May 11, 2005
The best defense Palast can buy doesn't cut it: He has to settle with Cuomo in libel suit . . .
by Dennis Johnson
Former New York governor Mario Cuomo has settled a $15 million libel suit he filed against Greg Palast and his publisher, Penguin Putnam imprint Plume, over statements Palast made in his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. As an Associated Press wire story by Samuel Maull reports, Cuomo sued over Palast’s charges in the book that Cuomo had used undue influence to get a racketeering charge thrown out against the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO). In court papers, Cuomo cited in particular a passage where Palast wrote, “I convinced the government to charge them (LILCO) with civil racketeering, and a jury said they should pay $4.8 billion. Then the governor of New York, a slick operator named Mario Cuomo, reached the chief federal judge in New York — and poof — the jury’s verdict was thrown out.” A statement from Plume pr head Brant Janeway said Palast, Plume, and Cumo had settled on “mutually satisfactory terms” after Palast wrote a letter to Cumor “clarifying his meaning with respect to the reference to the governor, and Gov. Cuomo will dismiss the litigation with prejudice.” The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives