The Charleston Place Hotel – one of historic Charleston, South Carolina’s premier downtown destinations – is suing Palmetto political consultant Robert Cahaly and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this week after Cahaly and the SRLC allegedly stiffed the hotel out of a $227,800 bill from last month’s 2012 “First in the South” Republican presidential debate weekend.
“Due to their incompetence, the defendants failed to properly plan or manage the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, and it was poorly attended,” the complaint alleges, adding that the Cahaly and other representatives of conference acted “wantonly, maliciously and in bad faith.”
In addition to stiffing the hotel, the complaint alleges that Cahaly and the SRLC made “false, fraudulent and unsubstantiated claims in an effort to evade their responsibility for payment.”
One of these claims? That a hotel employee instructed an SRLC staffer to “engage in illegal activity.”
Sources close to the conference tell FITS that the hotel has already been paid more than $230,000. They say that the hotel attempted to double-bill guests whose reservations had already been paid for – adding that this was “common practice” at Charleston Place.
“The trial lawyer community in Charleston is talking about this,” one source said. “They know this hotel’s reputation.”
A lawsuit against the hotel will reportedly be filed within the week by the SRLC, another source told FITS, speculating that the hotel’s lawsuit was a preemptive move that was made in anticipation of that action.
Cahaly’s involvement with the SRLC – first reported by FITS – surprised many given his lengthy history of shady behavior.
Cahaly was arrested in November 2010 for his role in an illegal robo-call campaign on behalf of S.C. Speaker Bobby Harrell (RINO-Charleston). He also recently appeared before a statewide grand jury investigating the cash-for-contributions scheme that he allegedly masterminded on behalf of S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard (RINO-Pamplico).
Cahaly is also an advisor to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.