Government & Politics

Clay Chastain’s defamation suit against The Star dismissed by federal judge

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a defamation lawsuit against the Kansas City Star filed by transit activist and serial municipal candidate Clay Chastain.

Chastain, of Virginia, has run unsuccessfully for elected office in Kansas City numerous times and routinely petitions the city to build elaborate transit systems. He sued The Star on March 29, claiming he had been defamed in a March 25 column profiling him and two other individuals who, at the time, were candidates for mayor.

The column mentioned Chastain’s one-time inclusion on a City Hall watch list for perceived threats against Mayor Sly James, a history of depression and financial struggle and the numerous lawsuits he has filed against Kansas City. He claimed the statements were false and defamatory and intended to undermine his chance of advancing in the April 2 primary for mayor.

But U.S. District Court Judge Greg Kays ruled Chastain had failed to establish any of the statements as false and noted Chastain acknowledged some of the statements in the very court filing where he claimed they weren’t true.

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