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Former Dem chairman ordered to pay legal fees

February 4, 2017

A judge has ordered former Washington County Democratic Committee chairman Milan Marinkovich to pay the committee more than $8,000 following an eight-year-old civil case.Washington County Judge John F. DiSalle issued the 14-page opinion and order, filed Jan. 31, in a lawsuit stemming from a dispute over committee records George Vitteck Jr. of Canton Township sought after he succeeded Marinkovich, of Carroll Township, in 2008.In 2011, DiSalle ordered Marinkovich - who had been chairman about six years - to reimburse the committee for about $5,200 “for legal fees paid from committeee funds in defense of a prior lawsuit brought against (Marinkovich) personally.” It was part of a decision that also required Marinkovich to return or reproduce various committee financial records.The case wound up in Commonwealth and then Superior courts before Marinkovich’s appeal was quashed in 2014 and the case remanded to Washington County Court. Two hearings were held before DiSalle in 2015 and 2016.DiSalle’s order said the legal fees he previously ordered Marinkovich to pay are in an account under the control of Jim Jeffries, the committee’s attorney.DiSalle also found Marinkovich engaged in “dilatory, obdurate and vexatious behavior” between 2011 and 2015 by ignoring his obligation to turn over the records after DiSalle ordered him to and by failing to appear at a hearing in 2011. DiSalle ordered Marinkovich to reimburse the committee for $3,075 in attorney fees it incurred in the litigation during that four-year period.