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Week in Review

By Tiombe Tallie Carter, Esq.

Democrats Score Two Big Victories in Trump Rebuke

The most recent election sent a clear message: Americans rebuke President Trump and Republicans. Virginia was decidedly clear, with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam's 9-point victory over Ed Gillespie, the Republican nominee. Although Mr. Gillespie introduced wedge issues, such as immigration to Confederate iconography into the race, Virginians rejected that strategy. New Jersey had similar results, with Philip Murphy winning the governorship with a large majority. The Democrats were big winners in local elections across the nation.


Being Famously Wealthy, as Quietly as Possible

Files from one of the world's largest offshore law firms show how the ultra-wealthy hide, keep, and flex their wealth. Documents from the Bermuda offshore law firm Appleby were obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, who shared them with an international journalist consortium. Last year, practices of another firm, Mossack Fonseca, were revealed in the infamous Panama Papers. Offshore firms provide high-profile clients secrecy as well as tax minimization opportunities. Some firms like Appleby "are more scrupulous than others by shunning overtly corrupt criminal clients." Appleby maintains offices in locations that offer "low or zero tax rates." Its spokesperson stated that it has done nothing wrong and is a firm whose job is to advise its clients on legitimate and lawful ways to conduct their businesses.


Prosecutors Drop Criminal Case Against Activist Arrested After Laughing at Sessions

Laughing out loud can be a crime. Just ask Desiree Fairooz. Fairooz, a political activist who attended Attorney General Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing, laughed during the hearing when it was stated that Sessions' record of "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well documented." Apparently, this statement struck Fairooz as comical, so much so that she burst out laughing on two occasions and disrupted the confirmation. The 61-year-old activist was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of unlawful conduct. In May, she was convicted by a jury whose conviction was later overturned in July by Chief Judge Robert Morin of the DC Superior Court. The case was set for a retrial this month. Without explanation, federal prosecutors have dropped the case, much to the relief of Fairooz, who saw the legal ordeal as no laughing matter.


Where to Draw the Line on Free Speech? Wedding Cake Case Vexes Lawyers

Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (No. 16-111), also known as the wedding cake case, is a challenge even for the nation's foremost free speech lawyers. Where to draw the line on protected expression is at issue. Attorneys who once supported freedom of artistic expression find themselves on opposing sides when it comes to cakes. Attorney Floyd Abrams takes the position that "when an artist sells a message, he must take all comers." His amicus brief is also supported by distinguished law school deans Kathleen M. Sullivan and Geoffrey Stone, and filed by former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger. Attorneys on the other side--Michael W. McConnell, Richard W. Garnett and Randy E. Barnett--filed a brief supporting the Colorado baker Jack Phillips. Their position is that the "state's effort to compel Phillips to use his artistic talent in a manner that's violative of his sincere convictions offends the vital constitutional commitment to freedom of expression." Eugene Volokh, another leading First Amendment scholar, took a different position in support of the gay couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, stating "cakes may be tasty and pretty, but creating them is not an expression protected by the First Amendment." He's opposed by attorneys once on the same side. Professor Dale Carpenter and the Cato Institute in their brief support the baker, stating, "the fact that the [baker's] medium are icing and chocolate rather than ink or paint does nothing to diminish the artistic content of his work." The case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court next month.


Uneven Breaks Among the Wealthy

How you earn your millions will be impacted by the new tax revisions. The Republican tax bill would be bad for professional athletes. High-earning owners of certain businesses known as pass-through entities would receive large tax breaks, while millionaires who earn money solely from their high-salaried employment would take a tax hit. Once drafted, the tax bill would "likely cut the taxes of Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, while likely raising the taxes on Tom Brady, the team's quarterback." Members of the House Ways and Means Committee began debating the bill last week. President Trump is pushing to have the tax bill passed by the end of this year.


In Frustration, President Flays Justice System

President Trump crossed the lines traditionally held by sitting presidents by ridiculing the Justice Department and making public statements calling for criminal executions. He called the Justice Department "a joke," called for the execution of the individual who plowed his van over pedestrians in Manhattan, and scolded the FBI "for not investigating his political opponents." Some political leaders and attorneys caution that President Trump's actions are inappropriate, while some conservatives state that "it would be dangerous to have an attorney general and an FBI director who do not answer to elected leaders." Nevertheless, President Trump's comments exceed what presidents have done, by way of political pressure, to law enforcement since Watergate.


Is the Terrorism Trial Process "a Joke"? Experts Say No

President Trump called the terrorism trial process "a joke," despite numerous convictions. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee explained that President Trump was expressing his frustration with the system when he tweeted that the Manhattan attack terror suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, should be executed. President Trump overlooked the fact that most terrorists are not captured alive, and those who are captured have been dealt with swiftly.


President Assails "Joke" Justice and Seeks Visa Program's End

President Trump was eager after the recent terrorist attack in Manhattan to advance his policy on immigration. The driver of the van that plowed into pedestrians on a popular bike path was from Uzbekistan. Trump "pressed Congress to end a visa lottery program that allowed the immigrant driver into the country." The Diversity Visa Lottery program, referred to by President Trump, was enacted in 1990 with bipartisan support. It has since been proposed to be terminated as part of a comprehensive immigration plan that was passed by the Senate in 2013 but was "blocked in the House by Republicans."


Trump Accusers Feel Forgotten, But a Lawsuit May End That

Women who made claims of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump during his presidential campaign expressed dismay that their claims were swept under the rug, while recent accusations against high-profile executives received widespread support and attention. Temple Taggart, Summer Zervos, and Jessica Leeds are among the more than 10 women who made allegations against President Trump for misconduct before his presidency. Zervos brought a defamation lawsuit against President Trump, claiming that he defamed her while on the campaign trail, when he called her and his other accusers liars and Hillary Clinton operatives. Her suit is before Judge Jennifer Schecter of the New York Supreme Court.


Tariq Ramadan, Oxford Scholar, Takes Leave After Rape Allegations

Tariq Ramadan, professor of contemporary Islamic studies at the University of Oxford, was accused of rape by two women--one in 2012 and one in 2009. Another four women came forth with claims that he sexually harassed them in 2002, while in Geneva when they were students. Ramadan denies all the allegations. However,the University put him on a leave of absence so that he can address the accusations. It also stated that the leave of absence should not be taken as a presumption of guilt.


Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into Entertainment, Arts, Sports, and Media:


On the Dance Floor, Everybody Cut Footloose (Legally)

What would you do if a law that fined you for swaying at a rock concert was lifted? Shake your groove thing! That's what bars across the five boroughs are doing, since the 1926 Cabaret Law was struck down. The Prohibition-era law made it illegal to host musical entertainment, singing and dancing, or other forms of amusement without a license. The licensing process is onerous as well as cost prohibitive. Only 97 out of 25,000 establishments possess a license. It has been a long and arduous process to have the law repealed. The City Council vote was welcomed with dancing.


Comic Admits to Sexual Misconduct as Media Companies Sever Ties

In a written statement, Louis C.K. acknowledged that he engaged in sexual misconduct with the five women named in a recent New York Times article. He admitted that although he asked these women first if it was okay, he realizes now that because of the power he wielded, "the request wasn't a question to the women but a predicament." The repercussions have been swift. His publicist, agent, and several production companies have dropped him.


Swiss Won't Pursue Latest Polanski Case

The statute of limitations has expired for a 45-year-old sexual assault claim against Roman Polanski. His accuser, Renate Langer, now 61, filed a police report in September, claiming that the director raped her when she was 15. Polanski contests the new allegation. He remains a fugitive from the United States, after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor in 1978.


Weinstein Company Records Subpoenaed

Manhattan prosecutors issued a subpoena for Harvey Weinstein's former company and two law firms that represented him in furtherance of its investigation into sexual assault allegations. The prosecutors are seeking documents on Weinstein's settlements relating to sexual misconduct and payroll records, among others. The law firm Boies Schiller Flexner represented his production company, and the Morvillo firm defended him against sexual assault accusations in 2015.


Harvey Weinstein Hires Two Renowned Lawyers

Harvey Weinstein hired two high-powered attorneys on both coasts to represent him in his mounting sexual assault suits in Manhattan and Los Angeles. In Manhattan, he will be represented by Benjamin Brafman (who was a panelist during the 2017 EASL Annual Meeting), who has an esteemed reputation for high-profile clients, like Sean Combs for gun possession and Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Sanford I. Rubinstein, who both faced sexual assault allegations. On the West Coast, he will be represented by Blair Berk, who represented him last year, as well as artist CeeLo Green.


Weinstein Work Puts New Glare on Lawyers

Respected litigator David Boies recently found himself in the spotlight. Representing high profile clients ranging from Harvey Weinstein, to Adelphia, and even the New York Times, Boies is known to be hard-nosed. However, his ethics were recently questioned when it was reported that his firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, hired a private investigation company to investigate the New York Times, while the firm was representing Harvey Weinstein. According to a New Yorker exposé, the law firm helped hire the private investigation firm to block a negative article about Weinstein on which reporters for the New York Times were working. The New York Times is ending its relationship with the law firm. Many in the legal community are speculating as to whether there are any ethical violations.


Police Building Case to Arrest Movie Mogul

The Manhattan Police Department stated that it is gathering evidence against Harvey Weinstein related to allegations of sexual assault by actress Paz de la Huerta. According to Chief Boyce, de la Huerta has "put forth a credible and detailed narrative." However, because the allegations stem from an assault seven years ago and the fact that Weinstein is outside of jurisdiction, Boyce's department is building the case. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. further stated that his office is not yet ready to charge Weinstein.


Prosecutors Examining Transactions Connected to Weinstein and Charity

Harvey Weinstein allegations continue to fly, now for fraud. The office of the Attorney General for the Southern District of New York is investigating a $600,000 transaction to AIDS charity amfAR, chaired by fashion designer Kenneth Cole. Cole stated publicly that the Manhattan-based charity will be cooperating with federal prosecutors. The allegations stem from several transactions involving Weinstein's production "Finding Neverland," the American Repertory Theater, and the charity's fundraiser, chaired by Weinstein.


Spacey Accused of Assaulting an 18-Year-Old Man in 2016

Another person came forward with allegations of sexual assault by Kevin Spacey. Heather Unruh, a longtime TV broadcaster in Boston, issued a public statement that Spacey sexually assaulted her son last summer, when the boy was only 18 years old. The incident occurred at a Nantucket bar, and was reported to the Nantucket police. Spacey has been under fire since Anthony Rapp announced that he was sexually assaulted by the lauded actor 31 years ago, when Rapp was only 14 years old.


Spacey Is Dropped from Finished Movie

Hollywood continues to distance itself from Kevin Spacey in the aftermath of his sexual assault allegations. Director Ridley Scott dropped Spacey from his film, "All the Money in the World". Spacey had already filmed eight days of his character, John Paul Getty, yet will be recast by Christopher Plummer, an unusual move for a film already finished and scheduled for release in December. However, Scott was concerned that Spacey's involvement in the film may affect moviegoers and film critics, even though he is unrecognizable under his makeup for his supporting role.


Meek Mill's Lawyer Accuses Judge of Bias

After Robert Rahmeek Williams, professionally known as Meek Mill, was sentenced to two to four years in prison for probation violations, his attorney Joe Tacopina accused Judge Genece E. Brinkley of extreme bias against the rapper. Tacopina stated that the judge behaved inappropriately during the case by asking to be named in one of the rapper's songs and counseling on who should be his manager. Williams was on probation for a 2008 conviction on possession of guns and drugs. There are plans to appeal the sentence.


Lawyers Ready as Accusations of Sex Offenses Flood Internet

With online accusations come lawsuits. Sexual assault allegations continue to fly in the news, and especially on social media, with consequences for the accused as well as the accusers. One self-proclaimed victim is finding out the hard way. Melanie Kohler, who now runs a scuba-diving company in Hawaii, took to Facebook to announce that Hollywood producer and director Brett Ratner raped her in 2004 when she was doing marketing in Los Angeles. After a call from Ratner's attorney, Martin Singer, Kohler removed the post. Now, however, she's being sued for defamation. She has her own attorney, Roberta Kaplan. More claims and consequences are anticipated to be seen as more victims become emboldened to go public. Miles Feldman of the Los Angeles law firm Raines Feldman, which handles online defamation cases, said "there is less fear now in making these assertions in various media."


A Film Festival Tests the Limits of Independence in China

The newly launched Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival strives to provide a platform for filmmakers in China in the face of President Xi Jinping's era of censorship. The ambitious festival, which aims to be the Sundance of China, is the brainchild of Jia Zhangke. The festival was named in homage to director Ang Lee. For the festival to proceed, all 52 film entries had to be reviewed by government officials, and the festival had to adjust its dates around the Party Congress.


Awards Show Lifts Question Restrictions

The Country Music Awards felt backlash when it tried to wield a heavy hand. Organizers of one of the largest awards shows in the music industry tried to avoid politically sensitive topics by threatening "to revoke the credentials of journalists on the red carpet and backstage who direct coverage 'to the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like'." Journalists and country music stars took umbrage, going on social media to complain about the CMA's new guidelines. The award show quickly changed its tune and lifted the restrictions.



Court Halts Museum's Plan to Put Rockwell Paintings and Others Up for Auction

The Massachusetts Attorney General appealed Judge Agostini's decision, asking the Massachusetts Court of Appeals for an injunction halting the sale until it had more time to review the museum's plan. The court granted the state's request, stating that "allowing the sale created more of a risk than stopping it." It issued an injunction until December 11, 2017.

Judge Agostini's decision would have allowed the Berkshire Museum to be able to proceed with its planned sale of 40 pieces of art from its collection. Largely criticized since its July announcement, the museum stated that the Sotheby's auction was necessary to "increase its endowment, renovate its building and expand programming." Some of the artwork include artists such as Norman Rockwell, Alexander Calder, and Albert Bierstadt. Rockwell's sons, museum members, and even the Massachusetts attorney general's office opposed the sale.


Court Orders Return of a Looted Pissarro

American couple Robbi and Bruce Toll must return French masterpiece "La Cueillette des Pois," or Picking Peas, by Impressionist Camille Pissarro to descendants of its pre-Holocaust owner, Simon Bauer. Tracing the history of ownership is an unfortunate yet common saga of art seized during the Holocaust. "...Bauer, a Jewish art collector, was detained during World War II in the Drancy internment camp near Paris. When he returned to Paris, he found his art collection had been confiscated by the Vichy government. Before his arrest, he made a detailed list of 93 pieces of art he owned. A Vichy art dealer then sold the painting and it passed through the hands of several buyers eventually landing at Sotheby's in 1966." The painting later came into Christie's possession. The Tolls purchased the work in 1995 at Christie's for $800,000. Last spring, the couple allowed its exhibition at the Musée Marmottan Monet. Bauer's grandson, who is 88, recognized the work when it was exhibited in Paris. The French court ruled against the Tolls but stressed they acted in good faith. It's not clear why the painting was never detected as looted. The Tolls plan to appeal the decision.


Art Fair Director Ousted Over Claims of Harassment

Benjamin Genocchio, executive director of The Armory Show, was replaced amid allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior. Five women claim that they suffered unwanted touching from Genocchio over several years, and a number of women acknowledged being aware of his behavior. He apologized if his behavior was interpreted as disrespectful.



Gymnast Aly Raisman Says Team Doctor Molested Her

American gymnast Aly Raisman revealed that Dr. Nassar, the Olympic team doctor currently awaiting trial for sexual molestation, assaulted her. The 23-year-old team captain revealed the incident on television and in her new book, Fierce. She won the 2012 gold medal for floor exercises. Raisman is the second athlete to come forward recently. Teammate McKayla Maroney and Jamie Dantzscher also accused Dr. Nassar. He is currently awaiting trial for 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Over 100 women have accused him of sexual abuse.


UCLA Basketball Team Returns Home from China Without Three Players Who Were Arrested for Shoplifting

UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested in China while participating in a Pac-12 basketball tournament. The three players are accused of shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel. Under Chinese law, if convicted, the players face a one- to two-year sentence based on the value of the stolen sunglasses.


Leak May Expose Full Scope of Russian Doping

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced on Friday that it is now in possession of an electronic file thought to contain all testing data from early 2012 to mid-2015 on "thousands of drug screenings ran on Russian athletes." The global sports drug regulator received the database via a whistleblower. The information on the database is expected to confirm the depth and level of the drug doping violations made by Russia during the 2014 Winter Sochi games. With the new information, the International Olympic Committee could issue stiffer penalties against Russia, including preventing the country's participation in the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea.


Putin Sees Conspiracy After Russian's Doping Ban

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued another set of penalties against Russian athletes for their use of performance-enhancing drugs during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Four cross-country skiers, Yuliia Ivanova, Alexey Petukhov, Evgeniya Shapovalova and Maksim Vylegzhanin--were disqualified and barred from competing in future Olympics. President Putin called the sanctions an American orchestration in retaliation for Russia's alleged involvement in the U.S. presidential election, stating that Americans are now trying to undermine his upcoming election. He is up for reelection in March 2018. The athletes will likely appeal the decision.


Ban Anthem of Russia? IOC Weighs Drug Penalties

It is expected that the International Olympic Committee will issue its decision on Russia's doping charges as early as December 5th. Some of the possible penalties being considered include barring Russia's national anthem from being sung during the games, preventing the athletic delegation from participating in the opening ceremony, and having the athletes compete under a neutral flag or wear a neutral uniform at an upcoming game. The IOC could also issue financial penalties and bar athletes as well as Russian leaders who were involved in the doping. It is expected that Russia will take the penalties lightly, as it has yet to comply with the IOC's 2015 mandate.


Jones Demands Vote on Goodell's Contract By All National Football League Owners

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones continues his crusade against National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell, now threatening to sue the NFL if it does not alter Commissioner Goodell's new contract extension. Jones is still upset about the way Goodell handled the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott and of players protesting during the national anthem. Jones claims that financial conditions have changed since May, and wants Goodell's new contract to have "less guaranteed pay and more incentives tied to the league's financial performance." He is demanding a full vote by the owners instead of the league compensation committee. It was unanimously agreed upon last spring to approve Goodell's contract extension and to allow the compensation committee to work out the details.


NFL Opposes Republican Tax Bill

If the proposed Republican tax bill is adopted as drafted, local governments could no longer issue bonds to help finance the building and renovating of stadiums. The NFL is opposed to the new bill, stating that "football stadiums stimulate economic development and federal tax breaks should be available." A 2016 Brookings Institute report showed that 36 out of the 45 most recent stadiums built or renovated received a partial tax subsidy.


Women's Marathon Champion Banned

Kenyan Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 women's Olympic marathon winner, tested positive for EPO, a performance-enhancing hormone. The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya issued her a four-year ban from competing. She will miss the 2019 World Games and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


Powerful Voice, Tied to Bribery Case, Resurfaces

This week's annual meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees brought out its beleaguered leader who had been out of the spotlight recently. Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah of Kuwait was named a co-conspirator for bribery and corruption earlier this spring by former Guam soccer leader, Richard Lai. In his April plea, Lai claimed that Sheikh Ahmad made off-the-book payments from the Olympic Council of Asia (of which Sheikh is president) to him to "influence key appointments in regionals and international soccer bodies." Although Sheikh Ahmad is currently being investigated by FIFA and the IOC, the leaders that gathered this week "ratified their support by acclimation of a resolution" of Sheikh Ahmad.


Ezekiel Elliott On Again, Off Again

Dallas Cowboys' running back Ezekiel Elliott was going to play on Sunday, Nov. 12th, according to a Nov. 3rd federal appeals court ruling that blocked an earlier ruling reinstituting his suspension. However, that ruling was overturned. On Nov. 9th, the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit "terminated a temporary administrative stay of the suspension and denied a request for a temporary injunction." Many have found it hard to keep up with the status of his six-game suspension issued by NFL Commissioner Goodell that was due to allegations of domestic assault in August.



Ex-Dolphin Pushes NFL on Concussion Research

Nick Buoniconti, a former Hall of Fame linebacker and leader of the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s, announced that he will donate his brain to medical research on brain concussions. Buoniconti suffers from diminished capacity stemming from too many hits to the head. He was inspired to contribute to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research due to the NFL pulling its funding from Dr. Ann McKee from Boston University's CTE Center. The CTE Center has found links between head hits and CTE. Former NFL players Warren Sapp, Matt Hasselbeck, and Leonard Marshall also pledged to donate their brains to the research.


How Climate Change Affects Marathon Times

Should marathon race times be adjusted for temperature conditions? A recent report "analyzed over 4.7 million race finishing times from 20 years of data on almost 900 marathons," and determined that temperature matters. With day of race temperatures increasing more than 20 degrees, the report states that the best times are run on days with temperatures in the 40s. It is expected that finish times will increase almost 13 seconds during the New York City Marathon, when temperatures are in the 60s. Changes in temperature could affect planning sporting events in the future.



Russia Warns of Crackdown on U.S. Media, Including CNN

Russian government officials stated that they would impose a crackdown on American news outlets in retaliation to the U.S. Justice Department requiring Russia Today to register as a foreign agent. American intelligence sources label the state-run news outlet as a propaganda tool. Russia threatened to also designate U.S. media outlets operating in Russia, such as CNN, as hostile intelligence outlets or foreign agents, thereby restricting their access and distribution.


Racial Quip Becomes a Rallying Cry for Brazilians

A video capturing a Brazilian news anchor commenting to a guest that a car honking its horn while driving by was "a Black thing. No doubt.," has gone viral to much indignation. William Waack, the anchorman on Brazil's leading television station Globo, was suspended until the company can investigate. The cameraman who recorded the exchange stated he didn't release it at the time out of fear of losing his job. He no longer works for the company. The public reaction has taken an interesting turn, with postings on social media of the accomplishments of Black Brazilians with the hashtag #It'sABlackThing.


Disney Ends Ban on Los Angeles Times After Fierce Backlash by News Outlets

The Walt Disney Company had issued a blackout against The Los Angeles Times, stemming from a September 2017 article exposing the company's business ties with Anaheim, California. After experiencing its own backlash from other media outlets and entertainment leaders, the company is reversing its decision. The Los Angeles Times will also be allowed to attend advance screenings of Disney films.


Television Station Is Attacked in Afghan Capital

Shamshad TV, a leading television station in Kabal, Afghanistan, was attacked by two armed men. According to a spokesperson for the Afghan Health Ministry, 2 people were killed and 19 were wounded. The rest of the roughly 150 employees were able to escape. Online posts claim that the Islamic State is responsible for the attack.


In Reversal, Tech Titans Back Bill on Sex Trafficking

Tech giants, such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, have succumbed to political pressure and now support the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act. Initially opposing the bill, the tech companies gave up their fight when battered recently on Capitol Hill for their facilitation of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The bill "allows victims to sue websites who knowingly support and assist sex trafficking on their sites." According to Michael Beckerman of the Internet Association, "the bill will grant victims the ability to secure the justice they deserve, allow internet platforms to continue their work combating human trafficking, and protect good actors in the ecosystem." The new act amends Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects online companies from
liability over content they host on their sites.


DNAinfo and Gothamist Shut Down After Workers Join a Union

On October 26th, DNAinfo and Gothamist voted to join a union, the Writers Guild of America East. It wasn't an easy road to unionization with its owner, Joe Ricketts, who became owner when DNAinfo bought Gothamist earlier this year, refusing to recognize the union. The National Labor Relations Board had to conduct the vote. Before the vote, Ricketts wrote to his employees, and stated that as long as his money is financing the company, he will be the one deciding how it will be managed. The vote carried with 25 out of 27 workers agreeing to unionize. On November 2nd, Ricketts shut down the companies.


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