It's High Noon for the San Angelo Standard-TimesOpinion
The San Angelo Standard-Times Editor-in-chief Mike Kelly attacked me Sunday for pursuing a story about the trash contract. The headline of the op-ed screamed, “Unfounded story misses the real issue.”
This was Kelly’s attempt to defend his close, personal buddies at the City of San Angelo.
Me, a local “blogger,” Kelly snarls, with help from Wayne Dolcefino, a 30-time Emmy Award Winning journalist, “have questioned whether the refunds owed have actually been paid. Those allegations, we have concluded, are groundless,” Kelly opines.
Groundless. That’s what Kelly wrote.
How is it groundless that we discovered over a quarter million dollars of your money parked in some Republic Services bank account collecting interest? Neither the City of San Angelo nor the Gannett newspaper have lifted a finger to try to find that money’s rightful owners.
What is more, through a Freedom of Information Act request, a law that Kelly now denounces as outdated and in need of reform, we asked the City for all correspondence between the San Angelo Standard-Times and the City regarding Republic Services since October 2016, when Dolcefino originally contacted the paper with the results of his preliminary investigation of the trash deal.
City Attorney Brandon Dyson responded just yesterday, “There are no records responsive to your request.”
How can Kelly, the editor of the storied newspaper of record, declare in a bold headline our stories are groundless when he hasn’t bothered to look at the evidence?
Instead of taking a cheap shot at me for doing my job for my readers, Kelly should learn why the City disregarded the paper’s 2014 admonishments to put the brakes on the trash contract until the overcharges issue was resolved. The City didn’t heed the paper’s counsel. But things have changed. Now that the newspaper is under Gannett, with a part-time publisher, it is a hollow replica of its former self.
And he calls me the “blogger?"
Thursday at high noon, we will release our next video exposing the local newspaper’s complacency in reporting the trash issue. There’s so much more to this story, so stay tuned.
Our response to Mike Kelly's assault:
In the meantime, we’re looking for folks who believe they are still owed money by Republic Services for the alleged overcharges prior to the 2014 new trash contract. According to information unearthed in our “unfounded” investigation, over a quarter of a million dollars are unclaimed. If you think you are owed money, fill out this form. We’re working hard to get that money into the hands of its rightful owners. Click here to submit a claim.