South Dakota judge orders legal fees in candidacy lawsuit
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota judge has ordered a Rapid City businesswoman to pay a state lawmaker's legal fees for defending himself against her unsuccessful lawsuit that sought to remove him from last year's election ballot.
Stephanie Strong, who acted as her own lawyer, had argued that Rep. Brian Gosch of Rapid City improperly notarized a part of his own nominating petition last year. He won re-election and was elected speaker of the South Dakota House.
Circuit Judge Kathleen Trandahl ordered Strong to pay more than $21,000 to cover Gosch's legal fees in the case. The judge says Strong's lawsuit was frivolous and malicious because it was filed too late and sought to influence voters, instead of protecting against election fraud.
Strong did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday seeking comment.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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