Solar firm debts turned over to attorney general PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:24
PERRYSBURG - Beleaguered solar firm Willard and Kelsey's unpaid loans have now been turned over to the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for collection.
Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, confirmed that two of Willard and Kelsey's loans - a more than $5.6 million loan from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, and a $4.6 million loan from the Ohio Department of Development, both of which the company defaulted on earlier this year - are now being handled by the office's Collection Enforcement Section.
Tierney noted that section serves as a collection agency for state government and some local government debts.
"So there have been two accounts regarding Willard and Kelsey that have been certified to our office for collection."
The solar firm, which once had plans for a 750,000 square-foot expansion to its current 250,000 square-foot facility along Ohio 25, just south of Levis Commons, and expected to employ 3,600 people within six years, has faced increased scrutiny from the state after a layoff of 40 employees early this year.
The ODOD scheduled a status check of the business, and Willard and Kelsey's subsequent financial woes later came to light.
The U.S. solar industry has recently been hit hard by the sluggish national economy and competition from China.
"Once we have verified the amounts owed, we will notify the debtor," Tierney said, and the Collection Enforcement Section will either arrange payment in full, or settle on an agreed-upon payment plan.
"The goal is getting a lien to secure the debt on behalf of the state."
"Should the debtor not initiate payments, we will then take them to court. Those cases are usually handled by private attorneys" on state contracts, termed "special counsels."
Tierney confirmed that they have been in contact with Willard and Kelsey and are working to meet with them.
A call was made to Willard and Kelsey seeking comment, but a message could not be left on their telephone system. The company's website has not apparently been updated since 2009.

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