MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon businessman and City Council member Jay Maners is appealing a Knox County Common Pleas Court judgment that claims Maners owes over $70,000, plus interest, for unresolved payments toward his purchase of Taylor Rental Center.
“It was way back when I sold my business to Bobcat (of Columbus), and Bobcat went bankrupt,” Maners told the News. “One of the creditors that was owed by Bobcat, and was listed in the lawsuit, has decided to sue me since I was involved in it and was the previous owner.”
John Hollish, former owner of Taylor Rental Center, filed suit against Maners on Dec. 9, 2009, claiming Maners still owed $72,692.61, plus 7 1/2 percent interest from Dec. 2, 2003, when payments stopped from Bobcat of Columbus.
Hollish and Maners signed a contract on Dec. 31, 1995, detailing the purchase of Taylor Rental Center including monthly payments to Hollish, tangible assets, consultation services, and other clarifications.
In March of 2000, Maners sold Taylor Rental to Bobcat of Columbus. Part of that 58-page contract stipulated that Bobcat assumed all of Taylor Rental’s financial obligations, including payments to Hollish. In 2004, Bobcat of Columbus filed bankruptcy and listed both Hollish and Maners as creditors.
“Plaintiff’s only status in the bankruptcy case was as the owner and holder of a obligation upon which Bobcat was responsible to [Maners], and [Maners] was responsible to [Hollish],” states a pre-trial brief submitted by Hollish’s attorney, Ken Lane.
“Prior to offering Taylor Rental for sale, [Maners] contacted [Hollish] to see if he would object. [Hollish] did not object to this sale and upon information and belief, [Hollish] agreed to the assignment of this debt to Bobcat of Columbus, Ltd,” John Dilts, attorney for Maners stated in the defendant’s pre-trial brief.
According to court documents filed on behalf of Maners, Hollish accepted payment from Bobcat from May 2000 to December 2003.
On June 1, 2004, Hollish penned a letter to Maners and his wife, Angel, concerning Bobcat’s bankruptcy and how situations such as that “can really hurt and cause people (to) do uncharacteristic things for reasons of self-preservation.” Hollish went on to say he was “not anxious to make any demands” but was concerned about the money that was owed to him.
Judge Otho Eyster released a judgement entry on Jan. 27, 2011, finding in Hollish’s favor and awarded him the amount as requested in the claim.
Maner’s filed his appeal in February and said he expects it to take up to a year before the case is heard by the Fifth District Circuit Court of Appeals.
Maners, and the Knox County Republic Party chairman Chip McConville, feel the lawsuit is a business matter and is no reflection on Maners’ ability to run the city.
Attempts to reach Hollish were unsuccessful and a message left with Lane seeking comment were unreturned.