A Newcastle eye surgeon who was allegedly targeted for murder by his business partner is now suing the man, claiming he plans to fund his legal defense with proceeds from their business.

A Newcastle eye surgeon who was allegedly targeted for murder by his business partner is now suing the man, claiming he plans to fund his legal defense with proceeds from their business.

Dr. Joseph King alleges in a legal claim that Dr. Michael Mockovak plans to pay for his defense with funds from their business, Clearly Lasik.

King is seeking to have Mockovak blocked from withdrawing any funds, from entering any Clearly Lasik facility, and from selling any corporate assets, according to the claim.

Since his arrest Nov. 12, Mockovak has withdrawn $100,000 from a business bank account, the claim alleges.

“The effect of this withdrawal is that Dr. Mockovak’s intended victim, Dr. King, is paying for half of Dr. Mockovak’s defense,” the claim says.

Mockovak has been charged with two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. Mockovak had been held at the King County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail, but he was released from custody Monday evening, according to the jail registry.

King’s lawyers are seeking an injunction to keep Mockovak from draining business funds. King is seeking at least $8 million in damages, the court filing said.

King believes that Mockovak is on the verge of selling property and other assets to pay for his legal fight, which would make it impossible for King to collect damages, the court claim said.

King could not be reached for comment Monday. His legal claim was filed in King County Superior Court on Nov. 23.

Mockovak, 51, is accused of asking an employee to help him kill King and another man, according to charging papers. Prosecutors say that Mockovak was angry with King for trying to split the company and thought King was taking advantage of him. Charging papers say Mockovak also wanted former employee Brad Klock dead because Klock is suing both him and King for wrongful termination.

The employee who Mockovak allegedly solicited contacted the FBI and worked as an informant for authorities, court papers said.

Clearly Lasik, with clinics in Washington, Oregon and Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, reported earnings of $17 million in 2007. The figure dipped to $10 million in 2008 “due to the weak economy,” charging papers said.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com