Texas PR firm’s lawyer says it, not Danielle Pendergraft, sued

Danielle Pendergraft (left) and her Boston lawyer, Kristen Schuler Scammon, appeared in small claims court Wednesday in a related case. — Photo by Michelle Williams

Texas attorney J. David Kuntz, attorney for Holiday Public Relations & Events, responded this week to an extensive article about business and legal disputes involving Danielle Pendergraft of Edgartown and the Holiday firm. The Times news story, published online May 30 and in print on May 31, included reporting on a lawsuit filed by Holiday against SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt of Edgartown, founders of the nonprofit Network of Neighbors. The Holiday petition with exhibits is linked here.

In his email, Mr. Kuntz stressed that it is not Ms. Pendergraft as an individual but her public relations firm that filed lawsuits against the nonprofit Edgartown Library Foundation and Mr. Rushnell and Ms. DuArt, former board members of the nonprofit Network of Neighbors.

Along with descriptions of the legal and personal clashes Ms. Pendergraft has had with Edgartown charities, The Times article also described her previously undisclosed federal prison sentence for bank fraud, wire fraud, and social security fraud.

The Times had sought, on May 28, in phone calls left at each of the three numbers listed as offices of Holiday and by email, to interview Ms. Pendergraft. On Wednesday, May 30, Mr. Kuntz responded by email to the interview request.

In his email, Mr. Kuntz wrote that Ms. Pendergraft was concerned that “your newspaper may incorrectly convey to your readers a false impression, if not false facts.”

Mr. Kuntz said Holiday sued after an offer to settle a dispute it had with Mr. Rushnell and Ms. DuArt, at a deep discount, was rebuffed.

“Any claims of wrongdoing against the Pendergrafts are false, and will be forcefully rebutted, and anyone who libels, slanders or otherwise portrays them in a false light in connection with this lawsuit or any other matters will be dealt with as the situation dictates to the full extent of the law,” Mr. Kuntz wrote.

“Holiday Public Relations & Events, LLC is the plaintiff in both instances, Danielle Pendergraft is the plaintiff in neither,” wrote Mr. Kuntz. “Ms. Pendergraft is an employee of Holiday, but is not Holiday, and is not a member or owner of Holiday.”