Massachusetts GOP Chairwoman Carnevale dismisses lawsuit as ‘frivolous’

Marblehead resident and Massachusetts GOP Chairwoman Amy Carnevale is being sued by her predecessor, Jim Lyons, and others in the Republican Party.

Marblehead resident and Massachusetts GOP Chairwoman Amy Carnevale, leading the Massachusetts GOP through times of internal division and legal challenges. COURTESY PHOTO

The plaintiffs claim Carnevale and others deliberately sabotaged business deals and violated a relationship of trust that required acting in the GOP’s best interests.

The complaint alleges that GOP Treasurer Pat Crowley improperly froze the state party’s bank account in January 2022 after a dispute over the budget, blocking the organization from paying employees and honoring contracts. Lyons claims this damaged the party financially and reputationally.

Lyons filed a lawsuit against Crowley in February 2022, but the case was dropped in June 2023 after Carnevale was elected chair. Lyons argues discontinuing the lawsuit was a breach of Carnevale’s fiduciary duty.

The plaintiffs want the court to issue an injunction barring Crowley from what they see as further disruption to party affairs. They are also seeking attorneys fees and costs.

In an interview with the Current, Carnevale strongly disputed the merits of the new lawsuit, calling it “frivolous” and saying the budget dispute from early 2022 has long since been resolved internally. She argued the legal action is intended solely to cause disruption and distract from GOP efforts to rebuild under her leadership after taking over as chair in February.

“It’s a moot point at this stage to say a permanent injunction restraining Patrick Crowley from disrupting business affairs is needed,” Carnevale said. “This is an issue that has already been decided by the courts.”

The chairwoman said legal expenses would siphon off funds from supporting Republican candidates in key upcoming races, including potential pickup opportunities in mayoral and state legislative special elections.

Despite lingering factions, Carnevale expressed confidence she has made strides unifying the party and concentrating efforts on rebuilding. She cited strong Republican candidates in mayoral races in Agawam and Melrose.

Carnevale continued voicing support for Crowley as treasurer, saying he takes his duties seriously as a certified public accountant. She aims to keep the state GOP focused on “positive messages” that can appeal to base voters and independents as it tries to regain competitiveness against Democrats.

“I’m gonna continue to do what I think and what I’ve heard from Republicans is in the best interest of the party,” Carnevale stated. “And that’s to focus on the positive and to focus on messages that appeal to not only kind of rank-and-file Republicans, but those in the middle who are voting in elections. So I’m going to keep it positive and keep talking about the messages that are important to voters in the Commonwealth.”

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