Mount Sterling sells Joe Johnson’s cars

Pro-bono auctioneer nets more than estimates

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski -

Mount Sterling has taken another step in moving beyond the former village administrator’s thefts.

Last week on Monday, Tom Corbin, the Mount Sterling-native and Grove City-based Entrepreneur working for the village pro-bono, happily announced he was able to sell off all of the vehicles repossessed from Joe Johnson, for more than he had appraised them.

“With what we ended up doing, we were able to sell the vehicles alone and got $22,500 for the village. Our low estimates for the vehicles was $16,175 so we got $6,325 more,” he said.

“You should walk out with your heads up and your chest out, because you just brought your village a lot here. You took what was a debate for a long long time and you know the saying, you took lemons and made lemonade,” he later added.

Village administrator John Martin said that the 2008 Ford Mustang, 2013 Chevrolet Cruz and the 2000 Harley Davidson Road King Motorcycle were sold to David Kehl, a local auto dealer.

Corbin was particularly proud of offloading the Cruz and the Harley, which sold for $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.

“If we’d of waited five or six weeks, we wouldn’t have got this [for the motorcycle],” he said. “If we went five or six weeks earlier, we probably wouldn’t have got this. We hit right at the sweet time.”

Part of the deal with Kehl was throwing in two flat screen TVs which Corbin said were missing cords and remotes and had no idea if they functioned.

“Ninety nine percent of getting a good deal is leaving thinking that you got a good deal. He felt he got a good deal and that was the key,” said Corbin.

At the last meeting, he said the Cruz and the Harley would go for $4,200 to $5,200 and $4,500 to $6,000 respectively. He had mentioned the Cruz’s price was “up in the air,” stating he saw one go for $1,900 once.

The 2008 Dodge Charger was sold to Jackson B & G, an auto dealer in Jackson County where Johnson had first purchased the vehicle. Corbin said he was able to get $5,000. His previous estimate was $1,900 to $2,100.

The title-less 2005 Honda ATV was sold as well, despite previous recommendations to keep it.

The small off-road vehicle was found to have little utility for the village so Martin told Corbin to try and get rid of it. He said he sold it for $2,500 to someone a village employee knew, which Corbin said was top money considering it didn’t have a title.

Corbin said they had other offers for these vehicles.

The Charger was originally solicited by an unidentified county commissioner, who offered $2,000 and was willing to go up to no more than $3,000, citing previous work as a dealer noting the salvage title was a major encumbrance and wasn’t worth any more.

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruz and 2000 Harley Davidson Road King will go for $4,200 to $5,200 and $4,500 to $6,000 respectively. He mentioned the Cruz’s price was “up in the air,” stating he saw one go for $1,900 once.

The original owner of the Mustang was interested in getting it back for sentimental value and offered $3,200. Corbin said it was also sold for $5,000, slightly more than the estimated $4,575 to $4,935 for it.

Other items were sold or are still up for sale in the future.

The repossessed firearms were taken to a gun show where he could sell them for the village, which Corbin estimated netting them between $1,070 and $1,175.

Last weekend they were brought to the Ohio Gun Collectors show at the Roberts Center, near Wilmington. Corbin said it is a club with many members and that was the “place to go if you’re going to buy and sell guns.”

The guns themselves, however, were described by Corbin as having a value akin to “Woolworth’s specials.”

Martin said all other unneeded items will be sold at a “garage sale-type event” along with village surplus. Martin said he was keeping separate inventories and reports for each sale, which will go towards general fund if council wishes. All Johnson-related sales will be recorded and sent to the court for restitution purposes.

Some items, specifically tools, will be kept for village use. All items retained will also go towards credit, but at a fair sale price of the item in its current condition.

“So if we keep two widgets, that’s the credit,” explained Martin. “It’s the value they would bring, not what they’re worth but what they would bring. [For example] you have a $300 set of tools but in a garage sale environment it would sell for $25. So that’s the credit we’ll give against restitution.”

In other news, Johnson’s former house in Jackson County was finally closed last week on Tuesday. Martin drove down to Jackson to get the paperwork signed and taken care of. The holdup was over improper Xeroxing of copies causing glitches in parts of the title, specifically the description. They buyer decided to just purchase title insurance allowing the deal to go through.
Pro-bono auctioneer nets more than estimates

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski

Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.

Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.