Thursday, October 2, 2014

Alabama Republican, with ties to Riley Machine, files defamation lawsuit against Montgomery Web site

Bryan Taylor
An Alabama state senator has filed a lawsuit against a Montgomery-based news organization, claiming the Web site published "false and defamatory" information about him.

Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville) claims the Alabama Political Reporter (APR) knowingly published a false article that damaged his reputation and hurt his political career. Taylor is a long-time ally of former Governor Bob Riley, and APR has broken a number of stories about a Lee County grand-jury investigation that might "bring down the Riley machine" and one of its most prominent members, House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Taylor alleges that reports on the Web site cost him a position on the Alabama Ethics Commission, according to a report at Courthouse News Service (CSN). (See complaint at the end of this post.) From the CSN report:

In a complaint filed in the Etowah County (Ala.) Circuit Court, Bryan Taylor claims the blog and its editors, Bill and Susan Britt, published an article entitled "Shadowy Conduct of the Man Who Would Be Ethics Chief," with the "conscious and malicious objective" of scuttling his potential candidacy for director of the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Taylor, who is also a practicing attorney and is representing himself in the litigation, claims the article contains "a number of maliciously false and defamatory statements, assertions, or imputations," which the article bills as "facts" about his conduct in public service.

Not surprisingly, Taylor's complaint focuses on Bob Riley:

As detailed in his complaint, Taylor is most upset about the article's depiction of his service to former Ala. Gov. Bob Riley.

Among what Taylor describes as the "false assertions" included in the blog post are that his conduct while working as an aide to Riley was "clearly improper, unethical, and potentially criminal," because he "received additional compensation from the governor's re-election campaign committee" at the same time that he was on the government payroll.

Taylor further contends the post maligned him by insinuating that he refused to file a mandatory "Statement of Economic Interests" with the state's Ethics Commission over the course of the five years he worked for the governor, and by further claiming that he lied when he told a radio interviewer he practiced law before joining Riley's staff. The blog post claimed he wasn't admitted to the Alabama State bar until seven months after the governor hired him.

Taylor accuses APR of practicing sloppy journalism and being driven by money:

Taylor contends these statements are the result of the blog being overly influenced by political advertisers and that the blog routinely published "paid or otherwise compensated" political content "without labeling it as advertising, for the purpose of manipulating public opinion."

He claims the blog's editors "consciously or deliberately" failed to contact him prior to publishing the article, "and thus deprived Taylor of the opportunity to correct Defendants' falsehoods before they were published."

He also claims the editors deliberately avoided discovering or otherwise determining whether the statements contained in the article were true or false.

CSN reports that Taylor seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, plus injunctive relief and court costs.


ttowntruthseeker said...

Tell APR to welcome aboard the Riley attack machine tour!

legalschnauzer said...

My No. 1 question: Will Bill and Susan Britt wind up in jail?

I'm sort of joking about that, but considering my experience, it's not altogether a joke.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it must be desperation time for the Rileys.

Anonymous said...

This smells like history repeating itself, LS.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, it is, @1:28. I don't know if Taylor has a legit complaint or not. Like Rob Riley, he's having to do it himself (Riley had lawyers from his firm file it), which makes me think no other lawyer wanted it. Unlike Riley, Taylor does ask for a jury demand, which gives it some credibility.

Anonymous said...

Very curious timing for Mr. Taylor. Britts report on Riley machine under investigation and then, boom, here comes lawsuit from a Riley guy.

e.a.f. said...

so when does the Britt house hold get arrested for 5 months oh, and lets not forget the pepper spray?

these people must be getting desperate to continue to want to "shut down" journalists. Guess they don't know there is a First Amendment. I suppose they think the Second Amendment is the real first one. Of course given the state of the education system in the U.S.A. I can understand how some of them don't know how to count.

I've read the Britt paper and don't see anything in there that would justify a lawsuit, but then with some of these southerners its so hard to tell.

its amusing that while people in Hong Kong are protesting for free elections and democracy, here in the U.S.A. they are so busy trying to get rid of it. Oh, wait, some of those Americans trying to suppress democracy sound an awful lot like the Communist Party of China.

legalschnauzer said...

Interesting thoughts, eaf. The defamation lawsuit seems to have become the new weapon of choice for the Southern GOP.

Unknown said...

I unfortunately had experience with Mr. Taylor. I met with him while an aide to Riley. Taylor lied to me with the intent and purpose of making my concerns regarding the abuse of my Mother by certain Alabama Judges go away.

When I advised him that I was going to do a press release regarding my Mother's abuse he threatened me with jail; which was subsequently initiated by one of the corrupt judges I was complaining about.

All Hail The Riley Klan!

legalschnauzer said...


How would Bryan Taylor have the authority to threaten you with jail? That sounds like a pretty serious abuse of power to me. Also sounds like members of Riley Machine think they have law enforcement wrapped around their fingers--and based on my experience in ShelbyCo, I would say that's probably true. I guess Taylor thought he could snap his fingers and get a cop to arrest you?

Anonymous said...




Mumia’s Voice as a Key to Our Nation’s Survival

In a new world where African people were transported to labor, die, and disappear, we’ve needed unbound voices to reformulate our destiny – voices refusing to be ensnared by somebody else’s terms. We’ve developed the knack of finding such voices in the oddest, darkest, most unforeseen places. A chorus of them exists in Great Time, the seamless medium uniting past, present, and future. The voices are always there, if we discipline ourselves to pick them out. Listen to them, to ourselves, to the best we’ve managed to write and say and dance and paint and sing.

African-American culture, in spite of the weight, the assault it has endured, may contain a key to our nation’s survival, a key not found simply in the goal of material prosperity, but in the force of spirit, will, communal interdependence.

Because he tells the truth, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s voice can help us tear down walls – prison walls, the walls we hide behind to deny and refuse the burden of our history.

Excerpted with author’s permission from John Edgar Wideman‘s “Introduction”, in Mumia Abu-Jamal, Live from Death Row (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 1995).

Anonymous said...

Taking back our Republic:

(the part on p. 3 about lawyers' oaths is wrong
I have sworn to uphold the Constitutions of New York and the United States, and that is why I am telling the legal profession that they must undo the wrong that some of their brethren have done. Many lawyers remain in the dark about the actual legal situation.)

Anonymous said...

The seeds of government corruptions have been allowed to root deep; and there's not any John Deere plows that can uproot them, only those dedicated to honest government prevailing!
Ominous clouds gathering.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for an interesting comment, @8:14. Are the clouds ominous for the "good guys" who want to plow up corruption or for the "bad guys" who sew the seeds of corruption?

Something ominous always seems to be going on in Alabama. Someday, I hope it will prove ominous for the bad guys.

Anonymous said...

True, since paying attention there has always been something going on involving, IN YOUR FACE, once good neighbors, becoming corrupt politicians.
Alabamians having felt the stings of injustices, desiring their government be managed equaled that of former Governor George Houston; cleaned out the capitol and demanded honest administration;
such is the gathering within heavier larger ominous clouds, that their bolts of fire provides no escapes from public accountabilities.
ominous clouds

Anonymous said...

ominous clouds or clouds of nuclear raining on the jurisprudence usa?

last fatted calf here?

judicial doesn't get, seeing the streets filled with what the owners' of ominous clouds intend!

justice denied all entry into the temples and kingdom, there isn't but, the totalitarian corruption calling all the code of no ethics into play,

riley, strange, all are no different than schnauzers, and all the already left in the ominous back-waters usa,

which states to collapse first in the next derivatives' bust?

ah, gambling casinos are how the country kept afloat and thus, the state of alabama is juice to keep the ominous cloud raining for the politicians controlling the fraud of criminal insane derivative trading as though wealthy.

gonna rain nuclear onto US, real soon, jurisprudence has only human flesh to sell their masters of ominous clouds.

Anonymous said...

Is not Taylor’s claim a contradiction in terms? On one side he is claiming APR is a paid political advertisement without a proper label and then on the other side Taylor whines he was not contacted for a rebuttal; which causes him to label the APR as a news source.

Anonymous said...

France and Sweden have both told America to not tell their countries how to trade and exchange in the international market. That is two strikes against the USA.

Being the global bully to make the world use the worthless Federal Reserve "Note", the USA isn't finding but, a colder war than the cold war and the USA is the country in the colder war.

Number one most serious problem for the USA. The so-called "Petro-Dollar" has collapsed. Obama keeps telling Russia that there are sanctions and Russia keeps doing business with the oil giants Exxon Mobile for one example, and all the oil companies have to keep doing business or lose all their investments in the oil and gas deposits in Russia. We are seeing checkmate for the USA.

Palestine is being recognized as a state, and so Israel has to stop the Middle East War Theatre.

The Republicans are destined to be in control, again.

Times in America are going to be beyond interesting. The GOP was used to controlling a very big financial system, the Petro$. Now that is gone away.

We best be watching our skies and the clouds telling which way the wind is blowing alright!


Robby Scott Hill said...

Bill Britt has a Sunday morning show on WAAY 31 TV out of Huntsville. I highly recommend it. Word is getting out about how the Riley Administration really was. I would know, I worked in it and left so I didn't have to take part in it.

Anonymous said...

From the suit:

"clearly improper, unethical, and potentially criminal"

Errrr . . .that isn't anywhere close to libelous or defamatory. At least under generation upon generation of American legal precedent.

Note the use of the word "potentially" in front of criminal. That means that it isn't libelous or defamatory.

And "clearly unethical" is a statement of opinion of the author.

This "lawsuit" is silly on its face.

Indictments must be coming in Lee County.

Anonymous said...

Lee County Today
Montgomery State Houses Tomorrow

It must be raining...;

Rain drops are falling on our heads;

We're singing in the rain what a glorious feeling we're having again.....;

Somewhere over the rainbow...;

One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all; Semper Fi; Stars and Stripes

Vote fresh new smiley faces into Alabama political offices from top down, give other tax paying citizens a chance, some of these others have made careers of being paid on tax payer's dimes and nickels until about broke......