Consultant sues campaigns for non-payment

Posted on 10 May 2007 at 8:09pm
By David Webb Staff Writer

Sterling says mayoral campaigns for Wells, Hill asked him to prepare voter lists but never paid him for his work



P.D. Sterling

It’s a pretty good bet P.D. Sterling never considered voting for at least two of the 11 candidates running for Dallas mayor when he cast his early vote recently.

“I voted for Sam Coats,” Sterling said. “I hope it turns out.”

The two he likely never considered supporting were candidates Max Wells and Don Hill. Sterling claims the campaigns of those two candidates failed to pay him for work he did for them.

Sterling filed lawsuits in Justice of the Peace Court No. 5-1 on April 6 against the Eppstein Group, which the political consultant claims contracted him for work on behalf of the Wells campaign, for $1,957.50, and against the Don Hill for Mayor Campaign for $5,259.30.

Sterling said he prepared a voter list for the Eppstein Group in January after they signed a contract with him. When the work was completed he called asking for a check before delivering the information and was told he would need to send an invoice to the Wells campaign, the political consultant said.

Sterling said he then prepared a contract for the Wells campaign to sign, but it was never executed and he was never paid. The information was never delivered because campaign officials questioned the cost, he said.

In response to Sterling’s claims, the Eppstein Group has asked for a jury trial. In their answer to Sterling’s lawsuit on May 4, the group denied all of the political consultant’s claims.

In the lawsuit against the Hill campaign, Sterling claims he received verbal authorization in late March to prepare a voter list and completed the project. After the work was done, a campaign official called him to say they would no longer need the information because it had been provided to them free of charge by Sen. Royce West and District Attorney Craig Watkins, Sterling said.

“I’ve been had,” Sterling said about the two business deals that went sour.

The Hill campaign has not yet responded to the lawsuit, because the candidate was not served until May 2, Sterling said. The candidate has 14 days to respond to the lawsuit so the election will be over by then, he said.

“If he doesn’t make it to the runoff, which I doubt he will, there probably will be some difficulty,” Sterling said. “But I’ll put a lien on his house because I’m not going to let anyone make a fool out of me like that.”

The Hill campaign did not immediately return a phone message left with its media representatives, Focus Communications.

Sterling said he is confident that he will prevail in the lawsuits.

“I actually think I’m going to win,” Sterling said. “I expect to get the full amount.”

Sterling said if he wins at the Justice of the Peace level, and the defendants appeal, he stands to get quadruple the amount if they lose again.

E-mail webb@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 27, 2007.

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