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Judge dismisses Mary Thompson estate lawsuit
0Y CASH MICHAELS
POR THE CHRONIC! P ?
A lawsuit alleging an estate guardian and the Forsyth
County Clerk of Superior Court's Office defrauded $1.4
million from the estate of a deceased retired nurse has
been officially dismissed, The Chronicle has learned.
In a Feb. 29 court order issued by Forsyth Superior
Court Judge John O. Craig III this week, based on a Feb,
19 hearing, the lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate of
Mary Ellen Thompson against attorney Bryan C.
Thompson (no relation), who served as estate guardian
upon appointment by the Forsyth Clerk's office, was dis
missed because "... the complaint fails to state a claim
agains) defendant Thompson upon which relief can be
granted and that the motion to dismiss therefore should be
As The Chronicle first reported last October when the
lawsuit was originally filed against the Forsyth Clerk's
Office, two insurance companies and several local attor
neys, including attorney Thompson, it alleged that
Thompson had someone in the Forsyth Clerk's Office to
"... sign a guardianship appointment in his favor on May
1,2007 without giving notice to Mary Thompson and her
next of kin as it is required ..." by. state statutes. The suit
further claimed that because evidence of incompetency
was not initially presented, as legally required, attorney
Thompson knew that his "... guardianship appointment in
his favor was fictitious ... [and] used it to fraudulently
obtain possession and control over the assets of Mary
Thompson in May of 2007."
Ttye N.C. Court of Appeals in February 2014 found
that "... all of attorney Thompson's actions regarding the
estate of Mary Thompson ... were without legal authority"
because none of the orders issued by the Forsyth Clerk's
Office were properly file-stamped or legally entered into
the court record.
The result, claimed plaintiff's attorney Reginald D.
Alston for the Mary Thompson estate, is that attorney
Bryan Thompson allegedly squandered much of the assets
and proceeds from Mary Thompson's properties in a "...
pattern and practice of fraudulent acts."
. But last December, in her 32-page answer, attorney
Thompson's lawyer, attorjiey Molly Whitlatch of
Greensboro, countered that Thompson committed no
wrongdoing, and further claimed that the lawsuit by Mary
Thompson's estate was full of "frivolous and baseless"
Whitlatch denied that attorney Thompson did anything
improper or took any of Mary Thompson's assets for his
own use. "Plaintiff (then estate administrator Calvin
Brannon) and his counsel knew or should have known that
the assets were worth a fraction of [$1.4 million], and
have made misleading allegations implying that defen
dants took such assets for their own benefit when in fact,
the assets were used for the benefit of Mary Thompson ."
Whitlatch added that attorney Thompson "acted in
good faith in carrying out duties under the Orders ..."
effectively saying that he did nothing wrong, and relied on
the directives of the Clerk's office.
Whitlatch asked the court to sanction Mary
Thompson's estate as a result, charging that many of its
claims of fraud were deliberately misleading.
But in Monday's order, the court disagreed, saying,
"... that while the Court ultimately determined that the
claims were without merit, the Court did not find that the
plaintiff interposed the claims maliciously, frivolously, or
for any improper purpose such as harassment or needless
expense or delay, and the Court thereby concludes that
sanctions are not warranted."
While attorney Thompson's motion for dismissal of
the suit was upheld, his motion for attorneys' fees from
the estate was also dismissed.
Urban League set
to host SNAP
BY TEVIN STINSON
The Winston-Salem Urban League has partnered with
the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to offer
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ben
efits to seniors in the area who are in need.
NCOA is designed to help people ages 60 and over
meet the challenges of aging. Through innovative com
munity programs and services, online help and advocacy,
NCOA partners with nonprofit organizations to improve
the health and economic security of 10 million older
adults by 2020.
Urban League president and CEO James Perry said
that in order to make a change in this community, some
thing has to be done about poverty and hunger. Last year
the non-profit organization decided they would make end
ing hunger a priority. That's when the organization joined
forces with NCOA to make sure at least 500 SNAP vouch
ers were made available for seniors and people with dis
"We set it up to make sure those vouchers were avail
able for residents throughout this community and the
state," Perry said.
During a news conference held in the City Hall
Council Chamber, Perry and Mayor Allen Joines
announced an upcoming enrollment fair designed to help
seniors age 60 and up find out if they qualify for federal
assistance with their grocery bill.
According to Perry, the funds for vouchers will no
longer be available after next month.
"This program is going to sunset at the end of April
and we still have vouchers available,v he continued. "We
know there are seniors and people with disabilities in this
community who are hungry and that is what this is all
about, reaching out to those in need."
Mayor Joines said after learning about the potential
help that could be going away, he wanted to make as
many'residents aware as possible. Joines mentioned the
Urban League's efforts also fit well with the city's plan to
A number of seniors who have benefited from SNAP
or food stamps spoke during the news conference as well.
Shirley Agee said she learned about SNAP benefits short
ly after enrolling in th? Senior Community Service
Employment Program (SCSEP) at the Urban League.
Agee said the vouchers have added value to her lifestyle.
"Having this benefit has proven to be a great advan
tage, to me by helping to obtain nutritious and healthy
Veteran Glen Avery, who served in the U.S. Air Force
for 10 years, said although he receives a stipend through
SCSEP, before finding out about the SNAP program, it
was still difficult to support his daily needs and purchase
"I was really happy to leam that 1 was eligible for
SNAP," said Avery. "I am now able to purchase more
nutritious food which affects my overall health and quali
ty of life."
"I would encourage all seniors on limited income to
enroll in SNAP."
The SNAP/EBT Enrollment Fair will be on Friday,
March 4 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Hanes Hosiery
Recreation Center located at 500 Reynolds Boulevard.
For more information on the fair and additional benefits
offered during the even,t contact the Winston-Salem
Urban League at 336-725-5614.
Shirley Agee talks about how receiving SNAP bene
fits has added value to her lifestyle during a news
conference held at City Hall on Tuesday, March 1. -
Winston-Salem Urban League President and CEO
James Perry looks on.
? Mi gnTST|7Sl
Kdth A. King is the owner and founder ofKingz Downtown Market, "The Market*, in Winston-Salem. King
was born and raised in Mount Airy, die son of James King of Mount Airy and Virginia King of Winston
Salem. He is married to Denise King and they reside in Winston-Salem. He is a member of Revealed Church
of Christ where he has served as a Trustee for the last 10 years. King is also a member of the Downtown
Winston-Salem Partnership and is co-chairman of the Winston-Salem Transit Authority.
King was employed in the fast food industry for 16 years where he began as a cook and eventually progressed
to district manager. After leaving the fast food industry he opened his own establishment in Clemmons but
had a strong desire to own a restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem. While researching new restaurant
locations he noticed the absence of a grocery store in the downtown area. After much prayer and faith in God, he
decided to open a grocery store on Liberty Street. Kingz DownTown Market opened in December 2007.
King received a loan to open die market from the Winston-Salem City business development office and exhibited
excellent stewardship of these funds by repaying the loan ahead of schedule. The opening of "The Market" was
more than a blessing from the Lord. There were songs of praise, worship, .thanksgiving and most of all prayer.
Because of his repayment history and its success, The Market, was chosen as the site to unveil Governor Bev
Perdue's small business initiative in March 2010. At a press conference at The Market, the JobsNOW small
business lending initiative was announced.
The Market currendy employs eight people and is increasing daily due to the grace and mercy of God. King
continues to seek opportunities for expansion and to be a blessing to the city of Winston-Salem and the
downtown business community.
As a business man King has the privilege of serving the residents ofWinston-Salem on a daily basis. His
interaction with customers and community leaders affords him the opportunity to learn about the cares and
concerns of the people of Winston-Salem, especially the citizens of the Northeast Ward. It is because of these
interactions that Keith King has a strong desire to serve and represent the people of the Northeast Ward. You
may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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