City treats Emanuel Freeman as a tax deadbeat

City lawyers have moved to seize over $100,000 from a private bank account owned by Germantown Settlement Executive Director Emanuel Freeman for missed wage tax payments dating back to 2007.

Freeman ran the politically connected organization over it’s decline of the last several years, watching it go from, arguably, the city’s most prominent community development group to it’s most notorious.

In a court liquidation order for the financially insolvent Settlement early last month, federal bankruptcy judge Stephen Raslavich cited his mistrust for Freeman as a major reason he ordered the closing. He likened Freeman to a “fox in a henhouse” when it came to handling public funds for the agency, which is still dealing with more than $16 million in public and private debt and a federal investigation into its finances.

The dual city filings claim Freeman owes the city a total of more than $375,000 in missed wage taxes and penalties he racked up between 2007 and 2009. One of the filings seeks to garnish more than $100,000 from an account Freeman holds with the Valley Green Bank in Mt. Airy.

Freeman could not be reached for comment.

It’s not clear from the filings if the missing wage taxes, which the documents claim have been certified by Freeman as accurate, are from Freeman’s own income, or from something related to the many organizations he ran under the Germantown Settlement umbrella. The city lawyer who filed the motions, James Vandermark and other officials from the law department, did not respond to requests for comment.

In a separate case, Freeman was recently cleared of summary criminal charges brought against him by the state department of labor and industry relating to missed payments to employees’ unemployment compensation benefits dating back to 2008. The state charges were dropped midway through last month when Freeman coughed up the $14,901.36 he owed to the state plus $92.00 in court costs.

 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.