- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A retired police detective in Oregon has filed a defamation lawsuit against the daughter of a man with dementia who accused the detective of exploiting her father by marrying him.

Susan Campbell Calzaretta filed the lawsuit Thursday, contending Diane Miller and her lawyer, Tara Lawrence, falsely accused her of committing financial elder abuse and damaged her reputation.

Miller sued Calzaretta last year in a dispute over inheritance. She said the detective who specialized in investigating elder abuse knew the signs of dementia and married Miller’s father - Portland lawyer Victor Calzaretta - to get his estate.

Lawrence declined to discuss the case when contacted Friday, saying the judicial process will address it. Calzaretta’s lawyer, Erik Glatte, did not return a message seeking comment.

The defamation lawsuit seeks $500,000 from Miller and Lawrence. It blames them for false accusations contained in news stories.

“Plaintiff has been brought into public contempt and has been diminished in the esteem, respect and goodwill in which she had previously been held in the community,” the lawsuit states.

Miller’s lawsuit seeks $4 million and is scheduled to go to trial in June. The La Center, Washington, woman said she was in line to inherit her father’s estate until Susan Campbell married him after a brief courtship.

Miller’s lawsuit said Victor Calzaretta started showing signs of dementia in 2008, and it worsened the following year. He had been friends with Campbell - 13 years his junior - but the two went years without seeing each other until Campbell invited Calzaretta to attend a funeral in February 2010.

They started dating and got married two months later, the lawsuit states. Calzaretta changed his will in 2011 to make his new wife the executor and sole beneficiary. He died three years later.

Susan Campbell Calzaretta worked for years in Medford investigating abuse cases involving the elderly. In 2007, the state Department of Human Services honored her as one of 11 “Everyday Heroes” in the fight against the crime.

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