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Judge orders former Oneida County executive candidate to pay $394K in defamation case

A supreme court judge has awarded more than $394,000 to a former county employee who was defamed by a Republican candidate running for county executive in 2019.

Posted: Oct 8, 2021 3:41 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2021 3:52 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- A supreme court judge has awarded more than $394,000 to a woman who was defamed by a Republican candidate running for Oneida County executive in 2019.

When Dave Gordon ran against Anthony Picente in the Republican primary, he made slanderous statements about Caitlin McCann, publicly claiming she had an affair with Picente when she worked in his office. 

In February, McCann won her case when Judge Scott DelConte ruled that Gordon did, in fact, make defamatory claims about her and would be required to pay damages. The bench trial to determine an amount started in June.

On Friday, Oct. 8, the judge ordered Gordon to pay $394,416 which breaks down as follows:

  • $250,000 for future mental anguish
  • $50,000 for past mental anguish
  • $50,000 for punitive damages
  • $40,000 for humiliation 
  • $4,416 for economic loss

McCann’s attorneys Anthony Brindisi and Eva Brindisi-Pearlman released the following joint statement on the judge’s order:

Today’s ruling by Supreme Court Judge DelConte shows that Mr. Gordon’s outrageous and reckless accusations and lies have consequences. Ms. McCann was a private citizen whose good name was dragged through the mud by Mr. Gordon just so he could score cheap political points against his opponent. The Court’s findings confirm that Mr. Gordon never had any actual evidence to support his cruel allegations. The truth finally caught up to Mr. Gordon today and we look forward to working hard for our client to collect this judgment against Mr. Gordon."

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