On a website promoting Mike Vinck for Cass County clerk, the candidate is shown in a parade, riding in the back of an old red Chevy pickup.
“Mike Vinck will bring trust, integrity and respect to the Office of Cass County Clerk,” the site says.
His family members don’t see it that way. They say Vinck ransacked the family business, taking more than $240,000 for personal use, including a company credit card charge at Victoria’s Secret.
“What does Victoria’s Secret have to do with wooden doors?” Michelle Rawie, Vinck’s sister, said Friday.
Never miss a local story.
Last Monday, Eagle Door Supply, a Kansas City company founded by the parents, filed a lawsuit against Vinck, alleging he took the money in the years he served as president of the company after his parents retired in 1996.
“It just breaks everybody’s heart,” his mother, Barbara Vinck, said Friday from her home in Eau Claire, Wis. “Mike has lost his family. He didn’t even call when I was in intensive care last year. It’s just all so sad.”
When asked for comment, Vinck, a Republican who lives in Raymore, sent this message by email:
“In regards to the recent legal dispute brought forth from a family member stemming from my time with the company, my only comment is that I will be vigorously refuting the allegations in the civil justice system and am also reviewing with my attorney the possibility of a countersuit for defamation of character.
“In the meantime, I will passionately continue my election campaign of bringing positive change to the office of Cass County Clerk and will not be engaging in the political mudslinging that I think the voters are tired of.”
It’s unclear what “family member” Vinck, the youngest of five children, is referring to. His mother, sister and a brother said the entire family is united against him. The family has decided against criminal prosecution. When suspicions arose, they had accountants examine the company’s finances.
According to the lawsuit, the missing money amounts to $240,741.34. Thomas Vinck, a brother who has been helping run the company since Mike Vinck left in August 2013, said Mike Vinck has refused repeated family pleas to return the money.
“Mike was taking his inheritance before it was time,” Thomas Vinck said. “My folks are in their 80s and this has about killed them.
“I’ve gone through two divorces and I would take 10 ugly divorces over one of these.”