Treasurer Dennis Milligan and lawyer Luther Sutter have decided not to pursue competing misdemeanor charges of assault.
The background: Sutter represents a former employee of Milligan, David Singer, who has sued Milligan for defamation. During the course of a deposition session at the Mitchell Williams law firm, which represents Milligan, Milligan said Sutter pushed him after he admonished Sutter for using a swear word in front of his wife. Milligan later showed up with his arm in a sling (not seriously hurt apparently since he reportedly was seen toting a brief case with that arm). He also said the incident prompted chest pains.. Sutter told police he was afraid Milligan was going to attack him, and that Milligan pushed him back. In his affidavit, Sutter said the men’s hands met in a “pattycake” fashion. Both men gave statements, which put the matter in the hands of Pulaski Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.
Jegley drafted assault complaints for both men and invited them to swear out warrants for the arrest of the other.
I asked him today about a decision in the case and learned that the sides had decided to not pursue charges.
“I’ve been informed neither wants to go forward,” he said. “I anticipate the issue has resolved itself.”
For his part, Jegley said he’d determined the best way to resolve the competing claims was “to put everyone who was in the room under oath and have them testify before a neutral and impartial judge.” That would have been District Judge Wayne Gruber. “I gather that whatever the discussions were the lawyers were the cooler heads and prevailed on their clients that it wouldn’t be a good way to resolve something that shouldn’t have taken place in the first place.”
Milligan’s attorney, Byron Freeland, said he couldn’t comment, in part because he was a potential witness in the case. The decision not to pursue an assault charge doesn’t affect the Singer case, which continues. Milligan is attempting to have that charge dismissed.
Sutter said he didn’t intend to proceed further. But he’ll meet Milligan again in court. “I’m sorry I cussed in Mrs. Miligan’s presence. I apologized to her and I regret that it went as far as it did. But nothing criminal happened.”
I’ve asked for a comment from Milligan as well.