Saturday, May 12, 2007
Anonymous blogger removes posts after threatened by city with suit
Article Launched: 05/12/2007 12:03:08 AM PDT
Blogger gives in to Pomona
E-mail from attorney causes removal of posts on city manager's exit
By Wendy Leung,
Inland Daily Bulletin / Ontario, Calif.
Calling it a fight with Goliath, the Foothill Cities blog has removed controversial postings about Pomona City Manager Doug Dunlap after it received a cease- and-desist letter from the city attorney. In an e-mail sent Thursday, City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman called the Web postings "lies and falsehoods" and demanded the content be removed. The city attorney threatened legal action if Foothill Cities, which is written by an anonymous blogger, failed to comply.
On Friday, Alvarez-Glasman said the removal of the postings was "a move in the right direction", adding: "The objections were to the blog and the chatter that was republished as a result of the blog," Alvarez-Glasman said.
A series of postings last month printed rumors that Dunlap was being forced to resign among other accusations. Dunlap announced his retirement April 16 and has said that he had been mulling retirement for the past year. Dunlap could not be reached Friday for comment. In his e-mail to the Web publication, Alvarez-Glasman wrote, "The accusation that Pomona's City Manager is being forced to resign could not be further from the truth."
But the blogger, who writes at foothillcities.blogspot.com, stressed that the accusations had always been clearly identified as pure rumor. In an e-mail correspondence on Friday, the blogger wrote, "The city is clearly trying to bully us, and is in the wrong, but we backed down - at least for now - because we don't want to have to deal with a lawsuit." The blogger called Alvarez-Glasman's demand "stifling." "It means we have to start watching our backs every time we post something critical about city officials," the blogger wrote.
Foothill Cities is a political blog about cities in the Inland and San Gabriel valleys. Alvarez-Glasman said on Friday the city supports First Amendment rights but that the Web publication also has a duty to print responsible journalism. "The credence that one puts behind this publication is no greater than the National Enquirer," he said.
Staff writer Frank C. Girardot contributed to this report.
Staff writer Wendy Leung can be reached by e-mail at
email@example.com, or by phone at (909) 483-9376.