Attorney Ning Ye of New York knows that former U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood and his ex-mistress are capable of compromising, so he doesn’t believe the latest dispute between the two will head to court.
Ye, the former attorney for Cynthia Ore of Rockville, Md., confirmed that Sherwood has refused to make payments to the woman as agreed upon in the settlement, which according to The Associated Press is $500,000. But the two probably won’t need a judge to work out the problem, said Ye, who negotiated the resolution of the assault-and-battery case.
“I believe this problem will be overcome,” Ye said. “I don’t think it needs litigation.”
Ore, who recently changed her name to Emily Tiffany Carter, filed a federal lawsuit in June 2005, accusing the former congressman of assaulting her repeatedly throughout their five-year affair. She sought $5.5 million. Sherwood, who is married and has three daughters, admitted to the affair but denied he abused the woman.
Ye would not disclose details of the settlement and suggested that Sherwood’s camp may have given the reported settlement figure to the AP. Just days before the November election, the AP reported that Sherwood and Carter had settled the suit for $500,000 and that more than half of the settlement was to be paid after the election, but only if the ex-mistress refrained from speaking about the matter.
Sherwood, a Republican, lost his bid for a fifth consecutive term in the 10th Congressional District to Democrat Chris Carney.
Ye said it might have been to Sherwood’s advantage to release the reported settlement amount to “mitigate wild speculation.”
A story on Politico.com, a Washington-based online and print political newspaper, reported on Wednesday that two unnamed sources have claimed that the 65-year-old Sherwood feels he’s no longer bound by the settlement because Carter violated the settlement’s confidentiality clause.
But Ye claims Sherwood may have violated the conditions of the settlement by discussing the affair and abuse allegations in television commercials that ran during his campaign.
“I believe everybody should have shut up,” he said.
Ye said he negotiated the settlement just days after Carter hired him.
Attorney Patrick Regan of Washington, D.C., had represented Carter for months before that and Ye said he believes the woman came to him with intentions of settling the case. He said she was “tired with fighting with litigation.”
Ye said he worked on the case extensively for several days and nights before going to the negotiating table and said he had “civil correspondence” with Regan. Ye noted that he specializes in settling cases while Regan is known as being more of a litigator.
Ye said Carter is now represented by attorney Ronald Karp, who did not return phone calls made to his Rockville and Washington offices on Thursday.
Sherwood did not return messages left at his car dealerships. Washington attorney Bobby Burchfield, who handled his case, also failed to respond.
Carter could not be reached.
Sherwood’s affair came to light after the Times Leader reported on a 911 call made on Sept. 15, 2004, from the congressman’s Washington apartment. Carter, who made the call, reportedly locked herself in a bathroom in the apartment and called authorities, alleging that Sherwood had choked her. Police didn’t charge Sherwood, saying both parties weren’t forthcoming about what had occurred. Officers said the woman also changed her story. Carter insisted she didn’t and claimed Sherwood received preferential treatment.