Watch video trailer here. Release date: Early 2021
Eight years ago, an article was published on the news website CalCoastNews.com that would forever reshape the lives of its authors and their families — and ultimately those of the article’s subjects and even their attorneys.
The article described unlawful practices by San Luis Obispo County’s garbage agency, the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) and its 20-year manager William Worrell. It also examined a favored IWMA contractor.
A subsequent libel lawsuit initiated by that contractor, Charles K. Tenborg, (and backed by Worrell and certain IWMA board members) led to an eye-popping $1.1 million judgment against two journalists in March 2017. It was only later that the truth would be unearthed -- layer upon layer of carefully coordinated lies had resulted in a patently fraudulent judgment.
But the journalists fought back — with unexpected and extraordinary results.
LYING IN TRASH probes the origin of the lawsuit — the reckless efforts of a local politician named Adam Hill, and a handful of his governmental co-conspirators who plotted destruction of the two journalists and the news site. It documents the deplorable actions of a San Francisco law firm; a county judge bedazzled by those big-city celebrity lawyers; the untimely deaths of two key defense witnesses; pernicious efforts to poison the jury pool; the lop-sided trial; and the litany of lies by plaintiff’s witnesses to mislead jurors. It follows an internationally-recognized private investigator as he establishes the accuracy of the journalists' original reporting, and proves the preponderance of perjury.
And in the end, LYING IN TRASH reports on the shaming and top-to-bottom reorganization of the public waste disposal agency itself.
The perpetrators of the lawsuit have ample reason to regret their actions. Now Worrell, Tenborg, and the IWMA itself are under criminal investigations. Worrell has been forced into early retirement and the IWMA’s attorney of two decades, Raymond Biering, has departed under a cloud. Examiners subsequently found the public agency had been operating as a privately-run criminal enterprise, exposure of which its exploiters felt the need to prevent … at any cost.
The truth prevails because two journalists refused to surrender... despite back-breaking financial stresses.
LYING IN TRASH is their story.