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Carolina Havoc general manager Steven Smith shows off the championship belt during a game against Cape Fear at Florence Center.

FLORENCE, S.C. — The former general manager of the Carolina Havoc, an arena-league team that played at the Florence Center for one season, is suing the team for back pay.

Steven Smith says he has not been paid more than $32,000 by the team.

Smith declined to comment when reached by phone.

According to the lawsuit, Smith served as the team’s general manager from September 2018 until his resignation in October.

An Arena Football League magazine indicates that Smith was named general manager of the team after the resignation of its general manager/head coach Josh Resignalo on Sept. 29. Defensive lineman Anson Yarborough took over as the team’s coach after Resignalo’s depature for another arena-league team in Georgia.

Smith is suing Christopher Duffy Enterprises JP Inc. and Duffy, personally, for failure to pay wages, which is a violation of a South Carolina statute. The suit alleges breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Duffy is a co-owner of the team.

The lawsuit identifies him as a resident of the state of Florida. The corporation is also identified as organized under Florida law.

The lawsuit alleges an employment agreement in which Smith was to be paid a salary of $40,000 per year and a 10% bonus of all tickets, merchandise and sponsorship sales if those levels exceeded $175,000.

“During the course of Plaintiff’s (Smith’s) employment, Defendants willfully, wantonly, recklessly, arbitrarily, unilaterally, and without Plaintiff’s consent, withheld payment of the Plaintiff’s wages and bonuses,” the lawsuit says. “To date, Defendants have willfully, wantonly, recklessly, arbitrarily, and without Plaintiff’s consent wrongfully and unlawfully refused to pay Plaintiff his rightfully due and owing wages and bonuses in an amount exceeding $32,000.00.”

In the suit, Smith asks for his unpaid wages, treble damages in an amount no less than $96,000, attorney’s fees, costs of the suit, and pre-judgment interest.

The Florence Civic Center Commission voted not to renew the team’s lease at the Florence Center after the end of its 2019 season. The Havoc’s season ended with a 52-38 semifinal playoff loss to the Carolina Energy at Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte. The Havoc finished the year 8-2 overall record and won the league’s Atlantic Division in their first and only year in Florence.

The Havoc relocated from Georgia to Florence for the 2019 season. Formerly known as the Atlanta Havoc, the team played its first season at the Buford Arena in 2018.

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Government and Poltics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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