Vancouver attorney Angus Lee provides notice that a tort claim will be filed against city of Portland and Multnomah County officials

Clark County resident Joey Gibson and Cowlitz County resident Russell Schultz will seek $100 million in damages in a federal civil lawsuit.
Joey Gibson

Clark County resident Joey Gibson and Cowlitz County resident Russell Schultz will seek $100 million in damages in a federal civil lawsuit

Vancouver attorney Angus Lee provided notice this week that a tort claim will be filed against city of Portland and Multnomah County officials on behalf of Clark County resident Joey Gibson and one other individual who in July were acquitted of felony charges levied against them after a brawl that took place outside a Portland bar in 2019.

Gibson, a longtime resident of Camas and leader of the Patriot Prayer organization, and Russell Schultz, a Cowlitz County resident, will collectively seek $100 million in damages in federal court. 

Gibson and Schultz were acquitted by Multnomah County Judge Benjamin Souede, who stated earlier this summer that Oregon prosecutors failed to provide sufficient evidence that either man had committed the crime of riot during the 2019 incident. In his finding, Souede determined that no reasonable juror could convict Gibson and Schultz based on the evidence presented by the prosecution.

The 18-page notice dated Tuesday (Sept. 8) stated, “As a result of the Judge’s ruling, the ultimate question of selective prosecution, which the Court had reserved for a possible evidentiary hearing on a motion for arrest of judgment was never reached. Plaintiffs will prove in this case that they were the victims of selective and malicious prosecution in retaliation for political activity and to chill future political acivity [sic], as well as other tortious conduct by defendants in litigation of the claims presented herein.’’

As a result, Gibson and Schultz are seeking $100,000 in damages. Tuesday’s notice starts a clock giving the defendants 60 days to respond to the notice prior to the plaintiffs’ ability to file the civil lawsuit in federal court.

“The tortious conduct continued for three years and constituted a conspiracy to violate the civil rights of plaintiffs Schultz and Gibson and conservatives generally, with numerous overt acts as pleaded above constituting malicious prosecution, retaliation, the intentional infliction emotional distress, defamation and other intentional torts. Mr. Gibson and Schultz collectively seek $100,000,000 in damages for their lost earning capacity, reputational harm and other categories of damage,’’ the notice stated..

The letter asserted claims for damages against several city of Portland and Multnomah County officials including Mayor and Portland Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler, Portland Police Chiefs Danielle Outlaw, Jami Resch and Chuck Lovell; Portland Police Detective Christopher Traynor, Multnomah County D.A. Rod Underhill, Multnomah County D.A. Mike Schmidt, Deputy D.A. Brad Kalbaugh, and Deputy D.A. Sean Hughey.

The notice stated that those individuals “engaged in a conspiracy to maliciously prosecute Mr. Schultz and Mr. Gibson without any evidence of a crime in retaliation for, and in order to chill Mr. Schultz and Mr. Gibson from, engaging in political activity protected under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution …”

Lee told Clark County Today Thursday that “It’s clear that there was a conspiracy to attempt to prosecute these innocent individuals for their political activism and for no other reason.’’ Lee suggested this is historically the actions of “dictators and monarchs.’’

“It’s not only an affront to the victims, but it is an attack on the very core of our democracy,’’ Lee added. “Not only is it an affront to the people who were attempted to be prosecuted, but it was affront to every person who has ever held an unpopular viewpoint about what the government was doing in Portland. They were sending a message to all the free people in the area who would have liked to also express their political viewpoint that they could be subjected to prosecution from the very officials who are supposed to defend their rights under the First Amendment.’’ 

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