OldGREEN BROOK, NJ - The Larsen for Congress Campaign announced this afternoon that David Larsen filed a defamation action against incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance and his campaign manager, Bill Killion, earlier this week in the Superior Court of Morris County.
The lawsuit arises from published statements made by Lance and Killian that repeatedly and falsely declare Larsen to be a "notorious tax cheat" and a "serial tax-dodger." Larsen seeks compensatory and punitive damages against both defendants. The false allegations arise from a real property tax bill that Larsen deferred paying when his business fell on hard times during the economic recession that devastated our economy early in the last decade.
"Rather than lay off workers," explained Larsen, "I used the money to keep them employed by making installment payments on my real estate taxes at an 18% rate of interest - plus a penalty. The tax assessor later confirmed in writing that my taxes were paid in full; a copy of that letter was dispatched to the Lance campaign. They ignored it completely and continued the attacks."
Last month, Larsen's legal counsel contacted Lance and Killion to advise them that they faced legal action if they continued to assert as fact statements that both knew and understood to be false. Despite this warning, the Lance campaign continued republishing the falsehoods in a variety of media formats, including flyers, campaign telephone calls, broadcast e-mails, radio and television.
Larsen attributes the sudden flurry of activity to recent internal polls indicating that Lance is falling far behind in the June 7th primary.
"Lance is desperate," Larsen said. "He will say and do anything to stay in office. Nevertheless, I cannot stand by and allow him to drag my name through the mud. The people of this district deserve better."
Contact: King Penna