Egli Threatens Legal Action For Doing My Job

As a journalist, albeit one that doesn’t get paid, I chase down stories simply because I love doing it. I love local politics and I love getting scoops and I love getting the truth away from the spin.

Earlier today, I got a tip about Knoxdale-Merivale Coun. Keith Egli. Now I’ve been in this business a long time and tips aren’t always truth. I know that. And so, as any good journalist would, I got in touch with some of the people that I thought might be able to help me confirm or deny the story. That’s just how the game works. No one I contacted was aware of the story, so I went to Egli himself.

He absolutely denied it. I then refined the question. He promised to get back to me right away. It took more than two hours for him to get back to me.
But when he did, it packed a wallop! Here’s what he wrote to me and, interesting to note, it wasn’t sent from his City of Ottawa email.


I was utterly shocked to hear of the defamatory allegation of criminal activity that you have repeated with respect to me.

There is absolutely no truth to this allegation.

I am asking you to confirm to me forthwith that you have either not repeated these defamatory comments to anyone or, if you have repeated it to anyone, I want you to advise me of the name and contact information of each person (including co-workers, friends and family members- as each of them could have repeated or might repeat) the defamatory statement , as well as provide me with proof that you have contacted each person to let them know that the defamatory allegation that you shared with him or her was totally unfounded and that it was wrong of you to do what you did  and to advise them that if they have shared that defamatory comment with anyone, they should be contacting that person to advise that the defamatory comment is unfounded.

I will stop at nothing to take any and all measures to either repair what would likely be considerable damage to my reputation, and/or to obtain damages, to the full extent that any damages can be awarded in law.

I am asking you to provide me with the information I have requested before 8 PM today.

Egli of course used to be practice law, hence the word forthwith! 

Really not sure why Egli thinks chasing a story is wrong. And absolutely dumbfounded why he thinks I can be sued for damages by asking questions. That being said, sort of wish I’d completed my Journalism and the Law course!

Again, for the record, I found no truth to the tip I’d been given, though it won’t stop me from pursuing it further. And again, for the record, I advised the councillor to go for it. I will not be offering up any information to him about who I talked to. Nor will I be bullied by fear of legal action. Sort of shocked Egli would try to threaten a journalist. But there you have it.


  1. It’s certainly not unusual – it happened to me. I gave up driving my car while on council for an environmental reason and to be a user of Ottawa’s transportation systems. At the time there was a lot of flack coming from the community that councillors had never been on a bus. And rightly so. None did. Then I received a call from a reporter who had received a tip that I gave up driving my car because I had lost my drivers license. He had checked it out with whatever system is available that indicates whether licenses have been revoked and hadn’t found out anything but he wanted to ask me. It was probably the only time I actually felt hurt during my four years. Although there was always the people that trash you – insinuating something like this – something that was so unlikely to happen — i don’t recall even losing a point and I barely ever have a drink and when I do I do not drive. – it was just a really low blow. When things are made personal to try to destroy someone rather than deal with an issue. Although the reporter didn’t tell me who had called him, I knew I had political foes. But seriously who gets up in the morning and thinks up terrible and harmful things to do to people. And use others to do it. But I know Keith and of all the people on Council I worked with I find it almost inconceivable – he is at heart an upstanding and ethical person. Just weird.

  2. I am disappointed in his reply, however it is probably because so many elected city councillors are being accused of different things, that he overreacted. It is scary out there.

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