A group called “Friends of Huber for truth and accountability” sent out a mailer this week aimed primarily at Huber Heights City Council candidate Glenn Otto, highlighting his past financial struggles and questioning if he can be trusted as a city leader.
Otto admitted his financial difficulties from years ago, including a bankruptcy — calling the postcard “petty politics” — while his opponent on Tuesday, incumbent Jan Vargo, said she was not aware of the mailer prior to it going out, nor would she have approved it.
Otto is running against Vargo for an at-large seat on Huber Heights City Council.
The mailer asks: “If Glenn Otto can’t manage his own personal finances, how can he be trusted to manage our taxpayer dollars?”
“Their believed purpose of putting out this information was to try to portray me as someone irresponsible or unable to handle these types of situations,” Otto, 47, said. “I believe the end result and where I’m at today proves the opposite. I am fully capable in a negative situation like this to not only get through it, but to successfully come through it and keep on moving forward.”
According to the postcard, it was paid for by “Friends of Huber for truth and accountability.”
Savannah Diamond is the treasurer of the group, the Montgomery County Board of Elections confirmed. Attempts to reach Diamond were unsuccessful.
Vargo said she has never heard of the group. She said she became aware of Otto’s financial history during the primary, but chose not to do anything with the information because “I want to be honest and run on my record and not get down and dirty.”
“I just wish the whole thing hadn’t come up, to tell you the truth,” Vargo said. “The one thing that is really an issue is Glenn talks about being open, honest and transparent, so I’m surprised that he didn’t bring it out. It’s just gotten so out of hand, with too much negative stuff.”
Otto filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2008 after a failed business venture with Brooke Corporation, and closed out the bankruptcy in March 2014 after paying off approximately $140,000 in debt, he said.
That figure included his mortgage, cars and credit cards, Otto said. He also foreclosed on a home on Fishburg Road in 2003 after owing $49,000 on it.
Otto said he considered volunteering his financial history up front, but knew the opposition would release the information eventually.
“I was extremely responsible in my finances during that time, and that’s proven by the fact that I honored all my debts,” said Otto, a resident of Huber Heights since 1994. “It’s petty politics. That’s all they know. They don’t know how to stand up and run their own campaign, based on their accomplishments. All they’ve done is bash (the challengers).”
Otto and his wife, Andi, own Otto and Associates Insurance Agency in Huber Heights. He is a member of the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.
Earlier this month, Otto was at the center of attention when a Huber Heights resident filed two complaints against him. Otto ran for City Council in 2007 and 2011, and was defeated both times.