Palm Beach Woman Wins Case Against Tea Party Activist Everett Wilkinson
Around the State
A Palm Beach County woman has won a $1,251 breach-of-contract judgment against tea party activist Everett Wilkinson.
Susan Smith sued Wilkinson and his South Florida Tea Party, alleging that he failed to fully remunerate her for a three-month fundraising and business-development contract.
Palm Beach County Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo ruled Tuesday that Smith "proved some, but not all, of the damages claimed," and ordered Wilkinson and his tea party to pay $1,251 plus $175 in court costs.
Calling the amount of the award "somewhat disappointing," Smith said she nevertheless enjoyed "the sweet taste of victory."
"I agreed to help for the greater good of the movement [but] doing business with Everett was a disaster from the beginning," Smith said in an email to Sunshine State News.
Smith described her interactions with Wilkinson as a series of short-circuited meetings, "procrastination" and "lies" by the tea party boss.
"Our contract was for a limited three-month period during and immediately before the 2010 elections, and we had set specific projects and goals. None of it materialized because, if we did find someone willing to work with him, Everett would then pull the plug at the last minute, thereby undermining all of my efforts and my expected income as a result," Smith said.
Judge Bosso-Pardo ruled, however, that Smith's claims to "lost profits" were "speculative and not adequately proven."
Smith, who acted as her own attorney, says she is considering filing a motion for reconsideration and releasing "some recently found emails that would further support my damages claims in higher amounts."
Wilkinson, who also represented himself, was not available for comment.
Last year, in federal district court in West Palm Beach, Wilkinson sued the Florida TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party, alleging that the party illegally appropriated the "tea" name.
After months of pre-trial sparring and the withdrawal of Wilkinson's first attorneys, his second lawyer filed a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit on Election Day, 2010.
"Personally, I'm down around $100,000 worth of unreimbursed time spent defending Everett's bogus lawsuit," said TEA Party founder Fred O'Neal.
Contact Kenric Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 801-5341.