Friday, June 25, 2010

News-Press and Bramsen, Both Lovers of the Fudge Factor

Thursday's front page, above-the-fold story in the News-Press was about Josh Lynn's e-mail that he sent to his colleagues in the DA's office, a mere four days before he was fired.

The contents of the e-mail were first reported on my blog on Tuesday, two days before the News-Press reported it. And, because as far as I can determine, I was the only one to have published the e-mail, the News-Press must have gotten its contents from my blog, a fact they failed to mention in their article. In fact, they don't say where they got the e-mail from.

Worse than that, the story seemed to miss the significance of the e-mail. In the article Ann Bramsen, who as acting DA fired Lynn, was quoted as saying the e-mail was not the reason for the veteran prosecutor's termination. But before the e-mail was made public on Tuesday, Bramsen, in her comments to various media, seemed to leave the impression that the e-mail was at least one of the reasons Lynn was let go. And supporters of newly elected DA Joyce Dudley, who defeated Lynn in a rancorous campaign, seemed eager to assume that whatever Lynn put in the e-mail must have warranted his termination.

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Most reasonable readers of the e-mail would be hard pressed to find anything contained in there that would have justified the firing of Lynn. The article's author, James Zoltak, apparently didn't press Bramsen on any of those points.

Instead, Bramsen told Zoltak, "He was fired without cause because he is an at-will employee and it is a personnel matter." Of course, that's a different reason for firing Lynn than the one she gave when she talked to News-Press reporter Angel Pacheco last week and told him that she terminated Lynn for going to the media to discuss the fact that he had been put on administrative leave.

Fired for no reason at all or fired for going to the media?

It seems that Bramsen is as fuzzy on the reasons for firing Lynn as the News-Press is about where it got Lynn's e-mail from.
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