Police were called today to the Mitchell Williams law firm just after 9 a.m. after State Treasurer Dennis Milligan and lawyer Luther Sutter got into an argument. Milligan accused Sutter of of pushing him in the chest.
Milligan was at the firm at 425 W. Capitol for a deposition in a lawsuit filed by former staffer David Singer, who has accused Milligan of defamation. The state treasurer told police that Sutter was cussing when he entered the room where the deposition was to be held and used the word “shit” in front of Milligan’s wife, Tina. Milligan said when he told Sutter not to use that language in front of his wife Sutter summoned him to come around the table to meet him and then shoved him in the chest. Milligan complained of chest pain, but refused medical attention, police said.
Sutter, who initially declined to talk to police, later told officers that he apologized after he realized Tina Milligan was in the room. Sutter said he pushed Milligan because he thought Milligan was going to assault him, and that Milligan pushed him back.
Witnesses, including Tina Milligan; Jim Harris, Milligan’s chief of staff; and Byron Freeland, Milligan’s attorney, confirmed Milligan’s version of events. Stenographer Lee Ann Dickens said she saw Milligan’s hands come up but she could not see if Milligan shoved back.
Singer, who is represented by Sutter, declined to give a statement. Police advised Milligan to seek a warrant from the prosecutor to charge Sutter with 3rd degree battery. No warrant had been filed by the end of the day.
Alan Gates, speaking for the Mitchell firm, said the firm would have no comment.