Nonprofit Newsroom Wins Libel Suit Filed By Developer

A libel suit filed by a Buffalo, New York developer against the nonprofit newsroom Investigative Post has been tossed by a judge.

Judge Mark A. Montour granted a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the action, and awarded attorneys’ fees and costs to the journalistic defendants last month,  according to the publication and the judge’s opinion.  

A 2017 story by reporter Dan Telvock alleged that officials at Buffalo State, a school in the State University of New York system, failed to follow the normal procurement rules in dealing with GreenleafDevelopment & Construction. 

It also charged that James Sweizy, the head of Greenleaf, gave a set of golf drivers to a college official and made donations to the school’s foundation while the deal was being negotiated, Investigative Post reported in a story this week..  

Montour also wrote that the plaintiffs had failed to show actual malice in the case of the 2017 article. 



The judge also wrote that the plaintiffs “failed to raise a triable issue of fact,” and that the “record is absent of any showing by plaintiffs of either falsity or the knowing publication of false and defamatory facts.” 

Investigative Post produces stories across all major publishing platforms: print, television, radio and the web, it says on its site.  The watchdog newsroom is one of roughly 330 nonprofit news organizations launched in the past decade in response to the decline of local news outlet, it adds. 

The case is on file with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Erie.
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