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By Linda Angelo, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Richard Dicks claims the city of Flint is refusing to pay him for consulting services he provided the Flint Ombudsman Office because he is supporting mayoral candidate Don Williamson.
City Finance Director Marc Puckett said the allegations are untrue. According to a letter Dicks sent Puckett, Dicks said four councilmen — Johnnie Tucker, Verdell Duncan, Edward Taylor and Matt Taylor — told Ombudsman Darryl Buchanan in May that he should not contract any services with Dicks because he may give Williamson information from the Ombudsman’s Office.
In the past, the Ombudsman’s Office has not engaged in any political activity.
In June, Dicks submitted a request for payment to the Ombudsman Office and was not paid.
He claims a mayoral appointee told Buchanan that anybody who is not supporting Mayor Woodrow Stanley will not get paid. He said he also was informed a new policy required the mayor’s approval and signature on professional service agreements.
It’s a sad day in the city of Flint when a legal contract is refused payment because an African-American supports a white candidate, Dicks wrote in the letter.
Puckett said Dicks has submitted five payment requests and has been paid $6,725. A payment request has not been processed since April, said Puckett.
He said the Finance Office requires that all professional service agreements be signed by the mayor and city clerk.
Puckett called Dicks’ letter misleading, especially since it included a professional service agreement dated Oct. 18, 1994.
Puckett said each professional service agreement is valid for a maximum of $2,000 and Dicks received payment for that invoice. He estimates Dicks still may be owed $1,300.
I’m outraged Mr. Dicks would claim we’re withholding payment because he’s an African-American supporting a white candidate, Puckett said.
I’m upset Darryl is bringing other people into his problems. That has to be resolved between himself and City Council.
The City Council put Buchanan on administrative leave with pay while it investigates allegations from two ombudsman office employees that Buchanan harassed them. Buchanan is suing the city and council over the matter.
Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.