The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

March 26, 2012

Ex-Letterman: Butala hasn’t paid me

SHENANGO VALLEY — The former Letterman singer accused of violating his employment contract with Tony Butala said Butala breached the contract first.

Mark Preston said the contract’s post-employment provisions are not enforceable because Butala, the lone original member of the ’60s hit-making trio, has failed to pay him wages and royalties.

Butala, of Sharon, sued Preston Feb. 3 in Mercer County Common Pleas Court alleging Preston violated his employment contract by representing himself as a former member of the group; using portions of Butala-owned Lettermen performances on his website and Facebook page; recording Lettermen songs; and referring to sweaters in his post-Letterman group.

Preston, of York County, had the suit transferred to federal court in Pittsburgh because some of the allegations involve federal law.

Preston was with the group at two different times, the last running from Sept. 1, 2005, until Aug. 4. His contract forbade Preston from representing himself for profit as a former member of the Lettermen or performing Letterman songs without permission, the suit said.

In his answer to the suit, Preston acknowledged referring to his time with the Lettermen – including an October Facebook posting that said he was “of” the Lettermen – and using portions of Lettermen songs for advertisements and promotions for economic gain, and that such use violated the contract. But, Preston said, the contract cannot be enforced because of Butala’s failure to pay him.

Preston also acknowledged trying to form a Lettermen tribute group, but said it has no bookings.

Butala cannot show that he suffered any damage from Preston’s activities, Preston said.

In response to copyright and trademark allegations, Preston said Butala did not arrange the songs or instrumentation, and does not own the rights to the instrumentation, arrangements and contents of Lettermen songs and video performances.

Text Only
Local News
  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo