MN: Mayor Files Suit Over Rumors of Being 'Muslim'


MN: LAWSUIT FILED, THEN QUICKLY DISMISSED

In just three days Administrative Law Judge Barbara Nielson received and dismissed a lawsuit filed by Forest Lake Mayor Stev Stegner.

On Wednesday, August 1 Stegner's attorney Dale Swanson filed a lawsuit in the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings claiming five area community members violated campaign practices in the 2006 Forest Lake Mayoral election.

The suit named former Forest Lake Mayor Terry Smith, Human Rights Commission members Dawn Nelson and Janice Ochs, Andy Meyer, Anne Gabriel, John Doe and Mary Roe.

The complaint, filed in regard to Minnesota State Statue Chapter 211A and 211B, alleged that each of the respondents "made and published false statements about the personal and political character of mayoral candidate Stev Stegner knowing they were false or with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity."

But by Friday, Aug. 3, Nielson had delivered her decision and dismissed the entire lawsuit.

The suit

Last fall Stegner was at the center of a slew of rumors about his race, religion, sexual history and terroristic plans for the city of Forest Lake.

With the help of sworn affidavits, Stegner's complaint alleges the roles each respondent played in the attempted destruction of his reputation as "an individual, a businessman and a Christian.". . .

"...the complainant has failed to allege that the photographs are false campaign material. Instead, the complainant concedes that photographs accurately show him at the Holy Land Cafe.

"He argues, however, that he was lured to the cafe under false pretenses and that the photographs were used by Ms. Meyer to spread false rumors about him being a Muslim and a terrorist. Again, the oral statements allegedly made by Ms. Meyer cannot form the basis of a claim under Minn. Stat. 211B.06.

 


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