By Kenneth Stepp
As if she hasn’t already caused the city enough embarrassment and expense as a result of her childish and self-serving antics, Kelly Kautz, Snellville’s current mayor, has opened a new chapter of ridicule for the city—her mayor’s wages are being garnished by a creditor who has been trying to collect for several years.
Kautz was sued in Gwinnett County courts, for failure to pay personal debts in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Three of the four cases are listed under the “contract” category and the courts found in favor of the creditors. Of course the documents I received the mayor first denying it was even her debt, even though it was clearly hers. That apparently didn’t matter much to Kautz because in all cases, the creditors had to file garnishment actions against her wages in order to collect.
For Kautz, that was no problem. She failed to disclose that she received payment from the City of Snellville, and listed her law practice as her only source of income. Then, she simply paid herself little or nothing as an “employee” and probably paid her bills out of her corporate account (we assume). According to her responses filed with the court, as an attorney, through her law firm, she personally earned $127.58 in October, and had absolutely no income in November, December or January. What she had failed to tell the court, is that she receives a $500.00 per month salary from the city. Oh and her financial discloser stated $50,000.00 in earnings for 2012. Was she just lying to the creditor and courts? Is this the person Snellville needs holding their checkbook?
So after months of having their client stiffed, the attorneys for the creditor apparently did some research, discovered income from the city and filed a new garnishment action. Papers filed with the court show that Kautz owes a total of $25,467.42, of which $10,946.35 is interest. Obviously, with interest charges that high, the original debt has gone unpaid for quite some time.
Fortunately, Kautz’s lack of fiscal integrity shouldn’t have any impact on city finances because the whole council approves the budget. But judging by her actions, she’ll continue to be a source of embarrassment. In addition to violating a citizen’s First Amendment rights (which cost the city about $7,500), filing a lawsuit against the City Attorney and four other council members, and calling anyone who disagrees with her during council meetings “Out of Order”, Kautz has now added the city’s involvement in her personal financial irresponsibility.
The citizens of Snellville deserve better.