LA settles cases involving former ATC commissioner - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

LA settles cases involving former ATC commissioner

Murphy Painter Murphy Painter

Louisiana tax dollars were used to write big settlement checks on four lawsuits involving former Alcohol and Tobacco Commissioner Murphy Painter. Official dismissal documents were filed in district court Tuesday evening.

"They're all relieved," said attorney Jill Craft.

She was referring to the Louisiana Department of Revenue's decision to settle four lawsuits involving her clients.

One of those involved Kelly Suire, who claimed the former ATC commissioner stalked her. She filed a restraining order against him. Craft said Suire and another client moved out of state to get away from it all.

"What had happened to each one of them was wrong and I think it's good we finally had someone wake up and say, 'It's bad. We need to resolve these claims,'" explained Craft.

Investigators with the Inspector General's office said Painter stalked employees and ran tens of thousands of names in the statewide criminal database.

The state's settlement of the lawsuits involving the ATC, which named Painter individually, cost tax payers nearly a quarter-million dollars.

"I haven't agreed to anything," said Painter. "I want my day in court."

He claims he was set up by the parties involved in the lawsuits. The former ATC commissioner said it was all a cover-up for what he calls "possible corruption" going on with the people involved.

"Prior to their being exposed, lawsuits were filed against me to offset and put those off track," Painter added.

While he would not show it, Painter said he has proof and he plans to let a judge decide.

Another lawsuit naming Painter was filed in district court in April.

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