Friday, January 2, 2009

Screwed-Over Iraq Vet Watch: The Final Chapter

Posted By on Fri, Jan 2, 2009 at 7:04 PM

We've been telling you over the last few weeks about how Republican Vic Williams, who was recently elected to an Arizona House of Representatives seat in Legislative District 26, stiffed an Iraq war vet on a $400 deposit on a house she rented from her last summer. To recap from our first edition of Screwed-Over Iraq Vet Watch:

Army Sgt. Tasha Downum, a single mother, decided a trip to Newport Beach, Calif., with her son, her mom and her grandma would make for a great homecoming trip after spending a year in Tikrit.

"I had seen so much sand that I told my mom, 'When I come home, I want to see water,'" says Downum, 26. "I hadn't seen water in a year."

After Downum returned home to Missouri in June, the family headed out to Newport Beach, where they stayed in a house they had rented from Williams.

But when Downum tried to get her deposit returned, Williams gave her a big ol' runaround. When she realized the check was not in the mail, Downum--with the help of her mom--filed suit against Williams in a California small-claims court.

That meant Downum had to travel back to California in November. Williams skipped the court appearance, and the judge ruled in Downum's favor, awarding her damages, travel costs and court fees. Williams' final bill: $1,845, which is a pretty big markup on $400.

Williams didn't have much to say about the mess when we talked to him earlier this week.

"We have a dispute, and we're working it out," Williams assured us. "We're going to get it handled. I'm not going to comment on any of the details of the case, but we're going to resolve it in a way that's correct and make sure that all parties are satisfied."

It took a few weeks, but we just got an e-mail from Tasha telling us she got a check in the mail today. She's happy to have the money because she has to buy some books before her spring semester starts.

A hat tip to David Safier over at Blog For Arizona for breaking the story.

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