Herbster campaign, consulting firm looking for resolution in legal fight, lawyer says | Elections

Lawyers for a Nebraska consulting firm and Charles W. Herbster’s gubernatorial campaign are moving quickly to resolve a lawsuit involving allegations that the campaign unlawfully terminated the firm’s services and owed money, according to an attorney involved in the case.

Herbster’s campaign hired political consulting firm EZ Politix at a rate of $12,500 per month under a contract from December 1, 2020 to May 10 this year, according to a copy filed with the court. The contract was signed by a campaign representative and Andrew Northwall, then President of EZ Politix.

Last August, EZ Politix sued the Herbster campaign. The campaign filed a countersuit in January. State Senator Justin Wayne of Omaha, an attorney representing EZ Politix in the case, said Tuesday that the parties would seek a quick settlement of the lawsuit.

Wayne gave no further details. The Herbster campaign did not respond to multiple requests for an update on the case. His lawyers did not respond to World-Herald voicemail messages or an email. According to court documents, neither party appeared at a court hearing in March.

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The parties agreed in 2020 that in the event of a breach of contract, they have 30 days after a reminder to rectify the situation. After that, the other party could terminate the contract in writing. The campaign could terminate the contract without giving reasons with a notice period of 90 days.

The lawsuit alleged that Herbster’s campaign unilaterally terminated the contract and stopped payments on April 9, 2021 without notice, despite EZ Politix fulfilling its side of the agreement.

The company sought $37,500 plus damages.

“We stand by our complaint and simply ask them to pay their bill,” Northwall said when The World-Herald first reported the lawsuit.

In its response, the Herbster campaign denied the allegations and filed a countersuit alleging that EZ Politix breached its contract and withheld $62,500 in payments even though they “completely failed.”

The countersuit alleges the company’s directors, Northwall and Matt Butler, told the campaign they “had no intention of honoring the contract” and “wanted to see how far[Herbster]would go.”

The campaign told EZ Politix that it violated the agreement in March 2021, according to the counterclaim, for failing to provide agreed services or other services requested by the campaign. They scheduled a meeting to discuss the breach, according to the lawsuit, but the company refused to attend.

According to the counterclaim, EZ Politix also denied the campaign’s request that the $62,500 be returned. The campaign is asking the court for that money plus damages.

The parties have one thing in common: connections to former President Donald Trump.

Trump supported Herbster in the Nebraska governor’s race in October — a confirmation that has become a defining feature of the Falls City farmer and Republican businessman’s campaign. Meanwhile, Northwall’s LinkedIn profile has listed him as the chief operating officer of Trump Media & Technology Group since December.

When The World-Herald called EZ Politix to ask if Northwall still worked there, the person who answered said he was still a co-owner but had left day-to-day operations to work for TMTG. The media company’s press contact did not respond to a request for confirmation of Northwall’s employment. Northwall declined to comment on this story.

His apparent new employer is the parent company of Truth Social, Trump’s social media platform, which has struggled to get started and gain a foothold.

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