Saturday, December 26, 2009

Will the Boston Herald, Jessica Van Sack & other media moguls face Defamation lawsuit for lying about Joanna Marinova being "bagged for sexual acts?"

Better read the 3 Jan 2010 update.

-The Editor.

NEW IDEA: Perhaps Mary Beth Heffernan, recently appointed to Governor Patrick's Cabinet -- up from Undersecretary Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) -- can help us get to the bottom of this. In point of fact, she's already helping even if she doesn't know it.

UBER-UBER UPDATE: On 29 December 2009 I filed this with Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley's office with a request for her intentions regarding the CORI violation. That will be followed with a request for her intentions on Cat Gibbons' Division of Banks Civil Rights/Discrimination case, new information and blog post coming later today on that fiasco.

UBER UPDATE: There appears to be a CORI violation. Globe Newspaper Co. v. District Attorney for Middle Dist., 439 Mass. 374, 788 NE2d 513 (2003).
Newspaper had sought disclosure of docket numbers of criminal cases involving municipal corruption, prosecuted in public judicial proceedings. Among its findings, court held that CORI statute did not prevent disclosure of criminal record information, but newspaper only had a disclosure right to the extent the requested information correlated with information available from court records or other public records.
Recall that unauthorized release of criminal records led to the Sheriff Linehan's resignation in NH under AG pressure yes it did. The (mis)information that the Herald used to publish their stories is most certainly NOT available from court records or other public records, this was a dirty deal and we are going straight to Mass AG Martha Coakley's office this week with this blog post to see what she's going to do about it. When we are finished the Herald, Jessica Van Sack and everybody involved is going to realize this is a matter of grave concern and that no amount of government and big-media beat-down is going to deter our pursuit of Justice. And the factors in favor of disclosure of sources clearly outweigh nondisclosure, read the SJC materials on G. L. c. 6, 167 et seq.
(4) News Sources and Nonpublished Information. Before ordering a reporter to divulge a source and the information gathered, a judge must “consider the effect of compelled disclosure on values underlying the First Amend­ment and art. 16.” Petition for Promulgation of Rules Regarding the Protection of Confidential News Sources & Other Unpublished Info., 395 Mass. 164, 171, 479 N.E.2d 154, 158 (1985). Accordingly, a judge must balance the public interest in the use of every person’s evidence against the public interest in pro­tecting the free flow of information. Matter of a John Doe Grand Jury Investigation, 410 Mass. 596, 599, 574 N.E.2d 373, 375 (1991). See also Ayash v. Dana-Farber Cancer Inst., 443 Mass. 367, 403 n.33, 822 N.E.2d 667, 696 n.33 (2005).
Note: There is a radio show about this matter scheduled for Tuesday morning, 29 December 2009 at 8 a.m. at TOUCH At that point people will learn more about a man who was the darling of Massachusetts Law Enforcement and media (Chronicle video here) for his video series “Voices from Behind the Wall," until he started speaking out about violence and racism in the prison itself, at which point he became social and political pariah. He went from being a celebrated proponent of social responsibility to being unceremoniously placed in the hole immediately after he spoke out.

Joanna Marinova is Co-Director, Programs and Operations for PressPassTV, and she publishes "Coming off the ropes" which contains crucial information. Meanwhile State Representative Gloria Fox has been a proponent for change in the prison system for years, funny how they would come under fire isn't it.

Darrell Jones is incarcerated for a murder conviction and proclaims his innocence. While TOUCH 106.1 Boston blog has covered wrongful convictions in the past -- see the Harrington v. Richter U.S. Supreme Court post highlighting Boston and NH DA abuses -- the issue here is a manifest injustice that is more readily transparent and proved:

The Boston Herald appears to have unlawfully accessed CORI records and lied about an alleged sexual tryst between Darrell Jones and Joanna Marinova. To wit:
"State Rep. Gloria L. Fox is under state scrutiny for allegedly sneaking a murderer’s girlfriend - previously bagged for engaging in “sexual acts” with the killer con - into a state prison in Bridgewater, the Herald has learned.

As Davis tells it, Marinova drove Fox to the pen, never mentioning she and Jones had been bagged for prohibited “sexual acts” in the visiting room months earlier."

But Fox and the woman were bagged by a vigilant guard who recognized the “aide” as Jones’ girlfriend - a woman previously written up for engaging in prohibited “sexual acts” in the visitor room with Jones.
Subsequently, many major media like Channel 7 and Fox 25 repeated the Defamatory comments.

The problem is that none of that is true. Ms. Marinova showed this writer how the Weekly Dig, the Phoenix and Boston Globe properly railed against the Herald and Van Sack. And note that the alleged sexual conduct happened back in November 2008 but was not even important until State Rep. Fox came snooping around to discuss conditions in May, 2009 -- half a year later!

First of all, contrary to the ahem... naked assertions by Ms. Van Sack, there were no charges ever filed against Ms. Marinnova.
Second, the charges against Darrell Jones were dismissed.
Third, the Herald has never run any retractions or corrections.

Mr. Jones and Ms. Marinova have released the official report as thumbnailed here, and note the conclusion: DISMISSED. People are watching:

In terms of a Defamation analysis it's going to get interesting. Darrell Jones is most likely a public figure, Ms. Marinova is likely not a public figure. Either way I believe that both of them have been victims of unlawful Defamation, and I encourage them to seek legal redress for that Defamatory conduct against both Jessica Van Sack and the Boston Herald and anyone who repeated the Defamatory comments that were materially false and the lack of any retraction or followup shows the actual malice involved. These big businesses work with bad government actors and think they can just say and do whatever they want to do to people, but the people need to fight back with appropriate litigation and community involvement.

That's why I'm here.

cc: Howard M. Cooper, Esq., Judge Ernest Murphy $3.4M final settlement in Murphy v. Boston Herald, 449 Mass. 42, 865 N.E.2d 746 (2007), may the Herald remember its recent history. I have downloaded a copy I will obtain a copy of the Murphy Complaint for Ms. Marinova and Mr. Jones so they can consider their legal options and seek learned counsel. I would advise Ms. Van Sack not to "throw her notes out" as Reporter Wedge allegedly did in the Murphy case, ahem.



  1. Ha-ha-ha, Ms. Van Sack, looks like you're the one who's gonna get bagged.

    And potentially sacked.

    -The Editor.

  2. the other big issue is that unlike any self-respecting journalist Ms. Van Sack totally left the story OUT- it was nothing but a distraction- what was the real issue? why was Mr. Jones thrown in solitary? what exactly did Rep. Fox so bravely go into investigate? why is the truth silenced?

    Another case of media hurting our community and spreading vicious lies.

  3. Anonymous:

    Funny you should mention the method of attempted obfuscation of all matters relevant, I have seen it before and see it all of the time:

    I was indicted for Attempted Felony Extortion as NH NAACP legal chair for issuing a Demand Letter to a nasty police chief who eventually got fired, and his prosecutor Bill Albrecht run out of town under ethics charges, it's all thoroughly documented on my personal blog no need to do that here because the focus needs to be on THIS CASE for a change.

    Because the thing is, with the bogus (and nol-prossed) indictment against me, all of the attention was taken away from the 3 drawn police guns and visual body cavity search that the cops gave Willie Toney.... for LOITERING.

    There was never any investigation into it AT ALL.

    Same game with here, with so-called members of the Fourth Estate throwing another handful of dirt on Ms. Marinova's virtual grave, granting imprimatur to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

    That's the legal shell game these haters are trying to run on us, and it is really and truly nasty.

    -The Editor.

  4. Also, Ms. Marinova reports that interest in PressPassTV dropped measurably since this apparent act of Defamation, and her sponsorship folks at the prestigious law firm of Foley-Hoag - well known for pro bono work -- don't treat her the same way.

    Can you blame them after the misstatements of fact and sexual innuendo set forth by the Defendant.... err.... I mean the Herald?

    That's trouble for the Herald in a Major Way.

    -The Editor.

  5. I'm watching the Channel 7 coverage now:

    "Joanna Marinova, who had sex...."


    Ms. Marinova also informs that the Boston Public Health Commission failed to fund her PressPassTV and anyone associated with them after these stories, ran, and PressPassTV was supposed to grow into a full time job for her.


    I mean, can you blame them? They entrusted that major media would conduct due diligence before reporting stories that basically portray Ms. Marinova as a liar and a slut.

    Ms. Marinova informs me that when it came down to the allegations about her lying with Rep. Fox to gain access to solitary confinement, Ms. Van Sack didn't even know the rules (these rules make it impossible for her to have practiced any deception because you have to sign in with ID) and then told her "that doesn't matter."


    Enough said. Even without the extra materials and information we are presenting to counsel she has enough to slice these guys up and watch them bleed out like Dexter.


    -The Editor.

  6. Other more responsible press saw the breach in the standard of care owed to Ms. Marinova and Mr. Jones. The Weekly Dig wrote, in pertinent part:

    "Maybe if Van Sack could tame her girl boner for anonymous sources and "a vigilant guard" (we merely suggested that prison guards give her a liiiiittle titty hard-on ... see how spurious not-quite accusations work?), she'd consider her sources' motivation: Fox visited to discuss abusive and retaliatory prison guards with Jones.

    The day after the story broke, the "Herald Staff" wrote an editorial calling for an ethics probe into Fox's actions. We think the Herald is suffering from a bout of locker-room envy. After all, the Boston Globe broke the story on former House Speaker Sal DiMasi's corruption, and their sniffing out the paper trail led to his resignation (to spend more time with his family) and last week's federal indictment (good thing he got in that family time, since he could face a 20-year prison sentence). It's natural to size up your peers and try to overcompensate."

    The Phoenix wrote:

    "Judging from documentation recently posted by Jones on his blog, Marinova is right, and the Herald is wrong.

    Here, for example, is how the reporting staff person at Jones's disciplinary hearing described what happened:

    [The corrections officer] observed [Jones] in acts that were in violation of the visiting room policy, however he did not see him engaged in sexual acts [emphasis added].

    More important, at the end of the hearing, the charge of "engaging in sexual acts with another" was dismissed. "No evidence exists to support a guilty finding" of that charge, the reporting staff person concluded.
    If you're inclined to defend the Herald, you could argue that the paper never said Jones and Marinova actually committed verboten "sexual acts," only they'd been "bagged" and "cited" for doing so. But since the Herald's presentation strongly suggested guilty parties being caught and punished--and not, in contrast, being hit with an unfounded allegation that was subsequently dismissed--that's a pretty lame defense.

    Perhaps there's a correction in the works, and maybe even an apology. Herald editor Kevin Convey declined comment when I contacted him today, so we'll have to wait and see."

    The Globe wrote:

    "Because Marinova was visiting Old Colony along with Fox, guards looked at her driver's license but did not search her, and the superintendent escorted her and Fox into an area of the prison that is typically off-limits to visitors.

    Minutes later, Marinova said, the superintendent escorted her out and confronted Fox, asking if Marinova was in fact her aide. Marinova said Fox replied, "No, she's a prison activist."

  7. Thank you to TOUCH for taking the Herald to task for disseminating this hideous, damaging, and false representation of these two people doing work to confront conditions in Mass. prisons.

    By using inflammatory language and focusing solely on the actions of Ms. Marinova and Jones, rather than on their real work to improve conditions for Mass prisoners, the Herald is simply pandering to the lowest levels of sexism and anti-prisoner bias to sell papers.

    Best wishes to Ms. Marinova and Gloria Fox, and I hope that Marinova and Fox find themselves besieged with offers from good lawyers to set things straight and hold the Herald to account.

  8. See on the CORI information violation issue disclosure of the reporter's source information should carry the day because Ms. Van Sack never discovered any real corruption that was being hidden.

    Rather, she and the prison employees -- who are paid with our tax dollars -- issued and reported trumped-up charges, and Ms. Van Sack even embellished that information in a way that any juror is going to find Defamatory.

    The Herald is about to experience a World of Pain, and they deserve every bit of it.

    -The Editor.

  9. Thanks for bringing this up Touch FM.... Another case where Jessica Van Sack and the Boston Herald didn't let ethics or facts stand in the way of a chance to smear community activists.

  10. Thanks TOUCH FM for holding up the community. It's daunting doing work to stand up against injustice, but it's easier when you can see that people and community are behind you and won't turn a blind eye. I'd also note what a few of the more dilligent journalists point out- that the initial accusation of sexual misconduct was a HAND ON THE KNEE. By the time it got to WHDH, Jessica Van Sack had spurred a crazy witchhunt claiming that Ms. Marinova had sex in a visitor's area.

    But none of them are lined up to write about the dozen women at MCI-Framingham who have attempted (and nearly half succeeded) in committing suicide this year. And their attention span was quite short on guard attacks at max security prisons. What's really going on???

  11. Thanks for doing such a thorough job covering this story. I plan to post far and wide. For disclosure sake, I am a board member with Press Pass TV an organization that seeks to empower youth through the media. How sad that the slander of one rabid right wing Herald employee (and of course the support of her rag paper)has had a negative impact on this fine community organization. The Press Pass kids are 50 times the journalist Ms Van Sack could ever hope to be.

  12. i hope they do...if they can attack someone with lies and have those lies take effect, i hope that they in turn are affected by the truth caused by their actions. maybe this will teach them to actually research a story before publishing it as fact.

  13. The Boston Herald is not concerned with the truth and or justice in the prison system. They are in the business of selling newspapers, lies and distractions.

    Thanks to Touch fm for stepping up and covering this story how it shouldve been covered in the first place. I do hope that there is a lawsuit and that the the Herald is forced to pay for their slander. Remember this is the same tabloid that once employed Don Feder. Now employs Howie Carr and David Wedge... they are not a friend to the communities that seek positive social justice lets hold them accountable.

  14. Thank You TOUCH for using your voice to speak the TRUTH! Everyone should spread the word far and wide. How many other cases like this are out there? Who will speak for these people if the efforts of Ms.Marinova, Mr.Jones and Gloria Fox get railroaded by some trashy reporter?
    how deep does this story really go? We should all want and demand to know the truth and have REAL justice served in the eyes of the people.

  15. You can best believe I will not back away from this case and I am helping Ms. Marinova find counsel at this very moment.

    Peace, Love, Guidance and Justice for all.

    -The Editor.

  16. At 8:46 a.m.

    30th December 2009
    Page View 106.1 fm radio station of boston%2C ma&search=&qsrc=0&o=0&l=dir

    ......The Commonwealth went searching about TOUCH FM at, and they clicked on this link:

    How apropos.

    Watch them try to make some kind of a run at me now, I've been there, seen that before. Meanwhile they have no clue to whom I have also distributed these materials, folks got my back I can assure you of that.

    -The Editor.

  17. I echo sentiments thanking TOUCH FM for being vocal about this nonsense. It's about time the media was held accountable. Thank you for standing up.

  18. Yep.

    And remember, this case is not just about the media being held accountable, it is about the Government being held accountable because it was a government officer who leaked the CORI documents that were not public record as noted in the case law, Globe Newspaper Co. v. District Attorney for Middle Dist., 439 Mass. 374, 788 NE2d 513 (2003), supra.

    This case, and any other Civil Rights issue that we forward are important because we put our necks on the line with every key stroke.

    Fortunately, there is safety in numbers. It's like that game at summer camp where you fall backwards and hope that the arms of the community there to catch you and support you, write comments and letters and yes take time off from work to attend a court hearing or two.

    And I love the "vigilant guard" quote from Reporter Van Sack: We the public are the ones practicing eternal vigilance, which of course is the price of liberty.

    As far as money goes, if or when Ms. Marinova and Mr. Jones prevail, at least the community can relax in the certainly of knowing that much of that money will be funneled right back into community programs and such, so it's not like Citibank and TARP, don't get me started on that.

    I should be on Air at 5:30 today (Wed) to discuss this so feel free to call in, 617.445.1091.

    -The Editor.

  19. Stream it at

    -The Editor.

  20. From Ms. Marinova:

    The report exposes the Herald’s motivations and lies along with DOC staff’s violation of CORI laws by releasing the disciplinary report to Jessica Van Sack and violation of DOC regulations by discussing “Institutional Affairs” with the Media (strictly prohibited and a clear security breach).

    Mr. Jones uses his rights as guaranteed under the First Amendment to dissent with DOC operations and the effects it has on the future of his community. He further continues to uphold his innocence and his rights as a human being.

    Joanna Marinova
    Co-Director, Programs and Operations

  21. In the YouTube/on-Air video I did make a whoopsie:

    "Without a Coakley investigation or Civil Litigation there is no disincentive for them to do anything else...."

    Flipped my negatives on that one :)

    -The Editor.

  22. Perhaps Mary Beth Heffernan, recently appointed to Governor Patrick's Cabinet -- up from Undersecretary Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) -- can help us get to the bottom of this. In point of fact, she's already helping even if she doesn't know it.

  23. Thanks to Touch FM for standing behind your word to back your community. We need more media outlets that stay true to their purpose and that hold values similar to those of the community members who are most effected by the issues.

    Ms. Marinova's case is just one of many where the media has manipulated facts in order to degrade valuable community leaders. Ms. Marinova deserves our support and she WILL receive it thanks to people willing to stand up and set the facts straight...

  24. PS: Now having visited Darrell, the only thing that I observed other than his integrity is the FACT that EVERYBODY kisses and hugs during visitation, and I don't mean sibling kisses, I mean soul kisses that you give your lover.

    Read the Discipline Ticket against Mr. Jones nothing that he kissed and hugged Ms. Marinova.

    They are singling him out, so I am going to single out who's doing the singling.

    Of course I'm sure I'll have help in this quest for Justice from larger media with additional resources, Governor Patrick, for whom I have volunteered, Commissioner Clarke and Mary Beth Heffernan, whose email directly tells Ms. Marinova to bring it on.

    She did, and she got clobbered along with Darrell Jones and everybody who cares about Prison reform and Justice.

    Listen to me say it on the radio/YouTube interview; it's No Word of a Lie.

    Now is the time.

    -The Editor.

  25. The D-Ticket showing DISMISSAL of sexual acts charge -- and which doesn't even mention Ms. Marinova, so she couldn't have been "bagged" for anything, as noted in the radio show/YouTube audio.

    -The Editor.

  26. The Herald downloaded the D-Ticket on 5 Jan 2010:

    Host Name
    IP Address [Label IP Address]

    5th January 2010 13:35:44 Page View marinova and darrell jones&

    5th January 2010 13:36:14 Download

    5th January 2010 13:36:14 Download

    5th January 2010 18:45:18 Page View No referring link

    5th January 2010 18:45:46 Page View

    10th January 2010 12:15:47 Page View No referring link

    10th January 2010 13:20:20 Page View No referring link