Irey Vaughan campaign sued for fundraising bill

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Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan’s campaign committee from her unsuccessful bid last year for state treasurer is being sued by a political consulting firm and its affiliate over an unpaid bill of more than $20,000 for fundraising work.


Marquis Strategies of Beaver and Clark Brett of Morgantown, W.Va., filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Washington County Court, claiming the Friends with Diana fundraising arm of Irey Vaughan’s campaign and its manager and treasurer owe them 10 percent of the $210,518 they raised for Irey in the months leading up to the November election, court records show.


The two-count lawsuit charges the McMurray-based campaign with breach of contract and unjust enrichment for accepting campaign money raised by the plaintiffs without compensation for their efforts. The claim seeks $21,050 from the campaign.


The plaintiffs state in the lawsuit there was a verbal agreement with Jason Fitzgerald of Harrisburg, who served as campaign manager, and the campaign’s treasurer, William Henry of Venetia, to collect a 5 percent fee from each of them on a monthly basis. The court record indicates the industry standard is to collect 10 percent of campaign income.


Irey Vaughan, a Republican, lost the election to incumbent Democrat Rob McCord.


Henry referred comment to Fitzgerald, who claims the lawsuit is “without merit.”


“We have paid the company in full,” Fitzgerald said Thursday.


He said the agreement to use Marquis did not involve any conversations with Irey Vaughan.


“The whole basis of this is over a misunderstanding between myself and (Marquis),” Fitzgerald said.


Adam Henry, a Cranberry attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the lawsuit “is a straightforward breach of contract case.”


“Our clients did work for the campaign and have not been paid,” Henry said.


Irey Vaughan did not return a message seeking comment.


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