Second Defamation Trial Starts for Pennsylvania Newspaper

May 4, 2011

A defamation suit against a northeastern Pennsylvania newspaper is before a judge for a second time.

The suit against The Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre involves stories published in 2001 stemming from raids of the home and workplace of businessman Thomas Joseph. Opening statements were given Monday.

Joseph claims the paper defamed him by writing stories that named him as a target of a federal investigation involving a reputed mob boss. He was never charged.

The paper’s attorney says the stories were based on search warrant affidavits.

Joseph won a $3.5 million verdict but the state Supreme Court ordered a new trial in 2009 after a review found the decision was tainted by the misconduct of two county judges at the center of an unrelated juvenile justice scandal.

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