Newspaper liability for charter amendment snafu?

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Commenter Jeff Shaw makes an excellent point about Mayor Bill LaFortune's accusation that the Tulsa Commerce and Legal News is responsible for the failure to publish notice of the charter amendment election and thus for the removal of the charter amendment from the April ballot:

I would look for an denial from the publisher they made a mistake. It is my view and experience that these type of accidents don't happen on the publication end of things. Legal publications are very very important with regard to due process of law, and they take it very seriously. It's tantamount to malpractice.

If a newspaper fails to run a legal notice as required, public hearings and court proceedings have to be delayed, at a cost to the people and the government body involved. A newspaper that specializes in legal notices would have all sorts of safeguards in place to avoid exposing the paper to liability for failure to publish.

If it is the newspaper's fault, the City should be able to sue for the $100,000 it will cost to hold a separate special election for the charter amendment. The newspaper may even have "errors and omissions" insurance to cover the situation. The charter amendment represents a promise made to the property owners of this city, to restore this protection at the earliest possible opportunity. If the Mayor is serious about keeping his promise to the citizens, he'll pursue damages. Otherwise, we'll have to assume he's more interested in keeping the promises he made behind closed doors to the developers' lobbyists.


W said:

Tulsa Commerce and Legal News is owned by Neighbor Newspapers, which also owns a slew of weekly newspapers in the area and the Broken Arrow daily.

Having considerable knowledge that about how poorly that group is operated, it wouldn't surprise me if simple incompetence was behind this.

Concerned Citizens said:

In reference to the previous post.....

Would that be incompetence within the Neighbor Newspapers'staff OR within the Mayor's office???
Seems we have witnessed incompetence flowing regularly within the City of Tulsa administrative offices. We can't speak personally of the Neighbor Newspapers.

Whatever the case, this major snafu is ANOTHER REASON to call for a GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION of our city government!! These "behind closed doors" agreements, at the tax-payers' expense, shows we citizens how this "good-ole-boy" system is used to getting by with their illegal and unfair manuevers.

Come on Republicans & Democrats and Citizens of all parties........we need to hold our elected officials accountable!!

Just a quick reminder that the Tulsa County Republican Convention is this Saturday (March 5, 2005), at Tulsa Tech (38th and Memorial). Everyone is welcome!!

Tulsa County Democratic precinct meetings are due March 10th. Call the headquarters at 742-2457, for details.

THANKS, Michael, for all you are doing!!

W said:

The above reference is meant to Neighbor Newspapers. Maybe it's not their fault, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it is.

David S. said:

Surely this also can be fixed with a few ethics classes..

Jeff Shaw said:

This is our city, and I love it. But we need to quit rewarding bad behavior. Think about what and who we are voting for. Its not republican or democrat, its about responsible, ethical, reliable stewards and sensible, responsible legislation. I would vote for anyone, if I thought they were more responsible, ethical and reliable than the other candidate. I would rather have cake on a plate, than pie in the sky. That being said, you can't just go around dismissing $100,000 mistakes as a clerical error or a mistake. There are no excuses for such an error. No matter who is responsible, the "buck" stops at Mayor LaFortune's office (really, people). It's a lot of money! Avoiding the "appearance of impropriety" would cause an ethical person to not be so dismissive. No character assinations, here just calling them as I see them. The inexcusable part of this whole "deal" is that there is no way to really fix it at this point. If you are a conspiracy theorist, you have plenty of grist for your mill. With the state of our city, we don't need any more grist. Be at your conventions! Be at your City council meetings. Be at the polls. Read what your voting for and think about it, and quit letting the old guard, do what they want. Its your city.

The last paragraph in the Tulsa World today on page A11 the continuation of a story titled "Vision" tells you everything you need to know. about the current stewards of our money. Bob Dick replies to questions about "leftover" money: "He said it looks as if any leftover funds could be put toward the river development, which he said was the most popular issue at every public forum before Vision 2025's passage." We ended up with a new place to hold the Shrine circus.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 1, 2005 7:33 AM.

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