Lawyer's estate still in question

by John O'Brien |
Jun. 30, 2006, 3:45am

CHARLESTON - The estate of a Charleston attorney is still being fought over in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Emily Sue Ceo, the daughter of Everette Thaxton, has filed a lawsuit alleging her uncle Wilbur Thaxton mismanaged her father's estate while he was the executor.

It was filed June 13 through attorney Timothy LaFon of Ciccarello, Del Giudice and LaFon.

Everette owned half of Thaxton and Johnstone when he passed away Sept. 7, 2004, from heart failure, making Wilbur the executor of his estate.

Wilbur filed a lawsuit against Thaxton and Johnstone regarding a yearly payment the firm was to make for Everette's retirement fund. Four annual payments were to total $750,000.

Everette's son Jimmy, the court administrator at Kanawha Circuit Court, says the firm was trying to work out a lump sum to pay the estate when Wilbur filed his lawsuit demanding the money.

Ceo was named administratrix of the estate on April 13 by the Kanawha County Commission because it believed Wilbur has mismanaged the funds.

Jimmy says Wilbur spent more than $100,000 from the estate, much of that stemming from the lawsuit he filed in February against Thaxton and Johnstone, even though Everette's retirement settlement stated that if a dispute arose over the retirement fund that the matter was to go before an arbitrator, not a Circuit Court Judge.

The remaining portion of the missing funds were directly paid to Wilbur, the lawsuit says.

"The defendant misappropriated funds from the estate by paying cash to himself and to others which was contrary to the Last Will and Testament of Everette F. 'Bud' Thaxton, for whom he was to be administering this estate," Ceo's complaint against Wilbur says.

Ceo charges him with negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and misappropriation and fraud.

She is seeking compensatory damages.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1129

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