Road funding

Brad Schneider’s challenger Joe Severino discusses bankruptcy filing

Severino, who ran a transportation company called Elite Valet Systems, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 24, according to court records. He listed assets and liabilities each in the range of $1 million to $10 million.

Severino gave more details in a reorganization plan filed in April. He offered Severino time to sell and refinance a property, said he was offered a loan from a company named Legalist DIP GP LLC, and said he was offered a job for $340,000. per year with Wisconsin Phone Charging.

However, the filing also said liens against him included $353,342 from the IRS and $41,377 from the Illinois Department of Revenue. In June, one of his creditors has filed a petition to convert the bankruptcy to Chapter 7 liquidation of his assets, claiming that the plan was “insufficient” and “unworkable”.

In a telephone interview, Severino presented himself as a victim of the justice system.

He decided to quit his valet business to focus on running for Congress and in doing so left some assets in the hands of associates, Severino said. But those associates’ lawyers ‘mishandled’ the transfer, he said, and he argues they misled him into an action that resulted in a default judgment being awarded against him in federal court.

“After being treated unfavorably by the court, I filed Small Business (Chapter) 11 to protect my interests and respond to litigation to clear my name,” Severino said.

In the interview, Severino admitted his “technically” bankruptcy was filed as a personal matter, not a business one.

Severino said he discussed his bankruptcy when asked about it on social media. He did not provide an example despite repeated requests, and I could find no evidence of such disclosure.

Severino said reporters should investigate issues such as whether Schneider incorrectly listed on his application documents the address of a Highland Park home he had not yet moved to. The Illinois State Board of Elections ruled that nothing improper happened and upheld Schneider in the November ballot.

Schneider has a huge financial lead in the district. As of June 30, according to Federal Election Commission records, his campaign fund had $2.047 million in the bank, compared to $4,784 for Severino. Severino said he is planning a series of big fundraisers. “We have a lot of money coming in,” he said.