Departing clerk Delaney faces action over bad debt

By Steve Korris | Jun 20, 2013

Departing county clerk Bob Delaney has skidded on thin financial ice the last couple of years.

Departing county clerk Bob Delaney has skidded on thin financial ice the last couple of years.

He pulled his house out of foreclosure proceedings but still faces legal action from Commerce Bank over a bad debt of about $90,000.

Last October, Commerce Bank directed the county to deduct from his wages.

The bank sued Delaney and wife Janet in August 2011, claiming they owed $59,342.97 on a promissory note.

Commerce alleged it made a demand for payment and the Delaneys refused.

The bank claimed interest at 8.69 percent and legal fees.

In December 2011, bank lawyer Jeanine Armstrong of St. Louis and the Delaneys filed a “consent judgment” of $80,101.78.

Despite its title, the document doesn’t bear the signature of a judge.

In January 2012, JP Morgan Chase Bank filed a complaint to foreclose a mortgage on the Delaney home at 48 Woodford Way in Collinsville.

The bank claimed a balance due of $198,962.14, on a $202,000 loan it issued in 2002.

The bank alleged the Delaneys hadn’t made a payment since the previous March.

The Delaneys fixed the problem, and the bank dismissed the complaint in May 2012.

Fair market value of the home is $234,195, according to county records. The Delaneys paid $5,124.98 in taxes last year (for the year 2011). Their tax bill for 2012 decreased by $166.16 to $4,958.82, and is due by August.

Meanwhile, the consent judgment with Commerce Bank hadn’t panned out.

In April 2012, the bank served a citation notice on the Bank of O’Fallon to discover and freeze Delaney’s assets.

Commerce Bank calculated the balance due at $82,427.07.

The Bank of O’Fallon found nothing to freeze, however, for the checking account showed a negative balance and the Delaneys owed $22,075.84 on loans there.

Circuit Judge Ellen Dauber set a hearing on the citation in May 2012, but Commerce Bank sent no lawyer and Dauber dismissed the citation.

On Oct. 12, Commerce Bank filed a wage deduction notice with the county.

The bank calculated the balance due at $85,340.92.

The notice didn’t specify the amount of the deduction but provided two formulas that the county could apply.

Nothing further happened in the case until June 17, when bank lawyer Gary Underwood of St. Louis filed a document that clerks docketed as “answer/interrogatories.”

Clerks sent the document to an image scanner, and it was not available to the public when Delaney resigned on June 19.

His resignation followed a report based on an investigation by an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission officer, which according to local media reports, said Delaney drank on the job, made racial slurs and instilled fear in his employees.

The investigation was prompted by the firing of deputy clerk Laura Romero on May 15. She filed suit the next day.

Delaney told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the employee’s suit was “bogus” and that there was nothing in the investigator’s report that would substantiate the fired worker’s claims.

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