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Warren Economic Development Authority’s (EDA, WC EDA, FR-WC EDA) Civil Liability Lawsuit and Counterclaim Against Donald F. Poe and Earth Right Energy (ERE) Takes a TV Drama Twist Wednesday morning when the defense called its first witness. This witness was the defendant Donald or, as he introduced himself to the jury, Donnie Poe.

And while defense attorney William Ashwell’s direct questioning remained calmly factual based on the defense’s “road map” of his perspective on the case, things got more interesting when that sheet defense roadmap and plaintiff’s counter-roadmap/theory of the case collided during cross-examination. . When EDA lead counsel Cullen Seltzer reached the plaintiff’s main claim that more than $1 million traded between former EDA executive director Jennifer McDonald and Poe and the company panel installation he represents regarding what the EDA alleges were contracts and financial transfers illegally formulated by McDonald’s without the necessary authorization from its board of directors, things got interesting.

In the wake of EDA staff and board witnesses testifying that they had never seen or been consulted about the contractual agreements presented to him by McDonald’s, Seltzer asked Poe if he realized now that these contracts had been presented to him without the legally required EDA approvals. Board of Directors.

“I don’t know – that’s what they say,” Poe replied of the testimony he had heard from the claimant witnesses. Pressed by plaintiff’s attorney that as a result of supporting testimony he should now know that the EDA money he had received was not legally transferred, Poe replied, “You you’re a nice man, but I don’t agree. I’m an uneducated man but I get things done” about contractual agreements he said he was led to believe were legally acquired in 2018.

Defendant Donald Poe, below, clashed with EDA lead counsel Cullen Seltzer, above, with prior evidence in tow, during intense but friendly cross-examination late Wednesday morning.

Later, when Seltzer noted that only McDonald’s signature on the EDA side appeared on the contractual agreements moving hundreds of thousands of dollars, Poe replied, “That’s her job – she signed it.” As the cross-examination intensified, Poe observed from the witness box: “I shouldn’t be here; you shouldn’t be there, other people should be. – Do you work for free? Poe asked Seltzer.

“So is Mr. Whitten lying, is Mr. Llewellyn, Mr. Drescher lying?” Seltzer responded to testimony from the former EDA attorney and two board members during the development of those contractual agreements in 2018.

“I don’t know he isn’t,” Poe replied to initial and subsequent questions, citing a lack of first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the EDA during this time.

Of the unreturned $945,000 of the roughly $1.3 million he received for three proposed projects, the EDA attorney observed, “You’ve got a million dollars” to which Poe responded from work that he had finished on two of them, “Good for me – I put an honest dollar in my pocket…I did the job.

“I don’t think I can talk you out of it,” Seltzer responded to Poe’s insistence that he made the money the EDA now says was stolen by McDonald’s in legally unauthorized transactions.

“I wish you could, it would be a lot easier for both of us,” Poe replied as cross-examination started at noon and ended at 12:31 p.m., when the trial was adjourned for lunch.

After three other defense witnesses called in the afternoon, including former EDA clerk Missy Henry, ERE solar contractor Donald Carlson by remote connection from Florida, and attorney for West Virginia Floyd M. Sayre III, also by remote login, the defense rested. Noting that the case was slightly ahead of schedule, Judge Bruce D. Albertson dismissed the jury with the same warning not to discuss or read the case at 4:20 p.m. , an hour for the plaintiff, an hour to an hour and a half for the defense, Judge Albertson told the jury that he hoped to give them the case for deliberation around lunchtime or shortly after Thursday.

Defendant in the EDA tort case, Donald Poe, said one of about 25 jobs he did with the county government included renovations around the new main entrance to the courthouse of Warren County, he now finds himself on trial above.

With the jury dismissed, EDA attorney Seltzer filed a motion to strike the defendant’s $27.3 million counterclaim. The amount was the contract amount for the proposed solar installation on the nine Warren County Public Schools school facilities. Seltzer argued that the fact that there was no legally required authorization from the county school board or board of supervisors for this contractual arrangement, that the contract was invalid was “undisputed” by no defense evidence.

The judge took the case under advisement and told attorneys he would try to get a ruling after a discussion of jury instructions that would begin after a 10-15 minute break taken at 4:22 p.m. should begin shortly after 9:00 p.m. I resume the trial, Thursday morning, July 14.

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