Actually, yes you will. It isn’t like people who have followed the Baton Rouge Council on Aging mess would be surprised at the news Tasha Clark Amar, the director of that corrupt, taxpayer-funded enterprise, would be suing the people she tried to swindle for having publicly called her out for it.
East Baton Rouge Council on Aging Executive Director Tasha Clark Amar has filed a defamation lawsuit against the family of a now deceased Council on Aging client who had named Amar to oversee her estate.
The lawsuit, filed in late April in state 19th Judicial District court, is yet another twist for an agency that has oozed controversy for several months. Amar’s focus is the family of Helen Plummer, who accused her in March of unduly influencing 95-year-old Plummer into leaving Amar in charge of her estate. Plummer died in March and her will specified that Amar, as overseer of the estate, was to collect $120,000 over 20 years from a trust.
Plummer’s granddaughter, Tracie Davis, and daughter, Jacquelyn Antoine, publicly accused Amar of wrongdoing for using her position to capitalize on a financial gain from a client.
Amar asked to withdraw from overseeing Plummer’s estate after multiple media outlets started reporting on the matter. But now, Amar is fighting back.
She claims in her lawsuit that the statements from Davis and her family members were “meant to sway public opinion in a negative light to Mrs. Amar and affect her job as CEO of with (sic) East Baton Rouge Counsel (sic) on Aging.”‘
Let’s remember how all this got started. Amar tried to write herself into Plummer’s will, and after she died Amar then attempted to start collecting her trustee fee. The family responded by emptying the bank accounts she would be paid from and then she proceeded to sue them. That’s when they went public with what was going on, and now she’s suing them for doing that.
The Advocate piece on this idiocy is really worth a full read. Here’s just a little more…
LSU law professor Elizabeth Carter, who specializes in successions and trusts, has been closely following the dispute between Amar and the Plummer family. Looking over the typo-filled lawsuit Thursday evening, Carter said it was not a smart move for Amar to file it.
Defamation lawsuits are often meant to intimidate the people they are filed against, Carter said. And she said the statements she has seen from the Plummer family have either been truthful — as Amar did stand to collect $120,000 as the estate’s trustee — or opinions, like the family prefacing their thoughts on Amar with “we believe.”
Neither of those meet the bar for a defamation case, and the case Amar is pursuing will require a malicious and intentional falsity, Carter said.
“When you’re bringing a defamation lawsuit against a public figure, the burden is even higher than it is for a private figure,” Carter said. “She’s a public employee, so that’s probably enough to be considered a public figure. She’s the face of a pretty significant agency with a lot of money.”
Amar’s attorney is Charlotte McDaniel McGehee, who we understand is McTerrible at her job (the “typo-filled lawsuit” is a decent tip to that, and so is this rather shady bit of self-promotion) and also got McSlaughtered back in 2015 when she ran against Jim Donelon for Insurance Commissioner and lost 53.5-19 in a four-way race. Interestingly enough, McGehee managed to salvage some sense of accomplishment amid that race, as she finished with more votes than fellow Democrat and inveterate candidate Donald Hodge with whom she’s had an ongoing feud. McGehee in 2012 filed a complaint with the 19th JDC against Hodge alleging that the latter had inflicted emotional distress on her by making mean statements arising from a dispute about gay marriage on the Democrat Parish Executive Committee in East Baton Rouge Parish on which both were serving.
In other words, here’s somebody willing to file snowflake lawsuits with no basis to them. And here’s McGehee’s line for the media on this case…
“It’s her reputation that suffers because of untrue statements about her,” McGehee said. “If you’re not well-received or well-recepted, you’re not going to increase in your livelihood.”
Carter, the law professor from LSU, had the perfect response to this case – namely, what reputation? You can’t a worse reputation than Tasha Clark Amar already had in Baton Rouge even before she tried to write herself into that will. She had already run the COA into the ground financially and been the subject of multiple negative fiscal reviews, and she was already under fire for illegally using COA funds to print and mail an election flyer in advance of the passage of that $8 million tax to benefit the agency which managed to pass last year.
The Plummer family doesn’t have an attorney yet. It’s a good bet they’ll be able to pick from a host of good ones even despite the fact Amar’s mother is Janice Clark, a judge at the 19th JDC. After all, in case Tasha Clark Amar and her attorney aren’t aware, when you sue somebody they get to do discovery on you and put you under oath for a deposition. And at that point, particularly when they’re examining your reputation, the results can closely resemble the Fourth of July.
It’s a lawyer’s dream. Especially when the other side consists of morons. Which is true here.