Kenton Co. judge dismisses two libel lawsuits filed by Eric Deters

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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Northern Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Eric Deters said that he plans to fight a Kenton County Judge’s decision to dismiss two libel lawsuits filed against another local attorney. 

Deters filed the lawsuits against Chris Wiest, an attorney representing two clients who have sued Deters for a breach of contract. 

On Thursday, Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe ruled that the two lawsuits by Deters were “lacking in merit, both factually and legally, so as to appear to have been taken in bad faith.” 

Deters told LINK nky Thursday that he will be demanding that Summe recuse herself from the case because Jeff Mando, who represented Wiest in these lawsuits, has also represented Summe in a previous, separate legal matter.  

“I will be filing a recusal if she doesn’t,” Deters said.

Mando said that he only represented Summe one time over 25 years ago.

“To suggest that she’s biased or anything other than impartial is utterly ridiculous,” Mando said. “It’s an attempt by Mr. Deters to deflect from his own frivolous lawsuits.”

Deters filed the lawsuits in response to two cases against him over the summer. The first involved a former employee who sued him over a breach of contract and the second was from former Trump associate Corey Lewandowski over services for Deters’ gubernatorial campaign. 

In October, Deters had a run-in with police and faced charges of menacing, harassing communications, and criminal trespassing after allegedly having an argument with his juvenile nephew on a farm in Independence. 

As part of Summe’s ruling, Deters will be responsible for all court costs and attorney fees for Wiest, along with his client and the other attorneys named in the first lawsuit — Zach Gottesman and Thomas Bruns — who along with Wiest, Deters has referred to as “the three nimrods.” 

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Wiest told LINK nky that he is pleased with the ruling. 

“This isn’t the first time Mr. Deters has been sanctioned for filing malicious and baseless claims, and, unfortunately, I doubt it will be the last,” Wiest said. 

In addition to fighting the order, Deters said he would file judicial conduct and bar complaints.


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