June 6, 2014
To the editor:
Please be advised that I am counsel for the City of Williamson. Based on a recent article published by the Williamson Daily News, current Williamson Mayor Steven Johnston Knopp immediately initiated an investigation of the “alleged” situation to ascertain the facts and clear the “speculation,” rumors and incorrect information being disseminated.
The results of Mayor Knopp’s investigation revealed that ex-mayor A. Darrin McCormick did in fact turn in his key to City Hall prior to this resignation. Mr. McCormick has neither keys nor copies of keys to City Hall, nor does he have any access to City Hall, other than the same access available to any citizen of the City of Williamson or the general public. Said access is during normal business hours and/or public meetings. Let me be very clear that Mr. McCormick, on the Wednesday afternoon in question, was present at the Williamson City Hall while the same remained open and while several employees were present.
The alleged “facts” and allegations contained in the article are baseless and without any foundation. I would suggest your reporters verify their “facts” in the interest of accurately reporting the news, especially concerning the City of Williamson. On behalf of Mayor Knopp and the City of Williamson, I hereby formally request a retraction be printed and/or in the alternative, at least a correction containing accurate facts.
I sincerely believe it is unfair to leave your readers with a negative impression of the Williamson City Government based on unfounded speculation and misinformation published by your newspaper. In these trying times for the City of Williamson and Mingo County as a whole, we need not breed distrust for our governing bodies without good cause and proper foundation.
Your newspaper has an obligation to assist in this task by means of accurate reporting and not by means of reporting mere speculation without verification. It would seem that your article as published creates speculation of wrongdoing, when as stated in the opening paragraph of said article the purpose was to avoid the same.