Former Police Chief Nick Milsap contended that Holliman told him to shoot the dogs, but one day before the trial, he said it was a Fremont County emergency communications dispatcher who gave the order.
"Terry's been run through the gauntlet," Holliman's attorney, David Herzog, said.
After being found not guilty to misappropriating more than $3,500 of city funds, having animal abuse charges dropped and deciding not to run for mayor in November's election, Holliman's father died Nov. 19.
"Not running for re-election was devastating," said Herzog. "And now this ... it only aggravates what he's been feeling."
The Omaha attorney confirmed that MacDonald's lawyer, Mark W. Thomas of Des Moines, had filed his answer to the suit, but Herzog had not yet had a chance to read it.
Though the suit is alleges that MacDonald subjected Holliman to "public embarrassment by uttering, saying, publishing and disseminating false accusations, claims and assertions," the suit also contends the sheriff was part of "a civil conspiracy."
"I won't name all those involved yet," said Herzog. "It needs be fleshed out with the lawyers. We need to see how far it went."
On the advice of his attorney, MacDonald will not comment on the suit.