The attorney for Leslie J. Little said Monday that his client was required to pay nothing in an out-of-court settlement reached earlier this month in a lawsuit involving her former fiancé, Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe.
The lawsuit, attempting to collect a debt allegedly owed by Little to Briscoe, was filed in 2014 by Blaine County Collectors, which claimed that Little had borrowed $106,000 from Briscoe through promissory notes and had failed to repay about $40,000. The agency also claimed that Little owed 50 percent of that amount to the agency as a collection fee.
In defense, Little claimed that the debt was previously forgiven, that Briscoe agreed to pay for expenses she occurred after their engagement was called off, and that “offsets” should be considered against the amount allegedly owed because she was subjected to emotional distress by Briscoe’s “tortious invasion” of her privacy after the breakup.
“In substance, the parties traded the mayor’s claims on the notes for my client’s claims for invasion of privacy, which was my client’s objective throughout the lawsuit,” Little’s legal counsel, Boise attorney Jeffrey A. Strother, wrote Monday in an email to the Idaho Mountain Express.
Strother further stated that he released the settlement terms because a statement by Briscoe regarding the settlement in an April 24 story in the Idaho Mountain Express was an “attempt to spin the settlement in a direction that is, in my view, misleading.”
In the story, Briscoe stated: “I am pleased this is over. All of the allegations by Leslie Little were dismissed.”
Little’s allegations of invasion of privacy or stalking were supported in an answer to the Blaine County Collectors complaint by five Ketchum Police Department reports that were attached as exhibits to her response.
“It is important to note that my client never sought a monetary judgment in her favor on account of those events,” Strother stated. “They were, as the briefing in the case makes abundantly clear, asserted as defenses only to defeat the claims made on the mayor’s behalf.
“After two unsuccessful attempts by the collection agency to dismiss those claims from the lawsuit, the entire litigation settled,” Strother stated. “My client paid absolutely nothing on the promissory notes or supplemental claims to either the collection agency or Mayor Briscoe.”
In a written statement to the Idaho Mountain Express, Briscoe stated on Tuesday that police investigations regarding possible stalking by him against Little led to no criminal charges and that two attempts by Little to petition the court for civil protection orders failed.
Blaine County court documents provided by Briscoe show that one petition for a civil protection order was dismissed on Jan 21, 2014, and a second on June 5, 2014.
“Ms. Little attempted to petition to Blaine County court twice for restraining orders to prevent me from contacting her about the debts,” Briscoe stated. “Her petitions contained the false allegations that she used in the current lawsuit. The police reports that Strother mentioned were her false reports to the Ketchum police, not actual observations of any actual actions by me by the Ketchum police.
“In two letters Mr. Strother attempted to use the threat of criminal complaints for leverage in a civil case, which is a violation of Idaho code of ethics and will be reported to the Idaho Bar,” Briscoe stated.
Briscoe further pointed out that he was not an actual litigant in the lawsuit.
“I assigned all ownership, title and right to debts of Leslie Little to Blaine County Collectors in February 2014,” he stated. “I was not part of the lawsuit or settlement.”