A Captain Renault post: The battle lines are drawn and the war is on in the House Democrat Caucus. Majority Leader Todd Eachus and the House Democrat Caucus have filed an unprecedented and startling lawsuit against lawyer and Washington D.C. based consultant Bill Chadwick (and by proxy against Bill DeWeese). At the heart of this war is this question: When Bill Chadwick and Bill DeWeese signed the contract to bring Chadwick to Harrisburg to work on the Bonusgate investigation for the House Democrats, who did and does lawyer Chadwick represent -- Bill DeWeese individually or the House Democrat Caucus and all of the members?
Chadwick was paid $1.3 million by the House Democrat Caucus over the last two years. We posted earlier today with more details on the dispute and the reasons for the lawsuit and the AP's Mark Scolforo has been all over the story and posting updates throughout the day. Scolforo broke the story first late last night.
This lawsuit is an unprecedented full frontal attack by Eachus on Bill DeWeese and Chadwick.
Behind the scenes, according to sources within the Dem Caucus, there appear to be many political, legal, and personal reasons for the lawsuit which we will continue to explore in the days ahead. the bottom line in the lawsuit is that Eachus and his lawyers want Chadwick to turn over all of the emails, information and documents he collected over the almost two years he worked for the Democrat Caucus while spearheading the Caucus' effort to "co-operate" with Attorney General Tom Corbett in the Bonusgate investigation.
In published accounts Chadwick is claiming that he can't give Eachus the information because Bill DeWeese won't allow him. DeWeese, Chadwick says, has asserted his attorney-client privilege and since DeWeese was his client over the last two years -- not the Democrat Caucus -- Chadwick can not and will not turn over the information to Eachus and his legal team.
It looks like a judge will have to sort this mess out while the war continues in the halls of the state Capitol.
In the meantime, we have a copy of the Chadwick contracts here and here. A plain English language reading of these contracts make it clear the "client" in these contracts is the House Democrat Caucus and not Bill DeWeese personally. For DeWeese to assert his "privilege" and for Chadwick to go along with it under these circumstances and knowing they would be sued in public court by Eachus, you have to believe there is some dynamite in the information DeWeese wants to keep hidden from his colleagues and from public view.
Our next post will be the documents Chris Casey, Eachus' lawyer, filed in court yesterday in the suit against Chadwick. The documents are very interesting if you are following this fascinating political story.