Lawsuit filed against Cameron and Dimich

By: 
Alastair Baker
News Editor

Courtesy photos - Joel Todd, Mary Cameron, Diane Dimich

Joel Todd, Red Lodge’s former City Prosecutor, has filed four counts against sisters Mary Cameron and Diane Dimich for “acting together, in concert, against” him to “blacken” his professional reputation and deny him a chance to become Red Lodge City Attorney, resulting in a loss of $140,000 in professional services to the City over two years. Todd is seeking compensatory damages of $140,000 and punitive damages of $420,000 for a total of $560,000.
The counts include conspiracy, slander, libel and interference with prospective business relationship. Todd has also included a section outlining general allegations against the pair.
According to Todd all the correspondence from Dimich and Cameron was publicly posted via Facebook and other forms of social media and “constituted accusations of criminal behavior against himself and members of the RLPD.”
Todd claims that in February 2016 Dimich “authored a letter” and “accused Todd of conspiring with the Red Lodge Police Department (RLPD) to harass. Intimidate and threaten Dimich and Cameron with the goal of causing Dimich and Cameron to refrain from making public statements critical of Todd and the RLPD.”
Todd refers to a March 21, 2016 letter where acting at the behest of Mayor Ed Williams Todd wrote to the Carbon County Commissioners requesting Cameron’s removal as coordinator of the Carbon County DUI Task Force with someone with law enforcement experience.
The letter included “written and oral statements communicated to the general public by Cameron in which Cameron falsely accused Todd of telling lies about Cameron and acting in an unprofessional and unethical manner.”
In a follow up letter to the Commissioners April 6, 2016, Todd withdrew the request to remove Cameron from her Task Force role, asking the Commissioners to “modify and restrain Cameron’s behavior.”
Todd states, “Beginning on or about April 6, 2016 and continuing until the present, Cameron and Dimich, in concert, conducted a campaign of harassment and vilification against Todd for the express purpose of damaging Todd’s professional reputation, getting him fired as Red Lodge City Prosecutor and, when they failed in getting him fired, to persuade the City of Red Lodge against renewing Todd’s contract as Red Lodge City Prosecutor.”
In or around June 30, 2016 Cameron, states Todd, “presented a written request to Red Lodge Mayor Mike Schoenike and Red Lodge City Council seeking to have Todd fired as Red Lodge City Prosecutor” stating “falsely that Todd acted outside the course and scope of his duties” after “communicating with Carbon County Commissioners” in his March 21 letter.
Mayor Schoenike refused to fire Todd leading Cameron to write another letter on July 13, 2016 in which, the complaint states, “she not only accused Todd of committing a crime through what she alleged was an ‘illegal poker game’ at the Elk’s but asked Mayor Schoenike and the City Council to refrain from renewing Todd’s contract.”
On Sept. 13, 2016 “Cameron disseminated another letter” this time accusing Todd “of using his paralegal at the expense of the City to work on Todd’s private cases” and “of creating a Drug Forfeiture Fund (DFF) for the City of Red Lodge so Todd, the Red Lodge Police Chief and Mayor Williams could misappropriate and spend general fund revenue of the City of Red Lodge illegally.”
The DFF was originally created “pursuant to a written memorandum dated January 26, 2015 authored by (Red Lodge City) Attorney Sam Painter,” states Todd in the court document.
On Oct. 25, 2016 Cameron, states Todd, posted on Facebook and “accused Todd not only of harassing Cameron and Dimich, but acting in a conspiracy with former Mayor Williams to prevent Carbon County News from publishing articles and letters to the editor that would expose Todd’s illegal acts.”
A further Facebook post on Nov. 25, 2016 “not openly advocated non-renewal of Todd’s contract but sought to recruit others to join her in taking concerted action against Todd to block his re-appointment as Red Lodge City prosecutor. Upon information and belief, others did join in concerted action with Cameron and Dimich against Todd.”
Over two weeks later on Dec. 12, 2016, “Cameron sent a memo via email to Mayor Schoenike stating “I think that Joel Todd has too much influence over the police (sic) in Red Lodge. He needs to go. He confuses everyone when he steps in to speak or explain things related to the RLPD. He makes the RLPD look bad.”
In December 2016 the City sought applications for the position of Red Lodge City Attorney to no avail.
On Feb. 15, 2017 Dimich submitted a letter to the Mayor of Red Lodge in opposition to a City ordinance proposed by Todd. The ordinance sought to maintain certain penalties for a criminal suspect refusing to take a chemical breathalyzer test.
Todd states the Dimich “alleged Todd was proposing the ordinance for the express purpose of negotiating lighter sentences for defendants charged with DUI.”
Dimich sent a follow-up letter to the Mayor around Feb. 21. Both the email and letter states Todd “were intended primarily…to blacken Todd’s professional reputation and to further their mutual goal of inducing the Mayor and the Red Lodge City Council to deny Todd from becoming Red Lodge City Attorney.”
Todd claims that, “during the entire month of March 2017, Dimich conducted a public campaign against Todd and another City employee, falsely accusing Todd of seeking to remove her son, Andrew Dimich, from Red Lodge City Council.”
Actions Todd feels were designed to prevent him becoming City Attorney.
Todd states that “the campaign of harassment and vilification conducted in concert by Dimich and Cameron from February 2016 through April 2017 severely damaged Todd’s professional reputation and standing to the extent it caused the Mayor and the City Council to deny Todd appointment as Red Lodge City Attorney.”
Todd feels the actions by Dimich and Cameron lost him $70,000 per year in professional compensation to the City for a period of two years, totaling $140,000.
“Despite succeeding in denying Todd’s appointment,” states the complaint, “Dimich and Cameron continued their concerted actions to undermine and to damage Todd’s professional reputation.”
On May 10, 2017 Cameron states Todd “posted on Facebook about” him and “Dimich also posted and joined in Cameron’s attack” and “accused Todd and another City employee of carrying ‘…their threats and intimidation tactics to this extreme.’”
“Cameron’s post constituted a false claim that Todd committed criminal behavior,” states the complaint.
Dimich then sent an email to the Mayor and the Council on Aug. 9, “accusing Todd of an incident in a local coffee shop where Dimich alleged Todd ‘ranted and raved’ and got in Dimich’s face.”
Todd feels this “was intended to cast Todd in a false light.”
Further posts on Facebook by Cameron “once again renewed the false allegation,” that Todd “set up a Drug Forfeiture account with restricted funds from (sic) capital improvements (saved from Resort Tax) and then continued to put other funds in the DF accounts that was in no way drug forfeiture money.”
Todd states that “Dimich supported and participated in the false posting” stating “Mary Cameron brought this to the Mayor and Council on several occasions for over a year.”
A later post on Nov. 5, “accused Todd of corrupting Mayor Schoenike.”
Cameron’s post attests, “They had this attitude that the city (sic) couldn’t look good, unless they made the county (sic) look bad. That was all on Todd, a sore loser carpet bagger who tried, unlawfully (sic) to run for county attorney and was exposed.”
Todd asserts he “played no role in the re-election of Mike Schoenike as Mayor.”
Attempts made by the CCN to reach Dimich and Cameron by telephone and email for a response were unsuccessful prior to publication.
The court date is to be announced.

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