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Posted 1:00 AM Eastern

by David Bresnahan
December 24, 2005

MONTEREY, Calif. -- Despite reports in the Monterey Herald, Gene Forte was not declared a vexatious litigant by the Monterey Superior Court.

"Court records indicate they, in turn, have questioned his mental stability and labeled him a �vexatious litigant,' limiting his ability to file future lawsuits," reported the Monterey Herald on Dec. 4, 2005.

"Judge John Golden ruled that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Bill Lockyer had no legal standing to even bring the motion in the first place. They did not succeed in their effort to declare me a vexatious litigant. The Monterey Herald has shown that they are in collusion with Schwarzenegger and Lockyer by their failure to report accurately, and by their failure to print a correction," said Forte.

Forte vs. O'Farrell is a lawsuit Forte filed against Monterey Superior Court Judge Robert O'Farrell, Dist. Attorney Dean Flippo, and others with charges of corruption.

"Lockyer should be investigating O'Farrell and others, but instead he has come to their defense as their lawyer. I am not intimidated when the �good old boys' team up against me," said Forte.

Forte filed his suit in Dec. 2004, and a few weeks later Lockyer came in to defend O'Farrell.

"They are trying every trick in the book to avoid actually responding to the facts in the case. They do not want to have to defend themselves against the corruption activities I have charged them with, because there is no defense. They think they can use their influence to get the case dismissed. They have never faced someone like me who has the facts, and support from his family and the determination to fight all the way," said Forte, who is a nationally prominent executive recruiter.

The report in the Monterey Herald implied that Forte's source of income was in question, even that paper published an article about him previously which stated that he is an executive recruiter.

Schwarzenegger and Lockyer, in their individual capacity filed the court document to have Forte declared a vexatious litigant in May, 2005. It was not only a futile effort but an improper one, according to the court and Forte.

Golden ruled in favor of Forte. It was a major legal victory for an average citizen with no attorney who was representing himself, but the Monterey Herald reported exactly the opposite. Golden refused to correct what even he called a misleading title of the order denying Forte a vexatious litigant. Forte says it was a set up between Golden and the good old boys to try and conceal the truth from the public.

Although his foes have tried to declare him a vexatious litigant they failed. Contrary to the report in the Monterey Herald, Forte has not been limited in his ability or right to file a lawsuit in any way.

"The Monterey Herald had several documents and letters in their hands since June 30, 2005 that informed them that I had not been declared a vexatious litigant. It was a wanton reckless disregard of the truth by Knight Ridder, similar to what Dan Rather was forced into retirement for," said Forte.

The report in the Monterey Herald was carried on the front page of a Sunday edition. In the article Forte is portrayed as mentally unstable. O'Farrell is quoted making disparaging remarks against Forte, with no response from Forte. O'Farrell's remarks appear to be used only to further paint an inaccurate picture to the public of Forte's character and the facts in the case, according to Forte.

"It is very likely the Monterey Herald will learn first-hand that I have not been limited in my ability, because I am very likely to take legal action against them for what they are trying to do to my reputation and character," said Forte.

On Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 the Monterey Herald printed a correction to the story, blaming court records for the error. However, a reading of the court records resulted in the correction. It was not an error in the records, but a disregard of the truth by the reporter that produced an inaccurate story, said Forte.

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The correction stated: "Due to an error in court records, an article on page A1 on Dec. 4 regarding allegations against a local judge incorrectly stated that Eugene Forte had been declared a vexatious litigant in Monterey County Superior Court. The state Attorney General's Office filed a motion asking that Forte be declared a vexatious litigant, and that his ability to file future lawsuits be restricted. The motion was denied. A subsequent entry in the court record erroneously indicated the motion was granted."

There was no clarification made by the paper regarding statements about Forte's mental ability, his source of income, or his character. Although the original story was carried on the front page on a Sunday, the correction was hidden away deep within a Friday edition where it would not be noticed by the average reader.

Click here to read part -----> 1, 2, 3, of this ongoing story.

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Forte vs. O'Farrell is a lawsuit Forte filed against Monterey Superior Court Judge Robert O'Farrell, Dist. Attorney Dean Flippo, and others with charges of corruption.