Judge dismisses election chief's suit alleging that critic slandered her

October 07, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Concluding unfinished business from the bitter 1994 gubernatorial election, a Baltimore judge yesterday dismissed a slander lawsuit filed by the city's chief elections official against her leading detractor.

Baltimore Circuit Judge John C. Themelis ruled that the suit filed in December 1995 by Baltimore election administrator Barbara E. Jackson against former state election board member Daniel J. Earnshaw did not have enough merit to go to trial.

Jackson had charged in the suit that Earnshaw defamed her about 40 times in statements accusing her of incompetence and felonious conduct before and during the 1994 election.

In her suit, Jackson had also targeted other critics, including two radio talk-show hosts and the Daily Record newspaper. A judge had earlier dismissed the case against all but Earnshaw.

Jackson was a key figure in the challenge by Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey to the 1994 election victory by Parris N. Glendening.

Earnshaw, then a Republican member of the state election board, criticized the city's handling of the gubernatorial balloting. He blamed Jackson for her failure to purge the names of inactive voters from city rolls.

Earnshaw, who practices law in Harford County, called the lawsuit "frivolous from the beginning."

Jackson declined to comment.

Pub Date: 10/07/97

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