Alison Lundergan Grimes Once Sued A Priest

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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“This situation has just become maddening,” an exasperated Alison Lundergan fired off in an October 2002 email to her former roommate.

Four months earlier, Lundergan had moved out of her rented Washington D.C. home at 2037 37th St. There had been a number of polite phone calls, emails and letters for months, but she still couldn’t get her $1,150 security deposit back. Her roommate and landlord were pointing fingers at each other.

Three days after sending that email, Lundergan had enough, and filed suit against her roommate, Eugenia Edwards, and the landlord, a priest who lived in Oregon, in a small claims court in Washington.

Court documents recently obtained by The Daily Caller shed light on this frustrating experience for the then-23-year-old, who is now a U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky and goes by her full married name, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

On August 28, 2002, Lundergan, who went to law school at American University in D.C. and worked at the National Kidney Foundation, wrote to Edwards: “I have tried to reach you by phone for the past two days but have only received your answering machine.”

“I would appreciate it very much if you would forward my portion of the deposit, $1,150, to my home in Kentucky,” she wrote. “Thanks so much for your cooperation and help with this matter. Hope all is well and that your preparation for the LSAT is going smoothly. Take Care.”

The lawsuit named Rev. Virgil C. Funk, who owned the rental property, as a defendant. (Funk is listed online as president emeritus of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, whose members “serve the Catholic Church in the United States as musicians, clergy, liturgists, and other leaders of prayer”).

The documents include a long timeline of Grimes’ efforts to recover the security deposit. “Called Virgil 9 a.m. EST in Oregon, didn’t realize the time zone difference in Oregon, spoke with his wife, indicated I would call back later in the day to speak with Virgil.”

In a statement accompanying her claim at the time, Lundergan explained that after being unable to get the deposit back, she enlisted the help of her father, the businessman and former Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan.

“After having received no communication or deposit from Mr. Funk whatsoever, my father, Jerry Lundergan, called and left a message with him at his D.C. residence,” she wrote. “Mr. Funk returned my father’s call, indicating that he was not in D.C. but rather Oregon and that the deposit would be returned to Eugenia Edwards…. and that I could obtain my portion of the deposit from Eugenia at that time.”

But the situation was complicated: Edwards told Lundergan that Funk had only returned half of the deposit, but Funk maintained he sent the entire security deposit for both of them back to Edwards.

The matter went to mediation, and came to a resolution on Nov. 22, 2002.

“Note that this case is settled as follows,” the court documents read. “Eugene Edwards agrees to pay Virgil Funk $575 to be mailed to defendant’s attorney Paul Ostrye. Defendant Virgil Funk agrees to mail payment [to] plaintiff $950 on or before December 4th, 2002 in the form of a personal check. Once plaintiff receives the $950 all parties are released from their obligations under the lease.”

Asked about the suit, a Grimes campaign aide told TheDC: “She won. The priest sided with her.”

Edwards and Funk did not immediately respond to emails Tuesday.

Grimes, the Secretary of State of Kentucky, is challenging Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell in this year’s Senate race. The Real Clear Politics polling average has McConnell up 47.2 percent to Grimes’ 42 percent.

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