A former Probate Court worker will move forward with the lawsuit against Rockdale County Probate Court Judge Charles K. Mays, Sr. for almost $20,000 of unpaid backpay after no response was received from Mays or the county by the Friday deadline, according to her attorney. A related lawsuit and a separate lawsuit involved Mays will also move forward in Magistrate Court in November.
Freya Pearson, through her attorney Michael Waldrop, had threatened to sue Mays if the $20,000 in wages and expenses was not paid by Friday, 4 p.m. Waldrop said no response had been received by the deadline and that they would be filing the lawsuit on Monday, Oct. 27.
Mays family advisor Pastor Charmaine Moss nee Hutcheson told The News last Sunday, Oct. 19, that DJ Asante was working on a statement from the Mays family.
On Monday while leaving his office, Mays declined to comment but did say regarding Pearson, "None of the allegations she's making are true." Mays said a statement would be sent from his attorney DJ Asante by Tuesday. However no statement received by press time Friday. Asante is not a member of the Georgia Bar nor the South Carolina Bar, according to the online member directory.
Since then, attempts to reach Mays for comment were not returned by press time.
Two other lawsuits involving Mays - one by contractor Rodney Scott who thought he was buying a condominium from Mays and invested $10,500 in renovating the unit, and one from the Mays Family Trust against Pearson for $5,600 unpaid rent - will also move forward in Magistrate Court Nov. 5.
Magistrate Court Judge Phinia Aten filed to recuse herself and Magistrate Judges Garland Moore and Cindy Stacey from both cases. The replacement judge will be selected by the District 4 Representative of the Council of Magistrate Court Judges Executive Committee, Beryl Anderson.
Pearson, a family friend, moved around the end of February from California with her 13-year-old daughter and 5-year-old granddaughter to live with the Mays' family in their rented McCalla Street home in order to work on setting up a Veterans or Mental Health accountability court.
Since Mays is not an active attorney nor 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. Probate Courts typically handle matters such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, gun licenses, adoptions, wills.
According to documents obtained by an Open Records Request, the court applied to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council in March 2014 for about $360,000 to set up a Veterans and Mental Health Court targeting offenders with misdemeanors without substance abuse problems or who were "actively or acutely psychotic" with charges based on their illness. That application was turned down.
A letter sent June 2014 from Superior Court Judge David Irwin to the Rockdale County Finance Department stated, regarding the authority to operate accountability courts, "I have had conversations with Judge Charles Mays informing him that he does not have such authority and I would not assist him or his office in seeking funds for such an endeavor."
An invoice submitted by Pearson calculated she had worked 616 regular hours and 239 overtime hours, and included a trip to the North Carolina Veterans Court in June that was paid out of pocket for a total of $24,125. She was paid $4,420 through temp agency payments and one payment from the county.
The Probate Court had applied for a grant in 2013 from the Hospital Authority of Rockdale County for helping indigent residents pay for the fees to gain legal decision making powers for incapacitated adults, but that application was turned down.
No other grants were reportedly gained by the Probate Court, according to a county spokesperson.
Mays had faced legal action regarding unpaid bills before and after he was elected as Probate Judge in 2012 and began in office in 2013.
Danco Financial was seeking to garnish Mays' wages in late 2013/early 2014 to recover about $3,200.
Ford Motor Credit Company was also seeking the same for about $23,300.
However a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy was filed in April 2014 for both Mays and his wife Victoria, according to court documents.
At some point, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy was filed instead, but the terms of the bankruptcy were not met and the Chapter 13 status was dismissed in September, according to court documents.
As a Probate Judge in a county with a population between 75,000 to 99,999, Mays receives an annual salary of $104,182.