Rockdale County Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays Sr. says the allegations made against him of not paying a contracted employee have no validity.
"I really need to talk to my attorney," Mays said Monday evening, referring to a man named DJ Asante. "I don't want to say anything that puts me in jeopardy."
"None of the allegations she's making are true," said Mays, referring to Freya Pearson, who alleges she worked for Mays on behalf of the Probate Court in trying to set up a Veteran's or Accountability Court and is owed about $20,000 in back pay.
He said Asante and a team were working to release a statement likely by Tuesday. He said they had not responded to Pearson or the office of her attorney Michael Waldrop as of Monday evening.
Asante is listed as a trustee and "attorney-in-fact" or authorized agent for the Mays Family Trust, according to a Oct. 7 disposessory motion filed in Rockdale County Magistrate Court by Asante against Freya Pearson. Asante is not listed as being part of the the Georgia Bar nor the South Carolina Bar.
"It was kind of upsetting both the papers decided to print it while I was out of town," said Mays. It was pointed out The News had called and texted him on his cell phone and left messages. "I did get the message but I didn't get a chance to call back," he said.
"I don't see the urgency of it," he said. "There's no case, no trial."
Pearson's threatened lawsuit, which Waldrop has promised if Mays doesn't pay off the backpay by Friday 4 p.m., is not the only possible court action Mays faces.
In July, Contractor Rodney Scott thought he was buying a home from Mays in the Viewpoint Condominium complex and had put about $10,500 worth of renovations into the condominium, where he currently lives. He considered himself a supporter of the Mays family and had even loaned them $300 for a trip to Florida, he said. But Scott began noticing red flags when the paperwork for the condominium was a long time coming. When the contract did arrive, Scott's lease purchase option contract was drawn up between the Mays Family Trust and himself; later he found out just a month earlier the condominum had been sold to Charles Mays Jr. The previous owner and deed holder told The News she was not aware Mays was attempting to transfer the property.
Scott filed a lawsuit seeking the $10,500 plus fees and damages.
Answers and counterclaims were filed in response, asking the courts to dismiss the matter. Asante also filed a counterclaim in response and asked $2,000 be awarded to Asante for damages.
The Viewpointe East Condominium Association is suing Charles K. Mays, Jr. over unpaid association fees. The president of the Viewpoint Condominiums Homeowners Association, Mike Zanetti, is also suing Judge Charles Mays Sr. for about $2,500 of unpaid wages for supervisory work he did for Mays on a contract for the Mariott hotel in Conyers, near Home Depot.
(Initially posted Oct. 17, 11:48 p.m. Updated Oct. 18, 8:46 p.m.) Rockdale Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays Sr. faces multiple lawsuits for lack of payment on services and one threatened lawsuit for almost $20,000 of unpaid work and expenses on behalf of the court.
A letter submitted to Mays Oct. 15 from attorney Michael Waldrop, representing his client Freya Pearson, outlined that Mays had asked Pearson to move from California to Conyers to work on Rockdale County Probate Court projects. Pearson was to work on a possible Veteran's and Mental Health accountability court as well as other tasks, said Waldrop.
Since Mays is not a practicing attorney and not a member of the Georgia Bar, any accountability court handling felony matters would need to be handled with the Superior Court, according to the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts. Misdemeanors could be handled, however. Probate Courts typically handle matters such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, gun licenses, adoptions, wills and such.
Pearson moved with her child and grandchild to Mays' home on McCalla Street around February this year.
An invoice submitted by Pearson calculated at least 616 regular hours and 239 overtime hours she had worked, along with a trip to the North Carolina Veterans Court in June that was paid out of pocket for a total of $24,125.
Pearson was reportedly paid $2,500 once by the county and had three payments of $640 from a temporary agency. Waldrop writes that Mays refuses to submit the request to the county Finance Department in order to pay Pearson.
"Ms. Pearson has approached you countless times asking and even begging to get paid. However, even though you know and have acknowledged that she is owed the money.... You continue to fail and refuse to have her paid for the services she provided," wrote Waldrop.
"Once you got from Ms. Pearson what you wanted and needed, you and your family began treating her and her child and grandchild horribly. Ms. Pearson has been denied a key to the home, has had the power turned off by your family members when she was washing clothes, she and her child have been denied access to the most basic cooking utensils, her child has been treated and spoken to harsly by those within your family, and the list could go on and on."
He continued, "As you can well imagine, I do not make a habit of suing sitting Judges. However, when I came to learn of the facts of this case, I determined that I could not in good conscience sit idly by while you continue to take advantage of this woman and treat her in the ways that you have."
The Mays Family Trust had filed a Dispossessory Summons against Pearson in Magistrate Court on Oct. 1 for about $5,600 in rent and interest and fees.
"As the ultimate insult and the straw that caused me to become formally involved on Ms. Pearson's behalf, you have now caused a dispossessory action to be filed against her seeing to have her, her child and her grandchild removed from her home even though she has no money with which to move and even while you refuse to have her paid the almost $20,000 that she is owed," Waldrop wrote.
In the response to the dispossessory action, Waldrop outlined that the Mays Family Trust had no legal standing to file a dispossessory against Pearson, calling it "an artifice created by and/or on behalf of the Honorable Charles Mays, Sr. and others to attempt to shield his assets during his recent bankruptcy proceedings and/or for other misdirecting purposes."
Mays had been granted a Chapter 13 bankrupcy but that had recently been dismissed due to failure to meet the terms and payment schedule agreed upon, according to court documents.
Waldrop also asked that for any hearing of the matter, that Magistrate Judge Phinia Aten recuse herself since she and Mays are sitting judges in the same circuit and "one-time" political colleagues. Both were elected in 2012 on the "Slate of Eight" ticket of local Democratic candidates.
Aten said Sunday that recusal is routine for any case involving another local elected official. "It is my intention to recuse myself because it's one of our other elected officials," she said, adding, "I haven't seen the motion and couldn't comment on the lititgation." Aten said she had recused herself in a previous case involving a local elected official.
"There's a formal process - the uniform magistrate court process - that rules how the new judge would be selected," she explained.
Multiple attempts to contact Mays were not returned by press time. Mays was reportedly out of town this past week.
Waldrop gave Mays a deadline of repaying Pearson in full by Friday, Oct. 24, 4 p.m. or he would "demonstrate to you what the full weight of the law can feel like when it is brought down up on you."
Mays and his family also face multiple lawsuits for unpaid services related to his construction contracting work.
Michael Zanetti, a former Army Captain and president of the Viewpoint Condominiums Homeowner's Association, had previously worked on Mays' campaign and had previously run unsuccessfully for Conyers Mayor. Over the last decade, he considered Mays a good family friend, even allowing the Mays family to live in his condo for years while Zanetti was called up for active duty in Iraq.
Zanetti, a contractor, is suing Mays in a September 17 lawsuit for about $2,500 owed for supervising work at the new Conyers Mariott hotel and for tools that were never returned.
Zanetti said Mays had owed him money before this but Zanetti had let it slide; however Mays' recent behavior along with the fact the judge owed multiple people for unpaid work made Zanetti put his foot down.
"That really ticked me off," said Zanetti. "I was making a statement... You're telling people there's a problem here."
Contractor Rodney Scott is also suing Mays, his son Charles Kevin Mays Jr. and wife Victoria Mays for about $10,500 of unpaid services in renovating a condominium, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 9.
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