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Attorney sues mayoral candidate

A Statesboro mayoral candidate is facing a lawsuit from an attorney who says he has not paid her more than $20,000 in legal fees.

Susan W. Cox, an attorney with Statesboro law firm Edenfield, Cox, Bruce and Classens, filed the suit Oct. 9 in Bulloch County State Court against William "Bill" Thomas, who operates Big Bad Wolf Catering.

The civil suit states, "This is a claim for unpaid attorney's fees and costs and for a claim on an open account."

Thomas declined to comment Tuesday regarding the suit except to say that he is considering his legal options.
Cox filed the suit 19 months after she said she received the last payment from Thomas, which was in March 2012. It states that the fees Cox charged stem from her representation of Thomas from August 2007 to July 2010.

She represented him when his ex-wife, Jodi Thomas, tried to renew a restraining order against him. The case was ruled in Bill Thomas' favor, and afterward he "retained Cox for matters in Cherokee County involving his ex-wife," according to the suit, which also alleges Thomas was sued by a credit card company over charges Jodi Thomas made.

Cox helped get the credit card case dismissed, and Bill Thomas agreed to pay Cox for attorney's fees and expenses she incurred, the suit states.

In the suit, Cox claims Thomas still owes her and her law firm about $22,243.

Cox, who has publicly shown support for mayoral candidate Jan Moore, declined to comment Tuesday when the Statesboro Herald sought an answer as to whether the suit's filing date — less than a month before the Nov. 5 election in the mayoral race — was politically motivated.

Cox was one of several people who signed a campaign advertisement for Moore that appeared in the Herald on Sept. 22 and 24. Moore is the business editor for the Herald and a behavior intervention specialist/psychologist for the Bulloch County Board of Education.

The other mayoral candidates are incumbent Joe Brannen and Jonathan McCollar, a senior community manager for the American Cancer Society and a Realtor.

An assistant at the law firm who took calls for Cox Tuesday said she had given the attorney messages regarding calls seeking comment, but told a reporter Cox "would not comment" and that Cox felt the civil suit was self-explanatory.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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