Scene Reaches Settlement With Downtown Cleveland Alliance in Lawsuit Over Removal of Distribution Boxes

Scene reached a settlement yesterday with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance in a First Amendment lawsuit we filed last month over the removal of 26 Scene distribution boxes during January and February of this year. Judge Dan Polster presided over the agreement talks. Terms, which included a public apology from DCA, were otherwise confidential.

A joint press release from Scene and DCA was issued this morning and is included in its entirety below.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Cleveland Scene and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance have settled the lawsuit filed by Scene’s parent company Euclid Media Group last month alleging that DCA violated Scene’s constitutional rights when earlier this year it removed 26 Scene distribution boxes from downtown Cleveland’s central business district without notifying Scene. Euclid Media Group agreed to withdraw its lawsuit under the terms of a confidential settlement agreement with a public apology from DCA.

“DCA apologizes for the mistake our team made in removing some of Scene’s newspaper boxes from various locations downtown,” said DCA President and CEO Joseph A. Marinucci. “While well-intentioned staff members believed they were acting properly, the failure to communicate about the missing boxes was unacceptable. We will ensure we maintain solid lines of communication in all such situations going forward. DCA understands the importance of a free press, and regrets even the appearance that we violated Cleveland Scene’s First Amendment Rights.”

“We appreciate DCA’s apology reflecting the importance of both the First Amendment and Scene’s journalism to the downtown Cleveland community,” said Euclid Media Group CEO Andrew Zelman. “The matter has resolved to our satisfaction.”
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