Appeal Planned After Wendt Lawsuit Against Accuser Dismissed

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Former Fayetteville Superintendent Matthew Wendt will appeal a judge’s decision Monday to throw out his lawsuit against the woman who accused him of sexual harassment, his attorney said Tuesday.

Washington County Circuit Judge John Threet threw out Wendt’s lawsuit Monday against Shae Lynn Newman. Wendt said his lawsuit that Newman’s accusations led to the Fayetteville School Board firing, and that he has been unable to find work since then. Wendt later added claims of defamation for press releases Newman’s attorney sent out regarding the case.

The lawsuit sought $850,000 from Newman in damages.

Threet said in his decision that Wendt’s lawsuit did not contain valid legal claims.

Randy Coleman, attorney for Wendt, said his client plans to move forward to appeal the judge’s decision.

“We respect the court’s decision, but we feel it’s contrary to the law that applies to this situation,” Coleman said. “And we will present this issue.”

Coleman said it’s not the “end of the line” for the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was tossed during a hearing Monday on a motion to dismiss filed by Newman’s attorney.

In the response to Wendt’s lawsuit, Newman’s attorney, Susanne G. Clark, states that the lawsuit was a further example of Wendt’s attempts to “harass and intimidate the Defendant.”

“Wendt’s intention in filing his Complaint was to disclose the Defendant’s identity and make public assertions he apparently believes exonerate his repugnant and abusive conduct toward Ms. Newman,” Clark writes. “If Wendt wants someone to blame for being out of a job and ‘damaged in the marketplace,’ he should look in the mirror.”

Coleman said the appeal process could take 3-6 months.