By Kayla Carter
Judge Thomas J. Seeley Jr. signed a court order filed Monday denying a motion to continue and ultimately dismissing Planning Director Christopher Schuettler’s defamation of character lawsuit against Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey.
The dismissal was based on a six-month statute of limitations for slander cases.
“It is clear that any alleged slanderous statement relating to the filing of criminal charges would have occurred on or before July of 2011 and, therefore, any claim based upon such statement would be barred by the six month statute of limitations relating to slander claims,” Seeley’s court order said.
Schuettler and his wife, Melanie Schuettler, brought suit against Carter County and the mayor in July 2012. The lawsuit stems from a criminal theft charge filed against Schuettler by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in 2011. The charge alleged Schuettler had been on the payroll clock when phone records showed he was in North Carolina.