Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dave Bicking, Michelle Gross File Defamation Lawsuit Against CRA Chair Donald Bellfield...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

It would be fair to say Dave Bicking, a member of the CRA (for now) doesn't get along very well with Donald Bellfield, who is the chair of the CRA. This conflict has hit the mainstream media, and this blog commented on it, as well.

Now Bicking is suing Bellfield, and Bellfield's girlfriend, for (what else?) defamation. Anybody who reads the Johnny Northside blog and can't name the plaintiff lawyer for this case needs to...

...sit in the corner with a white, pointy paper hat. The same goes for anybody who can't name the exact amount of damages demanded. Really, can't we get any new plots in these North Minneapolis political soap operas? The dramatic formula is getting a bit repetitive, and I fear viewers will begin to tune out, to maybe start following SOUTH Minneapolis soap operas.

Anyway, here is a link to the lawsuit, click here.

In a nutshell: somebody spray painted graffiti on Bellfield's house, Bellfield's girlfriend fired off an email and aired her suspicions about who she THOUGHT might be responsible (but never said, oh, she knew FOR SURE or anything like that) and next thing you know, Bicking and Gross filed a defamation suit.

Amazing. I mean, I was expecting some kind of new CRA lawsuit to fall like a dirty left shoe in an upstairs apartment on the other side of a paper thin ceiling...but I'm surprised the issue in this lawsuit is so petty and so oddly contradictory about whether free speech should be protected or, in fact, suppressed at every turn.

In the meantime, pro-Bicking folks are on the Minneapolis issues list, asking Bicking supporters to email their city council people, mayor, etc. to keep Bicking on the CRA.

But, really, ask yourself why Chief Dolan doesn't follow through on CRA recommendations for police officer discipline. Gee, would it have something to do with the board being stacked with individuals who are not exactly (what is the word?) moderate? Or reasonable? Or representative of the mainstream?

I wouldn't bet money on Bicking staying and, somehow, I think the vote might break down the same way as the vote to reappoint Chief Dolan.


MeganG. said...

I'd like "Predictable" for the daily double...

What is Jill Clark and $50,000?

Anonymous said...

My first question would be if the girlfriend were the one that actually shot-off the email, why is the CRA chair being sued?

Is he responsible for his girlfriends' actions? It doesn't appear to be proven (in the "lawsuit" anyway), the the CRA chair had anything to do with it. I don't see anything in the suit that demonstrates Bellfield had knowledge of the email that was sent.

I can sign anyone's name at the bottom of an email that I choose to. Does that mean they sent it?

I don't see Gross or Bicking mentioned anywhere in the email. And it goes on to say that they have their suspicions but they are not sure. How exactly did this harm the "reputation" of these two individuals?


Former President JW Bush (so okay, sue me)

Anonymous said...

Damm! Chief Dolan is the CHIEF of HOTCOPS!

Anonymous said...

What is Jill Clark for 90,000? Chuck.

T Jaramillo

Geektopia said...

So, can we assume that on their E-Z SUE form, the "Damages" section comes already pre-filled?

In Crayon?

On the back of a Denny's placemat?

MeganG. said...

To former Prez JW Bush - good question/point about the girlfriend firing off an email - but see, that's the M.O. for this crowd and their go-to attorney.

Back in 2005, when Booker Hodges and Mayor (of crazytown) Al Flowers used the city cable access channel to espouse hate speech and death threats at CM Don Samuels - I was one of the several people that went straight to the board of directors of MTN and I cited the handbook and rules of MTN to show that Hodges and Mayor of Crazytown were out of order and their show deserved to be suspended for the violation.

Well, since I had a volunteer role in the campaign for re-election of Don Samuels - the go-to attorney argued that my email, which I signed with my title of "resident of minneapolis" - was sent as a political manuever to silence Mayor Crazy and his sidekick Hodges (whose wife happened to be the council aide of the candidate that lost to Don Samuels!) - the go-to attorney sued and a trial resulted in a favorable ruling that indeed the freedom of speech of Mayor Crazy had been violated. He even won damages in the amount of $3. Three dollars. That is what his freedom of speech was worth.

So, my point is, that is the M.O. for this group of citizens of Crazytown and their go-to lawyer.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

The email at the end of the lawsuit document only lists "anti-police 'anarchists'" as those suspected of the graffiti. I'm confused. Where is the connection between that statement and the plaintiffs?

Patrick said...

This lawsuit doesn't look very promising. I hope that they have made other provisions to provide for themselves.

Johnny Northside! said...

Oh, the lawsuit is VERY promising for the lawyers who will get paid good money to defend against it.

Anonymous said...

But Megaan, Clark got over $50,00 in legal fees in that law suit. Someone should be taking this attorney to task for cloging up the legal system and wasting thousands of tax payers dollars with frivalous lawsuits.

Will the legal fees in this latest one be paid by the Mpls tax payers since theactions occured as a result of the parties participation on a city board?

Johnny Northside! said...

A great question. Does anybody know?

Legal Scout said...

Dave Bicking (with the help of his lawyer Jill Clark) is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to over turn the judgment against him. Arguments will be on July 13, 2011 (see below).

JULY 13, 2011

MJC #200

9:30 David Bicking, et al. (Appellants)
A11-223 -vs.-
Donald Bellfield, et al. (Respondents)