Photo Credit: Blake Aued/file
Last week, Flagpole reported that mayoral candidate Richie Knight’s business, HW Creative Marketing, is in disarray and had stiffed employees on paychecks. That story was based in part on a Facebook post by a former HW employee and Knight’s former campaign manager, Loran Posey, along with court records and multiple interviews with several former employees at the company, all of whose stories corroborated each other.
Knight responded to the Facebook post by doing something that’s almost unheard of for a politician: He sued Posey for libel in Clarke County Superior Court Mar. 21. (Flagpole is not involved in the suit in any way, and neither Knight nor his lawyers have disputed the article since publication.) A judge issued a temporary restraining order against Posey on Mar. 22 and ordered him to remove the post, according to the Red & Black.
Specifically, Knight takes issue with two of Posey’s statements: that Knight said the Jamaican-born Mokah Jasmine Johnson is not qualified to lead the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement because she is “not even African American,” and that HW “lost every single one of its full-time employees.” Knight is seeking a retraction from Posey, damages and a restraining order prohibiting him from speaking publicly about HW.
Equally interesting are Posey’s claims that the lawsuit does not dispute: That Knight “personally threatened” Posey, and that employees’ paychecks bounced, “some received substantially less than what they were owed, and others never received paychecks.” (The statements regarding paychecks were corroborated by other former employees.)