[What follows is an unedited letter sent by Darryl Genis, Peter Lance’s DUI attorney, in response to a retraction request issued to the Santa Barbara News-Press on behalf of Kasi Beutel]
Dear Mr. Nye, and Dear Ms. Beutel:
It has come to my attention that collectively you have published upon the internet (http://www.edhat.com/daypics2011/20110711153541.pdf) a letter dated July 11, 2011 that holds me out to professional ridicule based upon the contents of paragraphs number five and six of page 3 of said letter.
In paragraph six of page two, you specifically state that I “never asked for all arrests made by Officer Beutel” and go on to enumerate 5 Vehicle Code sections which I allegedly failed to specify in my CPRA/FOIA requests (in spite of the fact that I enumerated 10 vehicle Code sections and 2 Penal Code sections). Attached are copies of my actual requests sent to the SBPD on May 11th and May 17th, 2011 which prove that your published claim is patently false and defamatory.
In response to these Public Record Acts requests the SBPD provided my office with the total compilation of Officer Beutel’s DUI arrests for 2009 and 2010. See pdfs of our letters attached.
Since your client is Kasi Beutel and at the time of our requests, and at all times thereafter leading up to the writing of your letter, she, and therefore you, had access to the official statistics cited above, and to copies of my CPRA/FOIA requests, she knew and you should have known, that the above mentioned statement contained in your July 11th 2011 letter was false. Thus, in causing that letter to be sent to The Santa Barbara Independent and other media such as Edhat.com you and your client have acted with actual malice, as defined in New York Times. vs. Sullivan 376 U.S. 254 (1964) as “reckless disregard for the truth.”
Since the aforementioned false statement regarding my due diligence with the SBPD on Ms. Beutel’s DUI arrest statistics is libel per se (in that it goes to my professional conduct as an attorney) I demand an immediate retraction. Each day you allow this defamatory statement to remain in the public domain, the damage to my reputation increases.
There are a number of other false and defamatory statements in your letters of July 11th and 12th that damage the reputation of my client Peter Lance, but Mr. Lance and the Santa Barbara News-Press will address that additional libel via separate counsel.
Please get back to me forthwith by email and hard copy.
Darryl W. Genis