State Police sue to collect unpaid bill from Wood promoter

PARKERSBURG – The West Virginia State Police allege a Wood County motocross promoter stiffed them on paying for security they provided at one of his events. The State Police on June 26 filed a breach of contact suit against Craig Lucas in Wood Circuit Court. In their complaint, WVSP alleges Lucas, 33, of Washington, owner of Extreme Dirt Series, failed to reimburse them for their assistance at a motocross race four years ago in Wirt County. According to the complaint, Lucas contracted with WVSP to provide crowd control services at a dirt bike event EDS was hosting in Elizabeth on June 1, 2008. Under the terms of the contract, which was signed three days before, Lucas agreed to pay WVSP $35 per hour, and tender payment within five days of receiving an invoice. The day of the event, two unidentified troopers each worked 11 hours. The next day, WVSP sent Lucas a bill for $770. When Lucas failed to tender payment by the next five days, WVSP sent him a certified letter dated Aug. 15, 2008 to contact their attorney about non-payment. Records show Lucas signed for the letter. For reasons not immediately clear, WVSP took no additional action on the unpaid invoice for the next 18 months when they sent him another certified letter dated Feb. 9, 2010. The letter was later returned as unclaimed. Shortly thereafter, WVSP filed a consumer protection complaint against Lucas with the state Attorney General's Office. They received a letter from the AG's Office dated April 27 saying Stephanie Groom was appointed to help mediate the dispute. According to the suit, Groom sent WVSP a letter dated June 25 saying she had no success in attempting to contact Lucas, and would be referring the matter back to the AG's Office for further action. Two months later, Deputy Attorney General Jill Miles sent Lucas a letter asking him to contact her by Sept. 3. When he failed to respond, Miles, in a letter dated Sept. 7 gave WVSP authorization to file a civil suit against Lucas. On Oct. 19, 2010, Miles closed their complaint. WVSP seeks judgment against Lucas for $1,663 to include the past-due amount, costs associated with filing the suit and 10 percent accumulated interest. They are represented by assistant attorneys general John A. Hoyer and Virginia Grottendieck Lanham. The case is assigned to Judge J.D. Beane. Wood Circuit Court case number 12-C-273

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