The Beaver Countian Sued By Former Bipartisan Committee Members

lawsuit

Former members of the now defunct Bipartisan Committee For A Better Economy Borough filed a lawsuit against the Beaver Countian and several other people today.

Former Bipartisan Committee Treasurer Richard Lapinski (husband of former Economy Borough Councilwoman Michelle Lapinski), along with George E. Fiztgerald (who campaigned for Mayor of Economy Borough), and Mary Jo Sivy (who campaigned for Tax collector), have filed suit against the Beaver Countian alleging defamation. Also named as defendants are Economy Borough Democratic Committee Chairman Mayor David Poling (who is listed as lead defendant in the case) along with Beaver County Democratic Committee Chairman Michael “Doc” Sisk.

The Beaver Countian provided comprehensive coverage of last year’s municipal elections in Economy Borough, including coverage of a complaint alleging violations of Pennsylvania elections laws filed by the Economy Borough Democratic Committee and the Beaver County Democratic Committee against the Bipartisan Committee for a Better Economy Borough.

The Beaver County Board of Elections voted unanimously at the time to refer the complaint for criminal investigation. Beaver County District Attorney Tony Berosh then referred the matter to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, which later found no criminal wrongdoing by the Bipartisan Committee members.

The Beaver Countian was the first media outlet to break news of the complaint filed against the Bipartisan Committee and was also the first media outlet to break news that the Attorney General’s Office found no criminal wrongdoing by the group. Reporting about the controversies included direct quotes from a range of named sources including both Richard Lapinski and George Fiztgerald, and public officials including Economy Mayor David Poling, Beaver County Solicitor Joseph Askar and District Attorney Tony Berosh.

George Fitzgerald and Mary Jo Sivy both lost their bids for public office and Richard Lapinksi disbanded the Bipartisan Committee shortly after the complaint was filed by Poling and Sisk.

A formal complaint has not yet been filed by the plaintiffs in the case and the writ of summons does not contain specific details about the allegations of defamation being made. The group is seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages as part of the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are being represented by William J. Labovitz from the Pittsburgh law firm of Elliott & Davis.

See:

- Democratic Committees File Complaints Seeking Criminal Investigations Into Candidates
- County Elections Board Votes To Refer Complaint To District Attorney For Criminal Investigation
- District Attorney Refers Bipartisan Committee Investigation To The Attorney General’s Office
- Bipartisan Committee’s Treasurer Says He Made All Donations In Final Campaign Report
- The Bipartisan Committee – The Planning Commission – And The Kaunert Residence
- Attorney General’s Office To Investigate Former Bipartisan Committee In Economy
- Economy Borough: The Poling Place
- Judge Rules Economy Borough Acted Inappropriately In Slashing Tax Collector’s Pay
- Sources: AG Investigators Find Discrepancies In Complaint Against Economy Bipartisan Group
- AG’s Office Closes Investigation Into Economy Bipartisan Committee

 

17 comments

  1. Actually they didn’t say ANY WRONG DOING, they stated that other side claims where not warranted and closed case with no criminal charges at present time.

    Which was a just ruling on the complaint but what’s perplexing is they admitted the claim of law suit want accurate and more like half that amount ummmm good job that’s attorney General investigators are to do, but half is still more than what they claimed so that should be a violation refile the CHARGES I say abd push the issue on the facts that where claimed and what was found to be correct under letter of the law that would still be chargeable.

    Just saying

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  2. Just because their behavior didn’t constitute criminal activity doesn’t mean that what was reported regarding said behavior wasn’t true so of course they didn’t list damages…. There aren’t any.  This would appear to be an attempt to simply cost the defendants a lot of money.  I seriously doubt that their attorney is taking this one on a contingency basis and there are probably a lot of folks contributing to the hourly rate who have been exposed thanks to the very thorough reporting that John Paul does.  I certainly hope that the judge assigned to this one rules in favor of the motion to dismiss which will surely be filed.  
    Sour grapes….. and pretend “damages” are what we have here in my opinion.
    Hang in there JP…. The election probably won’t be the only thing that they lose.

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  3. Eye opener here….. they get exposed and then file a lawsuit Good work JP

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  4. Easy to read between lines, wonder who made call to squash investigation?

    Bet it was the same person that referred this case to law firm in Pittsburgh lol

    Snake still bites if you only cut tail off

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  5. Baseless and meaningless. They will lose this case. It’s grandstanding. Look at the amount they are suing for. Laughable…

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  6. This smacks of small-town political cocktail party saber rattling that becomes public after egos and reputations are challenged. A divided $25K would not make anyone rich, or poor, or even penitent for that matter, and there are much easier and effective ways to advertise the “truth” and your indignation and bruised reputations. Drop the lawsuit, and spend the lawyer fees on Op-Eds in the Beaver Countian and Beaver County Times to clear the air with the “correct” information. There is nothing to be gained in this legal approach. Actually, if the specific items of complaint — stay tuned — are aired and analyzed, again, it could very well make things much worse and backfire. Back off, shake hands, and stick with the Perrier at the next cocktail party. And, remember what they say about the heat in the kitchen, because you clearly are out of your comfort zones. 

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    • If memory serves, the 25k number is simply an amount mentioned in preliminary filings in PA courts that indicate that the complainants want a jury to decide the amount of damages should the case actually go to trial.  As I understand it, to make a claim in excess of 25k means that there are substantial damages being claimed, and there is to be no cap or limit on what could potentially be awarded by a jury. There are a number of attorneys that monitor this page, perhaps one of them can confirm or clarify.

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  7. Everyone loves to sue these days.  Stay out of politics if you have such thin skin.

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  8. lapinski why do hate the mayor so bad you and your bipartisan group got your asses handed to you we didn’t have these kind of problems before you and your group came along. do us a favor quit crying  and get the fuck out of economy

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  9. NUMBERSCRUNCHER

    LIPINSKI YOU ARE NOT AN ACCOUNTANT, http://WWW.LICENSEPA.STATE.PA.US/ ALL ACCOUNTANTS HAVE TO BE LICENSED BY THE STATE OF PA REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED .YOU ARE NOT  LICENSED IN BEAVER COUNTY OR ANY OTHER PART THE STATE.NO ONE BY THE NAME OF LIPINSKI IS LICENSED TO DO ACCOUNTING IN THE STATE OF PA. YOU WILL BE TURNED INTO THE STATE OF PENNA  

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    • SpeakTheTruthToo

      Before you go blabbing about turning people in, did you ever stop to think that maybe she was licensed with her maiden name? My first professional license has my maiden name.

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    • There is a big difference between “accountant” and “certified public accountant.”

      While all CPA’s are accountants, not all accountants are CPA’s — I have never seen either of the Lapinskis advertise themselves as being CPA’s.

      My understanding is that it is perfectly permissible to do general bookkeeping and other similar work as an accountant without being licensed by the State of Pennsylvania.

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  10. The issue here should be Lapinski, Sivy and Fitzgerald were asked to provide documents by the director of the election board.They did not respond.Having done nothing wrong, why would they not respond?.They are the ones who took it to this level.When the people lose their right to question politicians, there is no democracy .

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  11. I’m curious.  If Poling is the “Economy Borough Democratic Committee Chairman”  then why are Sample Democratic Ballots in mail boxes asking for votes from the TRUE Democratic Committee?  Are there more than one Democratic Committee?  Does one tell the Truth and the other Not?  Are they affiliated?  They are printed with a Union Label.  Is the Printers Union (Communication Workers of PA) Confused?  Is there a Beaver County Democratic Committee AND a TRUE Democratic Committee?  Have they disbanded and reorganized as the TRUE Democrat Committee in lieu of all the BS?

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  12. just a FYI – Lawsuits. Laugh my Ass off. Curious can an attorney sue his clients for defamation of his character for representing these liars and thieves ? This attorney may want to keep an eye on The Beaver Countian, The Beaver County Times, and channel WTAE….some REAL SHOCKERS coming over the waves……Real Shockers…:)))

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