The drama that is Cherokee County politics never rests.
Carolyn Cosby, candidate for Cherokee County Commission chair, is under fire for some questionable dealings. Conservatives for Ethical Government, a group registered with the state ethics commission as a political action committee, called for an investigation into possible mortgage fraud.
The Cherokee Ledger-News examined open records of Cosby’s financial situation.
According to the documents, Carolyn Cosby and her husband, David Cosby, owned a home in Cherokee County until their 2009 Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The couple purchased 6.42 acres of land in the county in 1999. Initially, the land was purchased with a First Union mortgage for $76,500. The loan was later cancelled in August 2002. In July 2002, a security deed with Bank of America was recorded. That security deed extended the home equity loan for $150,000.
Fast forward to 2006: Bank of America quitclaimed 2.13 acres of land to the Cosbys. On September 12, less than a month after Bank of America quitclaimed the land, the Cosbys quitclaimed the 2.13 acres to their daughter and son-in-law. On the same day, David Cosby took out a construction loan for $856,106 with SunTrust Bank. He listed 6.42 acres of land as collateral. Now, what happened to the 2.13 acres of land quitclaimed to his daughter and son-in-law on the same day as the construction loan?
SunTrust bank cancelled the $856,106 loan on October 12, 2007. A month before, on September 12, 2007, the Cosbys both signed mortgage loan documents for $820,000 with ABN AMRO Mortgage. The collateral for the loan? The 6.42 acres of land. Also on September 12, 2007, the Cosbys signed paperwork for a home equity loan with National City Bank totaling $350,000. The collateral was again the 6.42 acres of land.
The Cosbys filed for bankruptcy on August 31, 2009. The couple listed their 2007 gross income at $16,584.
Bernie Tokarz, a Fulton County resident who chairs the Conservatives for Ethical Government and campaign worker for Senator Brandon Beach, questioned the Cosby’s bankruptcy documents
“If you had an annual income of $16,584; do you think it’s possible that a bank would loan you $1.17 million for a home mortgage?” Tokarz asked at a press conference held Friday, Sept. 12, as he stood surrounded by about 17 local residents.
The Cherokee Ledger-News approached Carolyn Cosby for a comment on the 6.42 acres of land used as collateral after the 2.13 was quitclaimed. Cosby gave a politician answer
“In 2009, with great sadness, we joined the ranks of such big corporations as Wachovia, Lehman Bros, and AIG and filed bankruptcy, only we were not deemed ‘too big to fail’ and did not get a government bailout,” Carolyn Cosby said. “This decision was deemed absolutely necessary.”
“This bankruptcy was not due to mismanagement or irresponsibility. It followed the Great Recession of 2007,” she said. “I want to assure the families of Cherokee County that our bankruptcy was responsible, legal and carefully reviewed and approved by a federal judge — there is not the slightest impropriety on the part of ourselves, the bank or the courts.”
This is not the first issue legal issue Carolyn Cosby has faced. In a September Cherokee Patch letter to the editor, Cherokee County resident John Konop questioned Cosby’s ability to fulfill her duties as Commission chair after she admitted to soliciting votes through mailboxes without using postage.
Carolyn Cosby, candidate for Cherokee County Commission chair, is demonstrating her contempt for the law and a lack of integrity.
Cosby admits she solicited voters through mailboxes without postage. Her excuse is that other politicians have done it; therefore, she should not have to follow the law.
If businesspeople violated federal postage law, they get prosecuted; end of story. Saying it is OK because our competition “does it” would get a chuckle from the judge and nothing else.
As citizens, we see too many examples of this caviler “the law doesn’t apply to me” attitude among office seekers of both parties.
More importantly, this kind of behavior indicates a lack of integrity that will likely be repeated, in large and small, seen and unseen ways. It is time to put a stop to it. The law applies to all of us, including politicians.
There are six open ethics complaints against Cosby –all currently stalled before the ethics commission. Each ethics complaint involves campaign donation and reporting. It is time for Mrs. Cosby to address these matters and offer an explanation to Cherokee County citizens.