City Councilor heated over talk show host's fired up comments

Wednesday, August 10th 2005, 3:15 pm
By: News On 6

It started on the airwaves, but now a dispute between a Tulsa City Councilor and popular morning radio host could be headed for a courtroom.

City Councilor Bill Christiansen is suing Michael DelGiorno and his radio station, KFAQ for defamation and emotional distress.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says at times, DelGiorno's comments could be called harsh. But are they false? That's what Christiansen's lawsuit is saying.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday, because, his lawyer Steve Peters says, Christiansen has had enough.

He says DelGiorno accused Christiansen on the air of using his city position to benefit his aviation business at the Jones Riverside Airport. Christiansen was sued by another aviation business over alleged unfair practices, but no judgement was ever made against Christiansen.

Peters says they met with DelGiorno and station management to show them the claims being made against Christiansen were false and "put them on notice that they wanted a retraction."

They say they didn't get one and say that DelGiorno continued making similar statements, even saying at one point on-air that he would visit Christiansen in jail.

Peters says that DelGiorno said he doesn't remember making some of the statements. But Peters says they have a minimum of four months worth of recordings of DelGiorno's show to prove he made the comments.

Peters says it's difficult to win a defamation case against a public figure like DelGiorno compared to a private one. He says he will have to prove the statements were false, that DelGiorno knew they were false and that he acted with malice.