Ex-lawmaker, lawyer pay $20,000 to The Detroit News

Todd Courser

Former Michigan lawmaker Todd Courser, right, reacts after Judge Hugh Clark Jr. dismisses some charges and allows others to proceed on June 14, 2016, in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit News says a former state lawmaker and his lawyer agreed to pay $20,000 to settle a lawsuit against the newspaper.

Ex-Rep. Todd Courser had filed a defamation lawsuit against the News for a 2015 report about efforts to cover up an affair with another lawmaker. The case was dismissed by a judge. But Courser and attorney Matthew DePerno were also ordered to pay about $80,000 in sanctions.

The $20,000 settlement this week ended the dispute just before the Michigan Court of Appeals had planned to hear arguments.

News publisher and editor Gary Miles says the settlement shows that “frivolous lawsuits” against news organizations “will not be taken lightly.”

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