More than a month has passed since we first asked Mr. Pagano to level with Wicomico County residents about his past, and we have repeated, more than once, our invitation for him to do so on this blog. We have concluded that a cat has latched onto his tongue. Or is it his campaign manager, Michael Pretl?
We have been searching, and now have some details – this is from an article we found on the Internet that indicates that it appeared in the New York Times in July 2006 and discusses “Ron Pagano, 53, of Pasadena, Md.,” who is described as having degenerative arthritis as a result of inherited dwarfism:
In the 1970’s and 80’s, Mr. Pagano sold life insurance, started an electronic parts distribution company and worked in estate planning services, but eventually his arthritis got so bad that some days he couldn’t get out of bed, he said.
He went on disability in 2000, and later the RISE program provided him with eight weeks of training to evaluate the demographics and finances for a Coffee News franchise. He submitted a business plan for Coffee News — a one-page coffee-colored sheet that features human interest articles along with local advertising and is distributed to restaurants, coffee shops and motels — and received a $15,000 start-up grant for his franchise in Howard County, Md.
Since his mobility is restricted, Mr. Pagano takes care of the inside jobs, including accounting and billing, as well as the layout, design and printing. His wife, Karen, who is not disabled, handles the marketing, the sales and the distribution to 180 locations weekly.
So far, Mr. Pagano does not make enough — he declined to say exactly how much — to forgo federal disability and health care, but says, “We’re building something neat.”
What's interesting is the absence of any mention of practicing law in Ohio or elsewhere. And, possibly even more interesting, assuming that this is about the "Ronald A. Pagano" named in that federal tax lien filed last year for over $1 million, is how he went from being too poor "to forego federal disability and health care" to having huge unpaid tax liability just two years later.
Maybe Mr. Pretl will tell us – Pagano surely is not going to do so.
Maryland court records indicate that "Ronald Anthony Pagano" and his former wife, Karen, were divorced in 2009, when she was authorized to resume using her former name.