From the Desk of Matthew Dowling
P.O. Box 1702
Uniontown, PA 15401
For Immediate Release
Contact: Matthew Dowling
“Dowling speaks out about Local Republicans’ defamation allegations in explosive statement”
Farmington, PA – In a shocking turn of events just days before the 2023 Primary Election, elected Republican State Committee Woman Melany Chrash has filed a civil lawsuit against the Republican Party of Fayette County and its executive board. The lawsuit alleges that party leadership engaged in defamatory behavior towards Ms. Chrash, damaging her reputation and causing her undue harm.
Retired legislator and prominent political consultant, Matthew Dowling, who has been quoted in numerous publications about the current political climate, released this statement today: “This matter is indeed serious, and the courts and the residents of Fayette County should give it the attention it deserves. The Republican Party of Fayette County, along with its executive board, have caused immense harm to Ms. Chrash’s reputation and it’s imperative that justice prevails.”
Ms. Chrash is being represented by a team of skilled attorneys who are confident that they can prove the allegations against the Republican Party of Fayette County and its executive board. The lawsuit names several individuals, including Michelle S. Mowery, Elliot Mazur, Dawn Kunca-Kapolka, Seth Caton, Sandi Myers, and Jon Marietta, all of whom are being sued individually and in their official capacities as members of the executive board.
Chrash, in addition to her voluntary roles within Republican politics, is a licensed Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner in Pennsylvania with 45 years of medical experience, has held various positions during her career. As a charge nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she cared for premature infants and those with congenital anomalies. In the Adult Intensive Care Unit, Chrash was responsible for critically ill adult patients with traumatic injuries or life-threatening diseases. Additionally, she was an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Baccalaureate Nursing Program, where she developed, implemented, and evaluated courses in Leadership/Management, Research in Nursing, Community Health, Public Health Nursing, Epidemiology, Disaster Preparedness, Health Care Policy, Physical Assessment, and Critical Care Simulation.
Chrash contends that in Fayette County, many opportunistic politicians have switched from the Democratic party to the Republican party, following the success of Republican candidates Pat Stefano, Ryan Warner, and Matthew Dowling. This switch in parties has caused a change in the leadership of the Fayette County Republican Committee, with Michelle Mowery being elected as the new chairman.
The suit states that almost immediately after taking office, the new leadership began purging certain individuals from the committee. The committee held sign-up sheets at each meeting to find volunteers for vacant positions, but these positions were never filled because the volunteers were friends with Plaintiff Melany Chrash and not supported by the defendants. As a result, many townships remain unrepresented on the Committee despite volunteers showing interest.
“I’ve been a proud member of the Republican Party for nearly two decades, but the current infighting has left me feeling embarrassed for the first time in my life to identify as a Republican” stated Matthew Dowling, retired State Representative and current campaign strategist. “We must put aside our differences and unite behind common goals for the betterment of our country. Regrettably, at this time, self-serving, attention-seeking people have abandoned the dwindling Democrats and have now infiltrated the Republican Party as RINO’s, who do not abide by the core values of the party to which I have always belonged.”
On March 9, 2023, the Fayette County Republican Committee held their regular monthly meeting, which included a hearing on charges against Melany Chrash. Chrash attended the meeting, ready to testify and supported by witnesses and legal counsel. Despite being governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, the committee failed to comply with them. During the hearing, Chrash presented facts that contradicted the allegations made against her by Elliot Mazar.
Court documents claim that Mowry was asked by Chrash what to do with an event she had started to plan for Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Carrie DelRosso after becoming the Executive Committee chairperson. Chrash passed on the limited information she had, which consisted of a tentative date and venue, and contact information for the candidate. She then contacted both the campaign and the winery to let them know she was no longer involved. Mowery failed to follow up on the information, leading to difficulties with the date. Defendant Elliot Mazur only included selected portions of meeting minutes in his allegations against Chrash, leaving out motions and objections that did not align with his own agenda.
At the regular meeting of the Fayette County Executive Committee on March 9, 2023, Melany Chrash attended with her legal counsel, unaware that the decision had already been made to remove her. At 4:51 that same day, she received a text confirming the Committee’s vote. During the gathering, the majority of the committee members were not aware of the allegations against the Plaintiff, creating confusion over the purpose of the meeting.
The Chrash lawsuit claims that the defendants have negatively impacted her reputation within the community, which had been earned through years of charitable medical service and political volunteering. Therefore, reparations should be given to her.
“Until the allegations in the lawsuit are resolved, I am calling for the temporary and immediate resignations of all individuals involved. None of these individuals should be entrusted with public office until the adjudication process is complete. If found innocent, they can return to their leadership roles. However, until then, they should take responsibility for their actions and step away. As a Republican, I implore my fellow party members to demand higher ethical standards from our elected officials. When I faced personal issues, I did the honorable thing and stepped away until a time when I am better capable to return to an office of public trust. I am calling on these individuals to do the same and show respect for the taxpayers who put them in office” concluded Dowling in a printed statement released Friday to members of the press.
A jury trial has been demanded in this case, which is expected to proceed in the coming weeks. Ms. Chrash is confident that she will prevail in court and is determined to clear her name of any wrongdoing. Dowling disclosed that Chrash and her husband have been longstanding political advocates and confidants, as a gesture of complete transparency.
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