JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson’s garbage conflict has entered a new phase as the city faces a new lawsuit from it’s emergency provider, Richard’s Disposal. They’re demanding $1.6 million.
Richard’s Disposal filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court, seeking more than $1.6 million in restitution. Attorneys representing the company argue Richard’s has provided services with zero compensation.
“They have received no money from the city since it began doing pick up on April 1,” said attorney for Richard’s Disposal, John L. Walker.
On April 1, Richard’s began picking up trash, months after Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba gave the company the green light under an emergency contract.
The same day, attorneys for the city council sent Richard’s a cease and desist letter, warning that the company would not be compensated.
“Regardless of emergency, the council has the right, the Constitutional right, to positively adopt contracts, legislation and any and all of the ordinances,” said independent special counsel attorney, Deshun T. Martin.
According to court documents, Richard’s submitted invoices in May and June to the council for more than $800,000 each.
However, the council removed the invoices from its May claims docket on a 5-2 vote.
“The council in its court pleadings has requested the mayor to get the garbage picked up. There is no dispute that that has been requested for the services and Richard’s has been acting in good faith,” said Walker.
Attorneys for Richard’s stand by the claim that the mayor gave them notice to proceed with garbage collection in February.
“They are carrying out their contract with the city that it entered into in February,” said Walker.
Yet, attorneys with the city council said the contract is nonexistent.
“It’s time to return to the RFP process, get another slate of candidates and pick. Select the candidate that receives a majority vote,” said Walker.
Special Judge Larry Roberts issued his final judgement in the council’s lawsuit against the mayor. The judge confirmed his findings that Mayor Lumumba had no veto authority over the council when it rejected his proposed contract with Richard’s
The mayor is expected to appeal that ruling.