I sue you, you sue me. So goes the Ballad of Rudy the Warnock. Former Madison County engineer Rudy Warnock filed an amended complaint against his former client in U.S. District Court last Thursday as he claimed the county owed him $1.448 million. Madison County said "we see you one lawsuit and raise you one lawsuit" as it sued Mr. Warnock and his firm in Madison County Circuit Court yesterday.
Mr. Warnock sued Madison County as well as County Engineer Dan Gaillet and all five Superivors in their official and individual capacities. He claimed the county owed him payment on "35 construction projects". Paragraph 21 (p.4) itemizes the alleged damages. Mr. Warnock also claims some of the plans and other engineering designs are copyrighted materials and refuses to release them to the county. The North Highland Colony Parkway is one such project. Mr. Warnock argues:
The North Highland Colony Parkway Engineering Work is protected by copyright, and Plaintiffs own copyrights in the North Highland Colony Parkway Engineering Work.He makes similar claims for the Yandell Road, Bozeman Road, and Reunion Parkway III-A projects. He said he plans to apply for registration of copyright for the engineering work for Calhoun Station, Reunion Parkway II, and Gluckstadt Road projects.
37. Plaintiffs have applied for registration of the North Highland Colony Parkway Engineering Work with the Register of Copyrights, paid the required fee, deposited the work in question, and the Copyright Office has received the registration application. Plaintiffs are awaiting issuance of a certificate of registration which, upon receipt, will be filed with the Court.
Mr. Warnock also argued that the Board of Supervisors voted to pay him $91,330 at its January 19 meeting but that the payment has not been made. The plaintiff alleges that Mr. Gaillet used his copyrighted work without permission to work on several projects.
The complaint charges the defendants with copyright, contributory, and vicarious infringement. Mr. Warnock also threw in a charge of breach of contract and prayyyyyed for some relief as well as some actual damages, attorney's fees, and interest. Mr. Warnock is represented by attorney Dorsey Carson. The case is assigned to Judge Carlton Reeves and referred to Magistrate Keith Ball.
Not to be outdone by the wayward engineer, Madison County sued Mr. Warnock in Madison County Circuit Court yesterday. The case is assigned to Judge Steve Ratcliff. Madison County argued that the engineer knew his contract would end when the term expired and that he had a duty to cooperate with the incoming engineer to ensure a smooth transition.
Madison County argued there was no federal jurisdiction over Mr. Warnock's claims. The complaint states that Madison County owes no money to Warnock & Associates and that if anything, the engineering firm owes money to the county for "overpayments" for "work billed but not performed and/or overbilled." Dem's fightin' words.
The complaint states alleges that Madison County "owns all engineering documents created by Rudy Warnock for any and all state aid projects" (a list of projects is provided on pages 5-7). Then there is Sulpher Springs.
Madison County states that Mr. Warnock
was required to submit to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality a notice of completion and a set of "as-built" plans showing that Sulphur Springs park dam work was comleted in substantial compliance with the plans approved by MDEQ in January 2014. MDEQ has been requesting this information since October 25, 2015. Warnock has refused to provide the requested information which is in or should be in his possession.Madison County asked the Court to order Mr. Warnock to deliver all plans and specifications to the county. It also asked the court to rule that he breached several contracts and intentionally interfered with other contracts. Madison County charged that the refusal to provide his engineering designs was "conversion" and asked for actual and punitive damages against the engineer. The complaint asks for an accounting of payments made to Warnock LLC for a list of contracts provided in the lawsuit.
Without the above listed required docuemnts, MDEQ will not issue a surface water impoundment permit. Impounding water without a permit is a violation of state law.
Failure to complety with MDEQ's requests will result in a final notice letter being issued by MDEQ that will set a timeline for bringing this matter before the Commission on Environmental Quality. The Commission can order that the lake be drained and that any dam remaining in an unsafe condition be removed. Warnock LLC has failed and refused to submit the required documents....
Madison County is represented by.............. David Mockbee. What? You thought $200,000 per year attorney Katie Bryant Snell would have represented the county? You would be wrong. Stay tuned. This will be fun to watch.