'Mayoral candidate was not running troubled firm'
A COMPANY embroiled in a legal row with liquidators was not being run by mayoral candidate Spud Murphy, according to a former employee.
At Bristol County Court yesterday, administrator at NSS Solutions Ltd Julia Longmore claimed: "I never even saw Mr Murphy with the chequebook."
Ms Longmore appeared as a witness at the third day of the trial to ascertain whether or not Mr Murphy is liable to liquidators of NSS Solutions Ltd.
The company provided bus shelters for councils from a warehouse in Avonmouth owned by Mr Murphy.
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Liquidators allege that Mr Murphy was a "de facto" director of the company which went bust after six months, leaving him partly liable.
Taking the stand at the trial, Ms Longmore told the court that company director Nigel Sweet was in control, not Mr Murphy.
She said: "Nigel held all the blank cheques and Nigel was aware of the bank balance. Mr Murphy would only foot the bill if there wasn't any money in the account."
Earlier, the court heard evidence from NSS Solutions Ltd supervisor Steve Smith about the relationship between him, Mr Sweet and Mr Murphy.
Mr Smith denied that he or Mr Murphy had any control in the company. He said: "We were just three men who talked."
Mr Smith said he was laid off by Mr Sweet when work began to dry up at the company in late 2004.
It was put to Mr Smith that the company was involved in "dodgy" business in Cardiff and that he used knowledge of it to try and get money he was owed following his dismissal. Mr Smith denied the allegation.
Mr Murphy denies claims by liquidators that he was a director in NSS Solutions Ltd, which went bust in February 2005.
The case continues.