Thursday, September 6, 2007

Retractions and Apologies Due Councilmen

Following the City Council meeting of September 6, both Councilmen Billy Wickliffe and Eugene Lowe met with this reporter to discuss articles appearing in the Wilmer Public Citizen. The material discussed was not published in this journal, but offered as a supplemental link on this web site to a briefing document used in a meeting with the Dallas County District Attorney on potential misdeeds within the city government. Both Mr. Wickliffe and Mr. Lowe encouraged this reporter to "pick up the phone and call" to verify stories prior to publication. Wilmer Public Citizen will regularly comply with their requests and report these results in future news stories.

Mr. Wickliffe corrected an item in the briefing document repotring that he owned the property at 335 E. Belt Line Road, when in fact the property is owned by his son. The document outlined that city workers were observed performing maintenance services at this address. He further stated that his son had paid the city for these services. For these errors, the editorial staff apologizes and is grateful for the opportunity to correct these misstatements. These statements were "qualified" when reported in the original document: "The individual reqponsible for the act is unknown - it cannot assumed to be Mr. Wickliffe or a city employee or a supervisor."

Mr. Lowe stated that we had reported nothing but lies about him. We have searched our article archives and can find no mention of Councilman Lowe except in the aforementioned briefing document. The posting regarding Mr. Lowe is quoted in full: "During a plea and arraingment session of Wilmer Municipal Court on July 3, 2007 (Judge Paula Allen presiding) instructed Councilman Eugene Lowe to act as the court's Spanish language interpreter. Under Government Code 57.002(d)(1) Appointment of Interpreter, a certification or license is required to be appointed as a court interpreter as inferred from the specific mention of Spanish not be aplicable for the exclusion from the statute. We do not know if Councilman Lowe receives any remuneration from the city for his services, nor do we know if he is an expert in texas rules of evidence as required by the statute for non certified or licensed interpreters."

Mr. Lowe confirmed that he is a certified licensed court interpreter, but did not offer to furnish any documentary evidence. As this fact has not been confirmed by others or documentation, we do not feel a retraction is appropriate at this time until further investigation is completed. We apologize that what was written was confusing to Mr. Lowe, but do not accept that our posting contained lies or misstatements of fact.
(ED NOTE: Quoted text from the notes document above has not been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors and appears as originally posted)