CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) — A former district attorney who’s the son of TV’s Judge Judy got a public apology Tuesday from a sheriff as part of the settlement of a defamation lawsuit.
Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith posted the apology to ex-county district attorney Adam Levy on the sheriff’s department’s website. He apologized for two March 2013 press releases that included statements saying Levy had interfered with the investigation of child rape accusations made against a friend of his. Levy had recused himself from the case; his friend later was acquitted.
“Today, I retract these releases unequivocally and apologize for the statements contained therein,” Smith said. “These statements were untrue and I should not have made them.”
The settlement of the case includes a payment to Levy of $150,000.
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Levy, who lost his re-election bid in 2015, said Smith’s statements “created a cascade and barrage of false, misleading media accounts that clearly affected” the race.
“We can never go back, we will never go back and change what Don Smith has done,” he said. “But clearly his actions had an impact on the voters of this county. I can only hope by his acknowledgement and admissions and confession today, that they will see clear on seeking their own justice in the future.”
Levy’s mother, Judy Sheindlin, the star of “Judge Judy,” said he “won his hard fought battle for his integrity, his honesty, his reputation, his honor. Most of all he won his battle for the truth.”
The case involved Alexandru Hossu, a Romanian immigrant who was Levy’s former personal trainer. Hossu was accused of raping the daughter of his former girlfriend.