WTAE Sued Over Drug Bust Report

By Kevin Eck 

A local man is suing Pittsburgh Hearst-owned ABC affiliate WTAE over a report by Marci Cipriani about a marijuana bust.

“The statements, implications, and innuendos made by Defendant Cipriani and/​or Defendant WTAE as described … are defamatory, libelous, and/​or slanderous in that they were assertions of false facts and not merely statements of opinion,” claims the lawsuit by Thomas A. Morocco.

According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Morocco was asked if state agents could search his property after they found a large quantity of marijuana at his son’s house.


Cipriani reported Morocco, the father, was “found at his home with 400 pounds of marijuana while on duty for the Municipal Authority” in a December 2015 report.

“Multiple sources tell us that Morocco was meeting people at the home of a relative when investigators from the Attorney General’s Office confronted him,” says Cipriani’s report.

The lawsuit contends “Plaintiff has suffered anguish, shame, embarrassment, and humiliation” because of the confusion between Morocco and his son in the WTAE report.

From the Post-Gazette:

The younger Mr. Morocco has since been charged with drug manufacture and distribution. He faces trial Sept. 12 in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court.

His father was briefly suspended from his job, and, after a Municipal Authority investigation, reinstated to his position.

Click here to view the report.