Spent some quality time last night with blogger Carl Nyberg, of Forest Park, whose legal victory in a defamation suit is told in the latest Forest Park Review. In his Proviso Probe blog, Nyberg reported that the brother of the local high-school board president, Chris Welch, whom Welch voted to hire as a school custodian, had been indicted on a drug-related charge in 2003.
This was true, as Nyberg demonstrated by showing the Review a copy of the indictment. There was more to the suit, which Welch, now running for the Illinois legislature, dropped this week. It ain’t over till it’s over, however. Nyberg called the suit "harassment based on deliberately false statements" and said he hoped "the system will hold [the Welch brothers] accountable."
Welch has a history of suing opponents, having sued, also for defamation, a former school board president and two critics during his last campaign for school board president, the Review reported Both suits were also dropped, "leading the defendants to speculate that they were sued in attempts to stifle further criticism.”
The quality time, by the way, was at the Wednesday Journal Christmas party at the Oak Park Conservatory, about which not enough good things can be said – it’s a gem, on Garfield west of East. The Journal publishes the Forest Park paper and several others, including the Wednesday Journal of OP & RF, which publishes my monthly column. For excellent catering, furthermore, run, don’t walk to Chew Chew Cafe, of Riverside (where WJ has another paper), who know how to do it. I came hungry and was not much good at conversation for the first half hour, eating. Nyberg caught me after that time.
He was defended pro bono by Latham and Watkins, whom he found by googling — asking for "Chicago First Amendment pro bono." The search turned up four firms, whom he called, eventually finding what he wanted.