State Senator James Sanders Jr said he will not leave his children with a fallen name so he is sticking to his principles and suing a couple for defamation of character.
The case stems from a several-year federal investigation, in which Marion Moses and Malisa Rivera, leaders of an agricultural group named Culinary Kids, Culinary arts, alleged Sanders wanted a kickback for public funding. The couple got former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and the feds involved.
Sanders Jr believes the accusations were politically motivated.
“These individuals made statements, which are untrue, and now they are going to have to face the consequences of those actions,” Sanders said. “This lawsuit that I will be filing is about setting the record straight. I have consistently fought for the districts I have represented during my time in politics, both at the city and state level, and I will not allow these people to ruin my record of service to my constituency because of their nefarious motivations or agenda.”
Sanders Jr. wanted to thank his constituents for standing by him during the two years in which the claims have been looked into. He said that it will be over once each side has its day in court.
“Now is the time that we are going to let those folk have their day in court, where if they have any proof whatsoever besides their imagination, as vivid as it may be,” Sanders Jr said.
He is confident in the outcome of the case. In metaphor, he referenced an African saying that the best time for action is now.
“We look forward to that day when a judge rules and says ‘you have defamed a public servant,’” he said.
Sanders attorney Richard St. Paul said in a day and age where prosecutors are making a career off of prosecuting elected officials, cases like this cannot go down without a fight.
“To combat these allegations and these lies, we are filing this defamation lawsuit because the truth needs to be told,” St. Paul said, “And the senator needs his day in court. He needs his reputation.”