Dealership sues sheriff over vehicle transfer

A Newtown Square car dealership has sued the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, alleging breach of contract.

In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, March 15, Videon Chrysler Dodge is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 plus attorneys’ fees. The suit, filed by Kennett Square attorney Thomas K. Schindler, claims that the Sheriff’s Office entered into an oral contract to purchase a 2014 Dodge Durango police K-9 vehicle in March 2014 at a cost of $30,588, took possession of the vehicle, but never paid for it.

The suit also alleges that the Sheriff’s Office failed to pay for servicing of other vehicles. It says that the dealership’s owner, Steve Videon, met with Deputy Sheriff Harry McKinney, who was authorized by Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh to represent the office, in January 2015 to discuss the bills.

McKinney advised Videon that Michael McVeigh, Videon’s former sales manager, told McKinney that the Durango, as well as servicing costs, represented a donation from the dealership, the suit said, adding that McVeigh resigned several months prior to Videon’s meeting with McKinney.

The suit claims that Videon informed McKinney “that Mr. McVeigh was not authorized nor had he ever been authorized to make charitable donations” for the dealership. Included in the suit is a follow-up letter from Videon to McKinney in which Videon wrote that his discussion with McKinney marked the first time he had heard about the donation.

“Please understand that this was done without my knowledge or consent,” Videon wrote. “Therefore, I cannot donate the vehicle. Please contact me so we can set up a payment plan with Chester County.”

The suit alleges that the Sheriff’s Office did not respond to Videon’s requests for payment.

Asked about the suit, Schindler said Videon has always been “a friend of law enforcement” and was recently named Person of the Year by the Fraternal Order of Police in Delaware County.

“Our case together against the Sheriff’s Office should be resolved; the dealership’s records reflect that the Dodge Durango was not a donation, but rather a sale for which full payment is required,” he said. “I think that both sides in this case are reasonable, and I remain hopeful for a prompt resolution.”

Contacted on Friday, Welsh said she had not yet been served with the suit and deferred comment to Dawson "Rich" Muth, solicitor for the Chester County Sheriff's Office. Muth said he had been out of the office this week. "I have not seen the lawsuit so I cannot comment on it at this time," he said.

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