John Hoff fined $60k for blogging

Categories: Blogs/Web

john hoff.jpg
John Hoff exercised his First Amendment rights.
A jury has concluded that there was nothing untrue in "Johnny Northside" blogger John Hoff's writing about the alleged shady business dealings of Jerry Moore.

Then the same jury decided that Hoff's writing caused Moore to lose his job at the University of Minnesota, so it awarded Moore $60,000 in damages.

Moore, the former director of the Jordan Area Community Council, cast himself as Hoff's victim, claiming defamation. But the real victim here was the First Amendment.

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1564 Hillside Avenue, where the trouble began.
Moore failed to prove that Hoff knowingly published a falsity about him, and that Hoff did so with malice, when Hoff penned this post on his blog in 2009:

"Repeated and specific evidence in Hennepin County District Court shows Jerry Moore was involved with a high-profile fraudulent mortgage at 1564 Hillside Ave N."

Hoff's lawyer, Paul Godfread, said his client was referring to government documents showing that Moore got a $5,000 check for consulting services at the closing of a fraudulent mortgage run by Larry Maxwell on the Hillsdale Avenue property.

We wrote at length about Maxwell, his victim Melony Michaels, and Jerry Moore and in an August 2010 cover story. Read the story here, and the paper trail here.

Maxwell is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence. Moore was never charged in the fraud. But the day after Hoff wrote that post, Moore lost his job at the U of M's Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center to study mortgage foreclosures, and the long trek to last week's court date was set in motion.

With no falsity and no malice on Hoff's part, that meant defamation couldn't be proved, either. All that Moore's lawyer, Jill Clark, had after that was a play for "emotional distress" and a "loss of benefits."

The jury agreed. So even though John Hoff exercised his First Amendment rights, and didn't defame Jerry Moore in the process, Moore walked away with a $60,000 settlement.

By Sunday, Hoff had uncorked a post on the trial, and Jerry Moore:

A bloggy rain of fire is coming, and I will make sure disgraced former JACC director Jerry Moore wears that sentence like The Mark of Cain. Everything I can get in regard to the fraud at 1564 Hillside Ave. N. and the recent civil suit will be published, including links to PDF documents like the narrative statement of fraud victim Melony Michaels. I hope the lawyers in that civil suit are doing a good job for Melony Michaels, because the name of their law firm is going to come up over and over, not unlike the name of slumlord Keith Reitman; who was the seller of the property in the fraudulent deal.

The headline over that gem: "Damn Right We're Appealing."

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4 comments
T.J.
T.J.

What readers need to understand is that John Hoff is a mentally disturbed war veteran who refuses to get help. Free treatment is available from the VA, but he doesn't recognize that he is paranoid and delusional. Hoff is currently serving in the Oklahoma National Guard because the Minnesota Guard wouldn’t deploy him. Please contact: Brigadier General Glen E. Moore 3501 Military Circle Oklahoma City, OK 73111 and let the National Guard know that you are concerned about John Hoff's mental health and ask that they refer Hoff to get the help he needs before he actually hurts someone.

All communications will be private and not available to John Hoff. Let's get John the help he needs before he actually hurts someone, and let’s keep America safe. We don’t need another mass shooting.

Alexander
Alexander

Here is a turn of events: John Hoff the self-proclaimed NoMi revitalizer who reports his neighbors for housing code violations has been hit with administrative orders and could face fines from the City of Minneapolis to bring his house up to code.

When he bought the home on 26th & Bryant Avenue North in 2008 it didn't have a functioning furnace or water heater, and was missing considerable plumbing. WITHOUT OBTAINING PERMITS, he made unauthorized repairs to the home which he now rents out WITHOUT A RENTAL LICENSE.

Recently, the City of Minneapolis issued orders to have the house brought up to code and to be in compliance with the Truth in Housing report filed before he bought the house. His failure to bring o up to code will result in fines, and possible condemnation.

Currently, Hoff is an absentee slumlord renting out his out-of-compliance house to two people he calls “roommates”, even though he hasn’t lived in the house for over one year. According to Hoff’s neighbors they have not seen his in months, some claiming the only people seen around the house have been his two renters.

It’s worth pointing out that the house only has two bedrooms, and if Hoff were actually living there and each had his own bedroom, one bedroom would be unauthorized under building code.

The question has to seriously be asked: Why does the City of Minneapolis ignore John Hoff’s refusal to comply with his own housing code violations, while at the same time allowing him to file numerous 311 complaints about others in the City of Minneapolis? Why do they keep letting him "slide" without the same follow-up they inflict on other landlords?

Is someone protecting him? We know Hoff is personal friends with Councilmember Don Samuels who chairs the powerful Public Safety Committee, and that Samuels even testified on Hoff’s behalf at a recent civil trial. John Hoff himself has written in his blog that he sends Samuels “trinkets of nominal value” to show his appreciation. This situation appears to have the appearance of impropriety.

Investigators recently discovered that in a fatal south Minneapolis fire that the house was an unlicensed rental, although the owner claimed that his tenants were “roommates”, just like Hoff is doing. What will it take to get the City of Minneapolis to crack down on John Hoff’s unlicensed rental that needs to be brought up to code,  another fatality?

 

Jordan Hawkman
Jordan Hawkman

Wow, what a spin. Not so sure if you are even talking about the same verdict that the jury came back with.

You can Google our screen name and see the EXACT results of the jury.

Like we said, nice try at spinning the results. It does not hold water when you compare it to the actual verdict. Nice try.

Google "Jordan Hawkman Special Verdict Jury Form "

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

OK, I googled your name and yes, Rose McGowan is quite attractive although I'm not sure what that has to do with this story.

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