Lawsuit: Dave Gordon ‘Harmed and Defamed Innocent Victim’
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Oneida County Court is asking that Oneida County Executive candidate Dave Gordon be forced to pay monetary damages after publicly defaming a private citizen on several occasions.
"The Defendant's defamatory statements were made with extreme negligence, and the Defendant did little-to-no due diligence before making said false and defamatory statements," against private citizen and former Oneida County employee, Caitin McCann, according to the lawsuit filed by Louis T. Brindisi.
On several occasions, Gordon charged that McCann had an affair with Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente which resulted in the birth of a child. He also charged that McCann was given a pay raise, as a result, and left the area for several months in order to keep the birth and the affair secret. Gordon charged that the fact that McCann was an employee of the County and she was given a raise, was part of a muckiest larger coverup and reached the level of corruption. Both Picente and McCann have denied the affair, and the raise, which was part of a proposed raise for several county employees, never come to fruition for McCann.
"We have brought this lawsuit not only for Caitlin but on behalf of all libel and slander victims who have been attacked by persons like David Gordon that are running for political office, with no factual or legal basis for making false statements against their victims, and with the sole intent of advancing their own political goals," said attorney Louis T. Brindisi.
The lawsuit, which totals more than 60 pages, details press conferences, press releases, media interviews and reports, and online posts that made dozens of defamatory attacks on McCann that, according to the brief, are unprovable and false. According to the lawsuit, because McCann is a private citizen she does not have to prove damages; however, it details several instances where McCann suffered emotional and medical complications because of the public accusations and humiliation. The lawsuit also charges the damage caused by Gordon's false statements about McCann which, according to the brief, have damaged her opportunity of career advancement and her ability to increase her income currently and in the future. Brindisi's brief also charges that Gordon's accusations were 'made for the sole purpose of damaging the Plaintiff's (McCann's) reputation and to further the Defendant's (Gordon's) own political goals.'
The suit also included the transcript of a press conference Gordon held on February 11th, at which time he first made accusations of an affair between Picente and an unmarried employee, along with accusations that WIBX's Bill Keeler also had an affair which resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. Keeler has clued that claim baseless and vindictive. The accusation against Keeler came 3 days after the radio host broke a 'Gordon Domestic Violence' story and released the details of the arrest that occurred in 2017, in which Gordon was arrested after a woman charged that he injured her, held her down against her will and destroyed her cellphone, according to a police report. The case was eventually dropped when the victim had a change of heart and refused to cooperate with the district attorney's office, at which time the case was dropped and ultimately sealed. Gordon charged that Keeler received the arrest report from the Oneida County District Attorney's office, which he says would be illegal. Keeler has since maintained that the report did not come from the DA's office, that instead, he received the report from someone who obtained and possessed it when it was public record, long before the case was sealed.
The McCann lawsuit referenced in detail, a number of occasions when Gordon made false statements about her. Those false accusations, according to the suit, include the affair, two Oneida County Sheriff's Deputies who allegedly first reported the said affair, and that McCann either gave the child up for adoption or sent the child off to live with relatives. The suit also charges that Gordon has absolutely no proof to support the allegations.
Brindisi is asking that a jury determine the amount of damages McCann should receive from Gordon, and at the conclusion of the legal proceeding, Gordon should be responsible for all of McCann's legal fees.
"Personal attacks on private individuals should not be part of any political campaign," said Brindisi. " We believe campaigns should be about the issues which are important to constituents and that candidates should not engage in falsehoods about innocent and private individuals. Dave Gordon sank to a new low in his campaign for the Oneida County Executive position and has hurt Caitlin McCann in the process," he said.
Gordon has less than a month to respond to the claim. WIBX reached out to Gordon for comment and is awaiting a response.
Read the complete report here.