Ex-Prez of Press Club Denies Wrongdoing

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The former president of the Press Club of Dallas, accused in a lawsuit of rigging several prestigious journalism competitions, denied the allegations in court papers filed Monday.

Elizabeth Albanese asked the court to impose unspecified sanctions against the club for bringing ‘claims that are groundless and brought in bad faith … for the purpose of harassment.’

Her response in district court also alleged that any injury or damage to the club was caused by its own negligence.

Her lawyer declined to comment and turned down a request to interview Albanese.

A lawsuit filed in April by the club and the Press Club of Dallas Foundation accused Albanese of ‘dishonest and fraudulent activity.’ She was president of the club from August 2005 until March 2007.

At issue is whether Albanese rigged the Katie Awards, a contest for journalists and communications professionals in Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Albanese won 10 Katie Awards from 2003-06, when she was active in organizing the competition. Press club members learned this year that Albanese couldn’t name any of the judges involved from 2004-06, current press club President Tom Stewart said. The club’s leaders have concluded that no one judged them, he said.

‘If she has evidence to the contrary, I think it would be a really good time to present that,’ Stewart said Monday.

Several of the region’s largest media outlets have returned awards they say are discredited.

At the time she won her Katies, Albanese was the Dallas bureau chief for The Bond Buyer, a New York-based financial publication. After the allegations surfaced in April, she was fired from her job as communications vice president for an investment banking firm in Dallas.

Albanese has been arrested in Texas and Virginia on charges of passing bad checks and in Maryland for fraud, theft and forgery, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

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