Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Embarrassment For Right Wing Coming? Kenneth Gladney Files Civil Suit

According to the Post-Dispatch, despite the fact that it only took a jury 40 minutes to reach a Not Guilty verdict in the misdemeanor trial of two SEIU employees, the right wing's favorite alleged victim has decided to file a civil suit against the two employees as well as the President of SEIU:
Kenneth Gladney filed the suit against Service Employees International Union members Elston McCowan of St. Louis and Perry Molens of De Soto , as well as SEIU president Mary Kay Henry and local president Tom Balanoff...

He said McCowan and Molens attacked him without provocation after the meeting. The suit alleges the union "ordered, encouraged, and arranged McCowan and Molens to harass, abuse and beat those individuals who held political views."
Gladney's attorney Matthew Hearn sounds like a piece of work:
He "absolutely" believes that union officials brought in McCowan and Molens to beat Gladney, he said. "That tends to be the way that they operate," he said.
Of course, the fact that Gladney is trying to get money out of the deal and that this is being used as an opportunity to attack SEIU doesn't come as much as a surprise to anyone who remembers when Gladney's spokesperson/employer/lawyer/self-proclaimed witness David Brown allegedly told an employee that this would be his "gravy train." The only shocking thing is that they didn't include President Obama and the ACLU in their suit.

My guess is that they're hoping that SEIU decides it's not worth the lawyers' fees and settles out of court. Of course, this would be a huge mistake for SEIU, since any settlement would be used by the right-wing as evidence for their "union thug" conspiracy theories, even if Gladney personally signed a non-disparagement clause. In my opinion, as long as they need to hire lawyers anyway, they should consider counter-suing. I know Elston has been looking into filing suit to cover the medical bills for his shoulder surgery, which he says was caused by Gladney attacking him.

When I first saw this news item, I was annoyed, but now I'm starting to think that it's a good thing. Even the people who somehow still trust the claims of Breitbart and the local tea party have to have their limits. They might be able to be duped into thinking that one trial was the result of a government conspiracy, but could even they still claim that it was "fixed" if two separate juries reach the same conclusion? I'm sure some of them can, but others will eventually start jumping off the crazy train.


  1. Wow. The Post-Dispatch, with the headline "Man Beaten Outside Town Hall Forum in 2009 Files Civil Suit," appears to have re-tried and convicted the defendants in the criminal complaint.

    That's some mighty fine journamalism there, boys.

  2. I'd say the embarrassment is already here. It will be interesting to see how long the right stands by him through this one, since the situation is now *all* about financial gain.

  3. Well, those neck brace and wheelchair rentals ain't gonna pay for themselves, you know.

  4. Adam, there is a nice piece on 24th state blog where they put you on trial for this whole thing. It is a nice way try to dodge the fact that one jury has already ruled on this and now it looks like another might have to waste their time. Why can't the small government people quit using government to fight their crazy wars?