Skip to comments.Larry Klayman sues Judicial Watch
Posted on 04/14/2006 9:50:07 PM PDT by peggybac
Known for his seemingly perpetual litigation against the Clintons, Larry Klayman is turning his sights on the group he founded, charging in a lawsuit that his successor has "hijacked" the government-watchdog Judicial Watch for personal gain.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, Klayman charges, "sent out false and misleading fundraising letters, misused donor money, disparaged Klayman with supporters and the media, and took other actions which increased the damage to Judicial Watch, the donors and Klayman."
Fitton issued a statement to WND stating Klayman's "ridiculous lawsuit is full of lies and distortions which Judicial Watch will address in court. "
He called it a "tactical maneuver designed to distract attention away from the fact that Klayman owes more than a quarter of a million dollars to Judicial Watch."
"This lawsuit is without merit and is an attempt to smear Judicial Watchs good name and the reputations of Judicial Watchs fine employees," Fitton said.
Klayman, who has set up a website to present his case, is asking for more than $3.5 million in compensation plus punitive damages.
Fitton took over the Washington, D.C.-based group when Klayman left in the fall of 2003 to run, unsuccessfully, for a U.S. Senate seat in Florida.
"In the two and one half years since I left, Fitton, who is not a lawyer, has taken over Judicial Watch for himself, never filling my position as chairman with a distinguished lawyer to lead the organization," Klayman said. "And Fitton disparaged and harmed my reputation in an attempt to make sure that I, and others who are loyal to me, could never return to lead Judicial Watch."
Lawsuits also have been filed against Fitton in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by a Judicial Watch donor, Louise Benson, and a former director of the group's Miami district office, Sandy Cobas, who also names Judicial Watch in her suit.
Klayman emphasizes Judicial Watch was founded in 1994 as a watchdog to fight for ethics in government. Believing government could not police itself, he says his vision was for the group to be a "true independent counsel" for the people.
Judicial Watch's litigation under Klayman included challenges to President and Mrs. Clinton's Legal Defense Fund, uncovering the "Chinagate" campaign finance scandal, the theft of nuclear codes at Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratories, political abuse of the Internal Revenue Service, charges of misconduct and cover-up at the FBI both before and after 9-11 and Vice President Cheney's Energy Task Force.
Klayman criticizes Fitton for allowing Robert G. Mills to remain as head of Judicial Watch's fund-raising department, asserting Mills defrauded donors.
Fitton knew Mills had a "shady fund-raising past and was in bed with Congressman Tom DeLay," Klayman contends.
The complaint says that one month after Klayman left Judicial Watch, the organization sent out a fund-raising letter claiming Klayman still was chairman and general counsel, causing confusion among donors. Contributions were sent to the group, the complaint says, by donors who believed Klayman was still there, "using their donations for proper purposes."
In addition, Klayman contends Fitton and Mills have defrauded donors funds given on the condition they be spent to purchase Judicial Watch's headquarters at 501 School Street, S.W., in Washington. Money designated for the sale, the complaint says, was mingled with operating funds.
Also, contends the complaint, in breech of Klayman's severance agreement, Fitton and other Judicial Watch employees told callers inquiring about Klayman that they could not discuss the reasons for his departure, leaving the erroneous impression he was forced to leave.
Fitton ordered Judicial Watch employees not to speak with Klayman, the complaint asserts, and shortly after Klayman announced his candidacy for the Senate, made a "frivolous demand," to prohibit him from ever mentioning he was founder of Judicial Watch and threatening legal action if he didn't comply.
Klayman also asserts Fitton lied about his past, "passing himself off as a college graduate of George Washington University when Klayman hired him years earlier, when in fact he had not graduated from the school and did not have even an undergraduate college degree."
In a separate suit filed in Miami circuit court, the former director of Judicial Watch's Southern Regional Office, Cobas, alleges Fitton and others took part in disparaging her Cuban and Hispanic heritage, defamed her and took other actions to force her out of Judicial Watch because she was loyal to Klayman.
Klayman said he regrets having "to take strong legal action to preserve this national treasure for all Americans."
"Not even the current leadership of my former organization is above the law," he said. "It's time to set things straight for the future and return Judicial Watch to the millions of Americans who support it. In this renewed era of government scandal and secrecy, the country needs an honest, forceful and effective Judicial Watch."
Judicial Watch took millions and millions of dollars for the Peter Paul case. They didn't spend it on Peter's case.
(reaches for popcorn)
There's no one left to sue, so he sues the guy he put in charge of the outfit he no longer owns.
What a mental case!
This is rich...
LOL!! Wonder if Hannity will have old Lar on his show any time soon?
During or after Klayman?
Hey - where's FIJC??? ;-)
I've heard of robbing Peter to pay Paul, but this is really confounding.
You had to know this was coming.
After suing his own mother, who else was left?
Thanks we were just discussing this. I finished reading the World Net Daily Article at their site minutes ago.
Please post it.
This is the same article.
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