EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CN) – The St. Louis Post-Dispatch defamed a private investigator and tarnished his company’s reputation, the man claims in Federal Court. Alva Busch and Metro Investigations say the Post-Dispatch printed several articles by reporter Nicholas Pistor that it intended as an exposé of the Illinois Capital Litigation Trust Fund.
The second article, of Sept. 28, 2008, contained several false statements about the plaintiffs’ role in the trust, Busch says. It accused the plaintiffs of fraudulent billing – including billing the state for 49 hours in one day, according to the complaint. A second article, of Feb. 10, 2009, repeated the false charges, the complaint states.
Busch claims the Post-Dispatch and Pistor knew the allegations were false before the articles were printed. He says the articles destroyed his reputation, and reduced his annual earnings from $300,000 to $20,000 a year.
The plaintiffs seek more than $250,000 in damages. Lee Enterprises, corporate parent of the Post-Dispatch, is the lead defendants.
The plaintiffs are represented by John Baker with Baker, Baker & Krajewski of Springfield, Ill.