s recent financial troubles are unfortunate. However, they call into question his ability to manage a department with a multi-million budget and hundreds of employees. The Wake GOP hopes that the News & Observer decides to cover Mr. Baker’s financial history with the same critical eye they’ve used to cover Republican candidates in the recent past

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Sources:

1- Apex Town Council candidate owes IRS $120,000 in unpaid taxes. N&O, Oct. 29, 2015

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/southwest-wake-news/article41837904.html

2- Eastern District of North Carolina. Bankruptcy Case 16-02622-5

3- Case 16-02622-5 (106Sum)

4- Wake 14-CVD-8078: Atlantic Credit & Finance vs. Gerald Baker

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