Updated May 18, 2022 - 10:39 am
A mysterious website raising defamatory allegations against Las Vegas City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman has been shut down under orders from a judge.
The website, concouncilwoman.com, surfaced last September amid a long-simmering rift between Seaman and her once-best friend, council colleague Michele Fiore.
The owner of the website, which called Seaman a “liar” with a history of filing “con-artist lawsuits,” was identified as Robert Jones, but that name is believed to be fake.
Seaman filed a lawsuit to remove the site in October, and last week District Judge Tara Clark Newberry issued an order to take it down. The unknown defendant was never located and could not even be served with a copy of the complaint.
With no opposition from the defendant, Newberry said in her ruling that Seaman had “established the necessary elements of her claims for defamation.”
The judge’s ruling comes as Seaman is running for re-election in a crowded June 14 primary.
“The website included misrepresentations and mischaracterizations intended to deceive the public,” Seaman said in a statement. “In political campaigns, candidates are required to disclose who is paying for an attack ad.
“But, with these kind of phony websites, the culprit will provide a fake name, address, and phone number, using untraceable burner credit cards, making it virtually impossible for victims of these crimes to locate the offender. All this, while these cowards hide behind their computer keyboards and ruin lives.”
Seaman and Fiore, both Republicans, had a falling out in June 2020 and have been feuding since then.
On Jan. 11, 2021, Seaman and Fiore got into an altercation at City Hall. Seaman claims Fiore broke her finger, grabbed her hair and threw her to the floor in a hallway behind the City Council chambers. The Review-Journal reported that the city had apparently deleted video of the scuffle between Seaman and Fiore, despite efforts by the newspaper to obtain the footage through public records requests.
A couple of weeks later, the FBI raided Fiore’s Las Vegas home in an investigation into her campaign and political action committee finances. Fiore announced her candidacy for governor in October in the middle of the investigation.
Months later in March, Fiore abruptly ended her campaign for governor and instead filed to run for state treasurer, a race that attracts less public and media scrutiny. There has been little information about the FBI investigation since October.
Contact Jeff German at email@example.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter. German is a member of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing.