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Commissioner Clark files defamation suit against Skeet Phillips, wife, and others

FORNEY, Texas – Kaufman County Precinct 2 Commissioner Ray Clark filed a libel suit in the 422nd District Court of Kaufman County against Skeet Phillips, who successfully challenged Clark in the March 2014 Republican Primary Election, and several other individuals and businesses.
The lawsuit was filed on March 24, 2014, and names defendants: Skeet Phillips; his wife Leah Phillips, who also served as his campaign treasurer; Michael Hendrix, individually and under several DBAs; Ben Campbell, individually and under several DBAs; John Knox, individually and under several DBAs; Steven Jolly, individually and under several DBAs; Your Right to Know; The Precise Agency LLC; and The Precise Agency Group LLC.

The suit alleges the defendants published a “purported news article entitled Stoney Adams Evades Child Molestation Charges for the Seventh Time, which contains false assertions of fact and false quotations which were intended to damage [Clark's] reputation prior to the election.”

A political mailer was subsequently delivered to Kaufman County residents prior to the election which contains quotes from the article published on myrighttoknow.org. The suit claims, “The mailer is replete with false statements of fact and unambiguously associates [Clark] with child molestation and corruption, and contains quotes and false statements from the article posted on myrighttoknow.org.”

The mailer alleged two-term Commissioner Clark's influence resulted in the dismissal of criminal charges involving a family member accused of child molestation. The mailer depicts a doctored image of Clark next to a Kaufman County booking photo of Stoney Adams and states, “Stoney Adams evades child molestation charges for the seventh time. Children ages 5-17 reportedly sexually abused by Kaufman County Commissioner Ray Clark's nephew.”

Adams' criminal history in Kaufman County includes: An assault which was dismissed; a sexual assault case and an indecency with a child case both of which were dismissed due to his conviction for injury to a child, elderly, disable with intent to commit bodily injury; and two charges of criminal trespass.

Adams was later indicted on September 16, 2013, for a sexual assault charge. The mailer alleges Commissioner Clark's “powerful position in Kaufman County could allow certain clout over the judicial system, and if need be, could potentially allow a person in this position of power to sway the outcome of a trial.”

According to the suit, the article and mailer falsely state Clark and Adams have a close relationship and speak often. The suit also states Clark is not related to Adams, who is referred to as a child predator and a monster, as repeatedly stated by the article and mailer. According to the suit, Adams is the son of the sister of the husband of the sister of [Clark's] wife.

Commissioner Clark is seeking unknown damages due to “malicious and intentional acts” by the defendants.

“I just have to wait until I get the papers and then I'll have to turn it over to my attorney. That's about all I can do,” said Skeet Phillips who has not yet been served papers concerning the lawsuit.

In an earlier inForney.com article, Phillips denied any involvement in the mailers but did admit to meeting with the family of the alleged victims on the mailer. “I gave her the name of somebody they could get a hold of and they would help her … and that's where it went from there. I never saw it again, I never touched it again, I never talked to them again, I never approved a single thing, I never even saw it, and that was it.” he said. “When it came out, it was like just a big shock to me as it was to everyone else.”

Commissioner Clark was not immediately available for comment.
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