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The publishers of a bi-weekly Buffalo newspaper have launched a $30 million countersuit against two developers who are suing them for defamation, they said today.

Timothy A. Tielman and Susan A. McCartney, general partners and owners of the Sharp Review, said their countersuit against Carl P. Paladino and Joseph J. Jacobi was prompted by the "malicious" $30 million lawsuit the developers filed against them in March.

Tielman said the Paladino-Jacobi lawsuit has had a "chilling" effect on the free-press rights of the four-year-old publication, which he described as a satirical and political publication.

Paladino "has said more than once his purpose was to put the paper out of business," Tielman said.

In their countersuit, Tielman and Ms. McCartney contend Paladino and Jacobi have been "adverse and antagonistic" toward them "for many years" because of their efforts at building and land preservation in the Buffalo area.

The Paladino-Jacobi lawsuit has been financially costly because of the need to hire lawyers to defend the publication and has infringed on the publishers' rights to "comment on public issues," Tielman said.

Patrick J. Quinlivan, attorney for the developers, said he will make legal motions shortly seeking dismissal of the counterclaim.

Paladino and Jacobi couldn't be reached to comment.

In March, the developers filed suit against Tielman and Ms. McCartney and their American Media partnership contending the free-of-charge publication's Feb. 25 edition carried false suggestions about their conduct as developers in a column called "The Infamous Grouse" that did not carry a byline.

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