FORT WORTH, Texas (CBS 11 NEWS) – A church, claiming it’s owed tens of thousands of dollars by Prime Prep Academy in Fort Worth for rent and construction work, locked its door to students today.
Church leaders handed out notices to parents explaining their action prompting a terse exchange between Charity Church Bishop F. R. Mays and a parent who’d dropped her student off at the school’s secondary building.
“You gave away God’s money!” the woman yelled. (Bishop) “Awww, get outta here!” Mays replied, waving his hand dismissively.
“You gonna have to pay for locking those kids out of school,” the woman continued. “They need to pay God!” Mays yelled back.
“Charging that much for rent in that nasty building,” the woman replied as Mays began talking over her.
“That’s not nasty its wonderful,” he said. “It is nasty,” the woman retorted. “Its just as nasty as your attitude!”
The confrontation came after the church locked out Prime Prep students demanding $83,000 in liens and $18,000 in rent from the school.
Mays said his lease shows the school is responsible for $18,000 a month in rent and for paying for work on the building the school wanted. And the bishop says the school was already moving to another building to dodge the bills.
“Don’t skip out on paying people you owe because its just dishonest and its just not right,” Mays said.
But, Prime Prep Academy’s Superintendent said the original lease offered the building free of rent starting in 2011. Superintendent Ron Price said it appeared a new lease was signed by a financial officer who was let go when Prime Prep reorganized last fall.
Price said, “The board wasn’t aware of it. It’s an illegal lease. The only reason I paid for the last two months is for the children. We’re paid up until April 5th. We can’t figure out where the hell they came up with $18,000 a month. No one in that area is paying that amount of rent for that amount of square footage.”
And the school said it never authorized construction or saw any construction, stating.
“This is a mysterious lien,” Price said. “We tried to get an itemized invoice showing what work was done. For three months now we haven’t received anything.”
The Bishop showed us a non itemized invoice saying the school authorized the work and the church should be paid since the lien is on their building.
Surely a millionaire could right me a check for $83,000 they owe me at this time,” Mays said. “That’s just a drop in the bucket for people that kind of money, right?”
The school said classes will continue uninterrupted in their second building just south of the church.
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