San Diego

East County Councilman Served Lawsuit at Meeting

The lawsuit alleges the councilman violated a man's free speech by blocking his comments on social media

El Cajon City Councilmember Ben Kalasho said a lawsuit served to him Tuesday at a City Council meeting is “frivolous” and brought on by an attorney looking to “line his pockets.”

The lawsuit alleges Kalasho violated a man's free speech by blocking his comments on Kalasho’s official Facebook account

Kalasho hasn’t appeared at a council meeting in nearly two months and is fighting accusations of fraud and sexual harassment. His wife also has a bench warrant out for her arrest after she skipped a recent court appearance.

He denies all allegations and released the following statement Tuesday regarding the First Amendment lawsuit.

“The lawsuit today which was served was similarly served to National City Mayor Ron Morrison, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed last month, and other elected officials alike, by the same attorney. The attorney who is bringing these frivolous lawsuits is acting unethical and only looking to line his pockets," Kalasho said.

“He doesn't have the spinal fortitude to accept criticism,” Mark Lane, the man bringing the lawsuit against Kalasho, said from the podium. “He doesn’t' understand freedom of speech. That's why he blocked me on Facebook. Because he can't take criticism for stuff he does. He likes to do it but he can't take the criticism."

“Anybody, from anywhere in this country can come to this council and call you out for being the dirtbag you are,” Lane added. “They can come from Maine, they can come from Florida, they can come from anywhere. You can try and dodge you can try and hide, but you can’t.”

Other constituents wondered whether he would show up -- Kalasho could have been forced to resign had he not attended Tuesday’s meeting. -- and some were delighted to see that he did so they could call him out for his alleged behavior.

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