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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Nothstein Sues Velodrome, Morning Call

Yesterday, Republican Marty Nothstein participated with Democrat Susan Wild and Libertarian Tim Silfies in an hour-long Congressional debate being taped for WFMZ-TV69's Business Matters. The show, moderated by host Tony Iannelli, was shot in front of a live audience of about 175 people at Coordinated Health in South Whitehall Township. The show will air Oct 15 and 22 at 7:30 pm. Though no one mentioned it, this debate comes fast on the heels of a 108-page lawsuit that Nothstein filed on Monday in Lehigh County Court. He names The Veldrome, Andrew H Ralston, Jr and the Morning Call as Defendants. The eight-count complaint, filed by Macungie lawyer R. Eric Hall, seeks over $50,000 in damages on each count.

According to the Complaint, Nothstein had been employed as Executive Director at The Velodrome since 2008. That's a charitable nonprofit.  It promotes cycling. Nothstein, a Silver and Gold Medal Olympic athlete, was at one time the fastest person on a bicycle.  Ralston is an attorney.

A little background here about Ralston, before I move on with the Complaint. His LinkedIn page shows that he was employed by the Gross McGinley law firm between 2003 and 2016. That just happens to be the very law firm where Wild was employed  It also happens to be the very same law firm that defended The Morning Call in several defamation lawsuits. In 2016, Ralston left Gross McGinley for another law firm, White and Williams   

Getting back to the Complaint, Nothstein claims he noticed that Ralston was engaged in "self-dealing," i.e. personally benefiting from his position of trust, by steering legal work to his law firm. He allegedly "funneled tens of thousands of legal work" to his law firm even though The Velodrome in previous years had little or no legal expenses.

In 2016, Nothstein began to complain about this self-dealing, and confronted Ralston. Then, on October 29, 2017, Nothstein announced his candidacy for the seat being vacated by then Congressman Charlie Dent. A scant 11 days later, an "anonymous tipster" contacted USA Cycling, and accused him of unspecified sexual misconduct that supposedly had occurred 18 years ago, when he was in training for the Sydney Olympics.

USA Cycling passed this anonymous tip to Safesport, a federal entity established by Congress to investigate accusations of sexual misconduct by Olympic athletes.

Safesport notified Ralston of its investigation on Feb 9, 2018, and just three days later, Ralston handed Nothstein a "confidential" letter placing him on indefinite unpaid suspension. He was instructed to turn in his ID card, keys and credit card that day and was even warned, "There is no reason for you to be at the velodrome."  He was also muzzled from discussing his suspension with other board members or Velodrome employees.

At the same time he was muzzling Nothstein, Ralston is alleged to have told Velodrome staff, "Marty no longer works here." He also declared he had a "plan" to replace Nothstein.

Nothstein avers that Ralston acted unilaterally, in violation of by-laws that would require him to consult with other directors. He is alleged to have done this so he could continue to milk the Velodrome with legal bills.  He then ransacked Nothstein's office and took various items, including high end bicycles and mementos from Nothstein's cycling career.

Nothstein did eventually get one bicycle returned to him.

According to the Complaint, Ralston and other Velodrome board members then began leaking the existence of this investigation, in direct violation of Safesport rules requiring strict confidentiality. These rules exist to protect both victim and accused. Ralston is alleged to have leaked the investigation to The Morning Call.

The Morning Call began contacting this woman. It also obtained emails or minutes from Ralston in which he discussed this supposedly "confidential" matter with board members  Before it published its first story, Nothstein representatives offered an affidavit from this supposed victim, strongly denying the anonymous accusation of unspecified sexual misconduct. They were spurned, and The Morning Call published a story without bothering to inform its readers of these denials. In doing so, the newspaper cast Nothstein in a false light.

As explained in the lawsuit, the story intentionally omitted information that cleared Nothstein. (I personally  think fundamental fairness would demand that the newspaper inform its readers that the very victim of these anonymous accusations had denied them.) 

After a Nothstein news conference on the day this story was published, the paper did admit it had been offered affidavits, but Nothstein placed too many restrictions on them. This is contradicted in the Complaint. The only restriction Nothstein wanted was one that would require the newspaper to honor this woman's request for confidentiality.

The decent thing.

According to the Complaint, "There is no more compelling evidence than an unequivocal denial from the woman involved in the anonymous accusations, and it was a gross violation of journalistic standards,ethics and integrity for the Morning Call to refuse to review the aforesaid AFFIDAVIT."

On August 23, Safesport cleared Nothstein of any sexual misconduct. By that time, the damage had been done. As Nothstein said yesterday at his debate, "It was devastating to me, devastating to my family and devastating to my campaign."   

Nothstein has also sued the Velodrome for continuing to use his name and likeness to draw revenue and for suspending and then firing him in violation of their own by-laws.

Ralston's Denials -  Ralston is defending himself in Facebook court. After claiming all the allegations are false, he issues a threat: "please please repeat these allegations outside of the pleadings so I can sue you for defamation.” After saying, "I want to, but can’t, say more right now," he does.
1. I haven’t and don’t make a goddamned nickel off of legal work that was or is done for the Velodrome. Zero. $0.00. I’m a salaried employee of my firm, and voluntarily did the exact right thing by refusing any remuneration related to this client. The decision to hire my firm was and is the Board’s, with me recused, and based upon merit. The claim that I am unethical is outrageously false. If these allegations are not withdrawn immediately, I will seek sanctions under Rule 1023 against Nothstein and his attorney.
2. I didn’t leak anything to The Morning Call, or anyone else, about Marty Nothstein. As soon as I can, I will be asking The Call to confirm that I am not the source that they cite in their article about Marty Nothstein. I have no idea who their source is. If these allegations are not withdrawn immediately, I will seek sanctions under Rule 1023 against Nothstein and his attorney.
3. All actions taken by the Velodrome related to Marty Nothstein were taken by the Board of the Velodrome, not me. I never acted unilaterally, ever. All decisions were that of the Board. If these allegations are not withdrawn immediately, I will seek sanctions under Rule 1023 against Nothstein and his attorney.
4. I have not ever, am not now, and will not in the future support any candidate for Congress in this election. I have never “conspired” with anyone, including but not limited to The Morning Call, to support Marty’s opponent, or to hurt Marty. If these allegations are not withdrawn immediately, I will seek sanctions under Rule 1023 against Nothstein and his attorney.
5. Nothstein’s attorney is his close friend, and did legal work for the Velodrome when Nothstein gave it to him. Nothstein wanted him to take over the defense of a lawsuit brought against the Velodrome related to the conduct of Nothstein — which request was obviously refused by the board. Hall also has personal animosity, clearly exhibited in the Complaint, against my firm — where he used to work. Hall also has personal involvement with aspects of certain relevant facts underlying decisions about Nothstein that were made by the Board.
He really seems to like Rule 1023. Ralston should stop defending himself. He is demonstrating the principle that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

(I'll give you my take on the debate itself on Thursday).

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot like non leaker Feinstein, the Democrats must have a file on how to win an election without without any plan for the better of anyone but themselves and their cronys. Hopefully the people of the district will realize who these people are.

Anonymous said...

Nothstein needs a distraction from his disastrous campaign. Do not vote for the Fascist Republican Party. It is a Party of the money lenders and the corporate class that takes the cake and leaves you crumbs. They work to have people fight each other, while they sit on high and reap the short term benefits.
The Party of the new confederacy is the republican party. A party of hate, intolerance and poverty to the people.
Vote Blue!

Anonymous said...

Your new congressman for the 7th

Anonymous said...

Wonder what part of this Ms. Wild fits in? Oops, so sorry, how could I even think she could have dirty hands in any of her actions. After all, women are the sex that will bring "honesty" to the political spectrum. Between the looney left and the pandering of many of the news outlets it is a tough time to be a man. This is one woman who hopes the ship soon "rights" itself. Bernie, I wish you will keep bringing up "due process" because I am not sure the left will allow this to be taught in our schools. Do you think in another couple of years the law schools will remove the concept because they fear censure from the left.

Anonymous said...

Marty is a sacrificial lamb. This district was gerrymandered by a partisan court. Charlie Dent would get slaughtered. We're about to elect a certified left fringe lunatic. It's just a matter of time until she'll be calling for Rs to be confronted at their homes, harassed with their families, and shot on softball fields. We're about to go full authoritarian communist. Elections have consequences.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean the right banning what is taught in schools. See Texas Board Of Education.

Anonymous said...

Fall of 2017 was a very tense time for the GOP in the (then) 15th Congressional (now the 7th) with a lot of GOP infighting. Allegations of corrupt GOP officials, exposed text messages to shame one another, finger pointing, claims of hand-picked candidates, suggestions of devious editing a candidates photo from a local rally, calls for chairpersons to resign, and even public shaming the outgoing Congressman by GOP party operatives all in attempt for self promotion.

The infighting carried over into October than the GOP race grows by one. Eleven days later an anonymous informant makes an allegation.

One week later the GOP race has one less candidate.

Anonymous said...

I will be taking civility to the polls on November 6th to cast a straight line Republican ticket for the first time in my life. Yes, I have #walkaway.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the facts coming out in court. Does anyone really think that Marty would file lawsuits just for the fun of it?
I believe the Velodrome Chair, executive committee and board abused Nothstein financially and mistreated him in a number of ways. The Morning Call is simply a leftist rag which enjoys a monopoly in the Lehigh Valley. Their abusive reporting deserves financial punishment for their selective and distorted reporting. They cannot do what amounts to character assassinations and expect no blowback. At least not from people with a spine. Anyone who has climbed to the top of the sports world through their own hard work has likely created a number of jealous haters who will certainly spew their hate on Facebook pages and emails. To them I say - get the facts before you further slander a good man. Expect an out of court settlement by guilty parties. Either than or a much larger award after a jury trial.

Anonymous said...

must vote republican the democrats are the party of mob rule look at their so called leaders booker who ran Newark into the ground Pelosi what a mess she is the minority leader from new York how can people in ny vote for a person like him. the Clintons are the worst the baggage they have in real----more crime more taxes more spending more lies no borders no ice they are against the military and police vote for the democrats and we will get it all

Huck Weaver said...

It seems Mr.Nothstein was aware of this allegation before He announced for Congress. Mr. Nothstein should have known politics is not softball.Ms Wild apprenticed under Mayor Pawloski and was well aware politics is hard-ball and she had her business partner throw the change -up at Nothstein .

Anonymous said...

Since the Velodrome is a non profit let them release a copy of the Board minutes and the votes. A copy of the engagement letter between the law firm and the Velodrome disclosing the conflict of interest of having the Board Chairmen also being an employee of the law firm. Have every Board member sign a release to the Morning Call to allow them to release the name of the leaker. My guess is nothing will be released to the public because this seems like a hit job on a good and decent man! Complete transparency to the Public so the truth can come out is the solution!

How many other law firms were interviewed to determine that The Board Chairmen's law firm was the best firm to choose? Who evaluated the other firms if any were even interviewed? Its seems implausible to any rational person that there is only one law firm in the area that is capable of handling the Velodrome's legal matters.

Anonymous said...

Watch the violent left mobs. Read their death threats. Understand who wants to run our lives. Then, thank God for our Second Amendment and how difficult it is to repeal any part of the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

wild is too far left to do any good

Anonymous said...

I bet Wayne Woodman is having a grand ole Marty Party!

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see what Susan Wild's participation was in all this. Soon the rats will eat each other. They obviously screwed this guy over.

Anonymous said...

So Ralston is defending himself on Facebook? Haha! The first thing attorneys tell their clients these days is don't litigate on social media. So yeah, I believe his self dealing and incompetence is likely.

Anonymous said...

"It will be interesting to see what Susan Wild's participation was in all this"
And if there was any hint of her involvement Nothstein would be shouting it from the roof tops.instead look to the republicans he crossed in his own party.

Anonymous said...

Rule 1 for the rest of us says most lawyers are unethical and you can stick Rule 1023 in your ass.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are paid liners and for the most part unethical pos! That is especially true of the deed searchering paralegals working for these unethical pos.
There is no honor in almost any private or public sector job, let alone being a pandering political parasite claiming the publics best interests. LOL

Anonymous said...

morning call is a left wing propaganda paper I hope Marty wins

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I bet Wayne Woodman is having a grand ole Marty Party!"

Actually, Wayne has moved to Colorado.

Anonymous said...

Reading this makes me wonder why did Marty run with all this stuff going on in his professional life? Seems to me that anyone running for congress needs to have their professional and private lives in order before even considering a run. His professional life was clearly very conflicted, he seems to have lied about his status as employed when clearly he wasn't. Did he think the truth wouldn't come out? did he think that people he told the untruth to would think less of him as a result?I cannot vote for Susan Wild, but at this point I can only vote for Marty because he isn't her. Who thought this guy was a good candidate?

Anonymous said...

wild---wow

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Reading this makes me wonder why did Marty run with all this stuff going on in his professional life?"

It wasn't going on before he decided to run. It all happened after he decided to run. And he believes, with some justification, that it happened because he decided to run.

88 said...

Marty will try and put bike lanes everywhere and promote bullshit like walkability when this country was grown on diesel and suburban bliss. The next great PA-7 rep will be a 9_12 style patriot probably someone hand picked by Campione and his inner circle of alt right intellectuals.

Anonymous said...

repubcans are destroying amwerica whith their'Me and only me" attitude. They are th eparty of Hannity and Ingram. They are fanatics that hate women and people of color. They are th efascist party that will make America a dictatorship or oligarchy run by corporations.

Your freedom ill be taken over by evangelicals who will dole out healthcare based on your religion and money.

Anonymous said...

it happened because he decided to run.

Yup. He was Kavanaughed.

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true far left loon.

Anonymous said...


You can't get a more liberal bunch than the Rodale Family. Heidi Rodale sits on the Velodrome Executive Committtee and represents the family. The only Reason Ralston became chairman was because Gross McGinley needed a plant to replace Paul McGinley when he resigned from the Velodrome Board, since the firm represents the Rodale family and their interests $$$$$$$. Ralston is another flaming liberal. No doubt they and others colluded to do this to Marty. He was standing up to their idiocy, self dealing and wasteful spending and as the true liberals they are, they struck out in any dirty way they could when they found out that he, as a conservative, was running for Congress. Marty is rightfully suing them and the liberal rag of a Morning Call. I hope he wins millions.