GARY, INDIANA (December 14, 2016)–Lake Superior Court Judge Bruce D. Parent dismissed the defamation lawsuit against radio personality and community leader, Eve Gomez. On April 8, 2016, Gomez and several other Latino leaders held a press conference in St. John, Indiana to speak out against alleged racial profiling within the St. John Police Department. The plaintiff, Joan Gorcos, is a part-time St. John dispatcher and the police chief’s secretary.
In March 2016, Gomez and several other community leaders received leaked internal messages between then-St. John police officer, Daniel Kolodziej and his mother, Joan Gorcos. In one message, dated December 12, 2014 , Kolodziej wrote about conducting a “Mexican hunt” in St. John and wrote that “[by the time other officers responded to the scene of an accident] those ‘early risers’ will be safely at work.'”
The day after the April 8 press conference, Daniel Kolodziej resigned from the St. John Police Department and joined the police force in neighboring Dyer. Less than a week after the press conference, Joan Gorcos sued Eve Gomez for defamation.
Trent A. McCain, Gomez’s defense attorney, said, “Eve has been vindicated. She spoke up about an important issue–racial profiling–and the plaintiff’s attempt to silence her was woefully unsuccessful.” The lawsuit against Gomez was dismissed under the Indiana anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statute. The law has the express purpose of furthering a person’s right of free speech under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Indiana.
To read the Court’s order dismissing the lawsuit, click here.