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Jury Finds Ohio Democrats Did Not Defame Cleveland Lawmaker

WOSU Archive

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A jury in central Ohio has rejected a Democratic state lawmaker's defamation lawsuit against the state's Democratic Party.

The Franklin County jury deliberated for about a day and a half before voting 6-2 Friday in favor of the defendant.

State Rep. John Barnes, of Cleveland, had claimed that the state party knowingly made false statements about him in campaign mailings to Democratic voters as part of an unsuccessful attempt to defeat him in the 2014 primary election.

The lawsuit was filed in December 2014. It named the political party and its outgoing chairman, Chris Redfern, as defendants.

Common Pleas Judge David Cain had dismissed Redfern from the lawsuit in April, finding that he wasn't personally liable in the case.