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Gibbons narrows lawsuit

Several defendants have been dropped from a federal lawsuit filed by Dale Moroni Gibbons, but the suit itself against the Salt Lake County sheriff's department and prosecutors is still on.

U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell on Tuesday dismissed several defendants from the suit because they and Gibbons had reached an out-of-court agreement.

"In 2001, the Club Drug Workgroup published a report and in that report, without using his name, they referenced Dale," said Darwin Overson, Gibbons' attorney. "We sued them to take that report down off the Web and issue a correction, which the state defendants agreed to do and we settled with them."

Overson said the situation was particularly distressing because this publication appeared before Gibbons went to trial in 3rd District Court on third-degree felony charges of methamphetamine possession and dealing in materials harmful to a minor.

A jury acquitted Gibbons of both charges in June.

Overson said no monetary damages were sought against these defendants.

Gibbons was chief financial officer for Zions Bancorp. but resigned from the $2.1 million-per-year job after he was arrested.

Overson said Gibbons wants to pursue the rest of the lawsuit, which lists 51 instances in which Gibbons believes he was defamed by 21 police officers and prosecutors.

"We're in the process of getting it moved along," Overson said. "We anticipate having a discovery schedule within the next several weeks."

Gibbons alleges that prosecutors and police lied about him or made malicious statements about him in press conferences, public statements and remarks to reporters to hold him up to public ridicule and ruin his reputation.

He contends the entire episode cost him $6 million.

Among those named in the suit are Salt Lake County sheriff's detective Doug Lambert, Sheriff's Sgt. Darren Carr and Salt Lake County prosecutors Sirena Wissler and Kent Morgan.

In dismissing certain defendants from the suit Tuesday, Cassell specifically excluded Lambert, and he remains a defendant in the civil action.

Dropped from the lawsuit were the Club Drug Workgroup and its chairman, Scott W. Reed; the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and its executive director, Edward McConkie; the Utah Substance Abuse and Anti-Violence Coordinating Council and its director, Susan Burke; and Gov. Mike Leavitt.

Overson said Gibbons has built a new life in Nevada, but the criminal charges and trial have taken a toll. Gibbons only recently found a new full-time job in the banking industry.