Former state Rep. Jesse White, now running for magisterial district justice in Washington County, is suing talk show host Marty Griffin, KDKA radio and a man who posted segments of the Marty Griffin show on YouTube.
White, of Cecil Township, was running for re-election to his state house seat in 2014 when Griffin began a weeklong segment called “Anybody But Jesse.” The complaint alleges that Griffin falsely accused White of criminal behavior and called him “borderline psychotic.”
The lawsuit, filed in Washington County Common Pleas Court, alleges that Griffin was retaliating against White because White has been an outspoken opponent of natural gas “fracking.” On Oct. 24, 2013, the complaint notes, Griffin broadcast his talk show live from the offices of Range Resources, a gas drilling company that White has criticized.
In 2013, White was caught posting comments about natural gas drilling in chat rooms and other Internet sites under pseudonyms and made-up names. After being confronted with evidence of his web postings, White at first refused to comment, then later apologized for his “error of judgment.”
White also suing the Observer-Reporter over an article they ran, as well as several other people regarding disparaging comments they posted on Facebook. White, an attorney, alleges his law practice suffered impaired reputation and financial damage over the comments.
A Democrat, White was defeated in the 2014 general election by Republican Jason Ortitay.
In addition, White is suing his mother’s attorney over comments the attorney made in a February article in the Tribune-Review. White says her attorney falsely accused him of criminal activity. White is being sued by his mother in a separate case, filed in February in Washington County, but the case is a civil complaint, not a criminal charge.
Jason Togyer contributed to this report.