Judge throws out Greene's suit against newspapers

Posted: August 03, 2014

A judge on Friday tossed out a libel suit filed by Carl R. Greene, former head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, against The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.

In 2010, Greene was fired from his job as executive director after the authority's board of commissioners discovered that he had secretly settled multiple sexual harassment complaints against him.

A year later, Greene filed suit in Common Pleas Court against Philadelphia Media Network Inc., then the owner of the newspapers and their website. He alleged that the newspapers conducted "abusive muckraking attacks" that ruined his reputation as a housing authority administrator.

Judge Lisa M. Rau on Friday granted a motion of summary judgment in favor of the newspapers.

Inquirer editor William K. Marimow said, "The Inquirer's stories about Carl Greene and his stewardship of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, in my opinion, epitomize the kind of public service journalism a news organization should be doing - providing citizens with insight into the leadership of an important public agency and the expenditure of public funds. Judge Rau's decision reinforces the importance of a free press in a democratic society."

Greene alleged that the newspapers falsely reported that he was the subject of criminal investigations. He said the stories caused him emotional distress and left him unemployable.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the company submitted documents late last year - including federal grand jury subpoenas, confidential PHA correspondence and reports, and excerpts from depositions - that indicated Greene was being scrutinized by law enforcement authorities.


bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983 @RobertMoran215

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