Meagher, Vernon spar over past financial troubles |

Meagher, Vernon spar over past financial troubles

Revelations about mismanaged finances plagued the campaigns of both candidates for Nevada County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector seat this week.

The California Franchise Tax Board filed a lien against Dai Meagher’s firm, Dai Meagher CPA, in 1995 for $2,500, according to information from the franchise tax board.

In 1996, Tina Vernon filed for bankruptcy in Reno, Nev., and was subsequently released from a $2,500 debt, according to documents from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Nevada, Reno office, obtained by The Union.

The county Treasurer-Tax Collector is responsible for overseeing more than $120 million in investments for almost all of the county’s public entities, including school districts and fire departments.

Meagher and Vernon each accused the other of alerting local media about the events 30 days before the Nov. 2 general election. Mail ballots are going out to voters this week, and most of Nevada County’s voters will cast ballots before polling day.

“I’m sorry that my opponent, who has run a very clean and good campaign to this point, has decided to dig into that little ‘black bag’ and pull out the ‘Nevada County October Surprise’,” Vernon wrote in a statement. “We’re still dealing with politics as usual, and for that I am truly saddened.”

Meagher’s firm paid off the Franchise Tax Board lien within four months of its filing, Meagher said.

He questioned why Vernon did not disclose her bankruptcy earlier in the campaign.

“It’s an unfortunate circumstance for her, but I do think the voters have a right to know,” Meagher said.

Meagher did not disclose his lien because the debt was repaid, Meagher said.

“A lien and a bankruptcy are two very different things,” Meagher said. “A lien is not that uncommon, and I overcame my financial difficulty when I started my business, and she succumbed to it by declaring bankruptcy.”

Vernon declared bankruptcy in 1996 after a relationship fell apart, she was left to raise two small children on her own, and she was unable to pay a $2,500 debt, she said in a written statement.

She is a 1994 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, according to her account. At the time, she was living in Reno and went by the name Tina Gulizia.

“Now, that seems like such a small amount of money, but at the time, $2,500 felt insurmountable,” Vernon wrote. “I was the sole support for my children. I had just completed my degree and was working full time, running the household, providing for my children, and was unable to overcome the debt left to me from my separation,” Vernon wrote.

“Frankly, it came down to, ‘do I struggle with the debt or put food on the table for my children?’ This is my story. I’m not proud of the bankruptcy, but I am very proud of everything I’ve accomplished since that happened all those years ago,”

Vernon wrote.

Meagher’s lien came when he was establishing his business in 1995.

“We were in the early phases of business and made some capital investments. Our business didn’t continue to grow at the same rate, and we didn’t have the cash flow we needed at that time,” Meagher said. “Once the lien was filed, we paid it back promptly.”

The lien was paid back over a four-month period, Meagher added.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail or call (530) 477-4239.

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