McKenna on KIRO: Could Mayor Murray sue for defamation?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the accusations made against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and, if Murray is innocent, what legal recourse he could take. The mayor announced this week that he will not run for re-election. Rob explained that a famous Supreme Court case, 1964’s New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, sets a higher bar for public figures to win defamation cases.

Dave Ross: “Then the bottom line to me is, if he’s innocent – I know it’s a big if – then a pretty terrible injustice has been done here.”

Rob McKenna: “And this is a problem with being a public figure. People can make claims about you that may be defamatory, but because you’re a public figure – whether you’re in office or not, even CEOs have been considered public figures – meeting that high bar can make it tough to prove defamation.

“And yet, you want to prove defamation in order to completely clear your name.”

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