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Former Fitchburg mayor tries to dig out of debt in community

By Adam Schrager, aschrager@wisctv.com
Published On: Mar 11 2014 05:59:02 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 08:23:13 PM CDT

Former Fitchburg Mayor Jay Allen said he is trying to come up with enough money to settle numerous debts in the community, but that he is on the verge of "personal bankruptcy."

FITCHBURG, Wis. -

Former Fitchburg Mayor Jay Allen said he is trying to come up with enough money to settle numerous debts in the community, but that he is on the verge of "personal bankruptcy."

Allen admits he owes roughly $2,200 to First Class Mailers in Madison for a flier sent out during his mayoral campaign last spring. His check to cover the cost bounced and the business's owners are frustrated.

"I've called. I've emailed. He knows he owes it to us, but he just isn't responding," said Duane McGowan, the president of First Class Mailers. "Two thousand dollars is a lot of money. That's not chump change by any means."

Allen also acknowledges he needs to file an amended campaign finance report with the Fitchburg City Clerk after the one he filed and signed before last year's campaign stated he would not spend more than $1,000 on the race.

Allen said his financial state is due to an old employee at his appliance repair business embezzling thousands from him as well as a recent divorce. He said he owed other people more than he owed First Class Mailers.

"I have no money, no assets, nothing to my name. I'm living day by day,” he said. "I want to get Duane his money, but I can't give any kind of time frame. I have $8,000-10,000 in repair bills that customers have yet to pay me."

McGowan said he would be willing to do a payment plan with Allen and that he does not want to take him to small claims court. He said the money represents about a quarter of his small business's biweekly payroll.

"If he pays in full, we won't charge interest and it's been about a year," he said. "We just want to get paid. That's the bottom line."

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