King County Sheriff Sues Former Employee For Defamation November 03, 2017
King Country Sheriff John Urquhart
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- King Country Sheriff John Urquhart has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Seattle against a former deputy who accused Urquhart of "groping" him in a sexual way.
The legal action says the former deputy's allegations are malicious lies and are politically motivated at this time to cause the sheriff irreparable harm by killing Urquhart's bid for re-election.
Urquhart’s lawsuit claims that along with making defamatory statements to a newspaper, the Seattle Times, former deputy Brian Barnes, now a police officer in another state, has published numerous Facebook posts "falsely and maliciously stating that Sheriff Urquhart has committed crimes of sexual assault” under pseudonyms.
The lawsuit also contends that Barnes made the false allegation that Sheriff Urquhart “illegally structured a settlement" to get him to remain silent.
Barnes, 49, now works as a college-campus police officer in Massachusetts. The Times said he declined comment Thursday about the lawsuit.
Barnes had complained to the Sheriff’s Office in September that Sheriff Urquhart "groped him" in the parking lot of a Renton restaurant back in 2014.
It has not been made clear if there is any proof to substantiate the allegation made against Urquhart beyond what Barnes alleges occurred.