‘Campaign of Retaliation’

Jay Jalisi surprised many when he won a Top 2 slot in June’s House of Delegates primary election. The District 10 general election candidate defeated three officially supported candidates, losing only to incumbent Del. Adrienne Jones when all votes were totaled.

Three days after the election, on June 27, Jalisi, together with his Friends of Jay Jalisi campaign committee, sued two former staffers and a former contractor for more than $200,000 and filed for a temporary restraining order against all three, accusing the group of violating their contracts and distributing false and harmful statements about the candidate. The restraining order request has since been denied, but the decision on the injunction remains open.

Additionally, on April 8, HMJ Asset Management Company, Jalisi’s real estate company, filed a petition to collect money from one of the former staffers in a landlord-tenant claim. Later, on May 1, Jalisi successfully obtained a restraining order against that same employee.

The June 27 lawsuit stems from a video that spread on YouTube days before the primary election. The video, which accused Jalisi of lying about his age, nationality and occupation, among other things, was attributed to the group “Citizens of District Ten,” but Jalisi accuses the former staffers, whom the suit says were terminated and reacted “by instituting a campaign of retaliation and negative accusation,” of producing and promoting the clip.

“The video contained false and disparaging statements about Dr. Jalisi and included confidential information, as defined in the [contracts],” filings read. Additionally, the documents say, the video violates Maryland election law by omitting any information about the name and address of the treasurer of the campaign finance entity responsible for the material.

“As a result, Plaintiff Jalisi cannot properly address his detractors and risks losing potential votes each passing day,” the suit says. It does not identify what of the information is false and what was confidential. The $200,000 figure, the documents say, does less damage to the former staffers than the continued distribution of the video would do to Jalisi and his campaign.

Jalisi also alleges in the suit that the group conspired to post an advertisement titled “Room for Rent” with Jalisi’s personal cell phone number on Craigslist in the days before the election in an effort to tie up his phone on the most critical days of the campaign.

The suit is one of more than 50 lawsuits in which Jalisi has been a party, either individually or via his property management company. In several of the cases in which Jalisi is listed as a defendant, the plaintiff has had difficulty finding a physical address to deliver a summons. A traffic violation lists Jalisi’s address as 10807 Falls Road, #632, Brooklandville, but that address leads to a P.O. box at the post office in the Greenspring Professional Building, something the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration does not allow be used as an address on a state-issued ID.

Four days before the June 24 primary election, Jalisi garnered attention when multiple local politicians, including Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond and State Delegates Dan Morhaim and Dana Stein, sent statements to local news outlets clarifying that they had not endorsed Jalisi in the District 10 race but rather had endorsed three of his opponents instead. The move was in response to an email blast and website post from the Jalisi campaign that featured supportive messages from the politicians. Jalisi’s campaign later countered with their own statement insisting that he had not sought their endorsements, and the statements featured in his blast were in support of his work with the community.

Despite the statements made by Almond, Morhaim and Stein and the video at the heart of the suit, Jalisi managed to comfortably win a spot on the November ballot, somethinga memorandum from the defense pointed to as a potential reason to support dismissing the claim.

On July 29, two of the defendants filed a motion to dismiss.

The response to the suit asserts that Jalisi’s memorandum in support of the motion “is replete with bad accusations and vague assertations of improper activity which lack factual support.” Additionally, the defense claims, Friends of Jalisi, Inc. had forfeited its corporate charter and was not in good standing at the time all contracts were signed and therefore cannot hold any of the three former staffers to it. The charter was not reincorporated until April 2, 2014.

As of press time, the video at the center of the suit had been removed from video hosting sites.

hnorris@jewishtimes.com

Comments

  1. James Smith says

    First of all Richard Ross, KNOW YOUR FACT.

    1. Hasan hired a guy from Missouri and two from Maryland. The guy from Missouri came to Maryland after an agreement with Jalisi but he lied and charged him for rent at a place he was managing.
    2. He did not fire those guys, they resign after discovering Mr.Jalisi was lying to the public overall.
    3. The place he claims home is a office which he conduct his real estate and ran his campaign. He never once slept in that office, I’ve been in their. There is a bed in the basement and that is it.
    4. They did not break into that office. They had they own personal key given by Mr.Jalisi. When they entered the office, the security code given to them was changed. The guys called the office and notify them they were quitting and getting the stuff. In fact one of the guys offered the officer to his place for search. He gave the officer a phone which was given to him by Mr.Jalisi.
    5. All 3 guys were never fired by Monty Mason of Virginia, in fact they will be working on that campaign this upcoming year. All three graduated college and worked a lots of campaign.
    6. Before the daughter incident, rumors were he did beat her on the regular and also abuse the girl that works for his real estate company name Uzma or Ezma.
    7. That craigslist crap was a setup by Hasan, why would they waste their time on childish stuff during election they on.

    He is a liar overall!

  2. Keri Schwartz says

    Wow!! It seems that JT’s management and Heather Norris have nothing better to do then file questionable stories about Dr. Jay – all the issues in the world that the Jewish community might be interested in seem to have taken a back seat, and the desire to maintain a reputation for truthfulness and fairness that JT enjoyed in the past seems to have been forgotten in return for some cheap sensationalism. VERY SAD!!

    If Ms. Norris had researched her article she would have known that the campaign staffers that were sued by Dr. Jay Jalisi were with his campaign for 2-3 weeks in February 2014 and were fired for incompetence. After their firing they broke into his home, and one was caught by the Police on the spot with stolen property. The same guys then proceeded to produce and distribute a racist and bigoted video about Dr. Jay which was removed by YouTube due to the objectionable nature of its contents and numerous complaints from YouTube viewers.

    The same guys also engaged in the same type of misconduct with another Democratic Party candidate (now a Delegate) in Virginia’s state assembly – and were also fired from that job in 2013.

    The most unbelievable part of the article is when Ms. Norris talks about the “more than 50 lawsuits in which Jalisi has been a party”, without telling the reader that most of the lawsuits were filed by Dr. Jay’s property management company on behalf of other property owners for non payment of rent by their tenants – an experience which a lot of property owners unfortunately have to occasionally go through – and that it was over a period of EIGHTEEN (18) years.

    I hope that in the future Jewish Times will enforce a better code of conduct for its reporters so it is taken as a serious magazine and not just a trashy tabloid.

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