Arizona State Attorney: Fired DES Executives Have No Libel Case

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 7:56am
Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017 - 12:14pm

An attorney for the state of Arizona said there is no libel case for two fired executives from the Department of Economic Security who filed defamation suits against the state last month.

Daniel Dowd, an attorney representing the state, has asked Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Aimee Anderson to throw out the case based on three qualifiers needed in a libel claim under Arizona law: That a statement was false and defamatory, it was published and it resulted in an injury.

In a motion to dismiss the suit filed this week, Dowd admitted, the state did publish its findings, but said there was no defamation because the report listed only facts and did not specifically name former DES director Tim Jeffries and his security chief Charles Loftus.

Both men were fired by Gov. Doug Ducey a year ago after investigations into the use of department funds and a cache of weapons and ammunition were found stored in the DES basement.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to clarify the role of the attorney, Daniel Dowd, and the court action.

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