May 23, 2020

Ex-TV weatherman Scott Steele settles suit charging WTMJ-TV with antisemitism

Scott Steele/YouTube
Former TV weatherman Scott Steele's federal lawsuit charging WTMJ-TV with maintaining an antisemitic workplace has been settled out of court and dismissed, federal court records show.

The records indicate the settlement was reached after mediation by federal Judge Lynn Adelman. Steele filed a notice dismissing the case this week.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Both Stephen Kravit, Steele's attorney, and Scripps Media Inc., the Cincinnati-based owner of WTMJ, declined to discuss specifics of the resolution.

"I can confirm: The case is settled and the lawsuit is over,” Kari Wethington, a Scripps spokeswoman said in an email Friday.

In the suit, the former weatherman charged that he and other Jewish employees were harassed and discriminated against and that Steele was "wrongfully discharged."

A Christian cross was twice left on Steele's desk, he charged. 

The suit by Steele, who is Jewish, said that when he voiced complaints about the work environment "Scripps began a campaign of retaliation against Steele for speaking up to protest the antisemitic discrimination workplace hostility he was suffering, and his criticism of the culture of discrimination at WTMJ 4."

Ultimately, Steele said, he was told not to report to the station and his belongings were boxed and sent to his home.

The 22-page complaint was filed in December. Scripps never answered the allegations in court papers, records show. 

M. Scott McIntyre, an attorney for Scripps, argued that answering the complaint would result in extending the court fight.

Requiring Scripps "to incur fees for responding to the Complaint prior to mediation would make the case less likely to resolve from (Scripps') perspective and frustrate the purposes of (Scripps) agreeing to expedited early mediation," McIntryre wrote in a March federal court filing.

Kravit, Steele's lawyer, argued in court filings that Scripps should file an answer to the charges prior to mediation so the judge and Steele's legal team would have "a better understanding of the actual, specific issues in this case. That is a key to successful mediation."

Source: jsonline