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Council Candidate Comments on Criminal Charge as a Teen

Gallagher says misdemeanor passing bad checks almost 20 years ago was a misunderstanding

William E. Gallagher, who is 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.

Bill Schoenfeld September 01, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Lori is it possible to do some investigating into the criminal record of William Gallagher running for Ward I council. There seem to be several people (or One individual) making accusations about his character. I would like to finally put this to rest. I was starting to get annoyed with these posts & checked the record myself. According to the court, he was sentenced to 6 months in jail (suspended), pay restitution, 6 months probation, maintain verifiable employment, random urinalysis, and pay court costs. The individual posting had a good point about random urinalysis? This may have been just a normal childhood issue we all could have faced, but the candidate explained it was a result of a business transaction. This worries me more. If a candidate is involved with a business related criminal offense - I believe the voters in this ward have a right to full disclosure. I also noticed that in 2009 Mr. Gallagher requested his record be expunged. The court appears to have filed a brief in opposition to this request. Since these are public documents I'm respectfully requesting the Patch to investigate and report to our City. If it was a simple matter of a childhood indiscretion - it could be put to rest. Just in case it turns into something worse it might be nice to know prior to elections. Thank you for providing a valuable service to the residents of Avon Lake Bill
Rob Ralston November 01, 2011 at 08:27 PM
I believe in being forgiven for poor decision making and past transgressions to a point. I can understand minor infractions when Bill was in his teens or even early 20s. The Press article from Oct. 26 included details of both a bar fight in 1999 when he was 27 and driving while intoxicated (after fleeing police on foot) when he was 31 that resulted in convictions. In my opinion, poor decisions reflect someone's character and judgment.

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