Manchins being sued by brother

WHEELING – Sen. Joe Manchin and his brother, Roch Manchin, are being sued by their brother, Dr. John Manchin, for a $1.7 million loan made in the late 1980s.

The civil lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court by Morgantown attorney J. Michael Benninger, states that Joe Manchin, Roch Manchin and John Manchin, in the 1980s, formed Manchin Brothers, a real estate and development group, with each holding a one-third partnership. Joe and Roch Manchin also owned and operated Manchin Carpet Center in Marion County.

When Manchin Carpet Center experienced financial difficulties in the late 1980s, John Manchin supplied his brothers with more than $1.7 million to keep the business solvent. According to the lawsuit, Joe and Roch Manchin agreed to repay the amount in full.

That has not yet been done, according to the lawsuit, despite several repayment pledges made by Joe and Roch Manchin over the past 20 years. The most recent repayment pledge came in July 2012.

John Manchin also alleges that his brothers, without his knowledge or consent, dissolved Manchin Brothers, with the partnership’s funds and assets going to other family ventures controlled by Joe Manchin.

Sen. Manchin, in Wheeling Friday for the opening of the Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival, said he would not comment on the lawsuit, terming it a family matter.