News and Tribune

Clark County

August 3, 2013

Jeffersonville mayor to give deposition in mailer suit

Lawsuit filed by woman for ‘emotional and mental anguish’

JEFFERSONVILLE — A politically motivated mailer sent out before the 2010 May primary election is again causing headaches for Mayor Mike Moore.

A special judge has ruled that Moore must give a deposition in a civil suit against a political action committee, to which he is not a party. According to online court records, Moore issued a motion for a protective order with his attorney, Jack Vissing, to avoid giving the deposition.

Moore’s ex-wife, Amy Sturgis, and daughter, Amanda Moore, are suing Citizens for Decency in Government, a political action group, for sending out a mailer prior to the 2010 primary election that alleged Mike Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with his daughter in 1985.

No charges were ever filed against Mike Moore and he has consistently denied the allegations detailed in the report.

Sturgis and Amanda Moore are seeking unspecified damages in the suit for “emotional distress and reputation damages.”

The mailer, which was from an Indiana State Police report, did not have Amanda Moore’s name and Social Security numbers redacted. It was sent out to nearly 8,000 Clark County residents in April 2010. It was before the primary in which Mike Moore was running for re-election as Clark County Commissioner.

Indiana State Police said at the time the mailer was sent out the report should have never been released unless a court or a prosecutor subpoenaed the police agency to release it.

It was believed the police report was part of the Mike Moore and Sturgis divorce case in 1986, which led to it being released. No record of the report was in the divorce filing when the News and Tribune examined the court archives in 2010.

Sturgis and Amanda Moore’s attorney, John Davis Cox, said that was the purpose in seeking Mike Moore’s deposition.

“He filed an affidavit that I want to ask him questions about ... whether the ISP report was ever part of the court file,” Cox said.

At the time the mailer was sent out, many county residents and Mike Moore said it was  an underhanded political tactic designed to damage his reputation. If it was a tactic to damage his political chances, it backfired.

Mike Moore handily won re-election for Clark County Commissioner, a precursor to his successful run for Jeffersonville mayor in 2011.

The only name listed on the PAC’s filings with the county election office was Patrick W. Stout, who was listed as the group’s treasurer. Stout and the PAC were named as defendants in the suit filed by Amanda Moore and Sturgis.

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