12 News Investigates: Former Metrocenter Mall employees claim they haven’t been paid in months

12 News Investigates

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Staff members at Metrocenter Mall in Jackson have resigned from their positions saying they haven’t been paid in months. The former vice president of operations and the public relations manager of the Metrocenter Mall said they were cheated out of $175,000 in salary.

Katherine Parker, who was the public relations director for the Metrocenter, said she was promised a $50,000 salary following a negotiation with Emily Sanders.

“She said, ‘How about $45?’ And I was like, wow, okay. Then she said, ‘No, $50. The Lord is telling me $50.’ And I said, ‘Thank you, Jesus.’ I’ve never made $50,000 in my life.”

Parker said she hasn’t made a dime. She also said benefits were not included in the deal, but she was prepared to make it work.

“I was like, okay it’s going to be tight, but I’ll make it work. So, January 1st rolled around and still haven’t been paid. I’m owed roughly $8,800.”

She’s not the only one owed money. Dr. William Grisby was the former vice president of operations.

“The salary package was $125,000 a year, 12.5 percent of the net profits paid at an annual basis as well as an apartment in the mall that would be retrofitted,” he stated.

Dr. Grisby and his wife moved into the Metrocenter Mall alongside other staff, but living conditions never improved.

“My wife had to wash the dishes in the bathroom sink with no hot water.”

Grisby and Parker said when they approached Sanders to ask for help or updates, she told them that there was no money. They said her actions did not prove that.

“I told her I have $26 and me and my wife are eating out of cans, and she said, ‘There’s nothing I can do.’ I mean the night before she and her daughter are frantically calling Kroger looking for snow crab legs.”

Christopher Jones was an investor. He said he was put out thousands of dollars into fixing roof leaks and making improvements to the parking lot.

“We were in the process of making it a great live work and dine community,” Jones stated.

Things turned bad quickly.

“I got a very disturbing email telling us to come and get all of our things out, do not step foot back on the property. She’s going to get a restraining order against us, and she felt like I was trying to cheat her out of her property,” he said.

Now, Jones is suing Sanders for civil RICO, fraud, racketeering, civil conspiracy and commercial fraud. Meanwhile, Parker and Grisby expect to receive the money they are owed soon.

12 News reached out to Emily Sanders for a comment on the claims and lawsuit, and have not yet heard from her.

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