News Article - June 13 2006

PHL Cops suing TV station for defamation
  A trio of Philadelphia police officers who work at Philadelphia International Airport said yesterday that they've filed a defamation lawsuit against local TV station WTFX Fox 29. Capt. Domenic Mingacci and Officers Michael Leaden and Brian Curley are suing the TV station over a report that claimed the cops left one of their airport security posts unmanned on weekends while they collected overtime. The cops said the broadcast - which aired May 24 on Fox's 10 O'Clock News - suggested that they collected pay for time they did not work, leaving the airport vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

   "This sort of news reporting is called 'Gotcha!' journalism, and it never should have made it onto Fox 29's airwaves," said attorney George Bochetto, representing the cops. Jennifer Best, a spokeswoman for the station, declined to comment, citing the "pending litigation." The police said in a press release yesterday that the three officers have "unblemished records, a combined 62 years of police experience and numerous individual citations for bravery, valor and merit."

   The Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police are supporting them and their lawsuit, the release said. "Perhaps this civil suit will serve as a wake-up call to other media entities that they cannot play fast and loose with the truth in order to make screaming headlines and bigger revenues," Bochetto said.

Source - Daily News