Thursday, February 08, 2007

Trial Postscript...

There is one event that took place during Josh Brown's trial that I feel very strongly I absolutely have to address...

The plaintiff's private investigator, responding to a question asked by Josh's attorney John Morgan, about a statement he made for the original lawsuit story broken by the Business Journal, stated he had been misquoted.

Specifically, the quote was, “I found him at his parent's house on more than one occasion and know for a fact he spent the night there.” When Morgan asked him to cite the specific facts he had to back that statement up, the investigator knew he had a problem. He took the easy way out by saying he was misquoted.

Knowing at the time we were breaking a highly explosive story, I wrote down exactly what he said — verbatim — and I stand by my story and that quote. I have my notes from the conversation to back it up.

I confronted the investigator immediately afterwards, and he said, "Don't you remember, I called you back and clarified that remark." He did call me back, but he wanted to be certain I understood certain OTHER statements he made — concerning a completely DIFFERENT aspect of his investigation — were off the record, and he wouldn't be quoted on any of those, which he wasn't. However, we did NOT discuss the specific quote in question during that subsequent conversation.

Why is this such a big deal? Because except for Commissioner Chris Endresen, every single Democratic elected county official was in that courtroom at the time (Shouldn't they have been in their offices, not spending two days watching the trial on our dime?). I pride myself on making certain I always get the words right. And I'm not about to let my integrity be questioned — especially when breaking the biggest political story in this county in years.

After spending most of my professional career in this industry, I know the critical importance of getting quotes exactly right. That's why it's important to me that those elected officials sitting in that courtroom know the investigator was quoted accurately — just as they will be in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Jim S3:15 AM

    While you are picking on the PI, I am compelled to join in. I am no fan of Ross and his secret partners but they got robbed by this gumshoe. Seventeen days of "investigation" and he could only find Josh twice. He could not find him on December 21, the day he was being sworn in at the county courthouse. He didn't think to send a registered certified letter to Josh at the apartment address even though it is required be state law and the county elections challenge form. I am old enough to have seen Keystone Cops movies, but thie seemed more like a parade of clowns.