Lawsuit filed against Petersburg political action committee

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – A lawsuit is filed against a Petersburg political action committee. The group is accused of improperly filing paperwork and using a state agency phone number without that agency's permission.

Petersburg Councilwoman Dama Rice filed the suit against, "Reform Petersburg Now." Members of the group call the suit, "ridiculous."

As the mid-term election approaches a political play aimed at shutting down the newly formed political action committee.  Monday morning, a petition for an emergency injunction was filed in circuit court against the group by Petersburg Councilwoman Rice.

"Their statement of organization leaves out important documents as to who they are, or are not representing," said Rice.

Rice also says, "Reform Petersburg Now" submitted incomplete paperwork to the State Board of Elections and that committee members are improperly soliciting donations from the public.

"From what the citizens are telling me they're asking for donations and support of individuals but not being clear on who's those individuals they support are," said Rice.

Dale Pittman is a member of "Reform Petersburg Now."

"It's ridiculous. This is why some members of city council need to go," said Pittman.

He says the committee is interested in reforming the city -- which has some of the highest teen pregnancy and unemployment rates in the state  -- and in order to accomplish those goals, the group says it wants incumbents on city council , including Rice, -- out.

"We have a government that's not managed well," said Pittman.

Pittman also says the State Board of Elections has not contacted the group indicating any documents being incomplete or improper.

"If we're told that there are any inconsistencies, if the state tells us there are deficiencies, then we'll correct those," said Pittman.

The State Board of Elections says it is aware of the lawsuit. Rice says she filed the petition as a citizen not a council member.

In response to allegations of using a state agency as a contact without that agency's permission -- "Reform Petersburg Now" says their treasurer is an employee at that agency which is why the number was listed.

A court date for a judge to hear the case has not been set.

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