Squirrel Poop’s legal problem

My attorney attempted to confirm receipt of this letter yesterday, however Squirrel Poop appears to be playing games. We’ve extended the deadline to reply until 12:00 noon today. However, Squirrel Poop appears to be taking legal advice from his campaign consultant — never a good idea.

Chris Ingram

January 20, 2011

Via Electronic Mail
michael@michaelfortampa.com                                                             
Mr. Michael Ciftci
Post Office Box 21751
Tampa, FL 33622

Re:         Cease and Desist & Request for Retraction

Dear Mr. Ciftci:

This law firm represents Mr. Chris Ingram and 411 Communications (collectively “Ingram”).  This letter constitutes a demand for an immediate retraction in writing of false statements that were allegedly made by you against Ingram. 

Your statement made on January 18, 2011, for publication, to The Daily Loaf, a blog by reporter Mr. Mitch Perry of Creative Loafing, was false and libelous concerning Ingram. You stated:

“I am truly baffled by Chris Ingraham’s bizarre rant. He seemed to agree with our positive vision for Tampa when he pitched me his political consulting services. I told him we were going in a different direction, which I assume elicited this troubling outburst. Mr. Ingraham’s shakedown tactics didn’t work with the Marco Rubio campaign and they won’t work with me.”

At the time you made the statement you knew it was false or libelous, and Creative Loafing published those statements. This conduct is actionable under Florida law. Your follow up statement published on your Twitter account on January 19, 2011, stated:

“We didn’t hire Chris Ingraham – so he attacks me in a bizarre rant? His shakedown tactics didn’t work with Marco Rubio campaign either.”

Your false statements, of which we have noted some of the more patent, malicious, and slanderous of the statements made by you, have caused and continue to cause harm to Ingram. Your statements, which have previously been brought to your attention, infer that Ingram is a person with whom commercial relations are undesirable and imputes conduct to him incompatible with the proper exercise of his lawful business.

Your defamatory statements may also rise to the level of tortious interference with business relationships enjoyed by Ingram. As such, they are actionable and expose you to the imposition of compensatory as well as the possibility of punitive damages.

Ingram would prefer to reach an amicable accommodation, rather than commence a lawsuit against you.  However, the absence of a sincere effort on your part to resolve this matter, Ingram will be left with but few alternatives. 

Therefore, Ingram hereby demands that you send the following written retraction to Mr. Adam Smith, St. Pete Times, Mr. William March, Tampa Tribune, Mr. Mitch Perry, Creative Loafing, and Terry Dolan, General Manager at Bay News 9.

“In my haste to respond to Chris Ingram’s Irreverent View column about my candidacy, I misspoke to the media about Chris Ingram. To set the record straight, Mr. Ingram and I have never discussed him working on my behalf or for my campaign for Tampa City Council District 3.”

Your failure to correct your erroneous and false statements and their repetition after notice of their falsehood constitutes further publication of libel. It also confirms your malicious intent. If you do not delete your Twitter post immediately, cease and desist from tortious interference and making false and malicious comments about Ingram and 411 Communications, and issue the retraction by 5:00 p.m. TODAY, Ingram will file a Complaint against you within five business days and will seek all remedies allowed pursuant to applicable law, including but not limited to an injunction against you, money damages, interest, and the recovery of attorneys’ fees and Court costs.

PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.

Sincerely,

C. Todd Marks, Esquire

CTM/jb
Enclosures

6 thoughts on “Squirrel Poop’s legal problem”

  1. Awesome. (To back up a little, I find it IMMENSELY funny that Shifty tries to compare himself to Marco Rubio…Shifty insinuates in his posting that Chris “shook down” Rubio and is doing the same to him. As if Shifty is a peer of Marco Rubio or something. Hilarious. What is this guy smokin’???)

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  2. I’m not sure what is worse, receiving legal advice from Schorsch or political advice. Ask the mayoral candidate in St.Pete last year how both worked out for him.

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  3. Regardless, he would be smart to get legal advice…..or even the same advice I give my kids: Even though painful or potentially embarrassing, if you make a mistake it’s always better in the long run to just admit such and say I’m sorry

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  4. Yes, I would definitely take a look at what has happened to any and everyone who has crossed me over the last three years. I would take a very close look.

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  5. Even statements posted “anonymously” can subject the writer to liability under tort law, if they are false and can be traced back to the individual who “published” [posted] them. The wheels of justice grind slow in court though, so don’t expect a speedy resolution. If he’s smart, he’d simply issue a nuanced apology. Remember, truth is an absolute defense, and different standards may apply for public persons (i.e. celebrities & politicians) and private individuals. Malice must often be proven in cases that involve a public personality. In other words, was the alleged defamatory writing published with the knowledge that it was false?

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