the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Hackensack NJ, Public Relations Executive Alan Marcus is suing former Bergen County Executive Democrat Dennis McNerney for $16 million alleging defamation, invasion of privacy and false light, punitive damages and computer related offenses
The lawsuit alleges that McNerney and his wife, Cathy, used 27 internet aliases to post 88 comments under articles that alleged that Marcus committed bribery, fraud, blackmail and exchanged county contracts for sex.
This is the same type of strategy used on this blog by certain elements of Ridgewood and was orchestrated against former Mayor Kieth Killion and Ken Gabbert and is currently being used to undermine our current mayor Susan Knudsen .
Attorneys for McNerney claim that the comments were fair comment on political issues of public importance. Marcus was a campaign manager, headed the transition team and was an unpaid advisor for Kathe Donovan, who succeeded McNerney as County Executive.
An attorney for McNerney says that during Donovan’s tenure, Marcus was investigated by federal prosecutors who subpoenaed documents concerning his public relations contract with Bergen Community College. Marcus withdrew from the gig when it received public criticism. Marcus was also the spokeman for Triple Five the latest developer for the American Dream Meadowlands project, formerly known as Xanadu.
Marcus’ attorney, Joseph B. Fiorenzo said that McNerney had admitted in an emailed document that his intent was to “scandalize … Alan Marcus.” and went on ,”Rarely has a defendant’s actual malice been set forth so plainly and clearly,”
The plan worked, Marcus’ attorney said, by abusing the anonymity of the internet McNerney “created an army of fictitious users from all walks of life; Republicans, Democrats, men, women and people from all of Bergen County to interact and conspire to level specious claims of criminality against Marcus and convince others of the truth of the allegations.”