New Xenia council member failed to pay taxes, faced criminal charges

Thomas L. Scrivens, who was picked to fill a vacated seat on Xenia City Council and is due to be sworn in at council’s next meeting, owes delinquent property taxes to Greene County and has previous misdemeanor criminal cases, including not paying city taxes, according to court records.

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Xenia Municipal Court records show that Scrivens was charged five times with failure to pay city taxes, the first instance in August 1995, in which he was found guilty, and most recently in August 2006, in which case the charge was dropped at the city tax department’s request because payment was made, according to Xenia Municipal Court records.

Additionally, Scrivens has been charged 12 times with animals running at large, most recently in October 2000 and as early as November 1998, according to Xenia court records.  

He was found guilty in nine of those cases, according to court records.

Court records show in September 2008, Scrivens was charged with misdemeanor theft, criminal damaging/endangering and criminal trespass. He was found guilty of theft in March 2009, while the other charges were dropped, and he was sentenced to community service in lieu of a 90-day suspended jail sentence, according to court records.  

According to Scrivens, the theft was that of a cat he was caring for that he removed from a cage on his neighbor’s property, .

“Even neighbors have disagreements. I think I had to pay him $6 for a lock was the judgment,” said Scrivens, a self-described animal lover who often takes in stray animals. “(The neighbor) and I are just like this. I shoveled his snow just the other day.” 

RELATED >>> Xenia council taps Scrivens to fill vacated seat

Scrivens said that he owes about $4,500 in property taxes, a bill he said he plans to pay after the recent sale of an investment property he owns in the 700 block of East Church Street. 

Scrivens said he’s on a payment plan with the county treasurer’s office, and he will be able to pay his property tax bill in full after he closes on the sale of the Church Street property. 

“I have been dutifully paying my taxes for the past three years,” said Scrivens, adding that he was out of work for a period of time during the early to mid-2000s. 

The 69-year-old, who lives on Lexington Street, said he also owns two vacant lots that he has worked to maintain over the years, properties that he acquired through sheriff’s sales. 

“I probably have outstanding obligations on those two (vacant lots),” he said. 

Mayor Sarah Mays responded to a request for comment with the following statement: 

“Yes, council is aware that there were issues with Mr. Scrivens not paying his city income tax from over 12 years ago. To council’s knowledge, the issues were all disposed of by Mr. Scrivens paying what he owed, and there are no outstanding back taxes due from Mr. Scrivens to the city. Another council candidate also had unpaid income taxes issues that likewise had also been resolved,” the statement began. 

“Per the city’s charter, anyone can be a candidate for council if he or she is qualified elector of the city, has been an actual resident of the city for at least 2 years immediately prior to the election, and if the candidate holds no other public office. All three candidates meet these requirements, and the past income tax issues of two of the candidates did not disqualify them from seeking appointment to the vacant council seat.” 

The city had announced Scrivens’ appointment in a release sent to media outlets on Wednesday.

Scrivens was chosen among three candidates who submitted letters of interest, the other two being Matt Bennett, of Anderson-Williamson Insurance LLC, and Billie Carrico, who came in third in the bid for two open council seats in November’s election. 

SEE WHO’S IN JAIL: Greene County Jail inmates 

Council members interviewed the candidates during an executive session held Jan. 9, according to the city’s release. At council’s Jan. 11 public session, the members voted 4-2 to appoint Scrivens, with Councilmen Dale Louderback and Levi Dean dissenting.

The position on council became vacant after the swearing in of Mays, who won the uncontested race for the mayor’s office in November. 

Scrivens has served the city in the past on both the beautification and environmental commission from 1992 to 1998 and on the Charter Review Committee in the early 1990s, according to the city’s release. The charter committee led to the city charter being approved by voters in 1998, and the charter remains in effect, according to the city. 

The council’s next meeting is Jan. 25.

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