Politics

A local businessman who provides high-interest loans to people with bad credit is suing Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson for lack of payment on a $15,000 debt.

Gus Goldsmith, owner of Action Loan, wants repayment from Johnson on an $8,000 past due balance that the councilman has refused to pay, according the lawsuit filed Aug. 4 in Jefferson Circuit Court.

“I’ve asked him to repay and I even texted him,” Goldsmith said in an interview with WFPL. “He said to please drop the case.”

“I don’t need the money, but it’s the principle of the thing,” Goldsmith added.

Johnson is the Democrat’s vice-chair on the council and has been in public office since joining the old Louisville Board of Aldermen in 1992. He did not respond to a request for comment.

In court documents with the civil suit, Goldsmith included a copy of an $8,000 check that Johnson allegedly wrote last September. The check was returned to Johnson due to insufficient funds, the lawsuit notes.

Goldsmith’s lawsuit against Johnson is the second in as many weeks to allege that Johnson issued a bad check to pay off debts.

Earlier this month, The Courier-Journal reported that a jewelry company had filed suit against Johnson, claiming he wrote a bad check for over $2,600.

Johnson’s lawyer, Thomas McAdam, acknowledged that debt and told the newspaper he believed the councilman had worked out a payment agreement with the jeweler.

McAdam could not be reached to comment for this story.

Goldsmith said Johnson has taken out a number of loans with his company totaling $15,000. He said he decided to pursue legal measures after six months of nonpayment by the councilman.

“And when I saw that article in the newspaper the other day, I thought other people should know,” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith’s company, Action Loan, provides commercial loans as well as residential investment property loans. Its motto, according to its website, is “When banks say ‘NO,’ we say ‘YES.'”

Goldsmith said he is also seeking repayment for a loan issued six months ago to Johnson’s legislative aide, Bryan Mathews, who allegedly owes around $3,000. That payment is past due.

Attorney James Craig, who represents Mathews, said his client did receive a loan from Goldsmith’s company, and has tried to make partial payments.

“Mr. Mathews needed those funds to repair a vehicle,” he said. “Whether he’s made any payments or not, I do not know. I do know that he attempted to make a payment last Friday.”