Municipality Seeks to Limit Publicity in Rollins Civil Lawsuits
Files request for gag order to keep plaintiffs’ attorneys from talking to media
ANCHORAGE - The municipality's attorneys are asking a judge to order other attorneys in the Anthony Rollins civil lawsuits to stop talking to reporters.
City attorneys are asking for this gag order in all ten lawsuits specifically because of a story CBS 11 News did in March.
They say the counsel representing the victims is going to the news media for publicity, and by doing so is jeopardizing any remaining chance of a fair trial.
The municipality is taking issue with some of the words Christine Schleuss, an attorney for some of the women former officer Anthony Rollins raped, is saying. She was interviewed for a CBS 11 News story that aired on March 22.
The city is now demanding that all of the attorneys in all ten civil lawsuits stop talking to the media.
Municipal attorney Dennis Wheeler told CBS 11 News Monday his office filed the protective order to make sure all attorneys involved don't make the mistake of ruining jury pools. He says there has been information put out that is not correct.
Wheeler did not specify what but according to the motion his office filed with the court, he specifically mentions Schleuss’s statements to CBS 11 News: “I have trouble believing Rollins was the only one.” “There were many more, many more.” “I cant tell you how many there are – 20, 30.” “I can't finish reading them all so I can't tell you.” ”Because how many transcripts of women who were raped can I read at one time.”
The municipality says Schleuss is “using the media to pressure and prejudice the municipality” and “has contaminated the entire potential jury pool for all ten cases.”
Schleuss responded in a letter back to the municipality, saying “the public is entitled to access to court files in these cases just as it is entitled to access in court files in every other case.” She goes on to say before she made any statement to the press she spoke with bar counsel first, and “restricted most of her comments to matters that were already public record.”
Whether a gag order will be issued is now up to a judge.
As part of her response to the municipality Schleuss also mentions that her comments or remarks were made in direct response to statements made by officials in the municipality or the Anchorage Police Department.
There is no word on when a judge will decide on the gag order.