I’m picturing DFL Representative John Lesch – he of the Capone suits and the junior-high demeanor – apparently believes that “legislative privilege” immunizes one from being a ghastly little entitled jagoff.
State Rep. John Lesch is not protected by “legislative immunity” in a defamation case brought against him by St. Paul city attorney Lyndsey Olson, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
The decision allows Olson’s case to proceed.
Olson sued Lesch last year after he sent a letter to incoming St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter criticizing her work history and judgment, saying she has a “track record of integrity questions and management problems.”
If you’re a commoner and you make statement of fact about someone that are false, that can damage their reputation and living, and are done with malicious disregard for fact, it’s actionable.
Lesch apparnetly believes that being an elected DFLer in a one-party city confers divine right.
To be fair, there’s not much about any urban DFLers experience that would teach ’em otherwise, under normal circumstances.
So maybe, just maybe, Lesch’s arrogance and stupidity went outside the norm?
Lesch, a Democrat who represents part of St. Paul, has sought to dismiss the suit, arguing in part that he has legislative immunity. He will file a petition in the next month with the Minnesota Supreme Court, his attorney Marshall Tanick said.
“The Appellate Court construed the legislative immunity of legislators extremely narrowly, and we think that it’s more proper to take a broader view of what legislators do,” Tanick said.
He said he hopes the Supreme Court decides to take up the case to provide “clarification and guidance” on legislative immunity.
If the SCOM rules that “legislative immunity” protects any (DFL) pol’s statement, anywhere, for any reason, no matter what the context, then it is time for someone to take a can of Raid to the whole enterprise.