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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Apple disputes allegations of unpaid bills

Supplier claims city councilman owes $9,000 for products delivered for construction projects

A Spokane Valley roofing business is accusing legislative candidate and Spokane City Councilman Bob Apple of not paying for nearly $9,000 in supplies.

But Apple says it’s really Systems Roofers Supply Inc. that owes him money. He says the company, owned by MacArthur Co., is slandering him in the midst of an election.

Both sides are scheduled to meet in front of an arbitrator today.

“I believe they erroneously billed me for products that they did not supply,” Apple said. He said he was overcharged by the company between $20,000 and $50,000.

Until last year, Apple operated Comet Construction and AWR Construction Inc.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Systems Roofers Supply against Comet last year, claims that Apple owes it $8,840 for materials supplied between June and September 2008. The suit says that in 1997, Apple signed an agreement in which he promised to pay for purchases by the 10th day of the month following the month that products were bought.

Melody Farance, attorney for Systems Roofers Supply, said Apple never accused the company of overbilling until March, when Apple “was added as a defendant in his personal capacity.”

Farance said Apple was never overbilled and that if Apple felt he was overcharged he should have said so earlier. She said that before the overbilling accusations, Apple told her client that he couldn’t pay because business was slow.

“He paid all the charges in ’06 and ’07 that he now claims were improper,” she said.

Apple, who is one of four candidates on Tuesday’s ballot for the 3rd Legislative District House seat held by retiring Rep. Alex Wood, said that in one case a contractor has come forward stating he did a project that he – not Apple – should have been billed for. Apple also said that two other addresses of projects he was charged for don’t exist.

“I got a lot of improper and irregular charges made against my account without my approval,” Apple said.

Farance said Apple is incorrect about the addresses he says don’t exist and that Apple already paid for the supplies that Apple said should have been charged to a different contractor.

“What he is talking about is a job done in ’07, for which he received an invoice and monthly statement,” Farance said. “He never objected.”

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