Charles Herbster will skip Friday’s deposition in countersuit filed by State Senator Julie Slama

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The affidavit was part of a countersuit filed by a state senator

LINCOLN, Neb. (NEBRASKA EXAMINER) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster says he will not attend his scheduled, sworn deposition Friday in the sexual battery countersuit filed by State Senator Julie Slama.

Herbster, a Falls City businessman, sued Slama on April 22 for defamation, claiming that Slama’s claims that Herbster groped her sexually were untrue and part of a conspiracy to damage his candidacy.

Slama, 25, responded by filing a countersuit on April 25 alleging sexual assault, and Slama’s legal team has scheduled a sworn deposition from Herbster for May 6.

In a court filing on Thursday, Herbster’s attorney Theodore Boecker asked for the deposition to be postponed, saying it was customary for plaintiffs and defendants to agree on a time to provide such testimony. under oath before trial. Additionally, Boecker said, the candidate has scheduled campaign appearances in western Nebraska on Friday.

One of Slama’s attorneys, Dave Lopez, argued Thursday that Herbster and his legal team have been aware of the deposition for 11 days and have not responded until now. He said Herbster, not Slama, initiated those lawsuits by filing a lawsuit against her “at the height of a political campaign.”

Nebraska court rules allow for financial penalties against someone who is properly notified of a deposition and does not show up, Lopez said.

Boecker argued in the court filing that Lopez had a conflict of interest as Slama’s attorney because he was previously employed to represent Herbster.

Lopez said neither he nor his law firm, Husch Blackwell, had ever represented Herbster.

Also on Thursday, Herbster filed a motion to quash or dismiss Slama’s countersuit, saying he didn’t do what Slama alleged.

The sworn deposition is important, some legal observers have said, because it would require Herbster to respond to the allegations under oath. Herbster, in his court filing on Thursday, said such sworn testimony would allow him to pursue his claims that he was the victim of a political conspiracy.

The judge has scheduled a June 3 hearing in the case.

Nebraska Examiner political reporter Aaron Sanderford contributed to this report.

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