Principal Claims Daily News Defamed Him

Iulia Filip, Courthouse News, June 8, 2012

A Catholic school principal claims in court that he was fired after the New York Daily News defamed him in a series of articles that falsely accused him of “white supremacist ties.”

Frank Borzellieri sued the New York Daily News Co. and Daily News reporters Corinne Lestch and Larry McShane, in Queens County Supreme Court. He also sued his former co-workers Anne Marie Zagaglia and Connie Anestis, who allegedly made defamatory statements about him to Daily News reporters.

Borzellieri was principal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School from 2009 until last year, when he says he was fired because of a series about him in the Daily News. Mount Carmel is a predominantly black and Latino elementary school in the Bronx.

{snip} He claims the article called him a “principal of hate,” a “firebrand educator” and a “controversial principal” among other things.


Borzellieri claims the article contained false and defamatory statements and falsely accused him of “race hatred and traits inconsistent with his profession.”


Borzellieri claims the Daily News continued to defame him in follow-up articles published in August 2011.


Borzellieri says that in addition to getting him fired, the articles ruined his reputation and exposed him to ridicule.

He seeks compensatory and punitive damages for defamation and negligence.


[Editor’s Note: Excerpts from the complaint are available in the original article, linked below.]


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