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Forwarding Emails Isn’t|’Hacking, Pol Says

ALBUQUERQUE (CN) - The campaign manager for a Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senate claims the opposing primary campaign defamed him by accusing him of computer hacking.

Diego Espinoza, manager of Allen Weh's successful campaign, sued Weh's opponent David Clements, the Clements for New Mexico campaign, and two Doe campaign consultants, in Bernalillo County Court.

The complaint never names Weh, who defeated Clements in the primary, with 53 percent to 46 percent of the vote.

Clements for New Mexico issued a press release in late February accusing Espinoza of hacking into the Clements campaign's computers and sending out a letter belonging to Clements for New Mexico.

The Clements campaign's hacking accusations cited a single piece of evidence, a document from their Internet service provider that shows that Espinoza's email address was the source of a series of forwarded emails from within the Clements campaign, according to the 7-page lawsuit.

Espinoza claims that forwarding an email does not show that he hacked into anyone's email system, nor engaged in any cyberespionage, criminal activity or wrongdoing of any kind.

Espinoza's primary job is as COO at CSI Aviation. He claims the Clements campaign's defamation has damaged his ability to advance within at CSI Aviation, as the accusation throws into question his ability to handle sensitive and classified documents and materials as needed to perform his job functions.

He seeks compensatory and punitive damages for defamation.

He is represented by Colin Hunter of the Barnett Law Firm.

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