On Friday, Sept. 20, Steven King, Blount County Circuit Judge, filed a lawsuit against Dean Calvert, District 3 Commissioner for Blount County. According to the court filing, King is suing Calvert for defamation stemming from comments made by Calvert in the June 13, 2019, work session of the Blount County Commission.
The filing states, “At said meeting, Defendant Calvert made several false representations about Plaintiff King. Defendant Calvert said the following:
“a. Plaintiff Steven King tried to use his office of Circuit Judge for personal gain by making demands upon a private citizen to comply with a property ordinance.
“b. Plaintiff Steven King made demands for up to 14 sheriff deputies to protect the courthouse. As a result, districts in Blount County remain unmanned by sheriff deputies.
“c. Plaintiff King will not do his job as Circuit Judge of Blount County and as a result there is a backlog in the court system.
“d. Plaintiff King will not do his job as Circuit Judge of Blount County and as a result, the county jail is overcrowded.
“e. Plaintiff King is trying to operate as a county commissioner from the bench of Circuit Judge.
“f. Plaintiff King shutdown the Blount County Courthouse as part of a political game.
“g. Plaintiff King shutdown the Family Service Center as part of a political game.”
The filing goes on to state, “Defendant Calvert knew the representations were false at the time in which they were made… Defendant Calvert made the aforementioned false statements with malice, knowledge the statements were false, and with conscious indifference to the falsity of the claims made against Plaintiff King. Defendant Calvert made said false statements in a slanderous fashion with the intent to damage Plaintiff King. As a direct and proximate result of this defamation, Plaintiff King has been damaged.”
King has asked for a judgement against Calvert in an amount to be determined by a jury.