Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz says he had little choice but to sue a university student newspaper and the volunteer writer of an article about his role in last year's fire hall controversy.

The article in question appeared in a December issue of The Uniter, the weekly student paper at the University of Winnipeg.

A statement of claim filed by Katz's lawyer claims that the article by Josh Benoit characterizes the mayor as a criminal who has has committed criminal acts pertaining to insider trading and belongs in jail.

The lawsuit names the newspaper, the writer and the university.

Katz told reporters on Wednesday that efforts were made to get the newspaper to retract the article.

"There were letters to try and get it done without this action but they, you know, unfortunately, politely [said], 'Not interested' — we'll just leave it at that. So there really wasn't any choice at that particular point in time," he said.

The mayor said his lawyer and counsel for The Uniter are "talking."

Katz added that he's seeking an apology, and he doesn't believe there will be financial settlement because The Uniter has no money.

"There is no financial compensation because you have to look at the entities, and if you take out the University of Winnipeg, there's nothing there," he said.

"It's the principle of, 'Hey, the law is the law. You can't just say anything.'"

Officials with The Uniter declined to comment on the allegations earlier this week, and the article at the centre of the lawsuit remains on the paper's website.

Katz said the University of Winnipeg has distanced itself from the article, informing him in a letter that it has no control over what appears in the student newspaper.