Ex-musicians union prexy says suit is settled

Former American Federation of Musicians local 47 president Bernie Fleischer apparently has settled his libel and defamation of character suit against six people who opposed his 1990 reelection bid.

Fleischer sued the AFM’s then-president Max Herman and 22 other officers in 1991 for allegedly libeling him and his wife during local 47’s 1990 election campaign (Daily Variety, June 17, 1991).

Fleischer claimed Friday to have reached a settlement totaling $ 100,000 with Herman, Recording Musicians Assn. president Dennis Dreith, RMA board members Joann Kane and Neil Stubenhaus, former campaign consultant Shed Behar, and former union health fund manager Maria Cruz.

Herman and current AFM local president Bill Peterson could not be reached for confirmation.

In the 1991 complaint, Fleischer and wife Dee Dee Daniels said they were defamed in a piece of campaign literature apparently drafted by campaign consultant Behar of Pacific Media Group.

The newsletter, Finale, accused Fleischer of a series of criminal acts, including stealing money, falsifying records and paying his wife’s travel expenses with union funds, according to the complaint. The motive, according to the plaintiffs, was to oust Fleischer, who had been local president since 1985, and to get rid of Daniels as national contracts administrator because of her marriage to Fleischer in 1989.

Fleischer was defeated by Herman in the election.

“This has been a long and difficult process, but it has been worth the effort ,” said Fleischer. “The attempt to destroy my reputation has been defeated and those responsible made to pay for their falsehoods and mudslinging.”