by: Richard Elliot Updated:ATLANTA —
The political director of the Georgia Democratic Party has filed suit against bloggers for what he believes are libelous online posts about his past.
Rashad Richey’s attorneys filed the lawsuit Thursday, claiming "Georgia Politics Unfiltered" blogger Andre Walker and others crossed the line when they posted information detailing Richey’s legal history.
Richey had a series of misdemeanor convictions for criminal trespass and simple battery. Channel 2 Action News has now learned Richey also had a felony conviction for aggravated assault in 1998 but was sentenced as a first-time offender. When he completed his sentence, the felony was wiped from his record.
“I made mistakes in my life,” Richey said before a room full of supporters at the Georgia Democratic Party headquarters building. “But that’s exactly where they are. They’re in the past of my life, and hopefully, that’s where they’ll stay.”
But Walker is intent on bringing the past back to life through a series of blog posts, and the Democrat-turned-Republican blogger is defending his posts.
“Nothing on my site is untrue,” Walker told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot. “It’s actually all true, and I can’t believe I’m being sued for telling the truth.”
Richey’s attorneys believe the series of blogs are borderline harassment and constitute a form of cyberbullying.
“We understand the rough-and-tumble of politics,” said attorney Quinton Washington. “It evokes a passion for the common good of all people, but when rough-and-tumble rises to the level of libel or slander, then these people must be legally responsible for their actions.”
Democratic Party Chair Michael Berlon believes the information for the blogs came from within the current Democratic Party management and promised a full investigation to discover the leak. He admitted the controversy is hurting the party.
“This matter still continues to be relentlessly pushed,” said Berlon. “And we’re at a point that this is becoming such a distraction for us as a party that we have to end this and simply move on.”
Walker believes the suit has no merit and will be thrown out of court. He also promised to continue his blog.