GOP committeeman, state party resolve lawsuit

Ever since the 2010 Republican primary in Tennessee’s Third Congressional District, a contentious cloud has hovered after a staffer for one candidate sued the campaign manager of another. Now it appears that at least one corner of that cloud has lifted.

Mark Winslow alleged in a lawsuit that Chip Saltsman, a former state party chair who at the time was campaign manager for Chuck Fleischmann, had illegitimately obtained confidential documents related to Winslow’s employment at the party when his candidate boss, Robin Smith, was the party boss.

The documents were used in a campaign ad that attacked Smith.

Later, Winslow added the Tennessee Republican Party to the suit. That component of the legal battle has, according to the statement below, been resolved; but there is no indication at this time that the suit against Saltsman and Fleischmann has been dropped or otherwise affected.

Here’s the press release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney released the following statement regarding a lawsuit that was filed against the Party:

“The Tennessee Republican Party has reached an agreement with Mark Winslow to resolve the issues raised in his lawsuit against the Party. Upon my election as Chairman in 2009 I decided to hire a staff of my own choosing. Because Mark had an employment agreement through the end of the year we negotiated a severance agreement that included a confidentiality clause. Documents from his confidential personnel file later became public and were used in political advertising. Mark contends that these documents were misused and neither I nor the Party would have or did authorize their release. Mark has been a loyal Republican and a valued member of the State Executive Committee. I am pleased we have reached an amicable resolution of this unfortunate matter and look forward to Mark’s continuing good work for the Party and our principles. I encourage all of my fellow Republicans to join me in putting this episode behind us.”

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s office did not immediately return a request for a response.

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