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Gosar, Finchem, Kern lose appeal, ordered to pay court fees

By Greg Hahne, Jill Ryan
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, August 11, 2023 - 12:11pm
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2023 - 2:26pm
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The state Court of Appeals has ruled that Congressman Paul Gosar and two former GOP state lawmakers will have to pay the legal fees of another representative they sued for defamation.

The appellate decision was unanimous.

In 2021, Anthony Kern, Mark Finchem and Paul Gosar sued Charlene Fernandez for defamation. She and 41 other Democratic state lawmakers had signed a letter asking the FBI to investigate the trio for alleged roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Fernandez successfully defended herself, and a Yuma trial judge ordered Kern, Finchem and Gosar to pay her $75,000 in legal fees. The trio appealed.

But the appellate panel says their defamation suit was brought without substantial justification. Fernandez’s attorneys must file an updated statement of costs.