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Amelia Graves abandons suit against Vero Beach 32963

STORY BY PIETER VANBENNEKOM (Week of November 21, 2013)

Newly elected Vero Beach councilwoman Amelia Graves on Monday withdrew the lawsuit she had filed just prior to the City Council elections against Vero Beach 32963 for alleged “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Graves’ attorney, Adam Chrzan, filed the dismissal of Amelia’s lawsuit “with prejudice,” meaning it can never be filed again.

In the original lawsuit, Graves had alleged that the publication by Vero Beach 32963 of her educational record with the University of Florida, in a story about her resume and her credentials, had caused her emotional distress.

The newspaper had asked a judge to dismiss the suit, standing behind its story and also seeking legal costs from Graves and her attorneys for frivolous use of the legal system.

The attorney for Vero Beach 32963, Louis B. Vocelle, Jr., said that the withdrawal of the lawsuit by Graves’ lawyers “ends this case three days before the expiration of the 21 day safe harbor provision in Florida’s frivolous claims statute which would have subjected Graves and her attorneys to attorney’s fees and costs.”

“There was never any basis for this suit in the first place,” said Vero Beach 32963 publisher Milton R. Benjamin.  “Every word of our story was accurate, and the suit clearly was filed only as a political ploy.  It unfortunately appears to have served its purpose.”

In the Nov. 5 elections, Graves came in second among five candidates seeking two seats, unseating former Vice-Mayor Tracy Carroll.