First Amendment Defense Fund
Benefit March 14 for Shelton, Tregub, Dodsworth and Soto-Vigil
Four tenant leaders are asking for the community’s help to pay some of their mounting legal bills. A case stemming from the 2012 election for Rent Board has continued for over a year.
Shortly after the hotly contest 2012 Rent Board election, the president of the Berkeley Property Owners Association, whose family is often identified as one of the largest landlords in Berkeley, brought a lawsuit against the four candidates chosen at the biannual Berkeley Tenant Convention. According to press reports, Sid Lakireddy sued candidates Igor Tregub, Asa Dodsworth, Judy Shelton and Alejandro Soto-Vigil for libel. The initial motions from the tenant leaders in their defense were rejected by a judge last spring, and the defendants appealed.
About the Lawsuit:
Berkeleyside: “The nephew of a notorious landlord who was sent to prison for transporting minors from India for the purpose of illegal sexual activity has filed a defamation lawsuit against four former Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board candidates. Sid Lakireddy, president of the Berkeley Property Owners Association, said that Igor Tregub, Alejandro Soto-Vigil, Asa Dodsworth and Judy Shelton libeled him when they sent an email to supporters that overtly suggested Lakireddy was involved in the criminal case brought against his uncle, Lakireddy Bali Reddy.” http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/05/30/sid-lakireddy-sues-berkeley-rent-board-candidates-for-libel/
Daily Californian: “Four Berkeley city officials filed an appeal on May 16 in response to an Alameda County Superior Court decision in a defamation lawsuit brought against them by Sid Lakireddy, nephew of convicted sex trafficker Lakireddy Bali Reddy….The lawsuit stems from an Oct. 18 email sent by Tregub on behalf of all four slate members to their supporters. According to court documents, Tregub’s email referred to Sid Lakireddy as “the same guy whose family was caught in a human trafficking ring and was complicit in murder” and contained a link to an article that mentioned unnamed family members of the Reddy clan as being involved in the crimes.” http://www.dailycal.org/2013/06/02/berkeley-city-officials-file-an-appeal-in-response-to-decision-in-defamation-lawsuit/
About the Fundraiser:
Friday March 14 at 7 PM
900 Murray St. in Berkeley
About the Tenant Convention:
The progressive community has held a gathering to choose a slate for Rent Bord for as long as most folks in Berkeley can remember. Planning for the 2014 convention is underway, and many BTU members report taking an active role. Soon the convention website will be launched so that all organizations and candidates interested in participating can be informed. BTU will post a link on our sidebar when the planning group launches their site.