Campaign worker says former Novi candidate for mayor is giving him the runaround on pay

NOVI (WXYZ) - "You would think someone running for mayor would be a man of his word," says James Underwood who passed out election flyers and urged Novi residents to vote for Joseph Samona, but Underwood says the 24-year-old real estate agent has not paid up.

Underwood got the 13-hour gig after seeing a help wanted ad Samona placed on Craigslist. 

Underwood says Samona wanted him to find a dozen people to help, but he was only able to secure two other workers and they expected to be paid a total of $481 in cash for their combined work at elections polls on Tuesday. But Samona, who wanted to be the next Mayor of Novi, wrote them a check for their work and told him the funds would be available on Thursday.

Underwood says that Samona called him early Thursday morning and told him that he would rather give him cash.

Samona claims it was actually Underwood who wanted cash instead of the check.

Underwood says Samona had various excuses as to why he couldn't meet up with him on Thursday.

Underwood didn't see the cash on Friday either.

Samona sent a text that read: "I promise you'll get your money in cash today I was just involved in an automobile accident on 696 and Woodward I'm in hospital at Beaumont."

The two men then agree to meet at the Novi Police Department Saturday afternoon at 2:30. Underwood's wife went to pick the money up, but Samona was a no-show. Instead, at 2:35 pm, Underwood got a phone call from a police officer stating that Samona was filing a harassment complaint on him.

Underwood reached out to Action News for help and when we contacted Samona, he claims he didn't show up at the police department because Underwood had been threatening him and he didn't feel safe even meeting him in front of police.

Samona, who declined an on-camera interview, says there is money in his account and he would rather Underwood now simply cash the check on Tuesday.

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