Beulah City Councilman and mayoral candidate Sean Cheatley said this week that the publication of his criminal and civil court records was a personal attack.
With less than a month until Beulah’s special mayoral election, discussion over the two candidates — current mayor Jeff Gooss and challenger Cheatley — shifted this week to allegations over past behavior by either party.
On July 10, a member of the public shared on Gooss’s official Facebook page links to commentary online by individuals who claimed to have been customers of Gooss. The public forum entry and online review associated with Gooss’s Las Vegas automotive business allege “distasteful” behavior by Gooss through the business.
In response to the links, Gooss shared a screen capture image displaying Cheatley’s public criminal record and stating he does not believe Cheatley should be a member of the council, “let alone a mayoral candidate”.
Cheatley’s history includes a 2002 and 2004 felony arrest for issuing checks with insufficient funds, a charge he faced misdemeanors for between 2001 and 2002. Cheatley was arrested for theft of property in 2005 and disorderly conduct and DUI in 2005.
The most recent charge is a DUI arrest issued in June of 2006.
Cheatley told the Beacon on Monday that he doesn’t deny any of the charges on his record.
Cheatley said that he struggled to make ends meet several years between 1998 and 2004, leading to roughly 20 instances where he issued a check that bounced.
Regarding the driving under the influence, theft and disorderly conduct arrests in 2005 and 2006, Cheatley said he made poor decisions while consuming alcohol during those instances.
“Am I proud of it? No, of course not. I was young and I messed up,” Cheatley said.
Cheatley said he does not feel the charges are relevant to his current position on the city council or his campaign for mayor. He said he is “a different man” today.
Cheatley said he felt publishing his record was a personal attack by the opposition and that he did not support any efforts to publicize potentially damaging information regarding Gooss’s past.
Regarding the statements made regarding his own past, Gooss said that his position as a sheriff’s deputy is evidence that claims of misconduct are false.
“If there were truths to the allegations, I would not hold the security clearances that I hold, nor would I be in law enforcement,” Gooss said.