Former city manager Williams considers lawsuit

According to a memorandum obtained from former City Council member Bobby Gupton, former City Manager Eric Williams is considering bringing suit against the City of Henderson for severance and benefits.

Williams is being represented by Henderson attorney Mike Satterwhite.

According to the memorandum, dated November 30, 2007 and written by Interim City Manager Ed Wyatt, Williams chose not to cash a check sent to him by former City Manager Jerry Moss.

According to former City Council member Elissa Yount, the check was for funds due Williams rather than any kind of settlement offer.

The memorandum goes on to state that the two-year statute of limitations for filing suit expires for Williams on December 5, 2007. Wyatt indicated that the alternatives were to let Williams file suit against the city or enter into a requested tolling agreement with Williams for a six-month extension.

A tolling agreement is when two parties agree to set aside statutory limitations on legal actions for a mutually agreed-upon length of time. Presumably, it gives the parties more time to resolve the conflict before legal action is taken.

Wyatt indicated in the memo that he would proceed with the tolling agreement unless advised otherwise by the Council.

According to former Henderson City Council member Elissa Yount, five members of the former Council, including Yount, instructed Wyatt not to enter into a tolling agreement in the minutes before their last meeting on December 3, 2007.

Yount said that Wyatt stately verbally that he would not agree to the tolling arrangement.

The issue was not discussed in open session.

“I thought the city paying [Williams’] severance was extremely generous,” Yount told Home in Henderson in a telephone interview.

However, a tolling agreement was entered into between Williams and the city after the new Council took office on December 3, 2007, thus extending by six months the period in which the former manager of 27 years may bring suit against the City if no settlement is reached.