Mark IV drops defamation suit against Herbst

Mark IV Construction has dropped its defamation suit against First Selectman Timothy Herbst, according to documents filed with the state Superior Court Monday.

The company, represented by the New Haven law firm Jacobs & Rozich, had alleged that in his capacity as first selectman, Herbst had made defamatory comments about the company in various media outlets including the Trumbull Times.

Herbst has said continually that the lawsuit was politically motivated. The company's owner had been a campaign donor to Trumbull Democrats and had loaned the town money to produce the annual summer concerts.

"The withdrawal of this defamation action speaks for itself," Herbst said. "There was never any basis or merit to this cause of action. Instead, this action was merely an intimidation tactic. I also believe that it is no coincidence that the lawsuit was filed less than two months before the 2011 municipal election."

The defamation suit was just one legal issue between the town and the construction company. Currently the town is pursuing litigation against Mark IV, alleging shoddy work on the Jog Hill sewers that has resulted in leaks and cracked and sinking roads.

"My administration is committed to seeing this final sewer project completed in a timely manner and we have already begun an aggressive road repaving program in the North Nichols section of town to bring closure to this issue," Herbst said.