William E. Gallagher, who is seeking a Ward 1 council seat in November said a conviction for passing bad checks as a teenager was a result of a misunderstanding.
“I was 19 years old and working for a company that was going out of business,” Gallagher said July 10. “I was in charge of paying bills and didn’t know that some checks went bad.”
Gallagher, 38, said the company, Advanced Ultraviolet, went out of business soon after.
“I was contacted by the courts and paid the bills myself,” he said. “I was charged because I was the signer on the checks.”
In 1992, Gallagher was charged with theft and passing bad checks valued at less than $300 in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. On Feb. 1, 1993 he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty of one first-degree misdemeanor charge of passing bad checks. The theft charge was dropped.
He was given a suspended 6-month jail sentence and ordered to pay court costs. Gallagher said restitution was made. In 2009 he applied to have his record sealed but subsequently withdrew the request.
“I don’t have any skeletons in my closet,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher also addressed Better Business Bureau complaints filed against his company, Suntan Supply.
“I’ve been self-employed for 20 years,” he said. “I've had more than 7,000 customers. There are going to be complaints; there are going to be lawsuits. It’s part of being in business.”
Suntan Supply, located in Avon, is a full-service distributor of tanning products.
The Better Business Bureau listed six complaints against the company in the past three years. Four of those complaints have been closed in the past two year. Two others have not been responded to. Two of the issues are specific to delivery and four to product/service.