WPR News
7:25 am
Fri June 13, 2008

Lawyer: Cop's slander lawsuit won't fly

Laramie, WYo. – A University of Wyoming professor says a libel and slander lawsuit filed by Laramie's chief of police will face an uphill battle.

Chief Bob Deutsch filed a lawsuit against private citizen Tim Hale. The suit accuses Hale of making false accusations of criminal wrongdoing.

Hale has strongly opposed City Hall for years. He recently accused Deutsch of misusing city funds.

Deutsch says he has the same rights in court as a private citizen. U-W professor John Burman disagrees.

"Criticizing the government is one of the chief principles of our democracy," Burman says,

Burman says the law strongly favors private citizens in this type of case, unless the statements were knowingly false and made maliciously to cause harm.

Deutsch says he has the documentation to prove his allegations.