Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ex-Editor Sues Colo. Weekly for Wrongful Discharge

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ex-Editor Sues Colo. Weekly for Wrongful Discharge

Article excerpt

Claims she was harassed into resigning after alleging an employee's drug abuse

A FORMER EDITOR of the Telluride (Colo.) Times-Journal says she was wrongfully discharged in a lawsuit replete with accusations of drug and physical abuse in the newsroom of the 3,268-circulation weekly.

The complaint was flied in U.S. District Court by Marta Tarbell against the paper's corporate owner, Wick Communications Co.

In the complaint, Tarbell alleges that in July 1992, she discovered that a co-worker, Tom Bonfietti, was abusing drugs and using both his office and the newsroom as a drug-trafficking center. Tarbell said she had "no option but to report the activity."

She said she reported it to her superior at Wick and also informed the local sheriff's office.

Wick has flied an answer to Tarbell's suit in which the company acknowledged that Tarbell told her superior about her suspicions.

However, Wick has denied most of her other claims.

In the suit, Tarbell said that despite being informed by her, the company took no action and the atmosphere in the office steadily deteriorated because Bonfietti "knew that Tarbell was watching him" and reporting on him to her superior at Wick.

Eventually, Tarbell said, Bonfietti "physically abused her on at least one occasion. …

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