Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) has quietly dropped her $10 million defamation lawsuit against a Republican state senator running against her for an open seat on the state Board of Equalization.
The former Dana Point mayor's suit was part of the fallout from the implosion of her husband Dan Harkey's Point Center Financial construction finance firm, which has been in the news in recent months because of bankruptcy proceedings and an investor lawsuit.
John Hrabe of Cal Newsroom broke the news Tuesday that Harkey dropped the suit against state Sen. Mark Wyland (R-San Diego), something an Orange County Superior Court records check confirmed.
What had set Harkey off was Wyland saying this to a Tea Party group last summer as he campaigned for the Board of Equalization seat Michelle Steele is abandoning due to term limits: “Unfortunately, there has been a lawsuit brought by a lot of investors of modest means against her and her husband for defrauding them. There was a decision that those investors were defrauded and there is a judgment.”
Harkey's complaint claimed Wyland: defamed her; presented her in a false light; intentionally inflicted emotional distress; exposed her to “hatred, contempt, ridicule”; caused her to seek “medical treatment on a number of occasions”; and should pay her $10 million in damages for the troubles.
She filed the request to dismiss the suit on Nov. 12.
Harkey declined to provide more specifics on her medical issues to Hrabe, who notes in his post that the assemblywoman has repeatedly decried “lawsuit abuse” and “feeding trial lawyers” while in the Legislature. Indeed, the reporter goes on to include comments by statewide tort reform advocates expressing disappointment in Harkey's frivolous suit against Wyland.
Her Board of Equalization campaign website claims she “continues to widen the gap between her campaign and that of any potential competition.”