Press release from: A.J. Flick, a 15-year employee with the now-defunct Tucson Citizen newspaper, has reached a settlement in her lawsuit against newspaper company Gannett Co. Inc. Terms of the settlement are confidential.
“I’m very happy to reach a settlement and put this behind me,” said Flick, who is now a self-employed writer based in Tucson. “Adam Watters, my attorney, worked very hard to craft my lawsuit and reach this settlement.”
Flick filed the lawsuit in Pima County Superior Court last fall, alleging “detrimental reliance” upon Gannett’s promise in January 2009 that if she were still employed on March 20, 2009, and Gannett didn’t sell the newspaper that she would receive one week’s pay for each year she worked at the Citizen as severance. Gannett didn’t sell the newspaper, but announced on March 17, 2009, that employees had to work indefinitely at the paper in order to get severance. Acting publisher Jennifer Boice fired Flick in April 2009 for failing to return to work; the paper ceased publication in mid-May 2009.
On March 21, 2009, Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup issued a certificate of appreciation and recognition to Flick saying, “Your stories were balanced, fair and gave readers a real-world view of the courts. In your articles, you described the drama, some of the humor and, many times, the human tragedies. Thank you for your work ethic and commitment to ‘getting it right.’”
Flick is focusing her work on writing feature film scripts. She recently returned from the Bare Bones International Film Festival in Muskogee, Okla., where her script, “The Great Western,” made the Top 10 in the script competition, which drew hundreds of entries from across the nation. “The Great Western” is based upon the true life of Sarah Bowman, nicknamed “The Great Western,” who became a heroine in the war with Mexico in Texas and eventually settled in what is now Yuma.
“As they say, well-behaved women rarely made history,” Flick said, “and they sure didn’t settle the Old West. Sarah Bowman didn’t tame the Wild West; she kicked its ass.”
Last year, four production companies, including a well-known leader in the industry, asked to see “The Great Western” script, though so far, it has yet to be sold. Flick is traveling to Los Angeles this month and next month to meet with producers in hopes of selling “The Great Western” and her newest script, “Durg-Or: Demon of the Desert,” loosely based on a story she wrote for the Citizen.
“This script is more fiction than I’m used to writing and I’m having a lot of fun with it,” Flick said.
“In ‘Durg-Or,’ a reporter discovers a demonic link to a series of crimes and becomes part of the story himself when he realizes that he must banish the demon in order to save his brother’s life,” said Flick, who covered the courts in her final years at the Citizen.
In addition to the scripts, Flick has submitted two book proposals to publishers, one of which is based on the Brian Stidham murder case. “Murder in the Old Pueblo: The True Story of the Brian Stidham Murder Case,” came very close to being published a couple of years ago, but was interrupted after Stidham’s widow, Daphne, threatened to sue if certain facts, which are part of the public record, were included in the book. Flick refused to withhold the facts that Daphne Stidham objected to and the publisher declined to publish the book.
For more information, contact A.J. Flick at firstname.lastname@example.org.