State senator settles defamation lawsuit against consultant

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Hearing delayed for judge accused of misconduct

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Republican state Senator Ralph Alvarado of Winchester says he received a signed public apology as part of a settlement in his defamation lawsuit against Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons. During the campaign for the 28th Senate District in 2014, Alvarado, who is a medical doctor, sued incumbent R.J. Palmer of Winchester, and Palmer’s campaign consultant, Emmons, for defamation involving a campaign ad.

Alvarado claimed that the TV ad used edited courtroom footage to cast him as a drug dealer. Alvarado claimed the ad implied that he illegally prescribed $3,000 worth of oxycodone to a criminal defendant, when video from the court hearing clearly showed that the defendant had a valid prescription for OxyContin.

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Alvarado’s attorney released the apology from Emmons in a news release on Wednesday. It said:

“In the 2014 race for the 28th District State Senate seat, we created a campaign
advertisement using courtroom video footage that we edited. The advertisement did
not disclose that the footage had been edited. The advertisement showed footage of a
patient of Dr. Alvarado’s who had been charged in court with criminal wrong-doing
involving narcotics. Dr. Alvarado had legally prescribed narcotics to his patient but the
edited footage made it appear as though Dr. Alvarado had been involved in the criminal
activity of illegally distributing narcotics to his patient. Dr. Alvarado was not involved in
any criminal activity. I am publicly apologizing to Dr. Alvarado for creating a
misimpression in the advertisement to the contrary. Dr. Alvarado was not involved in
his patient’s illegal drug activity.”

Signed,
Dale C. Emmons, Emmons & Company, Inc.

“The agreement with Dr. Alvarado makes clear that I did nothing wrong,” Emmons said Wednesday in a statement to the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper. It reads:

“Settlement Agreement does not constitute an admission of any fault, liability, or wrongdoing, or the validity of the allegations, claims, or contentions of any party to this settlement agreement made in or asserted in the Clark Civil Action.”

Emmons told the newspaper that he conferred with his attorney and decided “it was time to move on.”

Alvarado’s legal battle against former state Senator R.J. Palmer continues.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.