Cindy Pasky, Fox 2 Settle Suit Over Charlie LeDuff Report
High-powered downtown businesswoman Cindy Pasky of Strategic Staffing Solutions has reached a settlement in her unusual defamation lawsuit with Fox 2 Detroit and its increasingly well known reporter, Charlie LeDuff.
As part of the agreement, Channel 2 anchors will read a statement on newscasts at the times the original report aired in February.
"The case was resolved," said James Stewart, the Bloomfield Hills attorney who represents Channel 2. He declined further comment.
Pasky, president and CEO of S3, could not be reached, but in a press release today quoted in Crain's Detroit Business, she said: "FOX 2's statement makes it clear that they did not intend to assert or imply that there was any improper conduct on the part of S3."
Also named in the suit were New World Communications of Detroit Inc. in Southfield and WJBK producer Douglas McKenzie.
The suit was a rare legal salvo from a prominent Detroiter against the local media. LeDuff is an aggressive and theatrical reporter who was an award-winning journalist at the Detroit News and the New York Times before joining Fox 2 in December 2010.
The suit claimed that a story the station aired Feb. 2 about a call center that S3 has operated for Wayne County included inaccuracies that defamed both Strategic Staffing and Pasky.
As part of the resolution, Fox 2 has agreed to remove from its website the Feb. 2 report, according to the press release.
The statement that anchors will read says: "On February 2, we reported that County Executive Bob Ficano had involved himself with a contract issue for Strategic Staffing Solutions, which provides call center services to Wayne County government.
"Following that report, we were contacted by representatives of S3, who assured us that the contract was awarded in full compliance with the county's procurement rules and regulations. It was not our intent to assert or imply that there was any improper conduct on the part of S3. We regret if anyone misinterpreted our report."
Pasky founded S3 in 1990, and the firm has grown into a worldwide IT and business services with 23 branch locations and more than 1,800 employees.
She is one of the leading Detroit boosters and also one of the city's most active corporate leaders in civic and community organizations, serving on the boards of the Detroit Downtown Partnership and Business Leaders for Michigan, among numerous other activities.
Since coming to Channel 2, LeDuff has staked out a unique persona on Detroit TV news, combining hard-nosed reporting with a flamboyance that has included impersonating a pigeon while walking down Woodward Avenue in his underwear and flushing down a toilet photos of officials involved in Detroit's ethically challenged wastewater treatment plant.
Last week, a deputy fire commissioner slapped away his microphone when LeDuf attempted to interview him about raw-sewage problems at some Detroit fire houses. The deputy commissioner resigned under pressure two days later. He was the third high-ranking fire oficial to lose his job because of a LeDuff report.