ROCKY RIVER -- Rocky River Prosecutor and Assistant Law Director Michael O'Shea is a member of the private Cleveland Yacht Club at a time when he owes both the state and the IRS tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes.
O'Shea just recently sold his 27-foot power boat, which he had owned for the past 10 years. During much of that time, he was in debt to the government..
O'Shea owes the state of Ohio $36,874 in back taxes. The state has filed tax liens annually since 2006 as his debts accumulated. O'Shea admitted to the Investigator Tom Meyer he has cut his federal income tax debt from about $70,000 to $30,000.
O'Shea says he pays the yacht club $300 a month in dues. If he ended his membership, it would free up $3,600 annually that could go toward paying off his debt.
His annual docking fee was $900.
Why didn't he sell his boat years earlier? And why hasn't he quit the private club?
"I don't know, " said O'Shea. "I can't answer that. I'm trying to lead my life."
The state has hired an outside law firm to collect the back taxes that O'Shea owes the state. O'shea says he is negotiating a payment plan.