Judge rejects motion to move defamation lawsuit against Ensey - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Judge rejects motion to move defamation lawsuit against Ensey

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A former Yakima City Councilman lost the election, but wins the first battle in a lawsuit against the man who won.

The judge rejects a motion to move a defamation lawsuit against newly elected councilman Rick Ensey and his wife to another county.

Judge Robert Hackett, Jr. says he has presided over higher profile cases in Yakima County in the past, and compared to those cases, he says this lawsuit is "small potatoes." 

Former Yakima City Councilman Ron Bonlender is suing for defamation after Ensey admitted that his wife, Diane, was behind an anonymous blog, which claimed Bonlender had been arrested for several DUI's.

Bonlender was in court for the hearing late this afternoon, but not Ensey.

The judge listened to arguments for about 20-minutes and ruled that enough time has passed since the initial media coverage to guarantee an impartial jury pool.

"He goes around wanting to represent the people," says Bonlender, referring to Ensey, "And then he wants to be judged someone else."

Ensey - when reached by phone - declined to comment.

No trial date has been set in this case and it could be another year before it gets started.