Newspaper calls Kansas Senate leader's lawsuit 'meritless'

February 15, 2019 - 8:49 pm

The Kansas City Star is asking a Kansas judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against the newspaper by state Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning.

The Star's attorney said in a filing Friday in Johnson County District Court that the lawsuit over a column about Denning last month is a "meritless hand grenade." The paper says Denning and his lawyer filed it to advance the lawyer's bid to become Kansas Republican Party chairman.

Denning called those allegations "absurd."

Denning's lawsuit alleges that the newspaper and freelance columnist Steve Rose defamed him by falsely attributing multiple statements to him about Medicaid expansion. The Star said Rose told an editor Denning made the statements last year.

Rose resigned as a columnist. The Star argues that it acted responsibly in handling his column.

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