The write-in candidate for Batavia 7th Ward alderman says he has learned from "past mistakes" that have led to lawsuits and a few misdemeanor criminal matters.
Steve Holland, 40, filed last week to run as a write-in for the seat being left by Alderman Dawn Tenuta. No one officially filed for the post.
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"I'm just trying to help out the situation," Holland said of his decision to run for an office without any candidates.
"Yes, I've had a past, and I've made some mistakes," he said. "I've learned from every one of them."
Holland touted his business experience. He said he works for Wintrust bank, has previously done loss mitigation for companies, and worked on turning around troubled firms. He is also the founder of Free Green Can LLC, a company that places receptacles for recyclables in public places. It offers the cans for free, making its money from advertising placed on them.
But an Internet search of his name brought forth some things typically not found on a candidate's resume.
Holland's LinkedIn profile indicates he is a mortgage originator for Wintrust.
Before that, however, Holland owned New Millennium mortgage company, which filed for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy in 2008.
In 2008 when the housing crisis hit, the bank that held the line of credit that he used for granting mortgages cut off credit, he said. "We did new construction lending. When they (developers) went out of business, we went out of business," Holland said.
He also faced lawsuits from a former employee and two creditors. And in 2010, Holland pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal trespass. After being arrested on another charge in Naperville, and posting bond, he was found walking in the rear of the Naperville police station, in an area off-limits to the public, according to court records.
He also has a 1994 conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, and in November 2012, the state refused to renew his real estate license, for "engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public," according to a report from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. He is appealing the decision.
There is a foreclosure case against him for his house; it was sold at a sheriff's sale, but a judge later vacated the order. Proceedings are still pending, according to Kane County court records.
Holland seemed surprised last week that the foreclosure case was still active, and that several civil judgments have been recorded against his house. He filed for bankruptcy on the advice of his lawyer, he said, and attributed it and cases related to it to the housing-market crash during the recession.
Despite the legal problems, Holland says he can be of service to Batavia.
"I just want to move forward and help others," he said.