Settlement reached in email lawsuit

2013-08-08T20:20:00Z 2013-08-08T20:37:19Z Settlement reached in email lawsuitStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 08, 2013 8:20 pm  • 

LAPORTE COUNTY | A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit over hate spewed from a counterfeit email address that appeared to belong to the clerk treasurer in Long Beach.

Any damages awarded from the lawsuit that alleged slander and defamation of character were kept confidential as part of the agreement.

However, an apology as part of the settlement was offered by Neil Heywood.

Heywood admitted sending the emails from an address he constructed to make it seem as if the hateful messages were sent from Bill de Funiak.

De Funiak defeated Heywood's wife, Anne Heywood, the former clerk-treasurer in the upscale lakefront community in the 2011 election.

"I got a copy of his apology," said de Funiak, who revealed the apology under the terms of the settlement was sent to each one of the individuals who received the counterfeit e-mail.

In the lawsuit filed in LaPorte Circuit Court, de Funiak described the language as "crude and vulgar" in emails sent last year to many Long Beach residents and faculty members at Purdue North Central near Westville.

The messages were about a fellow Long Beach resident and included allegations the resident had committed illegal acts in the past.

De Funiak said would not specify why the e-mails were sent to PNC faculty members but did say some of the recipients have connections with the Westville area campus.

The e-mails not only contained de Funiak's name but were from billdefuniak@yahoo.com.

De Funiak alleged the counterfeit e-mail and message were geared to portray him in a negative light and to purposely injure his livelihood and reputation.

He feels satisfied that his good standing in the business world community has been restored.

"Eventually, it worked out," said de Funiak, who would not disclose any further details of the settlement due to the confidentiality agreement.

Heywood and his attorney, Steven Bush of Valparaiso, could not be reached for comment.

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