When we elect candidates to political office, we expect them to uphold the law and to be truthful. Unfortunately, not all politicians adhere to the law, not even a U.S. congressman.
According to a complaint filed by Kevin Stoops on March 14, 2014, Robert Dindoffer of Grosse Pointe Park left his full-time job as an attorney at a preeminent metro Detroit law firm after he was tapped to become campaign manager for Kerry Bentivolio. Bentivolio was running for the 11th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dindoffer was more than qualified for the job, having been involved in grass roots politics for nearly a decade. After he and Bentivolio agreed to terms that included a monthly fee, expenses, and a bonus provision, Dindoffer began work on May 27, 2012, and under his leadership, the campaign earned substantial national support and Bentivolio was elected to a two-year term that began on January 3, 2013.
Nearly two years later, Dindoffer has yet to receive payment for his services – a total of $154,518.73 – despite the congressman’s admission in a year-end finance report that he owes the sizeable debt. It is also important to note that in February 2013, Bentivolio formed a new campaign committee (“Bentivolio for Congress”) to serve as the successor in interest to his prior campaign (“Kerry Bentivolio for U.S. Congress”). It is unknown whether the new committee was formed in an attempt to defraud creditors from Bentivolio’s first campaign, but it is clear that Michigan law holds a successor entity liable for the debts of its predecessor under these circumstances.
The breach of contract action is currently pending before Judge James M. Alexander of the Oakland County Circuit Court.