Disability Network West Michigan (Muskegon’s Center for Independent Living) has launched the following campaign to intimidate, threaten, and coerce their own consumers. Taxpayer dollars earmarked for Michigan’s Independent Living Program are being used to directly retaliate against members of the disability community for exercising their First Amendment rights.
This is the second attack on consumers in the months since Disability Network West Michigan engaged Sabo Public Relations firm.
Warner, Norcross & Judd
Attorneys at Law
Joe Sadler: 616-752-2271 / Fax: 616-222-2271 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Darma Canter
Peer Action Alliance
Re: Defamatory and Libelous Comments
Dear Ms. Canter,
This firm has been retained by Disability Network of West Michigan (“DNWM”) to pursue legal action against you and your daughter. For more than two years, you have made a variety of false allegations against DNWM and harassed its employees, officers, and directors. This behavior must end, and if you will not end it willingly, we will get a judge to end it for us.
- Accusing DNWM of violating the law, specifically open meeting requirements under Michigan or federal law. DNWM has not violated any law and would be happy to prove this in court. Please note that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Office of Quality Assurance & Internal Control has found that your allegations are completely false, as the attached report shows. MDHHS’s report investigated your allegation that DNWM violated an open meetings obligation and consumer control requirements by hiring a disproportionate disability make-up of the Board of Directors and staff. After a thorough investigation, MDHHS concluded that your allegations are unsubstantiated. [Editor’s note: referenced MDHHS report not included].
- Accusing DNWM of misleading regulators to hide violations of the law, or trying “to shield [itself] from oversight and responsibility,” through trickery and deceit.
- Accusing DNWM employees of fraud, deceit or misconduct. For example, you accused the Executive Director of “identifying as disabled in order to keep her illegitimate paycheck.” This is false and we will happily prove its falsity in court.
- Accusing DNWM of working to harm the very community it serves by “pursu[ing] the goals of a typical charity and working in direct contradiction to the interests of the disability community.”
- Accusing DNWM of engaging in “discriminatory hiring and firing practices, including “convinc[ing] non-disabled people they are disabled” instead of complying with consumer control requirements, although MDHHS investigated this allegation and concluded that this was another one of your unsubstantiated claims.
- Accusing DNWM and Disability Network/Michigan of being involved in a “national scandal” by abusing tax dollars and exploiting the disability community.
- Sending unwanted emails and letters and making unwanted phone calls to DNWM employees that repeat these false allegations.
- Disrupting DNWM meetings by screaming, interrupting and otherwise carrying on.
- Posting and creating content about DNWM on any social media platform, including Facebook and the Peer Action Alliance website, at http://www.peeractionalliance.com.
To be clear, you must immediately stop all similar behaviors, whether on your own behalf, on behalf of other people, or on behalf of organizations […] like Peer Action Alliance.
The things that you have done over the past two years have damaged DNWM’s reputation and harmed its ability to serve its clients. DNWM can, and will recoup these damages from you in a lawsuit.
In order to avoid legal action, immediately remove from the internet all defamatory comments that you have posted and do not make any more false allegations or take any more harassing actions. If the false statements are not removed, or if any more objectionable conduct is observed, expect a summons in the mail.
Very truly yours,