SUNSET HILLS, Mo. — An alderwoman and ex-mayoral candidate in Sunset Hills is suing the St. Louis Call newspaper, alleging an editorial it published in March contained false statements.
Christine Lieber, also a Shelter Insurance agent, said in a lawsuit filed last month in St. Louis County Circuit Court that she was running for Sunset Hills mayor, with an election April 5.
The Call's editorial dealt with Lieber's race, being run against incumbent Pat Fribis, the eventual winner.
The editorial said the newspaper was concerned with Lieber's "calls for transparency and upholding the Sunshine Law when some of her actions as an alderman in the past have been less than."
The editorial continued: "In her questionnaire, Lieber said that as mayor she would have an attorney hold Sunshine Law training for the board. However, at a May 2021 meeting called to educate the then newly-elected aldermen on how to conduct city business in accordance with the Sunshine Law, Lieber said the meeting was unnecessary and could have been avoided with a phone call. This discrepancy between her campaign tenets and her past actions give us pause. "
The Call endorsed Fribis.
Lieber's lawsuit, though, said the meeting, actually held in June 2021, wasn't called to educate newly elected aldermen on how to conduct city business in accordance with the Sunshine Law; that Lieber actually called the meeting; and that Lieber's statement that the meeting was unnecessary and could have been avoided with a phone call had nothing to do with the Sunshine Law, and instead was referring to a conversation with a developer, among other things.
The Call, the lawsuit said, didn't print a retraction as demanded. The newspaper also was "made aware of their error of fact in their endorsement" prior to the election, the lawsuit claims.
Lieber, it continued, "has suffered injury to her reputation for leadership and honesty," and the "slanderous statements" contributed to her loss in the mayoral race.
The suit seeks damages "in such sum as is fair and reasonable..."
Read more of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.