Updated, 9:30 p.m. Saturday: PDF added.
NORWALK, Conn. – Mike Barbis, chairman of the Board of Education, which carries responsibility for the finances of the entire public school system, is mired in personal financial issues of his own.
The Rowayton Condo Association is foreclosing on a garage that Barbis has owned since 2006. While researching that, NancyOnNorwalk discovered that the IRS in 2015 put a lien on Barbis for more than $1 million. The lien has not been released.
Barbis is unopposed in his bid for reelection. He is not forthcoming in explanations regarding the financial issues.
“This is my personal business. I work for free and I’m doing a service for the city,” Barbis said on July 26. “… This is not for public consumption. If I wasn’t doing all this work for free, I maybe would have more time to get this cleaned up.”
‘The accountant died’
The 2015 lien is for $1,030,352.57, and is not attached to a property. The lien lists:
- $939,769.42 for tax period ending 12-21-2010, assessed Sept. 30, 2013
- $90,583.15 for tax period ending 12-31-2011, assessed June 22, 2015
Barbis, a real estate agent, on July 26 said the lien is from a property that he owned and then sold. “They feel that more tax should have been paid. Basically, the accountant who was handling it died and so (the issue has) sitting (there).”
Foreclosure on condo garage
Barbis has owned Rowayton Woods condo garage unit 15 since 2006.
The Rowayton Woods Condominium Association states in its May 9 court complaint that Barbis owed nine months’ worth of $14.93 monthly common charges. It mentions the $1,030,352.57 tax lien, asserting that the IRS might claim an interest in the garage, and states that is is seeking $1,199.22 plus costs of collection, including attorney fees.
“When the door to a (condo) garage was replaced the company doing the work damaged the gutters – the company never paid for the repair and the Condo Association is now trying to foreclose over this,” Barbis explained in an email.
Court documents show that Barbis has been denied mortgage remediation in the foreclosure. He has not answered inquiries as to why he was denied.
On Monday, Barbis informed the court that he’d be representing himself. On Tuesday, the Condo Association filed a motion asking the court to declare in their favor, as Barbis has not filed a response.
Attorney Alan Rosenberg, who represents the Condo Association, declined to comment.
The Rowayton Woods Condominium Association previously foreclosed on the condo garage, in 2012, listing Barbis “et al” as the defendants. The case ended with satisfaction of judgment, foreclosure by sale.
On May 30, 2013, the IRS released a Barbis tax lien after receipt of $945,017.30. The lien had been attached to 29 Pine Point Road, and records show this list of outstanding taxes:
- $1,121,411.24, recorded Aug. 16, 2010
- $32,460.41, recorded Jan. 31, 2011
- $169,829.89, recorded July 10, 2012
- $147.535, no recording date listed
The IRS on Jan. 19, 2011 issued a $32,460.41 tax lien on Barbis for the 2009 tax period.
The IRS on Aug. 16, 2010, issued a tax lien on Barbis $1,121,411.24. It was released on May 30, 2013 and was for:
- 170,720.93, tax period ending 12-31-2005, assessed March 1, 2010,
- $918,809.38, tax period ending 12-31-2006, assessed March 1, 2010
- $31,880.93, tax period ending 12-31-2007, assessed March 1, 2010
There is also on file a March 2008 release of a tax lien on Barbis, that had been filed three months earlier. The lien had been for $71,030.24, for 2004 and had been assessed April 23, 2007.
On July 31, NancyOnNorwalk sent Barbis an email with follow-up questions, seeking explanations for the list of tax liens. NoN also asked Barbis for a response to this statement:
“The BOE has responsibility for a very large part of the city’s expenditures. Someone who manages his personal finances like this is presents a red flag for managing the allocation of public funds.”
He did not reply.