Saturday, December 26, 2015

To pay or not to pay Rudy.....

Will they pay or won't they pay Rudy Warnock tis the question.  Madison County Engineer Rudy Warnock submitted 31 invoices to the Board of Supervisors Monday.  The Board refused to pay them, while Mr. Warnock threatened to sue if they are not paid (letter posted below).  Board attorney Mike Espy cited an Attorney General's opinion (posted below) placing a statute of limitations on the county's ability to pay the invoices.

Mr. Warnock submitted three invoices to Madison County from 2011.  The three invoices are $221, 315.   Mr. Warnock stated these invoices were properly submitted several years ago but were not properly paid.  Mr. Espy cited an AG opinion in justifying the denial of the claims.  The opinion states:

a county or municipality has a duty to assert the statute of limitations as a defense in refusing to pay a claim...

statutes of limitations do run in favor of the state, counties, and municipalities. ...

the assertion of such a defense is not discretionary and may not be waived....

Based upon the facts presented, payment of all three invoices is now barred by the statute of limitations.
However, Warnock Attorney Dorsey Carson stated in a letter to Madison County:
As to the first three invoices listed on this attachment, these invoices have been due for years. We are aware of the differing opinions from the State Auditor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office as to whether these are due and payable. The State Auditor’s letter is clear that they should be; the non-binding opinion of the Attorney General’s Office is that they are time-barred.

You may not be aware of the fact that, though the “total” on the invoices was inaccurate, the itemized listings on the invoices were not. These invoices were properly submitted and placed on the claims docket years ago. This is not a matter where the invoices were not placed on the claims docket at all. They were—there was just an addition error in the “total.” We believe this is a material fact of which the Attorney General’s Office was not informed or aware. My client’s position is that the itemized listings must be used rather than the total, and that each of these invoices continue to be due and owing.

Another significant distinction is that, unlike other contracts that have ended, the professional services contract of Warnock & Associates has not expired. The Board of Supervisors has an open account with Warnock & Associates.

For purposes of the Board of Supervisor’s consideration as to whether they should be paid today, it should be considered under the auspices of threatened litigation. If litigation is taken, then we believe that Warnock & Associates would be entitled to interest, which would be significant in this instance, and to attorneys’ fees under the Open Account statute.

As to the other invoices, while I do not purport to speak on behalf of the State Auditor, our understanding from conversations with that office results in a confirmation that these are all proper and payable. It is not the vendor’s duty to ensure that the Board of Supervisors does not exceed its budget during the first quarter, and my client properly performed work under its Professional Services Contract. If not paid, my client will have no choice but to seek the assistance of the court.
An itemized list of the invoices is posted below.  The Board voted to approve the two invoices for the Wost Wabbit project.   Mr. Espy said state law prevents the county from paying invoices if they are more than 25% of the county's road fund.  He also said the county could take up to 45 days to pay the invoices. 


Anonymous said...

Dorsey is a smart guy but i have no idea what he means by the last sentence of the next to last paragraph...."Of course, the board has every authority to pay any pending or threatened litigation." Huh??

Anonymous said...

Do not pay until ordered by a judge then appealed and upheld by the MS Supreme Court. During this time, call in the State Auditor and have him audit every transaction dealing with that slime ball.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks Rudy realizes he's about to get Stowered.

Anonymous said...

Just give Mike Espy some tickets to a ball game and he will go along with the program.

North side said...

ohhhh!totally agree w/ 3:28 <<<

Audit it all down the line entries on any job for MC.....

Anonymous said...

" in the State Auditor and have him audit every transaction dealing with that slime ball." December 26, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Might I remind you that MARY is NOT the State Auditor? Because of this unfortunate fact, it will not do one bit of good to have the current one involved. If anything, having the current one involved would have the OPPOSITE effect of what you're hoping for.

Anonymous said...

The state auditor and his personnel are just as curript as the rest of em. Our best bet is a very pissed off, mentally ill tax payer.

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Madison County I expect all of our elected officials to conduct business in an honest and fair way. I am not an attorney, but I seems to me that the State Auditor has submitted an opinion that is based on the assumption that the vendor did not submit an invoice for an extended period of time, and after several years submitted invoices. It appears that this is not the case. If the vendor waited several years to present invoices the County might need a law to protect it from this unexpected expense. In this case, invoices were submitted in a timely manner. Therefore, the County was aware of these expenses and should not need a legal loop hole to protect them. If the vendor is forced to sue I could see these consequences for us tax payers: 1. Some vendors will not want to work for the County. This will raise the cost of doing business for the County. 2. Vendors might choose to work for the county, but will charge higher prices as insurance against not getting paid. 3. If the County is at all late in paying, vendors will be forced to go to court to force prompt payments rather than rise having their claims barred. Once again, a higher cost of doing business for the tax payers.
Kingfish, does the County agree that the invoices were originally submitted in a timely manner ? And does anyone say why the invoices were not paid when submitted?
Seems to me that we taxpayers hired this man to do some work. He did the work. We should pay him. The County is just like any other business. If you don't pay your bills it will cost you in the long run. I am puzzled about why this is even a debate.

Anonymous said...

Conspicuously missing from the Carson letter is a single case upholding his position.

Doesn't mean he's wrong, necessarily.

Anonymous said...

There is a legal principle not mentioned: laches. It means that a claimant has sat on his rights for too long, and is prevented by equity from asserting those rights. Why didn't Warnock dun the BOS for payment?

Capt Wm said...

@8:34pm- Hi Dorsey!! I didn't know you were a Madison county resident. I thought you only came by every so often to help Rudy rip off us taxpayers and Banks tighten his grip on our gonads. You and I both know Warnock pads his bills every way he can. Maybe on the outside chance these bills ARE legit, then he can apply some of the millions he has f'd us out of (can you say "Bogus Airport Study"??) towards the legit bills and still come out a few million ahead.

Anonymous said...

So if you don't submit a bill for 8 years, you can still get paid?

Accounting 101 said...

8:34: Turn your cap around. It's an issue because Warnock is going through old cardboard boxes trying to justify fictitious invoices from a decade or longer ago. He's simply trying to create invoices that match some fictitious work-product that he thinks we are all too stupid to catch.

It's not a matter of the county NOT paying its bills. But, thanks for the business lesson that you failed miserably in giving the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Ain't this the same guy who went to the media and threatened to sue Madison's Mayor over suggestions that he was acting loose with the County's Cash Box? As I recall, she called his bluff and he went away.

Same will hold true here. He cannot survive an audit or three days on the stand.

Anonymous said...

Is it going to cost the taxpayers more to sue or to settle up?

One has to sue if owed a debt before the statute of limitations is up or write off the debt as many do because it's costly to sue, but if " on the court docket" means that condition was met, then it's the court's fault not to have given a speedy remedy.

The sad fact is that our court system , often because judges allow frivolous delays, denies justice and in the end, encourages corruption as cases are settled and those who would lose a case get to pay pennies on the dollar of what is owed if the one cheated has neither the time. emotional energy or means to spend years in court.

Anonymous said...

As stated by other commenters, what a very poorly written letter. And then to submit this letter the DAY OF a board meeting and make a demand to be placed on the agenda that same night. I suppose neither Dorsey or his client are aware of proper submission deadlines to be placed on a Board agenda, and instead have to make threats of litigation because they chose to not follow the same rules as everyone else.

Dorsey really could stand to get some more reputable clients.

Lookie Here Wouldja?... said...

What we have here..........

Is this a matter of a client selecting a piss poor attorney or an attorney accepting a questionable client? In any event, if the facts of the invoicing (errors, timeliness, tabled, etc) were in question eight years ago, that's when resolution should have been sought, demanded and had.

In another five or six years we'll see similar invoices surface from Rudy for unpaid trip reimbursement out to the lake at nowheresville.

Manager said...

Dorsey's letters are ALWAYS poorly written. Incorrect sentence construction, punctuation and spelling errors are found in almost every letter released to the public.

The Psychology Of Rudolph said...

Rudy has more money hidden away than The Catholic Church. Why would he hire such a local yokel? OK; I'll tell you why. He knows there's not a snowball's chance in Hell of collecting and he's just throwing a wet rag at the wall to see what might stick. That and he wants to ride off into the sunset perceived (by two or three) as a victim.

Anonymous said...

He may not have so much stashed away.

Anonymous said...

Now first you must cure your temper
Then you find a job in the paper
You need someone for a saviour
Oh, Rudie can't fail

Pappy Odaniel said...

The County doesn't have a leg to stand on and they better pay Rudy quick before they ruin the whole county engineer scam for the whole state. My guess is he will be paid soon, because the county engineer racket in Mississippi is too sweet a deal to keep its ugly carcass in the news. The problem here isn't Rudy, the problem is the design of the county engineer system in Mississippi. You hire a county engineer, who then turns around and generates work for himself and his subcontractors...Rudy is just the beneficiary in this case, its happening everywhere in this state.

Bernie in Oakdale said...

What's his handicap?

Anonymous said...

I second the motion that Pappy Odaniel change his name to Rumple Stiltskin.

Spots Conflict Of Interest said...

Reading the Clarion today, one might mistake Espy for Rudy's attorney.

Anonymous said...

Espy needs to take Rudy's side on this, since he will be on the outs in a few days as well. If he could have gotten these bills paid it would have made more cash available for his final 'fee for services' as well.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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