In a conversation in the comments section about our post earlier this week about the MEA’s overheated and redundant conspiracy-theory-esque advocacy at the council meeting, a poster mentioned a rumor they’d heard (apparently during the last contract negotiations) about MEA union president Gayl Shepard having failed to pay her taxes on a few occasions.
In the interest of accountability from the folks that having these debates, we decided to look into it. They told us via email that they had heard Shepard and her ex-husband (a teacher in Montclair) had owed taxes when they lived in New York, and also here in Montclair, and that they had also had a house they owned foreclosed on.
It turns out, that this rumor (unlike so many that we hear these days) was right.
According to a document we were able to get from across the river in New York, back in 1989, Shepard (then Wells) owed about $110 in taxes. She owed $880 in 1990. She didn’t pay off either until 1992, apparently after the tax warrant was issued.
In New Jersey, we couldn’t get any documents yet (we had a lawyer friend ask for it, we’ll post it when we have it), but a records search they did for us showed she owed $1,868 in taxes. After the lien was filed in March 2006, it was released at the end of July 2006, presumably when she paid.
It seems like this would be a bit of a problem for her, given how aggressive she was in demanding more tax money from residents for the union contract during the contract negotiations last year, but we’ll leave that up to folks to decide.