Strauss named in lawsuit

April 16, 1998

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg attorney has filed a lawsuit against a Republican candidate for the West Virginia Senate, who is also her ex-boyfriend, claiming he didn't pay her for services she provided during his last campaign.

In the suit, filed this week in Berkeley County Circuit Court, Amanda L. Lewis alleged that Howard L. Strauss of Martinsburg retained her services in 1996 when he was running for the Berkeley County Commission.

The complaint said Lewis researched the qualifications for the job, discussed his candidacy with him and went over a campaign strategy to assist him. In the suit, Lewis said she made appearances on his behalf and Strauss agreed to pay her for the services.

She said Strauss accrued $420 in legal fees.

On Thursday, Strauss said the suit is politically motivated and there was never an agreement for payment. Strauss and Lewis were dating at the time of the 1996 election. He questions why she waited 11/2 years before filing a lawsuit.


"This is so silly," Strauss said of the suit. "Her attempt is totally unethical and she's trying to sabotage a political campaign for her own personal interests."

Lewis said their relationship has nothing to do with the lawsuit and she waited to file the suit to see if she would get paid.

"I wrote to him and I called his attorney," Lewis said Thursday. "I could see it was never going to be paid. I warned him over and over again that I would file a civil suit."

Lewis is asking for $528.12, which includes interest, plus court costs and attorney fees.

- Amy Wallauer

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