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2018-04-03 / Opinion

Perplexed Reader

I usually find Lillian Browne’s articles interesting and informative but am very perplexed by her reporting “Delaware County Sheriff Named Victim in Alleged Assault.” It implies in the heading that the Sheriff is the victim and then proceeds to paint him as a bully. Furthermore, it seems inappropriate, if not unwise, for her to give the names of the children “under the age of 17” who were listed as in the proximity of the reported Sparkes/ DuMond altercation. Hopefully this did not cause discomfort to them or their parents. She provides a lengthy statement by Mr. Sparkes’ attorney as well as information from documents filed at the County by Deputy Erwin. But, she does not appear to have researched this any further. She states that, according to Mr. Sparkes’ attorney, “multiple eye witnesses state that DuMond did not identify himself as the Sheriff...” Did she substantiate that and seek out statements from people who were actually there? If not, this appears to be slanted reporting. A Sheriff is on duty 24/7. In uniform or not, it is his/her duty to serve and protect and cannot sit by and ignore a situation as it unfolds. Ms. Browne’s article seems to give more credibility to the accused’s attorney than she does to the County’s Sheriff. She says, “DuMond claims that Sparkes was yelling obscenities…”. Did she interview the Sheriff ? Since many people rely on The Reporter for factual information, it doesn’t seem appropriate to print something that implies police brutality and “abuse of power” without making sure you have all the facts. Otherwise, this is the type of sensationalism expected from tabloids not from the Walton Reporter, Delaware County’s official newspaper. I am also confused by a recent letter to the editor headed “Fan in the Stands.” Was this person in close proximity and actually witness the event? It seems to me that ignoring or closing your eyes to vulgarity and belligerent behavior is the same as saying it’s OK. Isn’t it?

TEDDIE STOREY

FRANKLIN

In response to Ms. Storey’s letter: The Reporter followed established reporting policies with regard to the story “Delaware County Sheriff Named Victim in Alleged Assault.” Much of the story was based upon documentation filed with the court which is a matter of public record, including the names of witnesses. Both the attorney for the accused and the District Attorney, who is representing the complainant, were given an opportunity to comment on the story. The Reporter encourages letters to the editor and will continue to follow this story and provide factual information that the publication has become known for as a trusted source of news. ~Editor

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