Barbour files suit for travel reimbusement
Rehoboth Beach — A Georgetown Justice of the Peace court will determine whether to grant Dennis Barbour more than $11,000 in travel expenses incurred while Barbour served as a Rehoboth Beach commissioner from January 2007 to July 2011.
Barbour, who served as a nonresident commissioner for two terms, commuted to Rehoboth from jobs in Cleveland and Washington, D.C., during his tenure.
City charter states nonresident commissioners are entitled to an allowance for every mile driven from the commissioner’s permanent residence to commissioner meetings and committee meetings.
In his complaint to the court, Barbour said he attended 98 meetings and is seeking reimbursement for 95 of them. He says those meetings required him to commute from his permanent homes in D.C., where he lived for most of his six years in office, and Cleveland, where he lived and worked in 2007. Barbour’s suit cites a mileage rate of .50 per mile for the 118-mile trip from D.C. to Rehoboth; he is not seeking payment for travel from Cleveland.
Barbour filed a lawsuit in Justice of the Peace Court 17 in Georgetown after City Manager Greg Ferrese denied his request for reimbursement.
Barbour said the case is still in litigation, and it was not appropriate for him to comment at this time.
“I think it’s utterly ridiculous that he did it,” Ferrese said. “I hope the judge rules in favor of the city.”
Ferrese said he was disappointed Barbour filed the suit and that if Barbour wanted to request reimbursements, he should have brought it up during city budget meetings when he was a commissioner, not after he left office.
The city’s argument, among others, is that Barbour was a resident of Rehoboth and is not eligible for reimbursement, city solicitor Glenn Mandalas said. Barbour has homes in Rehoboth and Washington, D.C.
As evidence, the city presented the minutes of the June 17 commissioners meeting, where former Commissioner Ron Paterson asked Barbour if he was filing as a resident in his bid for reelection. Barbour said he was running as a nonresident, as he had for his previous terms.
Barbour said his car was registered in Delaware, he pays taxes in Delaware and had voted in Delaware in the 2010 elections, but he spends most of his time in D.C. During that meeting, Barbour said he declared as a nonresident because he does not live in Rehoboth most of the time.
Barbour withdrew his candidacy for reelection in July before the city’s Aug. 13 election.
In addition, Mandalas said Barbour did not meet the standard of proof for reimbursement and did not offer any evidence to support his claims.
On Dec. 16, a bench trial was held in front of Judge Christopher Bradley, who reserved his decision, meaning Bradley has 30 days from the trial date to decide the case
Re: Barbour files suit for travel reimbusement
A justice of the peace has ruled a former Rehoboth Beach commissioner is not entitled to reimbursement of more than $11,000 in travel expenses.
Former nonresident Commissioner Dennis Barbour filed a lawsuit against the city and City Manager Greg Ferrese after Ferrese denied Barbour's request for reimbursement.
"I'm happy with the judge's decision," Ferrese said. "I have no qualms at all about what I did in denying payment to him."
Justice of the Peace Christopher Bradley ruled Barbour is not considered a nonresident entitled to travel expense reimbursement and agreed with the city's argument that Barbour was a Delaware resident because he registered his car here, pays taxes in Delaware and voted here in the 2010 elections. read more
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