A Butte man is suing the state’s Gambling Control Division and others claiming his rights were violated in an investigation into illegal gambling at a local bar.
James Robert Quilici contends the Montana Department of Justice’s gambling division and others defamed him and violated his state constitutional rights in a settlement involving sports gaming at the Butte Depot, where he was employed. The eight-page complaint was filed Tuesday in Butte district court.
Quilici is seeking monetary damages on six alleged violations, demanding up to $750,000 on each count.
The lawsuit names gambling control administrator Richard Ask and assistant attorney general Cregg Coughlin as defendants.
The complaint stems from a criminal investigation by the state involving illegal sports pull tab gaming at the Butte Depot in the summer of 2010. Daniel Hanley was charged with a misdemeanor in connection with the case and was given a deferred sentence in a settlement agreement that was reached in August 2012.
Under the settlement agreement, Hanley and Quilici were not allowed access to the Butte Depot and couldn’t be employed by the bar. The lawsuit notes that Quilici had never been charged with any crime related to that case. Quilici, who is being represented by Butte attorney Rick Anderson, also had no involvement with the settlement agreement.
The lawsuit alleges the state libeled and slandered Quilici and damaged his reputation. The gambling control division also is accused of interfering with his constitutional rights by denying him access or employment at the Butte Depot.
Ask told The Montana Standard Wednesday afternoon that he was aware of the lawsuit, but couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
The matter is set to be heard before District Judge Brad Newman.
John Grant Emeigh may be reached via email at email@example.com or phone at 496-5511.