Mayoral candidate accused of not paying alleged campaign manager - CBS46 News

Mayoral candidate accused of not paying alleged campaign manager

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

A former Fulton County commissioner has been accused of failing to pay a former campaign worker in his race to regain his old commission seat.

Now William Edwards is running for mayor of the city of South Fulton and is making his own claims.

Edwards is no stranger to controversy -- last year he admitted to violating campaign finance laws and agreed to pay civil penalties after Georgia Government Transparency and the Campaign Finance Commission accused the former commissioner of spending nearly $14,000 in campaign cash and failing to properly account for tens of thousands of dollars.

Now Cheryl Scales, who claims to be Edwards' former campaign manager in his race to regain is Fulton County commission seat last year, has come forward charging Edwards owes her nearly $10,000 in back pay.

"I expected that when we came to the end of the campaign, Mr. Edwards would honor our agreement and would pay me against the fee that we agreed on," said Scales.

Edwards told me he never hired her as his campaign manager and never agreed to pay her $10,000.

"Character and integrity matters and I believed in him, and I waited and waited through the process," said Scales. "We shouldn't be here today."

Scales also filed a complaint with Georgia Government Transparency and the Campaign Finance Committee alleging Edwards' campaign failed to disclose staff payments to her in its reports and is asking that Edwards not be allowed to close out paperwork until it's corrected and she's paid.

In February the commission ruled that this is a classic case of one side against the other, and the decision will be delayed until after the civil suit is complete.

"So it's not unusual that I had a verbal agreement," said Scales. "Most everyone on the campaign did."

"Ms. Scales at the end of the campaign sent me an invoice for a bunch of money we didn't feel like we owed her," said Edwards.

The lawsuit comes as voters of the new city of South Fulton head to the polls Tuesday. Scales says she wants voters to get the whole picture on Edwards, while he claims it's politically motivated.

"This is obviously political, a matter of her trying to get me back with the people of South Fulton and get them to hold back their vote for me," said Edwards.

"I am very alarmed to hear that he's out her campaigning for mayor and he hasn't paid my client for the campaign she ran for him last year," said James Walker, who is Scales' attorney.

Edwards and Scales are back in court on April 19 for a judge to decide on the matter.

The race for mayor of South Fulton is crowded with nine candidates vowing for the post. The election is on March 21.

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