A defamation lawsuit filed by former GOP congressional candidate Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski against U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Orchard Lake, Waterford, West Bloomfield) has been dismissed by Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Phyllis McMillan.
McMillan’s decision came on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
At issue was a Peters television ad that stated Raczkowski, the former CEO of Star Tickets, was being sued by investors.
“Rocky Raczkowski is being sued by his former business partners for theft, fraud and conspiracy,” a man says in a voiceover in the ad, which is still posted on Peters’ campaign YouTube site. “The case court documents say Rocky set up a concert ticket scheme that bilked his partners out of $6 million, and witnesses say Rocky lied about evidence and destroyed documents to cover it up,” the ad’s voiceover states.
The ad was paid for by Peters For Congress.
Peters’ Washington D.C. office released the following statement to the Spinal Column Newsweekly regarding the lawsuit’s dismissal:
“Congressman Peters is pleased that the court agreed that Mr. Raczkowski’s lawsuit had no merit under Michigan law,” said Christopher Trebilcock, principal for Miller Canfield, the attorney who represented Peters in the lawsuit. “Throughout this process, Congressman Peters has continued focusing on the job that Oakland County voters elected him to do, and he will keep working every day to create jobs and rebuild our economy.”
“Rocky knew this lawsuit was frivolous from the beginning,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer in a press release. “He did nothing but waste taxpayer money for political gamesmanship. Everything that was said in the ad was true.”
Brewer was also a defendant in the lawsuit.
The 2010 race between Peters and Raczkowski — one of the most closely-watched in the state — was often acerbic, as both sides traded barbs during the campaign. Peters, a first-term lawmaker in a swing district during a year when nearly every Democrat was vulnerable, edged out the victory on election night by 6,000 votes.
A call placed to the number on file for Raczkowski appeared to be a number used during the 2010 election campaign. Messages left for Raczkowski on behalf of the Spinal Column Newsweekly with the Oakland County Republican Party went unreturned prior to press time.
Raczkowski has said in the past that the suit was involving his company and five others. People lost money on a show and it was his company that was selling the tickets, he said.
“It was not true,” Raczkowski said of the ad after the suit was filed. “The whole ad was very misleading and filled with false statements. Peters and Brewer are lawyers — they should know better.”
A switchboard operator at the building where the office of Steven B. Haffner, Raczkowski’s attorney, is located said Haffner would be out of the office until tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 3.