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Defamation Claim Against Governor|Survives Court Test In Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A state judge refused to dismiss a defamation claim against Gov. Matt Blunt brought by the governor's former deputy counsel Scott Eckerlsey who says he was fired for complaining that the administration's deletion of emails violated the Sunshine Law. After Eckersley aired his complaints to the press, Blunt's administration smeared him, saying he accessed porn on a state computer, was insubordinate and might have a drug problem.

Jackson County Judge Michael Manners dismissed the portion of the case claiming the Eckersley's firing violated public policy.

But the defamation allegations stand. Manners disagreed with arguments that Blunt had immunity from defamation charges.

No trial date has been set. The case is different from one brought by special prosecutors in Cole County. That case claims that Blunt and his administration violated the Sunshine Law by deleting the emails in question.

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