Tag Archives: Lisa Newman

Hamlin Withdraws Suit Against DTC Member

Kristan Hamlin has withdrawn her lawsuit against Democratic Town Committee member Lisa Newman. Hamlin — also a DTC member — was seeking damages, based on alleged defamatory statements.

Hamlin’s lawsuit against 1st selectman hopeful Jonathan Steinberg is still pending.

Hamlin says:

“I have instructed my counsel to withdraw without prejudice the complaint I brought against Jonathan Steinberg’s former campaign manager and DTC Secretary, Lisa Newman. This means it can be re-brought at any time within 2 years of the defamatory remarks that she has made against me, and which are described, in part, in the complaint.

“My counsel (William P. Lalor) has accommodated my wishes, and issued this statement:

The complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiff sets forth well-pleaded causes of action and is supported by evidence of the defamation that includes written communications and recorded voicemail, along with willing witnesses. My client, in an abundance of good faith, has instructed me  to withdraw the operative complaint on a “without prejudice” basis as against defendant Lisa Newman, in order to give settlement discussions an opportunity, and importantly, so that the Wednesday Democratic Town Committee caucus can proceed without the public specter of division that Ms. Hamlin feels has  been created by the present DTC leadership.

Hamlin continued: “If Ms. Newman  can refrain from personalized attacks against me and others in the community, and is able to stick to the merits of political arguments, grow and benefit from reasoned dissent, and focus on unity instead of calumny, then this offer of peace will be rewarded. If instead she pursues a pattern of ugly, vicious personalized attacks against me and/or other members of our Democratic community, then she will return us to the status quo ante, the lawsuit  will be revived, and we will be back to this place, which is disruptive for our democratic community.

“I will be watching her conduct carefully, which she may pursue directly, or through counsel and others, and so should our DTC. If the defamation suit against Ms. Newman needs to be resuscitated because  the defendant was unable to embrace an opportunity for peace and instead continued down the path of denigrating and disparaging me either directly or through others who she employs, the DTC will all then understand that she/they are the authors of what ensues. I hope the defendant will advantage herself of this gesture of peace, quit personalized attacks against me and others, and rise to the higher angels of her nature. I hope she will make a mature commitment to peace within our DTC so that other, innocent candidates can win their races for the boards they seek without such distractions.”

Newman’s attorney Josh Koskoff says:

“Facing the prospect of an impending motion to dismiss her case for lack of merit along with the risk of having to pay costs associated with having to defend against her baseless claims, the plaintiff, Kristan Hamlin, withdrew her lawsuit against Lisa Newman today without any settlement on Ms. Newman’s part.

“The plaintiff had sought more than $15,000 of compensatory damages, along with unspecified punitive damages against Ms. Newman for allegedly defaming the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that Ms. Newman made false and defamatory statements concerning her in an executive committee meeting of the Westport Democratic Town Committee on May 10 of this year including statements, for example, that ‘the plaintiff was trying to undermine the DTC’s candidates, that the plaintiff was a liar and a bully who mistreated her Committee members’ and ‘that there were people who did not want to join the DTC because of plaintiff.’

“The plaintiff herself did not attend the meeting, but 2 witnesses who actually were present at the meeting signed affidavits attesting to the fact that Ms. Newman made no such comments and in fact remained mostly silent during the meeting. Ms. Newman was also prepared to argue that even if she did make such statements – which she did not – they would not have been actionable by arguing that the statements were nevertheless true and that the truth of a statement is an absolute defense to a claim of defamation.

“Ms. Newman is pleased to have the distraction and anxiety caused by this unnecessary case out of the way and the time spent in defending herself back, so that she can re-dedicate herself to being an unpaid civil servant as secretary of the Westport DTC, and a member of the RTM, along with the role that matters most to her: raising her 3 young children.”

Lawsuit Roils Democratic Selectman Race

Westport’s race for 1st selectman has taken an unexpected turn.

A lawsuit filed in Bridgeport Superior Court charges State Representative Jonathan Steinberg and his campaign chair Lisa Newman with defamation. Steinberg seeks the Democratic nomination for 1st selectman. The DTC will endorse a candidate later this month.

Kristan Hamlin — a member of the Democratic Town Committee — claims, among other things, that:

  • Steinberg falsely represented his marketing background to her, voters and others
  • His workplace conduct rendered him unemployable
  • He worked in a “low-paying” government position (state representative), sought the more remunerative 1st selectman’s post in 2013, was not nominated and now has entered into a “quid pro quo” agreement with that nominee (current 3rd Selectman Melissa Kane) in which Steinberg will run for 1st selectman, while she seeks his state representative post.

Hamlin also charges that Newman and DTC chair Ellen Lautenberg worked together to manipulate elections to the DTC executive committee, and the makeup of the Nominations Committee, to ensure Steinberg’s nomination.

Hamlin asks for compensatory and punitive damages against Steinberg and Newman, for pain, suffering, emotional distress, humiliation and more.

Newman’s attorney, Josh Koskoff, says:

In May, after a lengthy discussion, and on the heels of multiple complaints regarding her conduct, some of which date back years, the plaintiff was removed from all Westport DTC subcommittees unanimously by the 14-member executive committee.

The plaintiff then filed a complaint with the State Democratic Party, making numerous allegations against the Westport DTC for allegedly violating multiple rules. The State Party panel hearing the plaintiff’s allegations unanimously ruled against the plaintiff and summarily dismissed the complaint.

In 25 years of practicing law I have never filed an appearance on behalf of a defendant. The fact that I am doing so now should speak for itself. This appears to be a vindictive suit motivated by self -interest.  We are confident the case will be dismissed by the Court in short order for its lack of merit.

Click here for the entire case. Click here for the most recent and relevant portion: the Amended Case.

#WestportConnected: What A Way To Start The Week!

What began as a little idea — hey, let’s make a video to connect Westporters! — has turned into something big and bold.

And very, very cool.

In just one week, 5 passionate Westporters

  • Honed their concept
  • Put out the word
  • Got submissions, and
  • Created a video that everyone should watch right now. Or at least, within the next few minutes.

The first video — released this morning — shows a wide array of Westporters. Through photos and videos, they provide messages of hope; offers their services as therapists, piano teachers, lawyers, Pilates instructors and Zoom party planners; give thanks to heroes, and talk about pets. There’s even a much-needed dose of humor.

This is the first of several “WestportConnected” videos. I’m sure it will spread like, um, a virus, and many more folks will join in.

Thank you Marcy Sansolo, Darcy Hicks, Lisa Newman, Jaime Bairaktaris and Melissa Kane.

Now click below. Connect. And smile!

Have a message of good energy, love or support? Want to advertise your business’s creative deal? Send along a submission for next week’s video: westportconnected@gmail.com.

Westport Connected: Send Photos And Videos Now!

Westporters keep coming up with great ideas to stay connected.

The latest is as simple as its name: WestportConnected.

The goal is to go beyond the usual social media platforms. Organizers Marcy Sansolo, Darcy Hicks, Lisa Newman, Jaime Bairaktaris and Melissa Kane — a who’s who of creative, concerned and well-connected neighbors — invite fellow Westporters to share a message by sending either a photo (of yourself and/or your family and/or pets), or a video (no longer than 10 seconds!).

Want to say hi to everyone? Send a photo! (Photo courtesy of Bob Weingarten)

You can also offer services or support, as a professional or someone willing to help. Just take a photo or video, holding up a poster with what you can do, and your contact info.

Need ideas? Organizers suggest:

  • Messages of love and support to fellow Westporters
  • An activity that you or your family is doing to keep sane
  • Services you can offer for people who can’t leave their homes: lawn work, shopping, outdoor repairs, etc.
  • Support contacts to get help for depression, spousal abuse, addiction, etc. If you are a professional or sponsor who can offer support, let people know how to reach you
  • Share lessons via Zoom or other virtual conferencing appointments: music or art lessons, meditation sessions, workout routines, etc.

Are you a therapist who can meet clients online? Let us know!

There aren’t many rules. Just be positive!

Organizers say, “this is an attempt to recover some of the life we’re missing due to quarantine. It’s a reminder for all of us that no one is alone.”

Of course, “06880” is happy to help. Messages will be made into a video — and it will be posted here on Monday (March 30).

Send your photos and videos to WestportConnected@gmail.com. The deadline is 4 p.m. this Friday (March 27).

Connect now. Then get ready to be uplifted on Monday!