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Monday, November 19, 2012

Westphalia and how the Post and "local" press fail to connect the dots

Mr. Turner has just posted two messages, one about Westphalia, and one about the failures of the local press.
The Westphalia project, Patrick Ricker, and related corruption issues are in the news again.  Verjeana Jacobs was recently reelected to the school board.  The Post's coverage of the election, and endorsement of Mrs. Jacobs, included minor references to the failed Washington Plaza school office fiasco promoted by Mrs. Jacobs as board chair.  But neither the Post nor any of the other print media has reported explicitly on the apparent connections. 

Washington Plaza is adjacent to, and partly surrounded by, the Westphalia project area.

Mrs. Jacobs' husband, David, was a registered lobbyist for Patrick Ricker's company, as well as for the county government and the firefighters union.  Mr. Jacobs and his associations with various suspect develpors were apparently part of the  the FBI county corruption investigations.  For example, a 15 Sep 2008 Post report listed a number of persons whose houses were raided by the FBI, including:
  • Daniel Colton, now awaiting sentencing
  • Karl L. Granzow, Jr., recently sentenced
  • David Jacobs
  • Patrick Ricker
  • and others
There are numerous blog posts, some by county bloggers and others by long-time broadcast reporter Dave Statter, that have pieces of the puzzle.  Unfortunately, none of the print media seems to want to fit all the pieces together.

The Post makes a big thing of the supposed firewall between the news and editorial groups, but I can't help wondering whether their endorsement of Mrs. Jacobs was influenced by incomplete knowledge due to the lack of Post news coverage of potential conflicts of interest, or if the lack of coverage was intended to avoid conflict with the endorsement.

Here are a few links: