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Judge rejects County Councilman Joe Brazil's defamation suit

Judge rejects County Councilman Joe Brazil's defamation suit

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A judge has rejected St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil's defamation suit against Jeff Roe, a prominent Republican political consultant from the Kansas City area.

Brazil, R-Defiance, in his suit had alleged that Roe defamed Brazil by stating in his political blog that Brazil was drunk in an accident in 1982 in which a friend died. Brazil said a police report indicates he wasn't drinking. No charges were filed.

Roe's website, The Source, ran the item during Brazil's unsuccessful race in 2006 against Scott Rupp of Wentzville for the GOP nomination for a state Senate seat. Rupp also went on to win the general election. Roe supported Rupp.

St. Charles County Circuit Judge Nancy Schneider, in a summary judgment Thursday, concluded that Brazil as a public figure "has submitted no substantial evidence of, or genuine issue of material fact" concerning "actual malice" by Roe.

Schneider in her order also rejected Brazil's allegation of "injurious falsehood" because Brazil can show "no pecuniary loss" other than attorney's fees in pursuing his suit.

The 1982 death occurred when Brazil was a senior at McCluer North High School during a prank in which sand was dumped on a parking lot. Norval Pierce was killed when he jumped or fell from a dump truck Brazil was driving and the truck ran over him.

Roe, in a court filing, said most information on the incident in his blog came from another website although Brazil wasn't named in the other website's account. Roe also said in the filing that he believed the other website's account to be true and had no reason to believe it wasn't.

Brazil said Tuesday he is considering appealing the judge's order in hopes of getting a jury trial.

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