In August, he completed a project for Petersburg. He still hasn't been paid.

Posted at 11:17 PM, Dec 09, 2022

PETERSBURG, Va. -- For small business owner James Fobbs, Friday's call to the director of transit in Petersburg was different than his previous attempts.

"He said he wants a meeting, but the city manager already knows. This is buying time to see how long you can drain me," Fobbs said.

Fobbs said this is the first time in three and a half months that he's been able to speak with a director about getting paid for a job his business completed back in August.

"I did a great job. You have no complaint about my work, so why would you not be willing to pay me anything? I just don't understand it. I've put everything in this business," Fobbs said.

Fobbs said he first began meeting with the Petersburg Transit Department in June.

"So they wanted to have new bus signs but they needed to be installed. And so we went through the process," Fobbs said.

He said after several conversations on what supplies would be needed and what the project cost, the numbers came out to $37,000.

Fobbs said he got an okay from multiple people to move forward, even though no contract was signed. He said it took four days to finish the route.

However, once it was finished and the final invoice was sent, Fobbs ran into a roadblock.

"He said, Mr. Fobbs, this is just too much and I have to get my legal department involved in this," Fobbs explained.

That conversation happened in August. Now nearly the end of the year, Fobbs said he hasn't been paid or heard anything about when it will happen.

"I have never had trouble with any other departments. This is the first time I've experienced this and most of the times when I'm working with other companies, it's without a contract," Fobbs said. "And so I'm more discouraged and no one from the legal department or whoever has this information has tried to say anything."

Feeling dismissed and disappointed, Fobbs said the Petersburg Transit Department needs to pay what they owe.

"My grinder, my generator, my labor, my time, my gas, my insurance, my worker's comp. All that's a cost. And so, that's the most discouraging part but believing and trusting God in this plan. I'm not gonna go without a meal but right is right," Fobbs said.

CBS 6 reached out to Petersburg about the incident and was told it was a legal matter and that the city does not comment on active legal matters.