A civil trial in a multi-million dollar libel lawsuit filed by the wife of former Sheriff Gary Penrod against a High Desert newspaper publisher and has been postponed until August.
Lawyer John David Rowell, who represents Penrod’s wife Nancy K. Bohl, appeared for a hearing via telephone Thursday in San Bernardino Superior Court and requested a continuance, according to court records. The trial that was set to begin Monday was re-scheduled for Aug. 9 with a trial readiness hearing set for Aug. 5.
Rowell indicated health issues at the hearing held before Judge Frank Gafkowski, court records state.
Bohl filed a libel suit against Valley Wide Newspapers, a collection of newspapers owned by Raymond Pryke that includes the Hesperia Resorter, in June 2000.
In various articles, the papers accused Bohl, a psychotherapist and owner of The Counseling Team International, of using her relationship with Penrod to win sheriff’s department counseling contracts and leaking deputies’ confidential psychiatric information to the sheriff.
Bohl has denied the allegations while Pryke, in an earlier statement, has called the newspaper’s articles “factually accurate.”
A judge ruled in 2005 that the articles impugned the integrity of Bohl and The Counseling Team and ordered Pryke to pay $3 million. An appeal in 2007 overturned the decision.
Filed under: Censorship, Civil Liberties, Free Speech, Information, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex, Privacy, San Bernardino County, SB Sheriff Tagged: | Frank Gafkowski, Gary Penrod, Hesperia Resorter, John David Rowell, Nancy K. Bohl, Raymond Pryke, The Counseling Team International, Valley Wide Newspapers