Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mayor sics lawyer on gossip website

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Mayor Kasim Reed
Mayor Kasim Reed, frustrated over scandalous rumors on a gossip website that he says aren't true, dispatched a high-powered Atlanta lawyer to get the comments taken down. But the website, Lipstick Alley, has balked at the request.

In an Oct. 8 letter to Phoenix NAP (PDF), which hosted Lipstick Alley's servers at the time, McKenna Long & Aldridge partner — and well-connected lawyer with GOP ties — Randy Evans demanded the company remove anonymous posts on the website's message board alleging he's had relationships with multiple women, some of whom work in his administration.

"The statements, representations, and false light published by Lipstick Alley are categorically false," Evans wrote. "There is no factual basis for them. Instead the facts establish that they are not true."

Failure to comply would leave Evans no other choice but to recommend the mayor pursue legal action, he said.

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney with Washington, D.C.-based public-interest law firm Public Citizen, told Evans (PDF) that his demands reflect a "woeful ignorance of the facts and law."

Levy says that Phoenix NAP temporarily pulled Lipstick Alley offline but reinstated it on the condition that the mayor and the website could reach a compromise. Rather than do that, Levy said, Lipstick Alley, found another hosting service. He added that the website was "not willing to conduct any discussions with you in response to your meritless demand" and said the comments would be left online "in perpetuity."

According to the Fulton Daily Report's ATLAWblog, Evans on Friday said he plans to pursue the website and other hosting services until the rumors are removed. He tells the Report's Greg Land:

“It’s been like whack-a-mole,” he said. “We went after one and they took them down, now another one has, and we’re going after a third.” Reed, he said, “has just had enough of these false allegations; he’s committed to this idea [that] he’s not going to take it anymore. It’s all false, everybody agrees it’s completely untrue, and we want to get to the original source. We’ll find out who it is, and that person will be held accountable.”

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