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Ex-staffer's suit claims Klayman slandered him

A former campaign staffer has sued U.S. Senate candidate Larry Klayman, claiming the Miami attorney slandered him by accusing him of stealing campaign documents and badmouthing him to political colleagues.

Klayman denies the allegations by political consultant Paul Rolf Jensen and says he's being targeted by former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith, a rival in the Florida Republican primary.

"He's working with Sen. Smith. He's advising Sen. Smith," Klayman said. "It's a political stunt and it's political dirty tricks."

Smith spokesman Peter Schweitzer acknowledged that Smith and Jensen are friends but said the consultant is not on the campaign staff.

"Sen. Smith doesn't play political dirty tricks," Schweitzer said.

Klayman hired Jensen as a full-time employee in August but Jensen quit in October over a pay dispute. In his lawsuit, Jensen alleges that Klayman told other campaign consultants Jensen "had committed a crime" and needed to "hire a criminal lawyer."

_ Wire reports