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State’s attorney wins $290,000 payment from delinquent trailer parks

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said his office won payment of $291,067.77 in a settlement of a claim for delinquent sewer service fees, filed on behalf of the Madison County Special Service Area No. 1.

He said it marks a victory in a year-long battle against two affiliated companies responsible for three trailer parks.

According to the terms of the settlement secured by the State’s Attorney’s Office, Lakeshore Estates, LLC and Edwards Associates, LLC agreed to pay all past-due charges for sewer service for the trailer parks, some dating back as far as 2015. On Feb. 12, SSA received payment for the entire amount.

In November, 2017, Gibbons negotiated an agreement with SSA for the State’s Attorney’s Office to handle all collections of unpaid bills in-house, projecting an average annual savings to the public sewer district of around 15 percent, compared to what they had paid over prior years for collection enforcement.

Assistant State’s Attorney Deb Besserman was assigned to the account and after a thorough review of the books and procedures, implemented a streamlined process that resulted in collections of $71,872.70 through 2018.

Working with the staff at SSA, Besserman identified and targeted the most delinquent accounts for aggressive enforcement, using her exceptional legal skills and tenacity to secure judgments and liens to protect the district’s ability to collect on the unpaid balances.

In November 2019, upon the departure of Besserman to devote her talents full-time to her burgeoning private practice, Assistant State’s Attorney Tanja Cook Sedabres took over the account and continued the Office’s aggressive collection efforts against the worst offenders. In December (2019), Sedabres secured the settlement with Lakeshore and Edwards – SSA’s biggest delinquent account.

Gibbons praised the work of Assistant State’s Attorneys Besserman and Sedabres, as well as the staff at SSA.

“Working together in this new partnership, SSA and the State’s Attorney’s Office have achieved a major win for taxpayers who, otherwise, would be picking up the bill for continued service for unpaid accounts. This payment represents the culmination of several years’ worth of teamwork by the SSA staff and our office to restore balance to the bottom

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