July 10, 2012

Former Realtor now running for Dare Board
of Commissioners had broker license revoked

By CATHERINE KOZAK



Kevin Conner, a former Realtor who had his broker license revoked by the state two years ago for mismanagement of trust funds, has qualified to run as an unaffiliated candidate for District 4 of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

Conner, who lives in Hatteras village, is seeking to unseat fellow Hatteras resident Allen Burrus, a Democrat and the board’s vice-chairman.

In a petition he submitted to the Dare County Board of Elections, Conner exceeded the 1,086 names required to get on the ballot in November, said Director Melva Garrison. Of the 1,202 names submitted, she said, 1,106 names qualified and were certified on Monday afternoon.

Sandy Semans Ross, the recently retired editor of the Outer Banks Sentinel, also sought to run as an unaffiliated candidate for the Board of Commissioners in District 1, but did not have enough signatures on her petition, Garrison said.

On his Facebook page, Conner posted a notice that his name will be on the ballot.

“This is proof-positive that dreams are still attainable in this country if you’re determined and willing to hard work to achieve your goals,” he wrote.

Conner did not return several phone calls seeking comment, or respond to a message sent to him on Facebook.

Until recently he was employed at Frisco Woods Campground, but a person who answered the phone there today said Conner no longer worked there. It could not be determined if he has another job.

He is also a former Dare County Republican Party chairman, though he is running for the Board of Commissioners as an unaffiliated candidate.

In November 2010, Conner’s broker license was revoked by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for failure to account for security deposits totaling $3,400.

The commission also found that Conner did not disburse the funds to the rightful owner, and not only failed to safeguard the funds, but also abandoned them and their records. 

In addition, Conner was found to have operated Conner Resorts, Inc., advertised and collected fees while knowing the firm had a suspended license dating back to 2006.

Janet Thoren, the head of the commission’s legal division, said that Outer Banks Construction and Real Estate and owner Matthew Hall had “supposedly” taken over Conner Resorts, but that “was equally disastrous.” Neither man could determine who owned the money, she said.

Hall and his company also had their licenses revoked by the commission, she said.

Thoren said that the charges against Conner were “fairly serious,” since he was entrusted to hold deposits and rent payments on behalf of his landlord clients and his tenants.

“The records were so bad, we couldn’t tell if there was money missing or not,” she said. “It was a big mess.”

Conner has not reapplied for his license, she said.

 Thoren also said she is not aware of any civil lawsuits against Conner, although a complaint to the state attorney general’s office about Conner was forwarded to the commission by Kathleen and William Janik, a Boardman, Ohio couple who said Conner never refunded their money as promised after they had to leave property he rented to them in 2005 in South Nags Head.

Reached by telephone at her Ohio home, Kathleen Janik said that the house had had an obvious leaking roof, and consequently, the floorboards had rotted and the ceiling was falling down.

“It had a whole bunch of problems -- serious problems,” she said.

Conner provided another house for them, which Janik said was also inadequate but not quite as bad. Meanwhile, she said, he promised them a full refund.

Despite repeated phone calls, followed by letters, and assurances that the check was in the mail, Janik said that the couple, who have visited the Outer Banks since 1975, never received a dime from Conner.

“I’m just really annoyed at the way he treated us,” she said, adding that he not only ignored them, he also hung up on them.  “He comes across as a really nice man and he was nice -- until we started calling him. And then he wasn’t so nice.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Click here to read about the reports on the 2006 suspension of Kevin Conner’s broker license and the 2010 revocation of the license in the Bulletin of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.


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