State Lawmaker Defamation Lawsuit 24 Apr 14

A state lawmaker is being sued for defamation by an ex-boyfriend whom she has accused of threatening and stalking her. The lawsuit by McLeod County Republican Party Chair Eric Harpel claims his reputation was ruined by statements Representative Mary Franson of Alexandria made in a court petition seeking a restraining order. Harpel says Franson falsely accused him of stalking and threatening her and sending her lewd emails, text messages, photos and videos. The lawsuit also claims Franson illegally accessed and deleted Harpel’s emails. Harpel is seeking more than $50,000 in damages. Franson says that she’s optimistic that Harpel’s complaint will be dismissed.