Update March 6th, 2008: As of this afternoon, the libel suit is settled and a joint statement for the press will be released in due time.
Arbitration Hearings Cancelled
With just 96 hours left until the arbitration hearings were to begin, Eric Massa conceded that the campaign was responsible for upholding my contract, which was the original reason for this arbitration. Eric Massa also withdrew with prejudice (meaning he can not try to bring them up again) the counterclaims that he had made against me in the arbitration.
While I am pleased about being vindicated against Eric Massa’s efforts not to pay my wages and finally getting paid the money I was owed, it came at a high cost of six months and close to $50K in legal bills, whereas Eric Massa was able to use some of his campaign funds (see , ) and free legal staff/services to support him through this process. Meanwhile, my political professional life was damaged beyond repair due to his false and empty allegations.
While this is a significant battle to have won, the war for my good name is not over yet. Unfortunately, Eric Massa did not retract or concede the false and inflammatory accusations he made about me that hit the press during the 2006 campaign. The impact of these unfounded accusations still reverberate in my personal and professional life long after the campaign ended.
Ongoing Lawsuit against Eric Massa
I filed the libel complaint (on Nov 2nd, 2006) against Eric Massa to get back my good name by either winning the lawsuit in open court or getting Eric to publicly concede his false accusations (see this post) as part of a settlement.
While I could have filed the lawsuit before that date (because of his libelous emails), due to the nature of these allegations and the major story of the day regarding Rep. Mark Foley, I knew that any action of this nature could seriously impact the success Democrats were having in taking back the House. By waiting until after the story broke in the national news, I was demonstrating my resolve not to hurt the Democrats in reclaiming my reputation, regardless of whether he won the seat or lost.
Instead of settling, Eric Massa filed a motion in NY State Supreme Court in New York City to dismiss these charges on a technicality. Eric Massa’s lawyers, Dealy and Silberstein, strongly believed the dismissal would succeed. I disagreed.
I could go on with more detail, but if you want to know more, contact Eric Massa at email@example.com for his response to this ongoing lawsuit. I am moving forward with my life, and this post is simply a way to update the people who have been asking as to where things stand at present.
Thank you again for your support, and I look forward to updating you with more positive news soon.
For completion of the case, please see these three posts:
- Massa v. Dickert: Statement regarding Libel Filing
- Massa v. Dickert: Massa Cancels Employment Arbitration Hearings and Concedes
- Massa v. Dickert: Libel Case Settled and Joint Statement