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Wilmington mayoral candidate sues Star News and points finger at opposition

READ MORE: Wilmington mayoral candidate sues Star News and points finger at opposition
An anonymous contributor to the Star News website alleges Paul Knight embezzled money and was sued twice for sexual harassment. Now Knight is suing the John Doe and pointing the finger at incumbent Bill Saffo. Why is this surfacing now? “Because strategically it makes sense to drop a bomb before an election when you feel threatened, and I believe that's what's going on,” Knight said. Thursday, mayoral candidate Paul Knight filed a lawsuit against someone with the online name Sandy Brown Realtor for comments posted in a Star News online forum. The post said, "a very relevant question would be about Mr. Knight's embezzlement of 401-k funds from his employees." Knight says there was a problem a few years ago with 401-k funds at Sea-Comm Media, where he is general manager, but it was not embezzlement and everything was settled with the Department of Labor. “The bottom line is that everybody got their money, they made more on their money than they would have if they had it invested,” Knight said. A representative with the Employee Benefits Security Administration confirmed Knight's account. The online post went on to say, "you will also find at least two separate instances of Knight being sued for sexual harassment." We couldn't find any record of the lawsuits. Finally, the anonymous author posted, "I guess it's obvious, I don't really like the guy, but I am not making up anything." Knight says he's determined to learn the author's true identity and find out if there's any connection to Mayor Bill Saffo's re-election effort. “I believe that once I find the true identity to this person, and can track the dots that the line may lead back to my opponent's campaign,” Knight said. Mayor Saffo has not returned our calls for comment. Since Knight filed the lawsuit, the Star News has removed the comments from its website. Despite a subpoena from Knight the Star News would not reveal any information pertaining to the anonymous poster. Executive Editor Robyn Tomlin said the information is protected by the first amendment. The paper would only turn over information if someone threatens physical harm or a court orders it.

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This local campaign was going along as any fair election should with forums that stayed on the issues. It was a clean campaign until a Saffo supporter, at the last public debate between the two candidates, asked a personal question that had no relevance to any issue or the job of Mayor. The next day, what I would take to be another Saffo suporter, pulled a sneaky by posting very damaging, but untrue accusations against the challenger Knight in the town newspaper. Saffo supporters started playing dirty, and by doing so, tainted the election process, and forced Knight on the defensesive, as no defense (as some have suggested) implies guilt. Knight proved the accusation were untrue, but the damage is done. Saffo supporters should be credited with playing foul to tilt the election. A Bronz cheer to the Saffo camp!

Paul Knight & Co. can dish it out, but can't take it!

Every weekday morning his star employee on the Big Talker FM, Curtis Wright, lashes out often making false accusations about all of our current area leaders. Most just let it roll off their backs. Paul obviously doesn't have this ability.

thin skin?

If we are going to talk about thin skinned and whining, no one is more sensitive than our current President , who has declared war on FOX NEWS by claiming they are not a legitimate news source because they are critical of his policies. President Bush granted access to all media outlets during his term , even MSNBC, who bashed him on a frequent basis .Given your premise Wilmington MAJ, Obama is not worthy of holding office . You liberals make such inconsistent statements that you lose your credibility over time .Please keep speaking out because it confirms our allegations about the liberal double standard!

Serious Accusations Deserve Serious Response

When the main newspaper of a town prints specific charges of (felony) criminal activity against a candidate seeking the office of Mayor, this candidate should not be faulted for seriously responding. This type of assault is more than just criticism, and asking someone to be a "good sport" about it, may not apply . I believe either course of action--let it roll, or fight the charges, would have negative consequences.


I don't think the star news "printed" anything -- an anonymous poster on one of their message boards posted the accusations. Star News was getting sued because they didn't want to release any information. I don't think the information they have can lead back to any specific person, only to a computer. Just read a new story on their website that Mr. Knight also had tried to unsuccessfully sue the city about five years ago. Guess I better watch what I write here or else I might get sued, too...

Nonsence, where have you been, head in the sand?

For years now, since Paul Knight installed Curtis Wright on his morning radio talk show, they have been making serious negative often erroneous accusations about Saffo and other area leaders. You also failed to mention that one of accusations toward Knight may have had some validity.

What do kids do when someone hurts their feelings?

Cry! How old is Mr. Knight? Sticks and stones? Does he not realize trying to run for a public office means someone is going to talk trash-true or not. If not great for him! If it's true..then he shouldn't run for office and take that chance that someone may find his skeletons. That's just part of trying to get elected anywhere in this country. Deal with it or don't run but don't cry! No one wants to see a grown man cry!

Inflammatory and juvenile

The Star-News forums are political platforms for the Democratic Party to make inflammatory and juvenile statements. A prime example of a derogatory forum that was on their site was titled " Ex-lax needed to remove Republican blockadge.I dropped my subscription to the paper after seeing the hate speech and name calling of the opposition. If you do not toe the party line you are automatically labeled a tea bagger! If you are a person with conservative values , the Star-News is not worthy reading material.

Paul Knight's lawsuit

It's apparent many politicians are in bed with the Star-News. One can question why if editor Tomlin is so sure of the paper's position they immediately removed the subject comments from their web site.

not a fair and balanced news source

The Star-News is not a fair and balanced newspaper and it is good to see them have some grief. They handle the plain truth as kryptonite! From the follies of our city government to the Obama Administration , they provide sparse coverage of controversial issues that may impair Democratic initiatives. They put ideologies ahead of the line. No one in the mainstream media acknowledges Obama's circle of radical associates. His communication's director, Anita Dunn stated that she looks to Mao Tse Tung, the former Communist dictator of China ,as one of the people she admires. Then on the local level we have elected officials who do not welcome public input. Just view the city council meetings to confirm this observation. The format of these meetings are flawed. They do not welcome public input , until after the city's business has been addressed and the votes have been tallied . Therefore it is meaningless to address any issue because it is falling on deaf ears! When opposition does show up to address an issue, they are disrespected . An example of this was the grievances revealed by city firefighters at a council meeting. The Star-News does not hold our city government's feet to the fire. They can dish it out but they can not take criticism. Just log on to their forums and you will see the liberal slant up close and personal. These sites are nasty and you will be assigned a label of you do not fall in line with this liberal mentality!

No way

No way am I supporting some nut that can't take some criticism. The man is running for PUBLIC OFFICE and he wants to whine and throw around wasteful and pointless lawsuits because of what...his feelings got hurt? He needs a much thicker skin if he plans on being Mayor.

before you rush to judge...

remember that the post to start the whole slander thing was signed Mayor Saffo is a realtor as are a majority of the council members.

How do you know

That it wasn't someone Paul Knight knew trying to make it sound like it was coming from one of the realtors that are running for office. He could be doing this entirely for publicity -- some people say that even negative publicity (or sympathy) is better than none at all. If that "sandy brown realtor" person was really working for Bill Saffo's campaign, then why would they be dumb enough to put realtor after their name.

no offense intended but...

I haven't see evidence that there are any particularly bright bulbs in the "realtor lot"... just watch one of their televised council sessions to see what I mean.

Good Point!!!!!!!!!!

From the garbage we hear daily from Knight's morning program condemning local affairs, nothing would supprise me of what these scoundrels would stoop to!!!

dirty politics

The Red star will endorse all of the incumbents ,regardless of their poor track record! This is a typical special interest election that depends on the base to pull them through. Everyone is suitable for office in the city of Wilmington. Incompetence , ignorance and and arrogance has not disqualified the incumbents. I am endorsing Paul Knight for mayor because I smell a stench coming from Wilmington and it is not the sewer!

Nothing I love to see more

Nothing I love to see more than the Star News get handed the other end of the big legal stick. They are so quick to file suit against anyone and everyone they can to get a story - it's nice to see them getting sued and becoming part of a story. But that's what happens when you allow anonymous postings on a website . . .

Dirty Politics

I am alarmed that our fair southern city is the home to dirty politics and criminal behavior, in an effort to derail an honest campaign, and win a public office by crookery. Sandy Brown Realtor, like a criminal under cover, made false assertions about a candidate's character to inflict great harm to a citizen, who just stepped forward to serve his city. To damage someone's reputation and charcter in such a far reaching way, and to possibly derail a public election through slander, is a criminal act, and it should not be allowed. If the Star News cannot properly moniter the "factual" material it prints, then it should be brought to bear, by legal means if necessary. The paper was a party to the criminal act of slander. Moreover, I find it downright unacceptable, that the powers that be in this city, attempt to intimidate any citizen who steps forward to challenge their realm. That is exactly what they do, and they well know it. Our empowered officials use every tactic possible,short of brute force, to stop any challenge or criticism of their entrenched office. Average citizens are scared to step in their way, so they follow, at safe distance of course. I hope Paul Knight can uncover any dirty politics, or ciminal intent of our elected officials, if it does exist, by whomever is responsible.

Wilmington Mayoral Candidate sues Star News.....

My concern would be what happened to the money from the 401K and why was the comment made that "The bottom line is that everybody got their money, they made more on their money than they would have if they had it invested." The money apparently wasn't where it was suppose to be and I don't know who was responsible. And would the people received that money back if no one had discovered it. I don't know the man, but comments like this raise a question to me.

not me...

I was well satisfied with his explanation. People who are now making a big deal out of something so far removed from the current campaign for mayor sound like they have an agenda. Are you a realtor by any chance?

Making a big deal?

Sounds to me like it's Paul Knight who is making the deal out of this. He could have handled it differently -- or just taken the high road. How many people might have actually read that message board? Only a few compared to the number of people who know about it now. I would have never known about this, or I might have thought that was just an angry former employee, but now I'm wondering what else there may be to this. He should have just run on the issues but now he has made this an issue by saying the Saffo campaign could be behind it. Sounds like dirty politics.

is it just me?

So do I read this correctly? Candidate Knight is "pointing the finger" at Mayor Saffo for the posting on starnews. If he has proof of this, let's see it now. If not, I believe Mayor Saffo could then sue him for the same reason that he is suing the newspaper. Somebody accused him of something, which he says there is no proof, and now he is accusing somebody else, but does he have proof? I guess, actually, Mayor Saffo could sue WWAY, since they printed what he is claiming. WOW, and this person wants to be the mayor of our great city. Frankly, I find this a frightening thought. But that's just my opinion, hope I can't be sued for that.

Don't forget

I also read that the Knight campaign also believes Bill Saffo was behind the person who asked Mr. Knight about his six marriages at a recent forum. Paranoid much? Better watch out if he gets elected - elected officials tend to draw out a lot of hateful comments from their constituents. Perhaps he is setting the bar now so that people don't do that if he becomes Mayor. Wonder if he is keeping his attorney on retainer for the next couple of years ...

paul knight for mayor

i think this is very wrong for someone to make terrible gossip about my cousin paul knight really makes me mad.and who ever did this should be very careful what you say.and who ever is the sandy brown realtor person is better think twice about talking about someones family member in a nasty really should keep you mouth shut about my cousin paul.i hope that he wins the election and becomes mayor of wilmington nc on november 3,2009.i really dont think that bill saffo should not be mayor for a other time.where was he that night when he should be at that forum at grace.when someone who is going to keep their promise doesnt even show up for it.what wilmington nc needs is a new person for mayor and paul knight is the man.also for city council ben mckoy,micheal dehart and justin lass.thank you.

Integrity ???

I have a laundry list of complaints against Bill Saffo and the city council. I feel these are legitimate concerns. Our city government is very disrespectful when you have a dissenting opinion.They legally steal from people through forced annexation. This is taxation without representation. Just because it is legal to do so ,this does not make it a morally correct course of action. They have given inconsistent statements concerning the convention center since day one. They have lost all their integrity with this particular issue. We hire consultants to do the city manager's job. I think I may know why this is done. I recently corresponded with our city manager and he can not spell or write many sentences that are free of grammatical errors. I have the e-mails to substantiate this allegation.Sloppy correspondence is indicative of sloppy government! They let our infrastructure crumble . Let me refresh people's memory that we had an eighteen month sewer moratorium which crippled the construction industry.They were not proactive in their response. Many citizens had to call on authorities for intervention. Then we had the poor treatment of our firefighters, who deserve better. We have a high crime in the city , especially the inner city neighborhoods.We have a city that allowed the use of city property to be used by the DNC to advocate for healthcare reform. Whether they were deceived or not , no one will ever know. An unfriendly downtown environment, where you have to be conscious of feeding parking meters. Higher taxes continue to burden working class families and the elderly who are on fixed incomes.They forced the formation of the CFPUA upon the citizens of Wilmington and New Hanover County , which resulted in billing delays and higher water rates. The higher rates are due to a neglected infrastructure that now needs constant attention. A lack of transparency in our local government and pleading ignorance when someone calls their hand ! Questionable handling of e-mails is a concern. Incumbents who will not appear in conservative election forums because they do not want to be pinned down on real issues that concern the citizens.They will appear in friendly venues where the moderator will ask question like , "what is your favorite color or what is your favorite food' ? !! These types of interactions are irrelevant and a waste of time. They hope the majority of the citizens are uniformed and disengaged in the city's business. They hope for a low voter turnout , which solidifies their re-election bid because they know their base will turnout the vote to put them over the top! During this season of change, I would say it is time to give someone else the opportunity to serve the citizens of Wilmington !

Star-News Lawsuit

Sounds like the Star-News reported heresay, and is a supporter of Saffo. Maybe this type reporting is why they have declined in circulation.

Paul Knight

I intend to vote for this man, even though I think he is probably an idiot. My motto is anybody but Saffo. Any three homeles people downtown for city council. At least, they would know something about reality. All that said, Paul Knight deserves the opportunity to confront his accuser. I believe, that in a court of law- you have that right. Follow the money! Real estate brokers, bankers, insurance people. Who are they supporting? Are these not the same people who got us into this mess?

I wont be surprised...

if it does lead back to the opposition. I am absolutely amazed that there are ANY signs supporting the current mayor in peoples yards. We have the worst financial situation weve ever had here and that was before the current national problem. We have an unneeded convention center, roads getting worse by the day, an unfit city council where Ill bet EVERY SINGLE one of the city council members have family in the construction business and Ill bet they won the bids for the work on the convention center. We have an inept and ignorant school board, trying to force hard working students to schools where the students dont care about much and have no parents caring either. Instead of bussing the kids around wilmington, use the money for gas that youd waste doing that and hire teachers that care for 75k a yr. Youll have them lining up at the doors to work and care about what they will be doing to. The DOT is a joke. The Fish and Wildlife is a joke. 5 guys to cover 5 or so counties...yea, that works. But whoaaa...everyone cares about Masonboro island like its the last echelon of natural beauty. Its time the convicts using our tax dollars get out there and clean Masonboro, the roads, medians and everywhere else there is trash needing to be picked up. Lets not even get started on the PPD or sewage system weve had issues with here since 1979. You have been able to smell the sewage at Bradley Creek for 20+ yrs...and how do you add 1000 offices to downtown and not increase the sewage system to handle it? Oh..and does anyone on city council even live in Wilmington? Does Bill Saffo live in Wilmington? I think I heard not. Are any of you satisfied with ANYTHING that has happened while the current administration of Wilmington has been in office? If you are, your stupider than the parents that want their kids bussed. And Charlie Rivenbark back on City COuncil? BWAHH..please. Lets do some background checks on everyone currently running...itd be an interesting read I promise you...especially if you included Ol Harper in the mix. The NON voters of Wilmington have helped this city become the cesspool of narcism that it has become and deserve what they get if they continue to sit on their rumps and let the friends and relatives of the current council members/mayor put them in office AGAIN... 15% of the citizens able to vote voted last time. Lets do better this time and maybe we wont have the offices full of ignorant, self indulgent crooks.

nice post. I'm a newcomer but this confirms my "feeling"...

"I am absolutely amazed that there are ANY signs supporting the current mayor in peoples yards." ----------------------------------------------- The empty lot across the street from my house has signs for ALL of the incumbents! The owner of that lot has been trying to develop commercially in our "mixed zoning" RESIDENTIAL neighborhood for years now! I'm frightened at the prospect of a huge construction project going belly up right across the street from my house! Who came up with this idea for "mixed zoning" in the first place? With several realtors on the council and one as mayor do I really have to ask this question?


Gosh - it's a wonder you still live in Wilmington! By the way, you do have to be a city resident in order to run for Council. I'm happy about a couple of things this Council has done: a new WPD station to serve other parts of the city, no run-off elections anymore (which saved the city money), and Verizon is here now which put my husband and hundreds of other local people who had been looking for a job back to work, just to name a few. Now, I don't always agree with everything they do, but I do at least respect them for some of the good things they have done. I don't understand what the school board, DOT or fish & wildlife have to do with the Council race.