Ex-Weitsman employee falsely tried to implicate boss in Harris case, lawsuit says
A series of internet postings by a former employee of Upstate Shredding in Owego tried to falsely implicate the recycling company's owner Adam Weitsman in the disappearance of Michele Harris nearly 16 years ago, according to a lawsuit in federal court.
Weitsman's attorney, in bringing the lawsuit, calls the false accusations "highly defamatory, shocking and cruel."
The lawsuit, filed June 30 in U.S. District Court, seeks in excess of $75,000 worth of damages from the ex-employee, Robert Levesque. He worked for Upstate Shredding for three years until December 2014, according to the lawsuit.
"The false statements all relate to Upstate Shredding's and (Adam) Weitsman's profession," Weitsman's attorney Patricia Curtin of Vestal said in the lawsuit, "and were calculated to inflict harm on their professional reputation and standing in the community."
According to Weitsman's lawsuit, the legal action comes after years of online accusations by the former employee and after he started posting photos of Weitsman's family online as well. None of the false accusations was reported to law enforcement officials by Levesque.
Upstate Shredding bills itself as the largest privately held scrap metal processor on the East Coast, operating 18 locations in New York and Pennsylvania. It has 400 employees company-wide and 130 in Owego.
The lawsuit documents include 19 pages of social media postings from Twitter and Facebook allegedly made by Levesque, who now resides in North Carolina. Federal court records did not list an attorney for him.
According to Weistman's lawsuit, problems with Levesque's employment there began in March 2014, with bizarre and erratic behavior in the workplace. He was hired there as a scrap metal inspector in November 2011, records show.
Levesque allegedly began posting the defamatory statements sometime after moving to North Carolina, according to the lawsuit. The Twitter account in which the postings were made is no longer active and the postings were removed after the lawsuit was filed.pressconnects.com
Published 10:06 a.m. ET July 11, 2017
| Updated 10:58 a.m. ET July 11, 2017