HUNTINGTON – A lawsuit has been filed against Attorney General Candidate Doug Reynolds and The Herald-Dispatch after the plaintiff alleges the newspaper ran an advertisement he paid for with the wrong name and refused to publish letters to Voice of the People.

Ed Dawson, the editor and publisher; and Kathy Taylor, an account executive, were also named as defendants in the suit.

Jason Stephens claims the defendants purposely put the wrong name on an advertisement he had paid for, according to a complaint filed Sept. 15 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Stephens claims the newspaper also denied his three attempts to publish an article in Voice of the People, even though he alleges he followed the newspapers own rules and regulations.

Reynolds allegedly told Stephens that religion and politics did not mix and that Rocky Smith, who was a candidate for Wayne County Sheriff, did not need to hold office because he was a pastor, according to the suit.

Stephens claims Reynolds was using political influence to get officials’ letters published.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendants’ actions were ethics violations, discrimination based on religion and civil rights violations, according to the suit.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit regarding an editorial in the Herald-Dispatch,” said campaign manager Patrick Hensley. “Earlier this year, the Herald-Dispatch printed an editorial that Mr. Stephens disagreed with, and felt it shouldn’t have been printed. So, without any legal representation, he filed suit.”

Reynolds serves as the managing partner in HD Media, the holding company of The Herald-Dispatch and Wayne County News.

“Doug is not the editor, and he does not have any involvement in what editorial get printed,” Hensley said. “This frivolous, handwritten lawsuit is being processed through the proper channels and being handled by the Herald-Dispatch.”

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 16-C-595

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