A Fourth Ward Davenport Alderman is suing a Fifth Ward Davenport Alderman for defamation and demands a jury trial, according to records filed Tuesday in Scott County Court.

Fourth Ward Ald. Robert “Robbie” Ortiz Jr. has filed suit through attorney Meenakshi Brandt of Bush, Motto, Creen, Koury & Halligan, PLC, in a civil suit against Fifth Ward Ald. Tim Kelly, documents show.


Both were elected as Davenport aldermen in 2021 and have served on the council together since then.

Alderman Robby Ortiz (OurQuadCities.com)

At an Aug. 9, 2023, Davenport City Council meeting both men spoke with other members of the council informally after the City Council meeting, documents say.

In September 2023, Kelly began making allegations that an unnamed alderperson made racist comments toward Kelly, documents say. “On or about September 27, 2023, (Kelly) alleged that (Ortiz) made racist statements towards (Kelly,)” documents allege.

Ortiz says Kelly “defamed” him by accusing him of “immorality and racist conduct,” saying Kelly “uttered words publicly to multiple media outlets,” regarding Ortiz.

Davenport Alderman Tim Kelly (OurQuadCities.com)

“In these allegations, (Kelly) alleged … Ortiz directed racial slurs” toward him, Ortiz claims in the suit. Kelly’s allegations “are false and have a libelous effect.”

“These false utterances from (Kelly) have affected Petitioner, Alderman Ortiz, in his business, profession, and office. Respondent’s allegations constitute slander per se.”

Ortiz asks for judgement in his favor against Kelly “in an amount which would reasonably compensate” Ortiz “for all allowable damages, fees and costs, and for all other appropriate relief permitted by law.”

Ortiz makes a formal demand for a trial by jury “on all counts eligible therefore.”