A Dallas Municipal Court employee told MoreMonmouthMusings this morning that there has never been a warrant issued for the arrest of Sean DiSomma, the Red Bank Republican council candidate, who was defamed by the Monmouth County Democrats, The Asbury Park Press and NJ.com yesterday.
NJ.com updated their headline to include the word “accused” this morning, but has not lifted a finger to verify the accusation, nor have they referenced MMM’s story that disproved the allegation that a warrant for DiSomma’s arrest is outstanding or had ever been issued. MMM has previously been cited by NJ.com and The Star Ledger on several stories. They can’t honestly claim that they don’t consider this little blog a reliable news outlet.
The Asbury Park Press doubled down on their defamation of DiSomma in a story updated this morning: (Screenshot from the app.com story)
Such a confirmation would be impossible, because there was never a warrant.
Like NJ.com and The Star Ledger, APP has previously cited and linked MMM on numerous occasion. They can not credibly claim that they doubt the reliability of this site.
Trisha, an employee of the Dallas Municipal Court, said in a telephone interview that there was never a warrant issued for DiSomma. “There was a citation, but no warrant.” Asked if the citation had been paid, Trisha said yes. Trisha would not give her last name. She said she is the only employee by that name in the court.
DiSomma provided MMM documentation that he paid his fines last night. He said he is searching his bank records to verify that the fines were paid in 2011, and will request a refund if he finds the records.
Freehold Attorney Stuart J Moskovitz said that the Monmouth Democrats, The Asbury Park Press and NJ.com could be liable for actionable defamation if they don’t issue retractions with the same level of exposure as the initial inaccurate reports.
“By falsely claiming that a warrant was issued for the arrest of the candidate, the perpetrators of this fraud are not protected by the ‘public figure’ defense,” Moskovitz said, “Anyone in the chain of publicizing this falsehood can be held liable for both actual damages, and punitive damages. Attempting to win election by accusing someone falsely of running afoul of the law might well result in significant punitive damages against the Monmouth Democrats, Vin Gopal and the ‘news’ organizations that published this nonsense with reckless disregard for the truth of the allegations.”
Regarding the Asbury Park’s statement posted above (screenshot), Moskovitz said, “this particular statement is problematic if they were falsely reporting a confirmation of the Democrat’s allegations”.
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal is standing by his allegations. He told MMM via text that he is in possession of a recording that disputes the findings of this story. Gopal said he would provide MMM with the recording this afternoon. We will publish an update if and when he does.