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Published: Saturday, 8/10/2013 - Updated: 8 months ago

MAYOR’S RACE

Lopez used Maumee bank for campaign

Other major candidates have Toledo accounts

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Anita Lopez — the Toledo mayoral candidate who has promised to make Toledo businesses a top priority in her administration — didn’t make sure her campaign put her money where her mouth was.

Ms. Lopez, the Lucas County auditor and one of two Democrats challenging Mayor Mike Bell this year, was using the Bank of Maumee for her campaign account. The other three major candidates running for the city’s top office have their money in banks that are either based in, or have branches in Toledo.

Ms. Lopez’s campaign finance report shows a $250 transfer to the Bank of Maumee on May 30 and then a $30,000 transfer to the suburban institution June 19. The Lopez campaign’s previous bank was Charter One.

After The Blade questioned Friday why the campaign was not using a bank within the city, Lopez campaign spokesman Diane May said Ms. Lopez asked her treasurer to move the money into a Toledo bank.

“We have a CPA firm that our treasurer works for, LublinSussman Group, and they have a courier service with that bank,” Ms. May said. “That service is already established and they use the bank in Maumee. The transfer was at the time we changed treasurers.”

Lopez treasurer Thomas Jaffe could not be reached for comment.

Ms. May pointed out that Ms. Lopez uses a Toledo credit union for her personal transactions.

Ms. Lopez said previously she had an open loan with Toledo Metro Federal Credit Union, for which she owes about $34,060 and has an $831 monthly payment. The credit union paid off what she owed on a 2010 Jeep Commander and rolled that amount into a new loan that includes $23,000 for 2012 home renovations. The car became collateral for the loan, she said.

Mayor Bell and Councilman D. Michael Collins — both independents in the race — used Fifth Third Bank.

Campaign spokesman B.J. Fischer said Mr. Bell’s money has been at Fifth Third since his last campaign four years ago.

“They have a strong commitment to the community,” Mr. Fischer said.

Councilman Joe McNamara, also a Democrat, uses Toledo’s Signature Bank for his campaign.

“It’s a local bank and I want to keep money here in Toledo,” he said. “I am proud that my campaign banks with Signature, which does a lot of good things in the community.”

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.



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