Retired Army chaplain fighting against contractor over repairs


by David Ham

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 7:05 PM

HERTFORD -- A retired Army Chaplain says he's been fighting for nearly four years to get his money back from a bad contracting deal.

Corbin Cherry said he paid at least $115,000 to Dennis Gerber to repair his house in Hertford after Hurricane Isabel but says Gerber never finished the repairs.

"I had to borrow money to have the house remodeled by somebody so I'd have a place to live when I retired," said Cherry.

Cherry said after he disputed the deal with Gerber, he went to the Perquimans County Sheriff's Office to press charges.

Sheriff Eric Tilley said that even before Cherry came forward with his complaint against Gerber, there was at least one other complaint against him involving an alleged fraudulent contracting deal. He added the previous allegation was settled out of court.

A grand jury indicted Gerber. He was arrested in Georgia and extradited to North Carolina in July of 2008.

The case slowed down for years.

Cherry blames District Attorney Frank Parrish.

"The bottom line is - he hasn't done his job. If he had done his job then my case would have been already heard and taken care of," said Cherry.

13News tried to reach Parrish on the reason for the delay, but he did not return our calls. We did get in touch with Gerber who now works for a contracting company in Georgia.

He told us that Cherry's allegations against him were false but said could not go into detail.

Gerber's attorney, HP Williams in Elizabeth City, says his client is not guilty but also declined to explain why.

The District Attorney's office has set a hearing date of March 26th for Cherry's case.

Cherry was the 8th person to file a complaint against Parrish calling for his removal as District Attorney.

"I think the the only reason it's being done is that this is come to the general public," said Cherry.

James Maxwell is Parrish's attorney and pushed a judge to dismiss the complaints against Parrish saying that "at all times and in all these matters, simply carrying out his duties as mandated by statutory law and the Rules of Professional Conduct. If Judge Hinton has agreed with that assessment as indicated, I am very pleased for my client and the citizens of the First District that he will be allowed to continue to serve."

Kathryn Fagan is an attorney representing several of the complainants against Parrish and plans to challenge the judge's decision.