Monday, November 13, 2017

Monument woman sues city for defamation over Drake Power Plant

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:22 PM

click to enlarge Drake Power Plant south of downtown is at the center of a lawsuit. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Drake Power Plant south of downtown is at the center of a lawsuit.
Leslie Weise, a Monument resident whose son attends school in Colorado Springs, filed a federal lawsuit today, Nov. 13, against the city of Colorado Springs and others accusing them of going after her for contempt of court after she gave an interview with the daily newspaper about an air quality study.

The issue involves the downtown Drake Power Plant, which Weise contends has violated air quality regulations.

She's been cross-wise with Colorado Springs Utilities over that contention. The city claims the air quality report she's tried to obtain, and did obtain accidentally, is based on modeling rather than actual scientific data.

In any event, she claims the following in the lawsuit:
48. In conjunction with its filing of the “Cross Motion for Order to Show Cause,” which sought punitive sanctions against Ms. Weise, multiple Colorado Springs officials made numerous false and defamatory statements about Ms. Weise and her speech regarding the Air Quality Study to members of the public, including statements made to the Colorado Springs Gazette, to concerned citizens, and during public meetings. These false and defamatory statements were intentionally made with malice or, at the very least, made negligently. The statements were part of a campaign by Colorado Springs officials to publicly discredit Ms. Weise, and vilify her within the Colorado Springs community, in the hopes that the alarming results of the Air Quality Study Colorado Springs Utilities had commissioned using public funds could be swept under the rug.

49. In furtherance of these goals, Andres Pico, a member of the Colorado Springs City Council and former Colorado Springs Utilities Board Chair, stated intentionally and with malice, or at the very least negligently, in an email communication dated November 30, 2016, to a Colorado Springs resident and concerned citizen Nicole Rosa that Ms. Weise’s statements about the Air Quality Study that were reported in the Colorado Springs Gazette were “not true.”
Weise alleges she was defamed, among other things, and is seeking, according to the lawsuit, damages for emotional distress, loss of reputation, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other pain and suffering on all claims allowed by law in an amount to be determined at trial, as well as punitive damages and attorney fees.

Also named as defendants are the nine City Council members who served prior to the April election, a Utilities employee, Amy Trinidad, and City Attorney Wynetta Massey.

Here's the lawsuit.

We've asked Utilities for a comment and will circle back if and when we hear something. A spokesperson for City Council says members can't comment on a pending case.

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