Letter: No public official is above the law

To the editor,

In reply to the article, “Selectman working to honor promise to pay off taxes,” (Citizen’s News, Aug. 30, 2018) this is the tip of the iceberg.

In April, Selectman Peter Betkoski gave his “personal guarantee” that he would start paying his back taxes on his business. Two months passed before he made an initial payment with a check that bounced. He has since made some payments.

After making the “personal guarantee,” Selectman Betkoski made payments to local political campaigns totaling $40, where he could have used that money to give the town. It’s obvious what Selectman Betkoski’s priority is, and he should be ashamed of himself for leading on the residents of Beacon Falls.

The town of Beacon Falls opted to retain an attorney to represent the town (not Betkoski) in Selectman Betkoski’s recent bankruptcies filings. Legal fees cost the taxpayers of Beacon Falls around $4,500 of their hard-earned money that they’ll never see again. The town’s taxes statistically go up, and incidents like this contribute to the bigger long-term picture.

The amount of money claimed by creditors in Selectman Betkoski’s recent bankruptcy was over $540,000. On top of owing Beacon Falls thousands, Selectman Betkoski also owes the Internal Revenue Service approximately $35,000 and Connecticut Department of Revenue Services approximately $10,000.

In Selectman Betkoski’s third and most recent bankruptcy a motion to dismiss the case with bar filed in April was granted. Court documents show a lawyer representing the creditor stating Selectman Betkoski “has filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy (3) three times and every time was either on the eve of a foreclosure sale, or directly following activity in a foreclosure action. The timing of his filings suggests a bad faith motive to hinder and delay creditors, rather than seek a bona fide fresh start.”

If Selectman Betkoski is tired of his “name getting dragged through the mud” over his tax issue, he can gladly turn in a letter of resignation at the next Board of Selectmen meeting. This is not a partisan issue. There is no public official that is above the rule of the law.

In conclusion, one thing really boggles my mind and should boggle residents’ minds. In general, how can someone be an elected official who has over a half million dollars in debt and can’t even write good checks have the power to make decisions on what the residents should or shouldn’t spend money on?

Shawn Styfco

Beacon Falls

The writer is a member of the Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee.