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Treasurer Webb intends to release full credit report in month or two

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Lindsay Webb takes oath of office from Toledo Municipal Judge Michelle Wagner on Jan. 10 at One Government Center in Toledo.

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Lucas County Treasurer Lindsay Webb said Friday she expects to release her full credit report within 30 to 60 days, a disclosure that would follow uncertainty about whether she could assume her new office — and a spike in premiums the county must pay to keep her there.

Ms. Webb, 42, was sworn in as the new treasurer Jan. 10, but stepped aside days later because of what she called an erroneous late payment that hurt her credit score, thereby restricting her bond offers.

Then this week she ultimately landed the required $1 million surety bond, at a one-year premium cost of $10,000 to the county. Her predecessor, Wade Kapszukiewicz, was bonded for four years at $3,394 in premiums, or about $850 per year.

Ms. Webb on Friday said she will not reimburse the county for the increased bond premiums her position carries. Legal counsel told her such a practice would establish a poor precedent of treasurers securing their own bonding coverage, she said.

“It looks like you're paying for access to the office,” Ms. Webb said.

Ms. Webb added she believes she can make up the difference to taxpayers, in part by reorganizing management and improving efficiency at the treasurer’s office.

State law sets the treasurer's salary at $80,807. Ms. Webb previously received $27,500 annually as a member of Toledo City Council.

The Lucas County Treasurer's Office is responsible for accounting and handling more than $625 million each year. The treasurer is chief investment officer, leading management of an average daily portfolio of $275 million to $385 million, according to the office.

Regarding her credit information, Ms. Webb said she wants her released credit report to be accurate. She said she found inaccuracies in her report, and recent checks by bonding agencies negatively affected her report as well.

She again declined to provide her credit score Friday. She said it had hovered about 660 before falling lower because of inaccuracies and agencies repeatedly pulling the information.

Ms. Webb expressed confidence she has the same skills and abilities of Mr. Kapszukiewicz when he took the treasurer’s office. She also visited the Montgomery County Treasurer's Office in advance to learn about the role.

“I think that my legal training will serve me very well when it comes to understanding complexities of the treasurer's responsibility under the code,” Ms. Webb said.

County Democratic Party Chairman Joshua Hughes said Ms. Webb has a history of engaging in public service and budgeting.

“Lindsay's qualifications have been largely passed over recently because of her emotional reaction last Friday, her Facebook post,” Mr. Hughes said, referencing a post in which Ms. Webb said she would not assume the treasurer’s role because of the initial problems with her bond.

EDITORIAL: Webb questions unanswered

Voters should judge her on her success in the position, Mr. Hughes said.

Mr. Hughes said he recently confirmed with the Lucas County Board of Elections what steps, according to statute, are next for Ms. Webb to maintain the seat.

Ms. Webb must file a petition by Aug. 8 to run for election and would then appear on the November ballot. If selected, she would finish the term and could run again in 2020, Mr. Hughes said.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz first won election to the post in 2004. He was re-elected in 2008, 2012, and 2016. He became mayor of Toledo this year.

Mr. Hughes said he believes that, even if another Democratic candidate files to run for treasurer, both would appear on this November's ballot. There would not be a primary, he said.

County Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook said, though he personally likes Ms. Webb, she was rewarded as an “insider.”

When it comes to the business of of government, candidates must be beyond reproach, Mr. Stainbrook said. He added the Republican party is still reviewing potential contenders.

“We are going to have a quality candidate that's going to run for treasurer and we're going to take that office back and make it a Republican office,” Mr. Stainbrook said.

At election, the voters will decide if Ms. Webb is worth the additional bond costs, County Commissioner Pete Gerken said. The commissioners’ legal requirement is to secure the bond at available cost, he said.

“Now, it's in the court of public opinion,” he said.

Contact Ryan Dunn at rdunn@theblade.com, 419-724-6095, or on Twitter @RDunnBlade.

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