Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Claire Carver-Lacy.
A small claims court magistrate on Tuesday ordered Fayetteville mayoral candidate Franco Webb to repay an elderly Fayetteville woman more than $2,100 for failing to install a security system in her home two years ago.
The judge made the ruling after Webb failed to show up for his scheduled court appearance.
“Did I miss a date?” Webb said Wednesday. “Oh Jesus, I didn't realize that, but I guess I'll take care of it.”
Webb, owner of Core Computer Technologies in Fayetteville, was given 10 days to file an appeal. He said he doesn’t plan to do that.
“I’m just going to give her money back and just be done with it,” he said.
Eighty-nine-year-old Claire Carver-Lacy said she paid Webb $2,140 in February 2020 to install a security system in her home after a thief broke into it and stole items valued at more than $20,000. She said Webb cashed her check almost immediately after leaving her home.
Carver-Lacy said she paid Webb upfront after he explained to her that he needed the money to buy equipment and to hire workers. She said he promised to start the work that Saturday but never showed up. He has not repaid the money, despite countless attempts to contact him, she said.
“After he got that check, he didn't show up on Saturday,” she said. “I called him on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, he would not return any calls… I kept pestering him. This is February. March, April, May, June.”
Webb acknowledged that he did not repay Carver-Lacy. He said he got sick and then one of his workers got sick. But he said he eventually did try to return to the house and do the work, but Carver-Lacy and her husband told him they didn’t want him to start the project.
“I have all the equipment. I was ready to start, I already paid for the equipment,” Webb said. “He wouldn't let me do it.”
That is untrue, Carver-Lacy and her husband, Jim Lacy, said.
Carver-Lacy said she continued to try to contact Webb to get her money back. Webb questions whether she did.
“I haven't talked to her or seen her in a long time,” Webb said. “I even tried to call a couple times, went by her house a couple times. She could have gotten back up with me.”
Carver-Lacy said she tried to, on numerous occasions, using multiple numbers, but she never could reach him and never heard back.
Webb is among five candidates who are challenging two-term Mayor Mitch Colvin. The primary is May 17. During his campaign, Webb has touted his civic mindedness, saying he is a business owner, a firefighter and the leader of a community watch group.
Greg Barnes is an investigative reporter for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at email@example.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.