Suit alleges libel and slander by Gorson, Noerr, Linder and Miller
Former City Councilman Cliff Thompson has filed a suit against the City of Taft, City Manager Bob Gorson and three city councilmen, alleging they libeled and slandered him.
Thompson's suit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges Gorson, then-Mayor Dave Noerr and councilmen Randy Miller and Paul Linder on several occasions in the spring of 2010, both in statements and a written memo.
Linder and Miller said they were unaware of the suit Wednesday afternoon. Gorson said he had heard of it but had not seen a copy and the city had not yet been served with it.
They didn't want to comment.
Noerr, too had not heard of the suit but did comment to the Midway Driller when told about it.
“I don't care what Cliff Thompson or what ever lawyer he dredged up are saying, but I know every statement I made and every thing I did in the course of my duties as a city councilman was done with the utmost respect for an in accordance with the law,” Noerr said. “Everything I said was done with respect to his rights to due process, unlike the unfounded statement and unfounded allegations he made.”
The suit, which is seven pages long, was filed June 20 in Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield.
Thompson's suit claims Gorson slandered the former councilman by alleging that Thompson lied to the Kern County Grand jury and committed perjury while testifying before the grand jury.
The suit alleges Gorson made the statements at a May 4, 2010 meeting of the Taft City Council.
It also accuses the defendants of circulating a memo with lies that damaged Thompson's reputation.
Thompson served 10 years on the council, much of it involved in controversy. He was recalled during his first term in 2001 during the controversy of the city's contract with Gretchen Belli, then reelected after the grand jury indicted Belli and criticized the city.
He was elected to two more terms, then trailed badly in last November's election and then abruptly resigned.