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Charlie Wilson takes on museum

STORY BY STEVEN M. THOMAS, (Week of September 13, 2012)
Photo of Charlie Wilson.

Charlie Wilson has filed suit in circuit court against the Vero Beach Art Museum and Indian River County, alleging non-payment of money owed him for helping secure an impact fee refund of $97,717.62.

In the Sept. 5 filing, Open Permit Search Corp. dba Impact Fee Consultants, a company owned by Wilson, says the art museum hired him to discover and collect any impact fees due to it and agreed to pay him 30 percent of any award.

According to a an agreement signed by Lucinda H. Gedeon, executive director and CEO of the museum, money refunded by the county would be paid to an escrow trust account at Rossway, Moore, Taylor, Swan, PLC.

The trust would then disburse the money in due proportion to Impact Fee Consultants and the museum.

Instead, according to the suit, the museum applied to the county for direct payment of the refund.

In response, because of the competing claims of Impact Fee Consultants and the museum, the county has refused to release the money.

Gedeon signed four agreements with Impact Fee Consultants – Recovery Authorization and Limited Power of Attorney, Recovery Fee Agreement, Consulting Authorization and Limited Power of Attorney, Consulting Fee Agreement – that appear on their face to support Wilson’s contention that he is owed $29,315.28 by the museum.

As part of the Consulting Fee Agreement, Impact Fee Consultants agreed to donate 15 percent of its fee to the museum as a charitable contribution.

Factoring in that deduction, the filing asks the court to order the county to pay Impact Fee Consultants $24,917.99 and pay the remainder of the refund to the Art Museum or to order the county to release the entire refund to the escrow agent as agreed to in the recovery authorization.

The case has been assigned to Judge Cynthia L. Cox.