Candidate settles with consultant
By BRYAN GILMER, Times Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG -- Former St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Larry Williams and a campaign consultant say they have settled a lawsuit that accused Williams of failing to pay $14,821.40 he owed.
The Mallard Group filed the lawsuit in October, saying it repeatedly tried to collect from Williams. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
"I didn't think they did the job I thought they should do," Williams said Friday, when asked about Mallard's allegation that he didn't pay. "I'm kind of a results-oriented person."
But Mallard said in its court complaint that "there is no ... issue of law or fact to support defendant's nonpayment."
Williams, former chairman of the City Council, lost in the mayoral primary last March, finishing third behind Rick Baker and Kathleen Ford. Though Williams requested a partial recount, that only extended Ford's lead over him from 219 to 220 votes. Baker beat Ford in the general election a month later.
A contract between Mallard and the Williams campaign, which Williams signed, says the firm was to receive a consulting fee of $15,000 in monthly installments. It also says the campaign was to reimburse the firm's out-of-pocket expenses and pay the costs of producing and placing advertising messages.
The contract includes no waiver of Mallard's fees in the event that Williams lost the election.
Williams said he will pay the settlement out of his own pocket. He said he could not remember the amount. Williams' campaign raised and spent more than $48,000. He said his campaign account was tapped out by the end of the campaign.
John Hebert, the president of the Mallard Group, was out of town Friday and did not respond to messages left at his Clearwater office.
Mallard's attorney, Kathryn M. Welsh of Clearwater, said the suit has been settled but declined to comment further without speaking to Hebert. She also declined to reveal the terms of the settlement.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the Times
local news desks