Trial date set in former Kemah mayor's defamation suit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 4, 2013, 6:02pm

GALVESTON - A trial date has been scheduled for a former Kemah mayor's defamation lawsuit.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves issued an order earlier this month stating two weeks’ worth of deliberation on Matthew D. Wiggins, Jr.'s allegations against several individuals will begin May 20.

In separate suits filed in February 2012, Wiggins claims he was the subject of false statements made “to intentionally harm his reputation, decrease respect, regard or confidence.”

The defendants are ex-Kemah Volunteer Fire Department Chief Larry Zuniga, League City residents Delores and Jose Lara, Texas City resident Arnold Shields and Kemah residents Linda Ward, Sylvia Streater and Chadwick Jones.

Kemah locals Carl Joiner and Brian Sawyer were among the group of respondents until they were dismissed from the litigation just two months after it was launched.

The plaintiff, who served as mayor of the north Galveston County town of 1,800 people from May 2009 to May 2011, asserts the defendants' actions “induced disparaging, hostile and disagreeable opinions or feelings against the plaintiff" and their motives were political in nature.

He asserts his reputation and standing in the community were negatively impacted and that he suffers from emotional distress.

Each respondent submitted original answers refuting Wiggins.

Case No. 12-CV-192; 12-CV-195-12-CV-198

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