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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Former Bonaparte city clerk files defamation suit

By RUSTY EBERT | May 09, 2014

BONAPARTE – A former Bonaparte city clerk has filed a defamation suit against the City of Bonaparte for remarks made at a March 13, 2014, city council meeting.

According to the petition, Nancy Nelson alleged that comments by Bonaparte city council member Rick Spencer regarding the number of vacation days that Nelson took were false.

The petition states that during the city council meeting which was open to the public, Spencer “made statements about the Plaintiff indicating among other things that the Plaintiff had taken 53 days of vacation in the last year. The statements made about the Plaintiff by Rick Spencer were false.”

The petition alleges that Spencer was “acting in his scope and capacity as a city council member, employee and representative of the Defendant.”

The petition alleges that the “false statements” were “made with actual malice” and a “reckless disregard for the truth.”

According to the petition “the false statements made by the Defendant, through Rick Spencer, were made in an attempt to get the Plaintiff to resign her position as city clerk. As a result of the actions of the Defendant, the Plaintiff was defamed and damaged in name, reputation and business. As a result of the actions of the Defendant the Plaintiff was forced to resign her position as city clerk. The actions of the Defendant as set forth herein constitute a constructive discharge of the Plaintiff.”

Nelson alleges that she has sustained damages for lost wages, reputation and business, in addition to costs, expenses, counsel fees, loss of time and inconvenience in bringing this action.

She asks that she be compensated for “all direct and incidental damages, including past, present and future lost wages, pain and suffering, damage to reputation, attorney’s fees and interest as provided by law.” She requests a jury trial.

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