Orange County’s Rick Singh filed a libel lawsuit following allegations made against him during the 2016 election.
| 1:19 p.m. May 3, 2017
West Orange Times & Observer
ORANGE COUNTY – Citing several accusations that circulated during his re-election as Orange County Property Appraiser in 2016, Rick Singh has filed a libel lawsuit against two Political Action Committees.
During an April 25 press conference, Singh, accompanied by two attorneys, insisted allegations made against him during the election race last year were “maliciously untrue.”
Listed among the allegations made against Singh during the 2016 election was the accusation that Singh was arrested in 1988; that Singh changed his name to Rick for “nefarious purposes”; that a judgment was stated against Singh in 1993; and that there was a court order to pay a judgment against Singh, all of which Singh firmly denies.
Attorney Belvin Perry said the main intent of the lawsuit is to deter individuals from using negative campaign mailers and TV commercials to taint candidates’ reputations. Attorney Frank Kruppenbacher said the suit is the first of its kind in Florida and is necessary to fight against what he perceives as a threat to democracy.
“One, the emotional damage done to his family and himself was inexcusable,” Kruppenbacher said. “But two, the efforts by parties outside of Orange County — these PACs from elsewhere — to pour money into an Orange County election and influence the voters of Orange County, incorrectly, so they could gain control of a political office is something that threatens our democracy and Mr. Singh — he’s not going to stand still for it.”
The lawsuit, filed by Singh as a private citizen, will not make use of taxpayer money. Singh declined to name individuals or companies from which he is seeking damages, but Kruppenbacher estimated six will be named in a future amendment.
Kruppenbacher said he estimates about $3.4 million was spent to create the campaign against Singh.
“You have an astronomical amount of money being poured in, and the citizens of the county should demand to know who’s doing this,” Kruppenbacher said.