Levitt Twitter parody case hearing set for July 21
Todd Levitt will have his day in court with Zachary Felton, the Central Michigan University student accused of creating a fake Twitter account of the Mount Pleasant lawyer.
The two will appear in Isabella County Trial Court at 3 p.m. on July 21.
Felton, a Mount Pleasant senior, is accused of portraying Levitt in a false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel. He is also accused of tortious interference with business relations, business defamation and unfair competition, according to the court documents.
Levitt, who is also a former fixed-term CMU faculty member, said Felton has caused damages to his name and business worth more than $25,000.
According to a complaint filed by Levitt and his lawyer, Ghazey Aleck, of Midland, the parody Twitter account was a "directed attack ... commenced for no apparent reason other than to inflict irreparable harm to (Levitt's) reputation."
Felton's lawyer, Gordon Bloem, wrote a response to Levitt's complaint filed June 27. Bloem wrote the "request for equitable relief fails as he comes to the court with unclean hands."
Bloem also wrote that Levitt destroyed evidence by deleting his Twitter account and engaged in intimidating behavior toward potential witnesses. He also alleged that Levitt created a fake award to promote himself and misstated a material fact by implying he lost his status as a fixed-term faculty member at CMU.
"For the purposes of his claims (Felton) is a public figure and therefore the parody Twitter account is speech protected by the 1st and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution and by Article 1 Section 5 of the Michigan Constitution," the document reads.
Levitt deferred comments to Aleck, but told Central Michigan Life via text message that "this lawsuit will expose the disfunction within (the College of Business Administration) from the top down."
Levitt taught in the marketing and hospitality services and administration department.
Both Bloem and Aleck did not respond to calls seeking comment on the case. Bloem is also a fixed-term faculty member in the finance and law department at CMU.
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