PROVO, Utah, May 23 (UPI) -- The leader of the Utah County Republican Party has been accused of defaming a member of the party, who is suing him for just $1 in damages.
Julie Blaney successfully sued UCRP vice chairman Daryl Acumen in small claims court for defamation after he accused her of misappropriating party money.
"He had the ability to know what he was saying was malicious and flagrantly false, yet he published it to as many people as the felt he could to do damage to me," Blaney said.
But Acumen is appealing the decision -- and its $1 penalty -- to district court.
"It's unfortunate this sort of thing had to happen. I thought I was doing the right thing," Acumen said. "I saw something I didn't think was appropriate."
Acumen intimated that Blaney not only did what she said she did, but was doing it in a way unbecoming of one who espouses the principles the party promotes.
"Frankly, I don't think that is a conservative way to go forward," he said. "Conservatives say what they'll do, and they do what they say. Conservatives spend less than they make and give what they can. Conservatives admit when they are wrong instead of filing frivolous lawsuits, trying to save face."
But an attorney for Blaney said the truth was exactly the opposite, and the tiny dollar amount she sought proved it.
"All she asked for in this case was $1. She just wanted to clear her name," said Matthew Duffin, Blaney's attorney. "She wanted the harassment to stop. She wanted to stop saying that she stole money, when she actually contributed to the Republican party."