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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The OJ Simpson Defense

Bill Moss
City Manager
bmoss@city ofmarcoisland.com
----- Original Message -----

Monday, February 05 , 2007 1:09:06 PM
From: arcmi@comcast.net
Subject: Feedback from FAF
To: Bill Moss


I spoke with Adria Harper of the First Amendment Foundation about Ed Bania's use of her in his article on the sunshine law this morning. Since Bania's article put many e-mail s under the umbrella of "sunshine law violations" I tried to see if she cou ld tell me, specifically, which e-mail, if any, were of concern to her. She mentioned the following to me and then forwarded a clarification letter to Bania and Tom Rife, below.

a) That she was uncomfortable with the headline "Expert Says City Violated Sunshine Law" and that she did not make such a conclusion. Note in her letter to Bania she points out that the title "implies that I stated violated occurred, and this is not accurate"

b) That she did not review every e-mail as to specific possible violations but was just providing general information on the sunshine law requirements. Note in her letter she states "the majority of my comments were to e-mails in general. My general points were that IF there was discussion between two or m ore members...and IF there was any discussion between board members about forseeable public business via e-mail this would be problematic.."

c) That she did not know the subject matter of the letters, did not know if a letter written was in reference to an item already covered by council or not. As he states in her letter "those which you highlighted seemed problematic to me because it SEEMED that those e-mails reflected conversation between council members about foreseeable public business..". She was not aware of the timing of issues as to whether they were before or after the fact.

I am preparing a full commentary on this matter addressing many of the inaccuracies in the Bania article and will submit to the Eagle for publicat[i]on shortly. Finally, if you scroll down to the end you will see the letter from Bania to Ms. Harper where he indicates that Phil Lewis had become convinced that sunshine law violations had taken place and asked that the y do this report. Lewis had committed to me in December that input from all sources were critical in printing balanced reports. Bania also mentions "his sources" which are the CARE's people. Apparently none of us are consider ed his source. Bania has called asking for me this afternoon to meet with him to discuss the e-mails and I will not at this time. He waited till after the article and I cannot trust him at all. I had called two days ago asking for input.

John Arceri


  • Why is it that this fellow should be treated by the press any differently then anyone else? He does sound guilty though. He seems to have an answer to every perceived allegation. Even some allegations that are not in the article. Probably guilty as charged.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, February 08, 2007 4:56:00 PM  

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