VALPARAISO - The 1999 slander lawsuit by former Portage City Councilman Ted Jarosak against Portage cable television commentator Gordon Bloyer is expected to go to trial Monday afternoon.
contends Bloyer defamed him by making false statements about his personal life on the public-access shows Bloyer hosts on Portage's
cable TV system.
retired as Portage assistant police chief early in 1999 and was defeated in a bid for re-election to the City Council later that year, and again last year.
Bloyer maintains his statements about Jarosak
are true and protected by constitutional freedom-of-speech guarantees.
The lawsuit was filed in November 1999 as Jarosak
was finishing his
third four-year term on the City Council. Jarosak
is seeking $750,000 for statements, he
contends, Bloyer either knew were false or made "with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity."
Bloyer insists everything he
said about Jarosak
is the truth.
didn't even watch tapes of my show; others told him about them," Bloyer said Wednesday.
...Jarosak said in 1999 his attorney, Janice Gambill of Portage, watched more than 12 hours of videotape from Bloyer's TV show before filing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit cites two statements by Bloyer in April 1998 and June 1999: that Jarosak
was "caught in the back seat of a police car with a teenage girl" and was reprimanded, and that Jarosak
put a gun to his ex-wife's head and threatened her.
said there was no basis for either statement. Jarosak, 56, is a heavy equipment mechanic at U.S. Steel in Gary on leave while serving with the U.S. Coast Guard as a special agent with the investigative service stationed in Grand Haven, Mich.He
has more than a year left before returning home.