Home>775Times>Former Sparks Fire Chief Wins Partial Victory in Defamation Lawsuit Against City of Sparks

Former Sparks Fire Chief Wins Partial Victory in Defamation Lawsuit Against City of Sparks

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, May 31, 2023 1:50 pm

NEVADA – In a recent development, former Sparks Fire Chief Mark Lawson achieved a partial court victory in his lawsuit against the City of Sparks following his termination by Sparks City Manager Neil Krutz last year. The legal action stemmed from Lawson’s firing shortly after it was revealed that he was facing criminal charges related to alleged steroid distribution.

Washoe County Second Judicial District Court Judge Kathleen Drakulich acknowledged that Krutz had defamed Lawson in a now-deleted YouTube video where Krutz stated that he had asked for Lawson’s resignation. The City of Sparks filed an anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion, arguing that Krutz’s statements were protected under free speech. However, Lawson contended that the false nature of the statements constituted defamation.

Judge Drakulich partially agreed with Lawson’s argument, acknowledging the potential falsehood in Krutz’s statements. She wrote, “Mr. Krutz’s statement that Mr. Lawson agreed to resign, if untrue as Plaintiff claims, supports Plaintiff’s allegations regarding the appearance of an admission of guilt as to the criminal offenses and whether he was fit for his job and casts him in a false light before the public.” Consequently, Drakulich denied the defendants’ request to dismiss the claim for relief regarding false light.

While granting Lawson a partial victory, Judge Drakulich denied punitive damages in the case. Furthermore, the city’s request to dismiss the case on grounds of defamation was also denied.

Throughout the legal proceedings, Lawson has maintained his innocence regarding the charges leveled against him.

Credits: This Is Reno

Copyright 2022 775 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Spread the news:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *