Defamation suit filed against pen-named Utah mayor

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A Utah mayor who wrote news stories under a false identify is being sued for defamation.

In court papers, Chris Hogan alleges an article by West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder falsely claimed he was accused of extortion and fired from UTOPIA, a fiber-optic network formed by 16 Utah cities.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City seeks a trial, compensation for lost wages and punitive damages.

Among the lawsuit's 14 defendants is Deseret Digital Media, which published Winder's stories under the alias Richard Burwash.

The company's CEO Clark Gilbert has said company officials "deeply regret" the mayor misrepresented himself.

Winder promoted his city and even quoted himself in stories he wrote.

Winder said on Thursday he disputes Hogan's claims and will defend the lawsuit.

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