"This is nothing personal, this is business," Portwood said. "I felt that the (River Crest) site evaluations were not correct, and I was going out to get them reevaluated, and they wouldn't reevaluate them."
Correll said his impression was "that Mr. Portwood went beyond accusing (Metcalf) of not doing his job." He accused Metcalf of taking a bribe, said Correll.
Alleged statements cited
The suit claims Portwood "maliciously" and in the presence of a newspaper reporter accused Metcalf of criminal activity, failing to do his job and showing favoritism to a third party. Those alleged statements were made by Portwood to injure Metcalf's reputation in the workplace as an enforcement officer, and succeeded in degrading Metcalf's personal standing, reputation and credit in his community, says the document.
As a direct result of those accusations being published, at least in part, in a local newspaper, Metcalf has "suffered great mental pain, distress of mind, humiliation and anguish," the suit alleges.
Soon after questions about the subdivision's sewage permits were reported in February by The Advocate, Metcalf was absent from his position at the health department for at least two weeks. He has since returned to work, and River Crest developers Bill and Barbara Blankenship are being prosecuted for the alleged noncompliance with sewage system permits.
Metcalf is seeking $4,000 in compensatory damages for loss of income or property, and punitive damages of $100,000, in compensation for pain and mental anguish.
Correll said his client "has been very distressed about the allegations, And at this point, it undermines his authority. So there has to be some kind of compensation take place so he feels that, number one, his job is no longer in jeopardy," secondly, that citizens realize the severity of accusing public officials of criminal acts, and thirdly, to reassert Metcalf's authority and good name in the community.
Portwood not worried about lawsuit
Portwood said he has also received a letter from Miller, asking that he not to contact her in person or come to the health department. If he needs to speak with her, Portwood was asked to contact her lawyer, he said.
He is now in the process of hiring an attorney.
"I'm not worried about the lawsuit, cause I had enough witnesses, enough proof, that he's not doing his job," Portwood said. "It's all got to do with my property value is decreasing, and I can't raise my windows in the summer," because of the sewage smell.
"And it doesn't' look like I'm going to be able to this summer either, cause they haven't done anything."