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Court: Libel lawsuit against councilman will continue

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Court of Appeals has overturned a judge’s decision to dismiss a libel lawsuit by four South Bend police officers against a city council member.

The appeals court ruled Monday that the officers can sue South Bend Common Council member Henry Davis Jr. for actions taken outside his employment. The lawsuit alleges Davis committed libel in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 during a wiretapping investigation.

The South Bend Tribune reports the letter accused officers of “racially based misconduct” related to recordings that were captured.

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jenny Manier had dismissed the lawsuit in January, saying officers couldn’t pursue Davis after the city and Common Council were dropped as defendants.

Davis’ attorney, A. Robert Masters, says Davis is considering his options for “the next stage of his defense.”