Consumer watchdog George Gombossy this morning filed a 1st Amendment lawsuit against his former employer, Tribune-owned Hartford Courant. There’s some gangbusters stuff in the filing, like the part where he says the new owners told him to “be nice” to one of their key advertisers:
The story of consumer columnist George Gombossy‘s departure from the Hartford Courant has become a “he said”/”company said” argument that seems like something out of a consumer affairs column. Was Gombossy let go for reporting on an advertiser, as he alleges, or was the elimination of his position simply part of the cutbacks taking place all over the Tribune Company?
Consumer affairs columnist George Gombossy has worked for the Hartford Courant since 1969—longer than most Consumerist readers have been alive. Yesterday was his last day at the paper, but he wasn’t caught up in one of the rounds of buyouts and layoffs hitting the newspaper industry. Gombossy claims that he was “was fired for doing [his] job,” after his last column exposed the bedbug-infested mattresses sold by a major Courant advertiser.