BARNSTABLE – State Representative Brian Mannal (D-Barnstable) stood out on the Barnstable District Court lawn with his family, a friend and a colleague at the state house to announced that he has filed a complaint against a political action committee for defaming him through mailings.
The section of law Mannal filed the complaint under is “No person shall make or publish, or cause to be made or published, any false statement in relation to any candidate for nomination or election to public office, which is designed or tends to aid or to injure or defeat such candidate.”
The complaint, which Mannal said he filed before the press conference, is against Melissa Lucas, chairwoman and treasurer of the Jobs First Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee.
Mannal has previously commented this fall about mailers from a different political action committee, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.
But the Jobs First Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee is named on a flier that went out on October 16 that alleged that Mannal filed legislation to “help” sex offenders for the purpose of “helping himself.”
Mannal is also an attorney. During the press conference he said the legislation he filed concerned allowing indigent people who had to appear before the Sex Offender Registry Board to have public counsel.
Mannal said that although he is an attorney, he has never handled a criminal case involving a sex offender and that he is not certified to handle Sex Offender Registry Board cases, so therefore, he could not benefit in any way from the legislation.
If convicted under the statute, the penalty for violating the section of law that Mannal filed under is a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months.