By Briana Ghaffery
View video of Council meeting: https://elcajonca.swagit.com/play/07112018-1233
July 11, 2018 (El Cajon) – Eleven speakers called on Councilman Ben Kalasho to resign during public comments at Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council meeting, where the audience included protesters who held signs reading “hands off our daughters” and “sex predator Kalasho belongs in jail” complete with a photoshopped picture of Kalasho as an inmate.
Kalasho has also announced his intention to run for Mayor, challenging incumbent Bill Wells.
The actions followed a judicial order admitting evidence as true and factual in a civil case against Kalasho, including evidence that he sexually harassed beauty pageant contestants, photoshopped one contestant’s face onto other women’s nude bodies, and solicited sex from a pageant contestant in exchange for winning the crown. The judge also deemed it true that Kalasho took out many false identities online to harass and defame a taco shop owner with phony negative reviews after the businessman refused to post Kalasho’s campaign signs.
First to speak was Paul Kruze, a reporter for East County Magazine who filed a police report against Kalasho alleging attempted assault with an attack dog. Kruze has authored numerous articles regarding Kalasho’s ethical and legal challenges.
Kruze claims he was threatened by Kalasho in an Office Depot parking lot. According to the police report, Kalasho threatened Kruze with his German Shepherd named Zoltan. Video posted on Facebook by Kruze show him training Zoltan to be, in his own words, an attack dog. Kalasho has claimed that he and his wife felt menaced by Kruze, who was photographing Kalasho’s campaign vehicle used to transport the dog.
“You are the biggest coward,” Kruze said, as he stood at the podium, while Kalasho smirked and even laughed at times as he sat behind his high city council chair, looking down at the spectators. Kruze described posts by Kalasho which incited death threats against him, later taken down by Facebook for violating the site’s rules.
Kruze was just the first of many voices at the meeting, which lasted approximately one-hour.
East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery provided factual information on the judicial findings regarding Kalasho and set the record straight on “harassment, defamation and threats” against her award-winning media outlet as well as an award-winning reporter at the San Diego Union-Tribune. She indicated that Kalasho has continued to repeat defamatory statements with “malicious” intent on social media even after being sent documents proving the statements were false.