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Harwood Says He May Leave Long Beach

July 14, 1994|JOHN POPE

Councilman Warren Harwood, whose 12-year stint representing North Long Beach will end next week, has put his house up for sale and is living in Ventura County, at least for the summer, he said.

Harwood said he is taking a vacation with his wife and two children in a relative's home, but would not give the name of the city. He said he has not decided whether he will return to Long Beach.

Harwood, who recently lost his bid for a fourth term, said he left after neighbors harassed him and his family.

Harwood blamed Jerry Shultz, a sheriff's deputy who defeated him in the July 7 elections, for a negative campaign that caused him and his children to be the targets of insults in the community.

Shultz, who is scheduled to take over the 9th District seat on Tuesday, said his criticisms of Harwood during the campaign were valid.

"When you're a political figure, you've got to withstand some criticism," Shultz said.

The clincher in his decision to sell his home, Harwood said, was a party for Shultz held by neighbors in a front yard across the street from him on June 18.

"They rubbed our noses in it," he said.

Harwood attended the party and watched as a process server informed Shultz that he was named as the defendant in a libel suit--filed by Harwood.

The lawsuit, filed in Long Beach Superior Court, charges that Shultz libeled Harwood during the campaign and should pay up to $1 million in damages. Among other charges, Harwood alleges that Shultz distributed campaign literature that implied the councilman was racist.

Shultz called the lawsuit frivolous, and said he plans to file a countersuit.

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