UPDATE: Stabosz responds to Friedman’s defamation-of-character lawsuit against him

 

Friedman (left) and Stabosz

EDITOR’S NOTE: La Porte County Auditor Tim Stabosz issued this written response Feb. 21 to the news that La Porte County Attorney Shaw Friedman is suing him for defamation of character. To read WNLP’s original story about the lawsuit, click on this link: Friedman is suing Stabosz for defamation of character | What’s New LaPorte? 

Mr. Friedman’s lawsuit against me is frivolous, without foundation, and without merit. Worse, it is intended to harass, threaten, and intimidate a public official, in carrying out his lawful duties to protect the financial and operational integrity of La Porte County, and hold Mr. Friedman accountable for the way he exerts undue influence upon county officials.
Over many years of observing Mr. Friedman’s behavior, but especially in my time as county auditor, I have seen how Friedman has maintained an unscrupulous and unethical relationship with the county, viewing it as a debased “extension” of his law firm. One only need watch the county commission meetings to see how Friedman, in an unseemly fashion, seeks to run the county himself and control county commissioners. He also engages in a pattern of seeking to insert his tentacles into the county and its department heads. It is wrong and it needs to stop. Good people are being not just hurt, but terrorized, corrosively undermining the moral dignity of the county.
It is truly ironic that Mr. Friedman is suing me for, among other things, describing him as a “walking talking conflict of interest” when he has nakedly represented that he is just that, by staying on and attending the most recent county commission meeting this past Wednesday, when any self-respecting jurist would recuse himself from serving as the commission attorney. This, at a time in which not only has he sued the county auditor, but he has also threatened to sue County Commissioner Joe Haney for defamation, which inappropriately places a county commissioner under immediate emotional duress. It is indeed unscrupulous and unethical for an attorney to think it is acceptable to remain representing the county in any capacity when he has told a county commissioner, who is one of his BOSSES, that he will sue him if that county commissioner voices his opinions about Mr. Friedman’s behavior and comportment. Such behavior is not only insubordinate; it is hostile, contemptuous and morally outrageous.
Shaw Friedman knows, as well as anyone, that he is a public figure, and the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1964, in New York Times vs. Sullivan, that public figures are subject to a higher level of scrutiny, opinion-making and judgments from the public about the quality, caliber and nature of their behavior, activity and involvements, without anyone fearing the threat of harassment from defamation claims. Indeed, the State of Indiana possesses what is referred to as a SLAPP statute to protect the public’s right to robustly comment and opine on the behavior of public officials and not be intimidated into silence by these kind of frivolous lawsuits. The statute allows for a quick dismissal of such lawsuits and the ability for the defense to have its legal fees paid for by the plaintiff. This is reserved for cases which are intended to chill anyone from commenting on a public figure’s actions by creating broad-based fear in the public at large: the fear of being sued. I believe this is exactly Mr. Friedman’s underhanded goal in the filing of this suit.
I am in the final steps of selecting an attorney to represent me, and I look forward to proving the falsity of allegations of defamation by proving the substantive truth of everything that I have said about Mr. Friedman. I would encourage anyone who wants to see the nature of my judgments and opinions about Mr. Friedman’s comportment to view my ‘Tim Stabosz for La Porte County Auditor” Facebook page, where a considerable amount of the material Mr. Friedman falsely alleges as defamatory is located.
I will never be silenced when it comes to protecting the citizens of La Porte County, from individuals or forces which seek to exploit and misuse their positions of power. Shaw Friedman has evidenced himself to be one such person. I look forward to the coming trial where I will vindicate, with witnesses and evidence, the truth of what I have been asserting, and how Shaw Friedman’s accusing me of lying is, in fact, a malicious effort to illegitimately damage my credibility.
La Porte County Auditor Timothy Stabosz

9 Responses to “UPDATE: Stabosz responds to Friedman’s defamation-of-character lawsuit against him”

  1. Bill Proud so

    Feb 22. 2021

    Your side show has already gotten old. You attack anyone that does not think the way you do. The citizens of Laporte had enough of you when they rejected you when you ran for mayor. The taxpayers should not have to pay for your big mouth. While you’re looking for a attorney look for someone to help you with anger management.

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  2. John

    Feb 22. 2021

    May we please hear from Mr. Friedman now? We’d like to hear both sides in fairness.

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  3. Calvin

    Feb 22. 2021

    Oh good, a cat fight! I feel sorry for the judge and jury who will have to endure this pettiness.

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  4. CONCERNED

    Feb 22. 2021

    I have an idea, let get rid of all of them and start over!! This constant bickering is stupid. These are grown adults acting like a bunch of toddlers who don’t get their way. Get them all out of there and start with people who are 100% behind the people they represent. The buddy system has got to go!!!!!! John, Mr. Friedman’s side was disclosed in his accusation in his law suit. These guys need some diapers!!!!

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  5. John

    Feb 22. 2021

    You’re right, Concerned. I had forgotten about that, so thanks for the reminder. Two little boys doing a girls’ catfight. Should be very interesting.

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  6. Bill Proud

    Feb 22. 2021

    I think things will settle down when Stabosz has to cough up some cash to settle this law suit. He just doesn’t work well with others.His time in city gov proves that.

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  7. Nothingbutthetruth!

    Feb 23. 2021

    Hang in there Tim! There are a lot of people that support you calling Shaw out as you see it. There should be some kind of law that limits the time a law firm can represent the county anyway. His behind has been in other people lanes way to long as it is. You go Tim!!!

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  8. Left LaPorte

    Feb 23. 2021

    Here’s a thought. Instead of WWJD, how about what would WWBG&JF do? For those not living back then, BG = Bill Gannon and JF = Joe Friday from the 70’s cop series Dragnet! If politicians could just use this concept….”Just the facts Maam or Sir”, we might have more civil discussions.🤔😆

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  9. Derald Borton

    Feb 23. 2021

    How does it look when the La Porte County Auditor acts like this and what does new business think when they come looking for places in or county?

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