Insiders on former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn’s defamation lawsuit against the newspaper say Penn and his attorney are poised to breath new life in his battle over his firing for alleged plagiarism charges.
The case was dismissed recently after a key Penn witness’s mother reportedly fell and the party was unable to be in KC for the trial.
So where do things go from here?
“Well, we’re actively working on it,” says the source indicating the case will be reopened. “You would think if the Star’s case was so strong – so iron clad – why would they be trying to put the kibosh on all of (Steve’s) witnesses.“
By the way, the source claims that the witness who’s mother fell was not former Star sports scribe Jason Whitlock.
“I wrote a book and I’m marketing that right now,” Penn says. “And I’m getting ready to tackle another one; I’m entertaining a few ideas.”
On the social front, Penn rejoined Woodside this past week.
“He was in an awfully good mood when I saw him there yesterday,” says fellow Woodsider Craig Glazer. “And he’s rejoined the club and he’s excited about his book because he’s doing a signing at the jazz museum December 23rd.”
Penn declined to comment on his case, but Glazer says, “He told me he never copied a story – just small portions of announcements, like where something was going to happen and who was going to be there. I just don’t see where that’s all that bad. He never took the intellectual spirit of someone else’s story.
“Remember, Steve was caught up like you in the early layoffs and cutbacks at the Star. And in Steve’s case, because he’d been there so long and was of color, the Star probably thought it would look bad if they just let him go. And I think Steve feels that way now, too – that they didn’t want to play the race card.
“But the Star was on a mission to get rid of the higher paid reporters and columnists like you, and that’s the way the game is played. Whitlock was replaced by Sam Mellinger and you were replaced basically by that Jenee´ girl who writes about things like what the drinks taste like at some bar. I mean, on one hand people were reading stories you did that raised eyebrows and what she is doing is like reading what some student at the University Daily Kansan would write about.
“And Steve didn’t really do what either you or Jason did, but they felt that at his salary, he was someone they could live without.”