Van Sickle Pulls Back Social Media Posts Mentioned in City Attorney’s Legal Notice

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior City Councilor Jenny Van Sickle of Dist. 2 has pulled back social media posts that City Attorney Frog Prell claims are libelous against him and could result in a civil suit.

Sometime late Monday night after FOX 21 aired a story about Prell’s legal notice to Van Sickle with claims of defamation, her Twitter page was changed to a private status.

That’s where Van Sickle called Prell lazy, incompetent and a manipulator in response to Prell’s legal opinion that concluded the council could pick a council president with a deck of cards to stop an impasse.

Meanwhile, a second comment by Van Sickle mentioned in the legal notice was deleted Monday night from a Facebook group’s page that said “Prell consistently misleads the council.”

(For Monday’s story with links to Prell’s legal notice, including more background, click here)

When asked Tuesday if the social media pullback was a type of compromise to defuse the situation with Prell, Van Sickle replied by e-mail saying in part:

“Perhaps you wouldn’t have so many questions about your own news stories if you weren’t inventing them as you went along?”

Meanwhile, Prell told FOX 21 Tuesday that:

“The updates and / or removals from the social media sites change nothing about the Notice that I’ve filed.  But I like the progress.”

Prell’s attorney, Jeff Olson, says he, too, approves of the removal of what he calls defamatory statements from the public domain, but that he doesn’t act prematurely and time will tell whether there’s evidence that shows Prell sustained damages to his reputation as a result of Van Sickle’s social media comments.

In a 6-4 vote at last Tuesday’s council meeting, the council censured Van Sickle for her comments about Prell.

Mayor Paine vetoed that censure — his first use of his veto power since taking office.

Paine has not spoken publicly about Prell’s legal notice.

Mayor Paine has said Prell’s report on the legality of a deck of cards was “insufficiently researched,” “factually false” and logically “flawed.”

 

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