ROCKVILLE – An attorney is suing Montgomery County Board of Education member Christopher Barclay (D -4) for unpaid hourly services from his divorce in 2013.
Donna Rismiller, a family lawyer, is suing Barclay for $9,824.72, according to court documents. As of April 21, Barclay owes Rismiller $11,666.74, including more than $2,600 in interest, the documents state.
The June 30 document showed Barclay is projected to owe $11,915.84 – that includes an interest rate of $2,857.76.
Barclay is a member of the BOE Fiscal Management Committee, chaired by fellow board member Michael Durso (D -5).
“I found him to be extremely helpful when I first entered the board and he continues to be,” Durso said of Barclay.
He described Barclay as “extremely knowledgeable about the school system and how we work” and called him “an outstanding board member.”
“I think it is two very separate scenes we are talking about,” he said.
On April 10, 2013, Barclay signed a contract agreeing to pay for Rismiller’s services during the divorce proceedings.
According to their contract, “If your account becomes delinquent, you fail to bring the account or the retainer deposit current and you do not arrange satisfactory payment terms, we may withdraw from the representation and pursue collection of your account.”
According to MCPS sources who declined to comment on the record, Barclay has been an exemplary member of the board and his current civil problems have nothing to do with an incident that occurred with his board issued credit card. That came to light in 2014 when, according to previously published reports, Barclay charged $1,153.50 between Jan. 2013 and March 2014 on school credit cards.
He reimbursed the county almost $1,500 for the charges used to pay for meals, rental cars and hotel stays. He also charged more than $3,800 in meals to his personal card, asking for reimbursement for meals as small as $3.25.
When a Sentinel reporter called Barclay’s BOE phone number on Aug. 6 at 4:05 p.m., the line was disconnected.
Board of Education president Patricia O’Neill did not immediately answer phone calls or an email placed by the Sentinel and Dana Tofig, the Montgomery County Public School public information officer also did not comment on the matter.
Durso said as far as he was concerned it was a “personal and private matter,” though he added that he was not aware of the lawsuit.
Barclay is one of three board members scheduled for re-election in the fall of 2016.
The plaintiff Rismiller and her attorney Jill Caravaggio separately declined to comment. The case filed in June is due in court in September.