Judge "can see how (Campfield) could mess that up;" dismisses lawsuit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A judge in northeast Tennessee has dismissed a libel lawsuit against state Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield for publishing false information about a Democratic candidate for the state House in 2008.

Campfield, a Knoxville Republican, blogged before the election that year that he had heard candidate Roger Byrge had been arrested on a drug charge, and that the mug shots were "gold." It was later determined the arrest record belonged to Byrge's son.

According to a court transcript of a Wednesday hearing in Jacksboro, Circuit Judge John McAfee acknowledged that Campfield had gotten it wrong on his blog, but he agreed with defense attorneys that the lawmaker didn't know the information was false when he posted it.

In the judge's words: "I can see how you could mess that up."


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