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Larry Conners: After KMOV-TV Firing, Former Anchor's Lawyers Consider Lawsuit

larry-conners-irs.jpg
via kmov.com
Larry Conners.
Attorneys for fired news anchor Larry Conners are considering taking legal action against KMOV-TV, which announced this week that it was terminating the veteran newsman over his controversial comments about the IRS.

"It is possible that we may institute legal action relating to the termination of Mr. Conners' employment," his attorney Merle Silverstein writes in a letter to KMOV president Mark Pimentel. "We therefore request that you carefully preserve and not destroy any and all papers, records, and documents relating to Mr. Conners' employment and termination..."

Silverstein tells Daily RFT this morning that he is considering potential legal action, which could involve a complaint with the Missouri Human Rights Commission. His full letter is on view below.

See also:
- Larry Conners Off Air After IRS Comments, Lawyer Says Not Allowed To Talk
- KMOV-TV's Larry Conners Says IRS May Have Been Targeting Him For Years
- Larry Conners Out At KMOV, President Cites "Journalistic Standards"

For now, Silverstein says he doesn't have any more details to offer.

We left Pimentel a message this morning as well and will update if we hear back.

This is the latest development in a St. Louis media story that has now received national attention. Conners made quite a splash last week when he pondered in a Facebook post whether the IRS had targeted him in response to his tough interview with President Obama in 2012.

Thumbnail image for larry-conners-fb.jpg
via Facebook
Larry Conners.

He later read an on-air statement admitting he had issues with the IRS several years prior -- though Conners told us in an interview yesterday that he was forced to read that "misleading" statement and says that his problems with the IRS clearly intensified after the April 2012 Obama segment.

The stated reason for his firing -- just a few days after he was "temporarily" off air -- is that he violated the station's standards by "taking a personal political position" on his Facebook page.

Conners says he was just raising the question.

Now, his attorneys are advising KMOV to maintain a wide range of records that "could be relevant to a possible legal action."

When we asked Conners yesterday if he was considering some sort of lawsuit, he said his attorneys were discussing the matter -- but added that he did disagree with the official premise for his termination.

He told us he denies wholeheartedly that his Facebook post compromised his integrity and credibility as a journalist.

Check out our full interview with Conners here and our original coverage of his termination and interview with the station's president here. And you can read his Facebook post here.

Here's the full letter from Silverstein:

Merle Silverstein to KMOV

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
dianenyberg
dianenyberg

Any employer can find a legal reason to fire an employee ,if they want someone gone. Just wait and everyone WILL do or say something that CAN give an employer  a "Reason for Termination". Seen it happen for years as a senior management employee. I do think Larry was getting to old for the satisfaction of the Station Manager. After all, look at all the new attractive anchors they continue to add. Sorry Larry !

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

He screwed up and said the wrong thing.  What do you think would happen if YOU made random allegations in front of everyone at YOUR job?  Since he is a public figure, it makes it worse since you cant just slap him on the wrist.  Its called libelous speech and you cant just throw it out there like that.  He is just trying to deflect the fact that he has long standing tax issues that he brought onto himself and the recent IRS "scandal" (which is no real scandal at all) made him think he could get away with it and obtain more publicity.  While he received the publicity, he failed completely since it blew up in his face.  Conners has to be responsible for his own actions and stop trying to blame everyone but himself.  

Kristy Lytle
Kristy Lytle

I don't think it had anything to do with salary...they had just signed a new contract recently...if money was an issue, then they wouldn't have renewed his contract and just let it expire.

Elizabeth Eyers
Elizabeth Eyers

Get the facts people. His IRS problems predated the interview and he was on an established payment plan, which was revoked after said interview. According to him he worked to establish a new one but the IRS wouldn't cooperate. In the meantime he continued to make his payments so as not to be in default and have further action against him, until he got a tax lawyer that told him to stop making payments since there was no payment agreement and until some type of agreement could be reached.

Jillian Beckerman
Jillian Beckerman

@Mike..I agree. Larry was one of or the highest paid news reader in St. Louis. He is retirement age, and made a ton of money. This was probably their 'ammo' to get him out, and what he did just fueled their fire. No company likes their longtime employees, because they have to pay them more, and every company looks out for their bottom line. Therefore KMOV has a ton of new, young hires, they have to pay squat to, to do the same job Conners did, except thousands of dollars cheaper.

Zachary Florence
Zachary Florence

@steve - what exactly evidence for? The persistent problems of security for state officials? Oh, you mean when they told Obama that terrorists were killing an ambassador and he said "who gives a shit!" You are yet another Benghazi boob:)

Jillian Beckerman
Jillian Beckerman

IF he LIED about his money/IRS problems, that's his own fault. I heard he owes then thousands of dollars, but I could be wrong!

Mike Chamberlain
Mike Chamberlain

Oops Mike sorry for the auto-correct mistake it was meant to say Dick lol

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

Hope ya do and Hope its for Millions $$$$$$.

Mike Ritter
Mike Ritter

I agree that this isn't about free speech, but I also think KMOV may have been looking for an excuse to cut salary. I'm with you, Steve. I think his firing was a bit harsh. I also believe it's not as simple as it seems on the surface. Radio/TV firings rarely are.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

are 4 dead americans in libya enough "evidence" for you? douche.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

Innocent civilians? His tax problems pre-date the interview. He made a stupid comment and got fired for it. It happens. I think his firing was a bit harsh, but he made some stupid comments and then, after apologizing, basically said the same stupid comments again.

DrRay Mallinckrodt
DrRay Mallinckrodt

It is a shame when the government targets innocent citizens who don't agree with their tyranny. I bet this wouldn't be a problem if he supported them or was of another ethnicity or muslim. Stand Tall Mr. Connors there are many of us who support you!

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

She doesn't seem to understand Freedom of Speech either since it doesn't apply in this instance.

Terry Cagle
Terry Cagle

Why on earth did he say that the irs targeted him because of his interview with obama if his problems started before the interview?? Where i come from thats called lying not freedom of speech lol

Zachary Florence
Zachary Florence

Seems Larry has the same problem as conservatives, evidence.

Duell Lauderdale
Duell Lauderdale

i dont think you understand journalistic integrity standards

Angeles Jonske
Angeles Jonske

seems like freedom of speech in this country only applies if you say what everyone else wants you to say.

Mike Chamberlain
Mike Chamberlain

even though he is kind of a Dick in real Life I still think they did him wrong

jacquebquique
jacquebquique

Larry has two points in his favor.  One is that he had a payment agreement with the IRS which was abrogated after the Obama interview.  Secondly, he was given a statement of response to read which was approved by both management and the union.  It doesn't hurt that he has USMC connections even if he did refuse "to hold Obama's umbrella". Ou-rah Larry!

mojobullet
mojobullet

I saw this coming, but I am rooting for KMOV in this lawsuit, because I feel he was rightly terminated.  He shouldnt have jumped on the radical teaparty bandwagon and claimed he felt targeted along with them.  He had tax issues long before he interviewed President Obama last year, and before he confirmed this, I stated to a friend before I knew all of the details, that he was just being a bandwagoner mouthpiece for them.  He should have just kept his personal hatred for President Obama to himself.

crashtest
crashtest

@Steve Mincer non-sequitur much?

Mark
Mark

@mojobullet You are assuming Larry Connors has a "personal hatred for President Obama". Have you heard him actually say it? The words you would have heard are simply, "I hate Obama."  If you've not heard him say this, you could be wrong, couldn't you? I might or might now hate President Obama, but you'd never know it by this post, would you? Defending LC against your presumptive statement doesn't suggest any opinion that I may have of Pres. Obama.  In my opinion, Larry Connors is probably one of the most talented anchors ever to deliver STL news. He is the epitome of honesty,  and has always conducted himself with integrity and professionalism. His comments about the IRS were stupid, illadvised. He knows that.  Larry Connors made a stupid, illadvised mistake. You know that! Do we automatically terminate someone because he made a stupid mistake? Let's not forget what President Clinton did, and yet he managed to stay in office. In addition to "doing the deed" while married and in office, President Clinton actually lied to America when he denied having had sex with his chippy. Then he went back and claimed that oral sex is not sex. Tell that to law enforcement! I hope that Larry  is successful in his lawsuit, or that his cash settlement will reimburse him for his actual losses. 

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