Lawyer asks for contempt order against Andy Patrick

fmcaden@islandpacket.comApril 10, 2014 

State Rep. Andy Patrick, right, talks with his lawyer, SC Rep. Doug Brannon, during a Jan. 30 hearing in Family Court at the Beaufort County Courthouse in Beaufort.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Staff photo Buy Photo

A lawyer for state Rep. Andy Patrick's wife wants Patrick found in contempt of court and "subject to jail" for not paying $4,000 he was ordered to pay by March 31, according to Beaufort County Family Court records.

Patrick said he has paid $1,000 of the $4,000 to Hilton Head Island attorney Lauren Martel and will pay the remainder in installments.

Patrick, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Hilton Head Island, said he is unable to pay all the money at once. Furthermore, he said he didn't receive an invoice detailing legal charges from Martel, who represents Patrick's wife, Amee, in the couple's divorce case.

"I thought I was entitled to see an invoice," Patrick said Thursday.

The court order requiring Patrick to pay the $4,000 did not require Martel to send an invoice. The order, issued by Family Court Judge Vicki J. Snelgrove, simply required Patrick to mail the full amount to Martel by March 31.

A former U.S. Secret Service agent, Patrick is the owner of a Hilton Head-based firm, Advance Point Global, which he says has handled security and intelligence assignments for private and public clients, including Beaufort County. A financial declaration Patrick filed as part of the divorce case indicates his monthly income is $1,866, about half of his monthly expenses of $3,489. Legal costs in the divorce case, such as the $4,000 he owes Martel, were not included in his financial declaration, which was filed in December 2013.

Patrick said he is "trying to pay the fees" to Martel and "trying to get a job." He stopped drawing any salary from his company a year ago, according to his financial declaration.

The $4,000 is the cost of legal work Martel did for Amee Patrick. The judge ruled it was Andy Patrick's responsibility to pay even though Martel works for Amee Patrick. Amee Patrick is not currently employed. She previously worked as a personal trainer but says she can no longer do that because her knees are damaged. She took a job as a janitor for a brief period recently, she said, but quit because her 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. shift made it impossible for her to care for the Patricks' four children.

Andy Patrick did not comment on Martel's request that he be jailed for violating the court order.

His lawyer, Norman D. Brannon of Spartanburg, said "Ms. Martel can do what she wants to do" about trying to have Patrick jailed. Brannon also serves in the state House of Representatives.

Martel says she "reminded Mr. Brannon on a few occasions" the week before the $4,000 was due that Patrick must send it, according her sworn statement in the court file. Brannon told Martel in an email he sent on April 2 that he had reminded Andy Patrick to pay.

However, Brannon said, because of confusion about whom the money should be sent to, he advised Patrick to send it to Amee Patrick. The court order stated specifically that it be sent to Martel.

No date has been set for a hearing on Martel's request that Patrick be cited for contempt.

The Patrick case has taken unusual turns, including involvement by agents from the FBI, the Secret Service -- even the CIA. On Thursday, both Patrick and Brannon made perplexing statements regarding the CIA's involvement.

The CIA had paid Andy Patrick's company, Advance Point Global, to transfer money from the CIA to operatives abroad, according to an affidavit from Amee Patrick. The CIA would send money to Advance Point Global, which the company then sent to the foreign operatives, her affidavit states.

The allegation seemed far-fetched until Brannon, during a hearing before Judge Snelgrove on Feb. 19, said he and Patrick had met with two CIA agents at the Palmetto Club, an exclusive business club in Columbia, two weeks earlier. The agents were concerned about sensitive information in documents linked to the divorce case being aired publicly. Brannon told the judge that "these files have significant interest to the U.S. government."

Brannon said the agents had asked him and Patrick to sign a nondisclosure agreement because "many of these documents they don't want anyone to know exist." He and Patrick signed the agreement, Brannon said.

However, Andy Patrick said Thursday that he knew nothing about the meeting Brannon had described in court.

"Doug and I did not have a meeting with the CIA at the Palmetto Club," Patrick said. Reminded that Brannon had talked about the meeting in the hearing and had said they both were present, Patrick insisted: "To my knowledge, Doug Brannon did not have a meeting with the CIA, with me or without me."

In an interview minutes later, Brannon declined to discuss the inconsistency between his description of the meeting with the CIA agents and Patrick's denial that it ever occurred.

"I can't answer that," Brannon said.

Documents

Some of the counterfeit money Andy Patrick's wife, Amee, turned over to the FBI. Amee Patrick photographed the money before releasing it to the FBI.

SC Rep. Andy Patrick divorce case document: Photo of counterfeit cash

Receipt from FBI listing documents and counterfeit money that Andy Patrick's wife, Amee, turned over to that agency. The FBI agent who made the list described the money as "possible" counterfeit. However, Andy Patrick acknowledged in a statement he released Feb. 19 that the money was, in fact, counterfeit.

SC Rep. Andy Patrick divorce case document: FBI receipt

Receipt from the Secret Service listing documents that Andy Patrick's wife, Amee, turned over to that agency.

SC Rep. Andy Patrick divorce case document: FBI receipt

Andy Patrick's answers to questions emailed to him by The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.

SC Rep. Andy Patrick divorce case document: Patrick response to newspaper questions

A portion of Amee Patrick's Dec. 16 affidavit in which she states that the CIA sent money to operatives abroad by funneling it through Advance Point Global, Andy Patrick's security company.

SC Rep. Andy Patrick divorce case document: Amee Patrick affidavit detail

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