Wednesday, November 27, 2013

GOP Consultant Peter Schorsch Threatens Me With Libel Lawsuit

I continue to get threatened by Peter Schorsch and his attorney Phillips. Schorsch sent this email to me.

I am going to share with you ... the cover letter which clearly shows the proposed settlement came from Pinson's attorney not mine.

With this, you will be informed that what you have said to date is clearly wrong and, in our opinion, defamatory and libelous.

Therefore, you should delete any post or Tweet that is counter to the fact that Pinson initiated contact or you will be subject to a legal proceeding.

Michael, on a personal level, you have backed the wrong horse here. I truly suggest you look at your work and clean it up before Monday because that's when the legal action gets underway.

Please govern yourself accordingly.

Michael Pinson and several other Florida political officials told the  Tampa Bay Times that Schorsch told then he would stop writing negative posts and deleting negative posts if they would pay a financial fee. TBT Reported that Schorsch came to Pinson with the contract.

The reinvigorated criminal inquiry into Schorsch stems from accusations made by Pinson, a Republican activist who over the last three years Schorsch has frequently criticized and mocked online. Pinson supplied a contract to the Times that Schorsch had presented him in May 2012. In it, Schorsch requested that Pinson pay him $3,200 in order for the blogger to delete all references to Pinson from his websites —and to write nothing more about him for the following three years.

The contract called for a $1,000 bonus if anything Schorsch wrote about Pinson didn't appear in the first 30 online search results.

The contract is notarized and signed by Schorsch. The Times met with the notary, who confirmed its legitimacy.

There was this gem from the TBT article.

More than a half-dozen people contacted by the Times declined to comment on Schorsch, esveral saying they feared retribution.

A source backed to me the TBT account of that Schorsch approached Pinson. I have posted the contract. You can see that Schorsch signed the contract and Pinson did not. One has to ask if this was Pinson's idea then why didn't he sign the contract.

I have asked Schorsch and his attorney Paul Phillips about a possible deposition that reveals if they were off-the-record sources of a negative WTSP story against Pinson. I also asked if a deposition relating the the WTSP story existed. The result was Phillips threatening me in a poorly written email. I am confused. If no depostion took place with the Florida Bar Association then why is Phillips threatening me with a lawsuit.  I tried to confirm with Phillips if a document I saw was a deposition and get an on-the-record comment.

It should be noted that Schorsch and Phillips did not offer a comment to me if they were off-the-record sources in the highly negative WTSP story about the Michael Pinson Foundation. Schorsch and Phillips would not say on-the-record if they knew Chris Kapper. No second source backed Kapper's allegation in the WTSP story. Kapper has worked with Phillips on activities relating to the Republican Party of Hillsborough County Board.

I will fact-check the document Schorsch sent me. I am not going to take Schorsch's word at face value. Schorsch has previously pleaded no contest to grand theft and was fined by the Florida Elections Commission for $64,000.

Update: the post was corrected to reflect that Schorsch pleaded no contest to grand theft. My Blogger app didn't upload the corrected post last night.

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