Judge: Worker can't sue Fenty
A D.C. magistrate judge on Tuesday dismissed a small-claims lawsuit filed by a former campaign worker for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, ruling that the worker could not sue the mayor because Fenty holds public office.
Clinton LeSueur sued Fenty for $5,000 in pay he claimed Fenty promised him in 2007 for helping D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser win Fenty's old seat in Ward 4. Bowser was the mayor's hand-picked successor.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Michael J. McCarthy did not rule on the merits of LeSuer's claim. Rather, he dismissed the case citing a District law that provides immunity for elected officials.
The law protects office-holders from being targeted by personal lawsuits. The idea behind the law was to allow elected officials freedom to make political decisions without fear of lawsuits.
McCarthy said even if Fenty had made the deal with LeSueur, it necessarily was made after Fenty was elected mayor, and therefore LeSueur had no recourse in court.
Fenty’s attorney, Bruce Klores, also argued that there was no proof Fenty made such an agreement. Further, Klores said, LeSueur sued the wrong party because he was working for the Bowser campaign at the time. Bowser's campaign already has paid LeSueur $20,000 for his five-month position.
But LeSueuer said Fenty promised him the additional payment as a bonus if Bowser was elected.
Following the hearing, LeSueur, who represented himself, said he planned to have the decision reviewed by the court’s associate judge panel.
Washington Post editors
July 13, 2010; 12:23 PM ET
Categories: Celebrities , From the Courthouse , Keith L. Alexander , The District
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