Pollard Family Attorney Seeks $400,000 From Pitt County

The attorney for the family of Stacey Pollard is asking Pitt County commissioners to settle a potential lawsuit against the county even before it's filed.

In a letter to county commissioners obtained by WITN News, David Sutton wants the county to pay $400,000 to Barbara Pollard.

Last week jurors found Michelle Pollard negligent in the death of her husband, and attorneys on both sides agreed to $500,000 in damages. But Pollard, a former sheriff's lieutenant, is already in bankruptcy court. Sutton told county commissioners that former Sheriff Mac Manning "caused this problem by having a 'special relationship' with Michelle and covering up how Stacey Pollard died."

In the letter Sutton said the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals told the family that, after going to state court, if they could prove prejudice by a cover-up then they could go back to federal court to seek relief. Originally the family filed their suit in federal court, but it was dismissed. Sutton told commissioners that in federal court they could get a much larger verdict that $500,000.

Sutton says he rather settle with Pitt County than file more litigation, which he says "will further erode public confidence in county government".

But Pitt County questions the legality of paying out in the Pollard case. "The county's response at this point in time would be that this is a civil matter which is a private case, and that what is being suggested in the letter for Pitt County to pay off $400,000 is not legal," said County Manager Scott Elliot. "It's not legal to use public monies in a private civil matter."

Asked whether he has concerns about further litigation involving the county, Elliot said they would refer that to the county attorney. "The county has defended and will defend any other lawsuits that come our way, and we have got counsel who's taking care of that."

Michelle Pollard was successfully sued by the family of her dead husband, claiming wrongful death. Stacey Pollard was found dead in a pool in the backyard of the couple's Grimesland home in 2005. The Pitt County Sheriff's Office ruled Pollard's death accidental. At the time she was a lieutenant with the department.

Letter from Pollard family attorney

October 7, 2001

Re: Settlement Proposal

Dear Jimmy Garris:

As you know, I represent Barbara Pollard. Former sheriff’s deputy, Michelle Pollard confessed judgment for $500,000 after the jury found her liable for Stacey Pollard’s wrongful death. However, it is doubtful we will ever collect it due to the delays and Michelle Pollard’s bankruptcy. We all know that Mac Manning caused this problem by having a “special relationship” with Michelle and covering up how Stacey Pollard died. One judge even asked why Mac Manning had not been charged criminally.

The opinion from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which dismissed the first suit against Pitt County Sheriff’s Office) says that if, after going to state court, we can prove prejudice caused by Mac’s cover-up, then we can go to federal court to seek relief. And, if we are unable to collect the judgment against Michelle due to the delay caused by Mac’s cover-up, that certainly establishes prejudice. I have contacted Michelle Pollard’s bankruptcy trustee, but I already know that we will not be able to collect even 20% of the $500,000 judgment. However, we could get a much larger verdict than $500,000 in federal court.

Because my family has lived in this county for a few hundred years (and I never cease hoping that our elected officials will stand up for the little guy rather than that corrupt former sheriff and his political cronies), I propose a settlement rather than more litigation; more litigation that will further erode public confidence in County government (because Pitt county paid a harlot’s fraudulent workers comp claim) rather than supporting a woman whose son was murdered and the officer that tried to help her. Some commissioners even pressured the new sheriff not to hire Paula Dance. Frankly, it’s been shameful.

Hence, I propose that the County pay the difference between (the rather modest) $500,000 judgment and what we can collect from Michelle Pollard. Since, we’ll never get $100,000 from Michelle (due to cover-up), our offer to forego more litigation is for the County to pay $400,000 to Barbara Pollard. I look forward to your prompt response.

Yours truly,

David C. Sutton,
Attorney for Barbara Pollard

cc: Pitt Board of County Commissioners

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  • by duh Location: gville on Oct 13, 2011 at 07:07 PM
  • by Anonymous Location: People on Oct 13, 2011 at 03:15 PM
    People should invest in a copy of the trial transcripts - so that the factual testimony will be revealed instead of the skewed versioons. Also the Paula Dance case was dismissed.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Oct 13, 2011 at 05:41 PM in reply to
      Your suggestion that readers/people should 'invest' in a copy of the trial transcripts is a wonderful idea...pray tell...where do we get this transcript?
      • reply
        by Try on Oct 13, 2011 at 06:13 PM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
        Try the courthouse. They may have the info/facts you need.
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Oct 12, 2011 at 01:06 PM
    As an outsider, let me suggest that we get back to the original article. The Pollard family, excluding Michelle Mannix-Everette-Pollard, seeks damages in the death of their son, Stacy Pollard, who died mysteriously in the couple's swimming pool on a cold winter's evening with only his wife as a witness, even though she was only a few steps away from that pool inside the home, according to a public deposition. So many questions remain unanswered about the incident, that it appears the family is trying to 'flush out' the truth using whatever avenues are available to them. Perhaps, they have all the facts they will ever get from her. In the end, I hope they will get peace from the knowledge that they tried, on his behalf, to find all of the truth. I bet someday, someone will step forward and reveal all the truth.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 03:01 PM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      Person who starts out "as an outsider" and then shows inside info suggests to me that you are an insider and maybe the person who ran the justice4stacey website. Well done getting your settlement now leave the taxpayers alone, your point has been made!!!
      • reply
        by Formerly O.L.I. on Oct 12, 2011 at 03:59 PM in reply to
        Ah, and perhaps that person has just stepped forward. Do not try to flatter me with the creation of that website. I have viewed much public information, as many others have. Anyone, anybody, can visit 'Behind The Blue Wall' and get all the info they like. Anonymous, you do show your true colors when you become inflamed. I pray for you, as your conscious is bothering you terribly these days. Please, try to get some rest, as best you can. It looks like you will need it.
    • reply
      by Clem on Oct 12, 2011 at 04:48 PM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
      That is one spin. Here is another. Stacey Pollard died in a tragic accident in his pool on winter's night. The Pollard family immediately blamed Michelle Pollard, Stacey's wife, for murdering their relative. The family has not liked Michelle from the start and uses the death as a excuse to finally get the woman they have hated all along. The family uses multiple public message board to smear Michelle Pollard in an effort to state their case. Michelle Pollard allows her grief to cause her to make extremely poor life decisions giving her detractors plenty of ammo to use against her. Five years later, the Pollards' attorney, who is using the case to direct publicity toward himself in a quest to seek higher office, wins a lawsuit against Michelle Pollard where jury finds she did not do everything she could to save Stacey Pollard from drowning. The Pollards' attorney then overplays his hand by sending a poorly written letter to the county commissioners that amounts to a attempted shakedown of public officials. Now before you respond, I think the truth is somewhere between my scenario and OLI's.
      • reply
        by Agree on Oct 13, 2011 at 04:24 AM in reply to Clem
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Oct 13, 2011 at 05:53 AM in reply to Clem
        Michelle Pollard told investigators immediately after his death that she and Stacey were happily married. Several independent witnesses testified that she and Stacey were arguing on the phone the day of his death. Stacey told these witnesses he was going home and telling Stacey he was splitting up and separating. The last time anybody saw Stacey and the next time he was seen was THAT SAME NIGHT dead floating in a pool. Classic foul play scenario.
        • reply
          by Same on Oct 13, 2011 at 02:14 PM in reply to
          The same "independant witnesses" stated they thought Michelle and Stacey had a good marriage... You might need to invest in a copy of the trial transcripts. So that you can make some factual comments, instead of the skewed version!
        • reply
          by Formerly O.L.I. on Oct 13, 2011 at 05:13 PM in reply to
          I read the same thing, that HIS close friends said he confided in them that he was going to tell her he wanted a divorce. Let's not forget, when he was found, he had a wound to his upper left eye and an abrasion to the right side of his face, according to EMT reports. Michelle Pollard has yet to explain that.
  • by Billy Location: Greenville on Oct 11, 2011 at 06:40 PM
    Sutton is off his meds. As a taxpayer I dont want any of my money going to this. If manning was corrupt and it looks like he prolly is he should pay and then go to jail.
  • by Young on Oct 11, 2011 at 06:39 PM
    I would love to see everyones response if this was your brother, child or husband that MacManning covered up the death of. Mrs Pollard deserves everything that she can get for going through pure hell with this crap and Michelle shoudl have to spend the rest ofher life in prison.
  • by Tish Location: Farmville on Oct 11, 2011 at 06:07 PM
    I wonder will this case be made into a movie? & If so it should be call SEX,LIES, MURDER, COVERUP & GREED ALL IN ONE WITH ALL THE HYPE IT'S GETTING...
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:15 AM in reply to Tish
      As interested as us locals are in the Justice For Stacy trials, I doubt it has the ingredients for 'box office' appeal. Most movies occur after someone writes a book that has great success. As for your suggestion of a title, I think that one has already been pretty well used up in Hollywood over the years. May I suggest 'Quick, Easy Steps To Public Disgrace' with all royalties deferred to Barbara Pollard.
      • reply
        by Tish on Oct 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
        Yes that could fly also but you know they always doing remakes with the same title,& you're right it's always a book deal 1st...
  • by Really??? on Oct 11, 2011 at 05:57 PM
    I am very sorry for the family and the loss of Stacy but asking the taxpayers to pay David Sutton's legal fees is insane. If he is family to the Pollards then why not waive your legal fees if this wasn't about the money but seeing justice done? I wish the Pollards had gotten a better attorney.
  • by Good Point on Oct 11, 2011 at 04:57 PM
    I agree with one of the anonymous below. If Sutton was completely correct and MP had been arrested and convicted then she would not have got $200K and the Pollards would have got no money from her. So, how can Sutton argue that any cover up cost his clients anything? Opposite is true. They are getting, by his own letter, $100K from her. I saw immediate response to post was that poster was wrong and "that is why you are where you are today". Sounds like some hurt feelings of someone who is involved. Bottom line, if MP had been convicted insurance would never have paid. Any "cover up" made money for Sutton's client. leave taxpayers alone!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 11, 2011 at 04:50 PM
    How many of these posts are written by the Pollards or their attorney? Seems you have a few people trolling this board using different handles. What is a giveaway is that even people who say they agree with verdict or think MP was dirty are jumped on if they say anything about the attorney or the letter to county.
    • reply
      by Young on Oct 11, 2011 at 06:51 PM in reply to
      The same as the number of police officers and their friends and families that get up here and say good job Greenville PD when you dag on well they screwed up.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Oct 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM in reply to
      Of course, that's a common question, but let's also be fair; how many posts were written by Michelle, her friends, family, or ex-coworkers? Why don't you ask that too?
  • by laura Location: greenville on Oct 11, 2011 at 02:59 PM
    Mr. Sutton....uh, I mean "Pirateman"...if you took as much time running a grammar check on your letter to the Commissioners as you have in your comments here, you may have been slightly better received. It's called tact. Calling people "harlots" and "paramours" and making unfounded allegations in a poorly worded extortion letter to an elected official only demonstrates how tactless, and classless you truly are.
    • reply
      by Good Point on Oct 11, 2011 at 05:04 PM in reply to laura
      Don't forget Formerly O.L.I. and also any "Anonymous" that bites back at people who call him out, even those who supported the initial verdict.
    • reply
      by Pirateman on Oct 11, 2011 at 05:14 PM in reply to laura
      if I am Mr. Sutton, then how was I posting while he was in trial in court during the day! Nice try!
      • reply
        by Formerly O.L.I. on Oct 12, 2011 at 05:29 AM in reply to Pirateman
        Pirateman, it's just another cheap shot to quieten some of us. I've been Formerly O.L.I. for over a year, and posting here for two. In addition, I am, thankfully, so far away from Greenville, N.C. since the crime rate spiked.
      • reply
        by laura on Oct 12, 2011 at 07:07 AM in reply to Pirateman
        "Paramour" is one of David's buzz words, and the only person I've ever known to use it- incorrectly most of the time, I might add. And I doubt David was in court much aside from this case. From what I hear, most of the Pitt Co. Judges refuse to hear his cases because of his courtroom antics and egregious lack of respect for the setting. He treats everyone in any position of authority with contempt- and I sure would like to know why he's not still practicing law in FL.
        • reply
          by ProPollard/AntiSutton on Oct 12, 2011 at 08:20 AM in reply to laura
          Didn't know Sutton had a license to practice in FLA. It all makes sense now in a "backwards kind of way". LOL! He reminds me of another classless atty in FLA. Jose Baez. Very similar low brow and tacky antics. That letter he wrote should be used in law school for a lesson in what you should not do. I was embarrassed on behalf of Stacey. The same goal could have been reached in a much more professional manner. Consider the source I guess.
        • reply
          by Pirateman on Oct 12, 2011 at 02:23 PM in reply to laura
          Well, Laura, your brilliant genius has exposed me. You got me. You caught me. I now hang my head in shame. You and only you knew that I am the only person who has ever used the term paramour. Because I am off my meds I am going to keep posting. Just one question though. Has your brilliant genius in analyzing people taken you anywhere near success in life?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Oct 12, 2011 at 02:04 PM in reply to Pirateman
        Don't worry about it, people are just getting paranoid it seems thinking that Mr. Sutton and Michelle are spending 24/7 posting things. That is down right stupid and NO NO NO I am Not Mr. Sutton or Michelle. In fact I don't know either one of them.

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