Toms River Councilman Dan Rodrick was served with a defamation lawsuit during tonight’s Township Council meeting.
Robyn Gedrich, the Brick Democratic Municipal Vice Chair, is alleging that Rodrick owns various fake news sites, including the Ocean County Chronicle. She says that a story on the site, “Job Given to Mayor Ducey’s New Democratic Party Underboss” was false and damages her reputation.
According to Gedrich’s suit, Rodrick owns and operates at least two other seats, the Brick Beacon and the Toms River Weekly, as well as a series of Facebook pages — Jackson Watch, Brick Watch, Toms River Watch and Toms River Taxpayers — that direct people to his websites.
Rodrick spent between $1,002 and $5,190 on Facebook ads promoting his sites, Gedrich says.
The suit alleges that Rodrick intentionally hid his involvement and control over various sites “in order to give them a veneer of credibility and non- partisan objectivity.”
In her filing, Gedrich said she informed Rodrick that his story was false, but that he failed to remove the post.
She alleges that Rodrick’s statements were “in reckless disregard of the truth, or with knowledge of the falsity of the statements.”
Gedrich is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Rodrick was elected as a Democrat last November, but switched parties on July 10, a month after he lost a race for Toms River Democratic Municipal Chairman that was held in his home.
The 25-year-old Gedrich is a Brick Housing Authority Commissioner and was president of the Ocean County Young Democrats. She attracted national attention in 2016 when Tinder, an Internet dating site, suspended her membership after she used the platform to seek votes for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
Elected as a Democrat last November, Rodrick switched parties on July 10, a month after he lost a race for Toms River Democratic Municipal Chairman that was held in his home.
Rodrick did not immediately respond to a 10:16 PM request for comment.Gedrich v. Rodrick - Summons Complaint CIS (Print Serve)