City council candidate’s record reveals list of civil judgments, marijuana conviction

by Keith Barber

In the summer of 2007, Joni and Michael Sweeney contracted Chuck Woolard’s company, C&W Home Improvement Co., to build an addition to their home. When their basement began leaking water later that year, Joni Sweeney said she contacted Woolard, the Republican nominee running for the Southeast Ward seat on the Winston-Salem City Council, to repair the leak.

“There was water pouring into the back corner of the downstairs area,” Sweeney said. “Apparently, when they put that foundation in, they disturbed something.”

Despite her constant complaining, Woolard’s work crew didn’t arrive at Sweeney’s home to look at the damage until four months later, she said. Even then, the crew did not fix the leak, but merely explained how the subcontractor had hit a water line while laying the foundation. The Sweeneys complained to the Better Business Bureau, but to no avail.

On Dec. 3, 2008, they filed a claim for $4,900 against Woolard in small claims court and won the case. Woolard failed to appear in court, so Sweeney asked her attorney to file a writ of judgment against him. Nearly a year later, the writ has not been served and the Sweeneys haven’t received a dime in compensation from Woolard.

When Joni Sweeney heard Woolard was running for a seat on city council, she came forward to tell her story.

“My feelings are if this man ran his own personal business this way, he has no business being in a position where he can have influence on the direction the city is going to go,” Sweeney said. “The last thing we need is Chuck Woolard in office doing anything for anybody.”

In January, Paul and Kiki Herin won their small claims case against Woolard for more than $2,900, but they have yet to receive a penny. The Herins’ case also dates back nearly two years when Woolard’s company, RCW Construction Design LLC, botched a home improvement job, Paul Herin said. On Oct. 13, Paul Herin said he spoke with Woolard to complain about not receiving payment for the judgment amount, which has been accruing interest and now stands at $3,236. Herin said Woolard promised to “make things right” but he has still not received any money.

Court records in Forsyth County reveal at least six other unsatisfied judgments levied against Woolard in Forsyth County. Since 2003, Kerwin Baptist Church, Hire & Sons Electrical Co., Jim’s T-Bird & Parts, Waughtown Wholesale, Doctor Driveway of High Point and Mary Martin have all successfully won judgments against Woolard.

The total dollar amount of those six judgments exceeds $9,000. All remain unsatisfied.

Katrina Harding identified herself as another victim of Chuck Woolard in a letter to YES! Weekly. Earlier this year, Harding, a single mother, said she had saved $20,000 and wanted to renovate the townhouse she purchased in 2000. Harding said Woolard and his company, RCW Construction Design LLC, promised to give her the most for her $20,000 so she hired him. Harding said Woolard promised to complete the job in three weeks, but after 10 weeks, the work was not completed and her home had been turned upside down.

“Chuck Woolard had my money but after 10 weeks, I still had no rooms completed,” Harding writes. “Then he asked me for more money. When I refused, he walked off my job leaving my family with a disaster to deal with.”

Months later, Harding is still trying to get her house fixed. She is also trying to recover the more than $21,000 she paid Woolard.

Guilford County court records reveal that Woolard pleaded guilty and was convicted of common-law forgery after being charged with 44 counts of felony forgery in 1991. Court documents show that Woolard was forced to pay court costs and sentenced to five years of supervised probation on Jan. 3, 1991.

Woolard said he is trying to resolve all the judgments against him, but has suffered a few setbacks. He claims one of his former employees embezzled money from him and he has had to spend a lot of time away from his business to care for his ailing wife, Cheryl.

A search of court records in Forsyth County reveals there are no pending criminal charges against the former employee Woolard named to YES! Weekly.

However, court records reveal that Woolard has a 2001 conviction for marijuana possession. Woolard was found guilty and sentenced to 15 days in jail suspended sentence with 12 months of unsupervised probation.

Woolard, a former Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Utilities Commissioner, said he believes his arrest was politically motivated.

Woolard also said he’s attempted to reach out to the Sweeneys and believes he can come to a compromise with Herin. Joni Sweeney denied Woolard’s claims, saying Woolard hasn’t returned her calls for the past 18 months.

If elected, Woolard said he would fight for better wages for the city’s police officers and firefighters, and implement a stronger police presence in the Southeast Ward. Woolard said he considers himself a fiscally responsible candidate.