I wish I were making this up…
Long story short, I tried to help Salon Blush apply for a grant from SugarHouse Casino that other businesses get. Neil Brecher said it was illegal, a deliberate fraud on the FNA, and that my conduct could jeopardize the organization’s 501(c)(3) status. He also accused me of misappropriating funds from the FNA.
It turns out that Neil Brecher’s allegations were completely false. When he refused to retract these statements, it eventually lead to litigation, which I bent over backwards trying to avoid.
Now it seems that no one is that disputing that Neil’s statements were false. Instead, Neil’s lawyers raised the First Amendment as a defense, arguing that:
[T]his matter deals with an issue of public concern. We have allegations that an individual used his position as the president of a civic association, comprised of members of a discrete community, to obtain a significant monetary grant for a private client without the association’s full notice. Even more significant, this individual happens to be an attorney, who is bound by certain ethical obligations. If he truly engaged in such conduct, then not only does the Fishtown community need to know and be able to openly discuss his conduct, but also, on a broader scale, the legal community ought to know about this conduct and should be able to openly debate the ethical implications of it.
Because his lawyers said people ought to be debating this matter on a broader scale, I did what they said to and wrote it about the entire incident here:
Now Neil Brecher is upset that I published his statements. He is so upset that he is asking a court to silence my blog:
Brecher argues that my blog should be silenced because:
Upon information and belief, Rushie has been speaking about the case with members of the Fishtown community as well as the Philadelphia community at large.
What Neil did not mention is that his own attorney, Leo Mulvihill, has openly discussed this matter on Facebook:
Meaning, Neil is arguing that he is allowed to make untrue statements because they are protected by the First Amendment and everyone should be talking about this matter and his own lawyer is allowed to comment about this case on Facebook. But I’m not allowed to say anything.
This is my response to his motion: