The Tennessee Republican Party said Thursday it has settled a lawsuit filed against the party by former state GOP chief of staff Mark Winslow.
Chairman Chris Devaney said, “The Tennessee Republican Party has reached an agreement with Mark Winslow to resolve the issues raised in his lawsuit against the party. Upon my election as chairman in 2009 I decided to hire a staff of my own choosing. Because Mark had an employment agreement through the end of the year we negotiated a severance agreement that included a confidentiality clause. Documents from his confidential personnel file later became public and were used in political advertising.
"Mark contends that these documents were misused and neither I nor the Party would have or did authorize their release. Mark has been a loyal Republican and a valued member of the State Executive Committee. I am pleased we have reached an amicable resolution of this unfortunate matter and look forward to Mark’s continuing good work for the party and our principles. I encourage all of my fellow Republicans to join me in putting this episode behind us.”
The lawsuit accused the state GOP of leaking the confidential information in an attempt to hinder the campaign of former chairwoman Robin Smith’s for the 3rd District seat in Congress in 2010.
The complaint also charged that Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and advisor Chip Saltsman defamed Mr. Winslow in a TV ad that accused Ms. Smith of paying out “lavish bonuses” to Mr. Winslow and other staff members.
Mr. Fleischmann gained a narrow victory over Ms. Smith in the election, and he went on to win a second term in 2012.