Bright’s Creek reaches agreement to pay employees after checks withheld

Published 9:10 pm Sunday, December 4, 2016

MILL SPRING-Bright’s Creek employees received paychecks last Friday, Dec. 2 after the checks were withheld for a week while the receiver and owner came to an agreement.

Bright’s Creek is currently in Chapter 11 foreclosure and has been in a temporary receivership since July this year.

The Bulletin reached out to an employee, Bright’s Creek and Alianza Trinity Development Group and Bright’s Creek Golf Club, LLC Chairman & CEO Omar Botero last week regarding the withholding of paychecks.

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Bright’s Creek receiver Marc Rudow, with Roberts & Stevens Attorneys at law responded with a statement.

“In July 2016, the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina placed two entities into receivership: Alianza Trinity Development Group LLC and Bright’s Creek Golf Club LLC,” stated Rudow. “Recently, Alianza Trinity Group LLC filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the Southern District of Florida, which has temporarily delayed funding for the club. The debtor and creditor in the reorganization are working diligently to reach an agreement on interim financing which would fund business operations, including payroll. The receiver is hopeful that a resolution will be reached within days.”

Later Friday, Dec. 2, Dennis Martin with Roberts & Stevens reached out to the Bulletin, saying the funding for the missed payroll came in Friday and paychecks were issued to employees on Friday.

Some employees of Bright’s Creek reached out through social media and television news last week saying they had not been paid.

Employees received a letter last week stating that paychecks would be issued when approved by the receiver.

“This letter is notification that the employees of Bright’s Creek Golf Club had their paychecks withheld on Friday, November 25, 2016,” stated the letter. “Bright’s Creek Golf Club is in receivership and paychecks will be issued when approved by the receiver.”

Bright’s Creek employee Elise Cehen, who works in housekeeping at Bright’s Creek said last week that she didn’t know what employees were going to do. She said they found out on Thanksgiving that they were not getting paid, but they have families and kids to take care of and it’s the holidays.

Cehen said it’s horrible to have to decide if she has enough gas to take her special needs son to school or go to work.

“That’s a horrible decision because if you miss work then you don’t have money,” Cehen said, “but we don’t have money anyways because work’s not paying us.”

Another employee, Justin Norton, said he came in to get his paycheck and was told he was let go. Norton told the news it has affected his day-to-day life on every level and he can’t afford food and the utilities in his home.

Cehen said she hopes to continue to work at Bright’s Creek because it’s her family but she also needs to do what’s best for her family.

Botero told the Bulletin on Friday after weeks of very difficult negotiations an agreement had been signed and the release of funds was ordered. Botero also said he appreciates employees at Bright’s Creek and he and others are firm believers in Bright’s Creek and the community.