ARIZONA NEWS

Stephen Richer says defamation suit against Kari Lake not a ‘political vendetta’

May 13, 2024, 1:35 PM

Stephen Richer said his defamation lawsuit against Kari Lake is not a "political vendetta." (Getty ...

Stephen Richer said his defamation lawsuit against Kari Lake is not a "political vendetta." (Getty Images Photo)

(Getty Images Photo)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer wants to make it clear that his ongoing defamation case against U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake is solely to clear his name of any wrongdoing.

“This is not a political vendetta,” Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday. “I filed this case well before she became a candidate for U.S. Senate, so the purpose of this is not to just dig up embarrassing stuff and it’s tailored to just these remarks and it’s tailored to damages now.”

Richer sued Lake in June 2023 over continued false and harmful statements about his work on the 2022 election, four months prior to Lake’s entrance in the race.

The case advanced in March after Lake requested a default judgement, meaning her lawyers asked a judge to jump directly to the damages phase of the lawsuit.

A Lake official told KTAR News after the default judgement ask that “Kari maintains she has always been truthful.” Richer is ready to see what comes out in the discovery portion of the suit.

“Filing a lawsuit isn’t fun and being involved in litigation isn’t fun,” Richer said. “This was by no means our first choice, but she did not stop and kept going on. She even wrote a creepy book about it.

“We had really no other means at our disposal except for this extraordinary remedy, which has been justified in the courts of suing her for defamation.”

Would Richer reach a settlement with Lake on defamation lawsuit?

Richer said there’s been no communication between his lawyers and Lake’s regarding a settlement in the lawsuit.

The recorder said those would be discussions he’d entertain if approached.

“Those are conversations that we would be open for having as I believe any responsible party should, but they haven’t reached out after losing those motions to dismiss,” Richer said.

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Stephen Richer says defamation suit against Kari Lake not a ‘political vendetta’