Barber sues for damages one day after civil complaint filed
Published 2:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2017
NATCHEZ — A day after learning of a civil allegation filed against him over a business dispute, a justice court judge candidate is suing for damages.
The candidate, Danny Barber, is suing his former business partner Kevin Wilson, Black Jack Oil Company and Black Jack Holdings, both of which Wilson either owns or manages, Concordia Bank & Trust Company and John Does 1-5 are also named in the Adams County Circuit Court suit.
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Wilson said Barber is entitled to the suit if he wishes.
“If I were him, I would not do that,” Wilson said. “All it is going to do is air a whole lot of his dirty laundry.”
Wilson on Wednesday filed a civil report with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office about missing money from a business venture Wilson and Barber were partners in — Natchez Auto Body Shop LLC on U.S. 61 North.
Barber is seeking punitive damages for negligence, gross negligence and/or intentional conduct, intentional and or negligent infliction of emotional distress, libel, outrage and defamation. Barber also seeks damages for invasion of privacy and breach of fiduciary duty concerning Concordia Bank & Trust Company.
Barber said Concordia Bank’s involvement relates to a teller divulging his private banking information to Wilson.
While Barber contends Natchez Auto Body Shop was just a business deal that went bad, Wilson has said the failure is not as simple.
Wilson said his private investigation has brought up many questions.
“We have a problem,” Wilson said. “We just don’t know what the extent is. We still have to do a whole lot of digging.”
Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten has referred the case to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation since Barber is a former deputy. Patten said if the MBI cannot take the investigation, it would be referred to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.
Patten said Friday he has not yet heard back from the bureau on if they will handle the case.
Barber said the business closed in September 2016, and Wilson has had a year to make allegations and Barber said it is suspicious the allegations did not come until less than a week before the Nov. 7 election.
“The man is trying to ruin my reputation right here before the election,” Barber said. “I feel all of this is politically motivated. It is very obvious — if he had a problem, he should have done something a while back.”
Wilson said the report is motivated by money, not politics. Wilson said he is going after everyone who owes him money at this time.
The timing issue is because Wilson has had a back and forth with his accountant as Wilson investigated the business and also learning of a Natchez Auto Body account in Barber’s name that holds a large amount of money.
Wilson said he has not given money to any candidate.
Barber said the business was liquidated for approximately $42,000 in September 2016. Barber said he used a portion of the funds within the account to pay taxes and also paid vendors and other bills.
Barber said in December 2016, Wilson withdrew the remaining $19,000 in funds from the account.
“There is nothing there,” Barber said. “I am not going to stand by and let this man step on me and ruin my reputation. I will not let it happen to me.”