The Frederick County, Maryland, council member who threatened to sue a local newspaper reporter for using his name, Kirby Delauter, in a news story without permission, has issued an apology to the newspaper he threatened.
“The first amendment is alive and well in Frederick County. As a public figure working to maintain and improve the county, it can be very frustrating to feel misrepresented or misinterpreted by a local media outlet. […] Over my career I have fired off my fair share of angry e-mails, which in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. I can’t think of one that had a positive effect. Usually, they only served to escalate the conflict. I thought I had long ago learned the lesson of waiting 24 hours before I hit the send key, but apparently I didn’t learn that lesson as well as I should have. […] Of course, as I am an elected official, the Frederick News-Post has the right to use my name in any article related to the running of the county — that comes with the job. So yes, my statement to the Frederick News-Post regarding the use of my name was wrong and inappropriate. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. […] I got elected to serve all the citizens of northern Frederick County, Democrats as well as Republicans. I look forward to the local papers covering my effort in that regard.”
Delauter apologized in a statement published on the Frederick News-Post. The local politician also issued what Frederick News-Post called “a more detailed apology” on his Facebook page.
Kirby reached out to the Frederick News-Post and threatened them with a lawsuit for putting his name in the paper without his authorization. Delauter then indicated that attorneys would be called. The journalists at Frederick Post joked about what they might refer to him as if they were unable to use his name without his authorization while reporting on him, as they referred to him as “the Councilman Formerly Known as Commissioner Kirby Delauter” and “Councilman [Unauthorized].”
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the councilman, an elected public official, has managed to splash his name across the news through his actions.
The Associated Press discussed the matter with Terry Headlee, the managing editor of the circulation count 33,000 newspaper that ridiculed Mr. Delauter after he threatened legal action against them, and he told the AP that he “just didn’t know how to respond to a request that stupid,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
What do you think, is Kirby Delauter fit to serve the public?