After eight long years, a libel suit filed against the Star by the son of Chief Deputy Craig Brady is going to trial this week in Judge Thomas Culver’s courtroom.
In a story entitled, Deputy Brady’s tape collecting called “Roadside Suppression,” Wade Brady was given a Minor in Possession ticket and after he was found “not guilty” by a jury, his father arranged to have all the deputies involved in his ticketing gather and surrender audio tapes as part of an expunction action. The story pointed out that the expunction order was past the time limit.
The Star contends that the story was about Craig Brady, the chief deputy who is a public official and has to meet higher standards about proving libel and that Craig Brady is hiding behind his son to sue the Star, a frequent critic.
Representing the Star is the firm of JacksonWalker, which defended the libel suit against Oprah Winfrey in Amarillo. Houstonion John Edwards is the lead attorney and sitting second chair is Amanda Bush from Fort Worth.
The Star had previously asked that the suit be dismissed because Wade Brady had not been libeled. After Judge Culver denied a summary judgement, the suit was appealed but the lower court’s ruling was affirmed.
“Deputy Craig Brady and another newspaper tried to portray the appeal as the final deposition of the suit,” said Bev Carter, Star publisher. “However, it was simply the denial of a motion for a summary judgement, which is a judgment rendered by the court because no material issue of fact exists and one party or the other is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
The Star has been a frequent critic of the sheriff’s department under Milton Wright and has accused him of turning the running of the department over to Craig Brady.
The civil trial is expected to take approximately two weeks.