By Randy Singleton
NJG Community Correspondent
State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth, 18th District) went to court on Wednesday (July 1) and filed a defamation lawsuit against her political opponent, Virginia Beach attorney and gun shop owner Tim Anderson, who has launched a recall effort against her.
Anderson is accusing Sen. Lucas, according to reports by WAVY-TV 10, of inciting a riot, a felony in the state of Virginia, and ordering police not to arrest protesters who were vandalizing the Confederate monument in downtown Portsmouth on June 10.
During that protest, the monument was severely damaged and a protester was hospitalized when a soldier statute toppled on him during an act of vandalism at the time of the demonstration. Lucas was gone from scene before the violence occurred.
Lucas has asserted that her political opponent, who owns a gun shop and pushes for Second Amendment rights, is attacking her through a recall effort because of her advocacy of gun-control legislation in the General Assembly. Anderson said, according to local media reports, that he has gathered 2,000 signatures for his recall petition.
Supporters of Sen. Lucas recently staged a large counter-recall rally at Portsmouth City Hall which was attended by hundreds.
On July 2, news reports said that a Sentara spokesperson said protester Chris Green, who was injured when the Confederate soldier statue on him, remains hospitalized and is listed in fair condition. A GoFundMe page has raised $52,000 for his medical expenses.
In her 7-page lawsuit, Sen. Lucas is seeking $20.7 million. Sen. Lucas said that her reputation was harmed irreparably by Anderson’s social media posts and television interviews. Sen. Lucas is being represented by attorney and State Delegate Don Scott (D-Portsmouth). Lucas said in a statement released to the media:
“Not this time. This is a simple case. Attorney Tim Anderson defamed my name and has irreparably damaged my reputation in the community, in the Commonwealth, and in the world. Reaching hundreds of thousands of people through his social media post on his business website and in television interviews, Anderson stated that I committed a felony. That is defamation per se. He stated that my actions had led to the death of a man. His statements were false and he knew them to be false. He made these made these malicious defamatory statements because I have been fighting successfully for common sense gun violence prevention programs and his gun business would garner attention from his potential customer base by attacking me.”