Raleigh, N.C. — Bill Faison, a former state lawmaker who ran for governor in 2012, has filed for bankruptcy, federal court filings show.
"We anticipate all creditors will be paid," Faison said during a phone interview Wednesday evening.
Court documents show that Faison, a lawyer, owes more than $7.1 million but list assets over roughly $9.4 million, including various properties in North Carolina and Virginia and several vehicles.
Faison is a former Democratic lawmaker from Orange County who gave up his seat to run for governor in 2012. He lost the Democratic primary to then-Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. He said his financial difficulties are unrelated to his gubernatorial campaign.
"This (has to do with) a combination in the statutes related to medical malpractice cases change and the great recession," Faison said.
The debts that triggered the filing, he said, were business debts that he personally guaranteed.
"There needs to be a restructuring of that commercial debt, and this was the best way to do that," he said.
Court filings in the case are comprised mainly of lists of assets and liabilities, but the file does say that Faison plans to retire from practicing law after July 1. Faison said he will be 67 in February and has less of an appetite for pursuing lengthy trials.
That said, Faison said, he plans to do something after July 1, he just hasn't settled on exactly what.
Documents in the court file also note that some property is tied up in a dispute with Faison's ex-wife, Lindy Creech Faison. However, there is no listing of consumer debt, nor does Faison owe back taxes to the state or federal government.
The court filings mention that Faison is considering a possible lawsuit against Jeanie Milliken Bonds. Bonds, who served on Faison's campaign staff, is a Democratic communications and political consultant. Shortly after his failed gubernatorial bid, Faison and Bonds formed LiveWire Media Productions. Plans for the company included launching a North Carolina-based political affairs show, but that show never came about.
In his bankruptcy filing, Faison says he has a "potential claim against Jeanie Milliken Bonds for conversion of Debtor's property, misappropriation of corporate assets and usurping corporate opportunities."
Asked about that potential claim Wednesday, Faison said bar rules don't allow lawyers to discuss pending litigation.
"I feel constrained and prohibited from discussing anything related," he said.
For her part, Bonds said she was unclear on what Faison could be claiming. She said that, while they founded the company, they never had an operating agreement or managed to put a show together. The company, she said, owns some furniture and a logo.
"I haven't seen him in about a year," Bonds said late Wednesday. "This is complete fiction and make-believe."