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LONG BEACH : Former Councilman Drops Libel Lawsuit

October 27, 1994|EMILY ADAMS

After spending nearly $6,000 on legal fees, former City Councilman Warren Harwood has dropped his libel suit against the man who beat him in the June council election. Harwood filed the Superior Court lawsuit against current 9th District Councilman Jerry Shultz shortly after the June 7 election, claiming Shultz lied about him in campaign literature.

The suit focused on Shultz mailers to the district's North Long Beach voters. One such mailer quoted Harwood's former neighbor--an African American--as saying that Harwood built a high wall between their homes after she moved in. Harwood said the statement was false and was Shultz's attempt to brand him a racist.

Last week, Harwood formally withdrew the suit, in which he had asked for $1 million in damages. "I ran out of money," Harwood said. "The suit just wasn't going anywhere."

Harwood, a projects coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, now lives in Ventura County.

Shultz, who spent about $5,000 in legal fees, said the suit was frivolous. "I may contact (Harwood) and ask him to pay my legal costs, or I may just write it off as a bad experience," he said. "I haven't decided."

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