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Sure I pled guilty, but my accusers defamed me!

April 29, 2011

The Iowa Film Credit scandal continues to find new ways to entertain. Lee Rood at the Des Moines Register reports:

A Minnesota filmmaker convicted of defrauding the state has filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages, with claims of defamation and other allegations.

Wendy Weiner Runge says the state has defamed and damaged her in name, reputation and business because of statements state employees have made to reporters, colleagues and the general public. Her lawsuit does not name individuals or specific instances in which she was allegedly defamed.

Wow. Let's review:

- The State Auditor reviewed the award of transferable tax credits to Ms. Runge's film, "The Scientist (Table 21 of the report). Of the $1,850,777.85 of credits awarded, the auditor reported that the documentation supported precisely none of them.

- Two others associated with the project pleaded guilty to defrauding the state.

- Ms. Runge herself copped a plea to one felony count in the middle of her trial on five felony counts for looting the program. She then declared "victory" on her now-erased blog.

I'm no lawyer, but doesn't a guilty plea pretty much take the teeth out of the defamation charges?

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