Phyllis and Jimmy Lankford have sued Joe V. Williams in a disagreement involving the sale of Phyllis Lankford to Mr. Williams.
The Chancery Court suit says Phyllis Lankford has been a real estate broker for 22 years and Jimmy Lankford for seven years. It says Phyllis Lankford Realty opened in 1988 and bought an office on Highway 58 in 1993.
The suit, filed by attorney John Cavett, says in 2001 the Lankfords agreed to sell the business to Mr. Williams for $600,000.
It says there was a 10-year agreement not to compete.
Mr. Williams was to become president and manager and Ms. Lankford stay on as a broker.
The suit says that Mr. Williams "began to conduct the business affairs of the business in an exceedingly poor manner."
It says he consistently wrote and passed "bad checks" written on the business bank account.
The suit says he neglected or refuse to pay ordinary expenses, including the utilities. The suit says the water was cut off and employees had to use the bathroom in an adjacent business during work hours.
It says Mr. Williams has employed approximately 13 different bookkeepers within a 12-month period.
The suit says he has neglected to pay advertising fees so that ad firms that formerly did business with the company are now refusing to do so.
It was also charged that he has failed or refused to pay staff, including Phyllis Lankford.
The suit says some of the business practices of Mr. Williams expose Ms. Lankford to personal liability.
The suit asks that the non-compete clause be ruled unenforcable and that the business be returned to the Lankfords.