Judge dismisses planning director’s lawsuit, except for defamation claim

10:08 am | November 7, 2012

A judge has dismissed two claims against Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey, but Carter County Planning and Zoning Director Chris Schuettler’s claim of defamation remains outstanding.

Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Seeley Jr. filed an order dismissing claims of abuse of process and malicious prosecution. “The claim for defamation (libel or slander) is outstanding at this time,” Seeley wrote in his order.

Schuettler and his wife, Melanie Schuettler, had brought suit against Carter County and the mayor earlier this year, seeking $600,000 in damages. The lawsuit stems from a criminal theft charge filed against Schuettler by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The charge alleged Schuettler had been on the payroll clock when phone records showed he was in North Carolina.

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