The Supreme Court of Louisiana on Friday declined to hear an appeal lodged by the attorneys for the Knight family, owners of Knight Oil Tools. The decision lets stand a Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruling earlier this year in favor of Judy Lyons, a former designer who worked for several years for the Knights and who was arrested, charged and later acquitted on dozens of counts of theft by fraud.
Lyons sued members of the Knight family, seeking unspecified damages for defamation and malicious prosecution. In a nutshell according to Lyons suit, which both the Third Circuit and state supreme court have now let stand, Lyons was hired by matriarch Ann Knight and her daughter, Kelly Knight, to do interior design work in the Knights’ primary homes and other residences, but in an attempt to conceal the work from company president Mark Knight, the Knight women had Lyons alter invoices to make it appear as though the work was being done for the company and not for private residences. When Mark Knight discovered the subterfuge, the family filed a criminal complaint against Lyons, which led to her arrest.
According to SCOLA’s website, Chief Justice Catherine Kimball would have granted the writ and heard the case while Associate Justice Jeanette Theriot Knoll recused herself from the case. The five other justices ruled to decline the case.
Read more on the case in the May 25, 2011 ABiz story, “Dark Knights.”