2011-05-19 / Local & State

Pa. Senate GOP Must Answer Contract Lawsuit

By Mark Scolforo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania appeals court is declining to throw out a lawsuit against the state Senate Republican caucus over a canceled contract to make calls to constituents and provide voter registration data about them.

Commonwealth Court last week gave the caucus a month to respond to the lawsuit by Precision Marketing

Inc. that seeks $1.2 million for terminating the deal in 2009.

The Senate Republican caucus is invoking sovereign immunity to such lawsuits, but the court says that’s an open question.

A caucus spokesman says the contract was ended because Precision’s owner, Thomas Severson, was charged with filing fraudulent campaign expense reports and submitting deceptive invoices.

He pleaded guilty last year to 12 counts of tampering with public records and two other offenses. Calls to Severson and his lawyer weren’t returned.

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