Chapin mayor agrees to pay utility attorney, drafts new contract - - Columbia, South Carolina

Chapin mayor agrees to pay utility attorney, drafts new contract


Chapin's mayor and the town's utility attorney have tentatively agreed on a contract that will pay the attorney $7,500 for the last five months and set a monthly rate for the rest of the year.

Utility attorney David Knight filed a complaint May 30 against Mayor James "Skip" Wilson Jr., after Knight said Wilson was refusing to sign checks for Knight's legal services since January, according to court documents. The payments were to be $1,500 a month.

Wilson says he was not signing the checks to Knight because he felt there was "an expressed conflict of interest" with the contract because at the time the contract was signed, Knight represented himself as the town's attorney and was also drafting the contract as the utility attorney. That contract was unanimously approved by Council in December, before Wilson took office.

"He has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with (the current contract)," Knight explained.

Knight agreed to let Wilson draft a new contract, which came after the attorney filed the lawsuit requesting payment for his legal services. However, in a press release sent out by the Town on Monday, it said Knight was asked to redraft the contract on several occasions so that payment for services could be made, but Knight never complied.

"I was quite surprised (the contract) was almost verbatim of what I sent out," Knight said, in regards to the new draft contract for Council to approve. "He only made two changes."

Knight said Wilson deleted the word "retainer" from the contract and changed the contract's time from "a rolling annual" agreement to a "flat one-year contract ending Dec. 31."

Knight told WIS he tentatively agreed on the contract, but it has to be approved by Council. A special meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chapin Town Hall for this contract to go before Council. Once the contract is approved, Wilson told Knight he would be paid the next day.

"The case is not settled," Knight said. "If he gives me a check, I'll sign the contract."

So far, Knight said Wilson has agreed to do just that.

The new contract keeps Knight's monthly rate at $1,500.

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