I thought Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley had brought about a solomonic end to competing complaints of assault between Treasurer Dennis Milligan and Luther Sutter, a lawyer suing Milligan on behalf of a former employee who said Milligan defamed him.
They had some minor contact at a lawyer’s office during the course of a deposition.
Jegley allowed both to pursue criminal misdemeanor complaints; both decided not to do so.
But it’s not over until it’s over.
Sutter filed a civil action today seeking a declaratory judgment that he’d acted in self-defense and that Milligan had assaulted him. Said the lawsuit:
In March of 2016, the deposition of Defendant’s wife, Tina Milligan, was scheduled at the Mitchell Williams law firm.
Plaintiff walked in talking on his cell phone and said a cuss word during the conversation.
The cuss word was not directed at Ms. Milligan, yet Plaintiff apologized.
Defendant then exploded, yelling at the Plaintiff.
Defendant leaned across the table and continued yelling. Given Defendant’s habit and practice of threatening circuit judges, political opponents, and young girls, Plaintiff was in reasonable fear for his safety and that of his client.
Defendant then came around the table where he was met by the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s back was to windows, and Defendant was between Plaintiff and the door.
Defendant rushed the Plaintiff, and Plaintiff pushed the Defendant away in self defense.
Defendant continues to claim Plaintiff battered him, but Defendant acted in self defense.
WHEREFORE Plaintiff sues Defendant for Declaratory Judgment that Plaintiff acted in self-defense, as well as for Declaratory Judgment that Defendant assaulted the Plaintiff, for a jury trial, for costs, and for all other proper relief.
Judge Mackie Pierce drew this one. I’ve sought a comment from Milligan.
UPDATE: Milligan’s response came from his lawyer, Byron Freeland:
This latest lawsuit is an attempt to draw out this case and politically smear the Treasurer in the media. Mr. Sutter has seen the recent filings that the Defendants have made, and the Plaintiff’s weak case continues to fall apart. It is unfortunate Mr. Sutter chose this path, because this was a dead issue and all parties have agreed to move on. The Defendants will continue to focus on resolving this case as quickly as possible.
I asked Freeland about a rumor I’d heard, that Sutter’s suit might have been prompted about a complaint made by Milligan to the Supreme Court committee that regulates law practices. Response: “Sorry. No comment.”
UPDATE II: Sutter called to offer this statement in response to Freeland’s statement:
“Byron Freeland’s statement that this was a dead issue and all parties had agreed to move on is apparently false. I demand a retraction.”