Democratic nominee for governor Beto O’Rourke on Monday reaffirmed that he wouldn’t let a defamation lawsuit brought by billionaire energy executive Kelcy Warrant “silence” him from telling Texans how Gov. Greg Abbott’s allowed energy companies to “profit off last year’s power grid failure.”
In a legal filing in San Saba County, O’Rourke said he welcomed the chance to have the case against him unfold in view of Texas residents and voters. His filing did not seek a dismissal of the lawsuit, but denied all of the allegations against him.
“Defendant denies each and every, all and singular, the allegations asserted by Plaintiff in his Original Petition and demand strict proof thereof by a preponderance of the evidence as required by the laws and Constitution of the State of Texas,” lawyers for O’Rourke said in the filing that was due at midnight Tuesday.
O’Rourke also requested a trial by jury, with a venue moved from San Saba County to El Paso County, where O’Rourke lives. He said that Warren is registered to vote in Dallas County, not San Saba where the suit was filed. He said the change of venue would help him publicize his crusade against Abbott and energy industry officials.
Beto O’Rourke was sued for defamation after the Democrat criticized his $1 million donation to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign following last year’s deadly winter blackout. The lawsuit filed in San Saba County seeks unspecified compensation.
“O’Rourke intended that his malicious and baseless defamatory statements publicly humiliate Warren and discourage others from contributing to Governor Abbott’s campaign,” the lawsuit reads.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: DALLAS NEWS