By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Former state Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, said he has settled a lawsuit with the Nevada State Democratic Party over a campaign mailer sent out just days before the November 2008 general election alleging he was under review by the state Ethics Commission.
Beers, who lost the election to Democrat Allison Copening, sued Copening and the state Democratic party for defamation stemming from the last-minute mailing. A trial was scheduled for August in Clark County District Court, but Beers said today a settlement offer he made to the Democratic Party was accepted.
Developments in the 18-month old case were first reported by Jon Humbert of Las Vegas telvision station KLAS via Twitter.
Copening, whose victory in the Clark Senate 6 race helped give Democrats the majority in the upper house for the first time since 1991, had earlier been dropped from the lawsuit.
Beers said state Democratic Party officials have agreed to write a letter stating that he was never under review by the Ethics Commission at any time. The party will also write a $2,500 check to Opportunity Village.
The settlement agreement came as Democrat Party officials were scheduled to be deposed in the case tomorrow. An effort by party officials to restrict questioning in that deposition was rejected by a district judge.
Beers said he is satisfied with the settlement, which has yet to be formally signed by the parties.
He said each side will pay their own legal costs in the matter.
“I hope out of this comes an increasing awareness that the Nevada State Democratic Party, at least here at a local level, will flat out lie to win an election,” Beers said.
State Democratic Party spokeswoman Phoebe Sweet said there would be no comment on a lawsuit that has yet to formally settle.
“If we settle, we will be closing the books on a frivolous lawsuit brought by former Sen. Bob Beers,” she said. “We are happy to make a contribution to a charity and give Sen. Beers the statement he feels he needs to move forward and ‘clear his name.’ Although if Sen. Beers is so interested in name-clearing, he should apologize to Sen. Allison Copening. Beers admitted in his deposition that he filed a lawsuit against her during the 2008 campaign with absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing on her part. The Nevada Democratic Party stands by its direct mail against Sen. Beers.”
Former State Sen. Bob Beers comments on defamation settlement