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September 18, 2014
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Earley sues Wayne Independent; O’Day says Earley did nothing wrong


The lawsuit also says that the newspaper at one point encouraged its readers to come forward with stories of “questionable dealings” with Earley but never published any.
It further says that the district attorney of Wayne County advised the borough that there was no basis for criminal charges in any of the incidents noted in the paper.

The lawsuit’s exposition ends with this statement: “Such course of conduct by The Wayne Independent was done with the knowledge that the publication and the impressions which they were fairly calculated to produce were false or were published without regard to whether the same was true or false.”

The four counts

The lawsuit listed four counts:
First, defamation of character—that the paper “falsely gave impressions that are defamatory and libelous by nature when taken as a whole;”
Second, putting Earley in a “false light” with the public and doing so “either with knowledge of or in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matters and the false light in which it placed the plaintiff;”
Third, that the conduct of TWI was “outrageous, intentional, malicious, willful and in blatant disregard for the rights of the plaintiff.”

The fourth count was aimed at the GateHouse Company, owner of TWI, “for not properly hiring and supervising its employees in order that they do not purposely and knowingly target individuals such as the plaintiff and defame him and place him in a false light before the public.”

GateHouse is a newspaper publisher, with headquarters in Perinton, NY, that publishes 97 dailies in 20 states and 198 weeklies.

The lawsuit claims that each of the four counts requires a redress of $50,000.

When contacted, the publisher of the paper, Michelle Hessling, said, “It’s the policy of our company not to comment when there is pending litigation.”