Blogs > Saratogian Newsroom

The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Friday, June 10

The story that never was -- and then was

It always sort of makes me feel icky when we at the newspaper have to report on someone's personal life. At times, though, it seems to spill into the public realm in strange ways.
In the case of Police Chief Chris Cole, we at The Saratogian had actually been following this story since Tuesday night, when rumors and television news reports (however brief and vague) seemed to point to an investigation going on behind closed doors at City Hall into Cole's sexting.
I spoke to Commissioner Richard Wirth Wednesday night about it and he told me there had been rumors and he checked through the department to see if any complaints had been filed. He said there were none, official or otherwise.
We wrote that story Wednesday night. It was short, and it was going inside the paper.
It essentially said: "Despite news reports to the contrary, Wirth says there is no ongoing investigation into Cole sending lewd messages." At the time that was true, and I personally thought it sounded too much like Weinergate to be true (I joked about it being called Cole-Gate).
There was an editorial decision made, though, that if there was no investigation, there was no story, and we would give the chief the benefit of the doubt.
Turned out there was a story after all.
Cole came out with the press release in the late afternoon Thursday (see below for a full version of it).
It was clear it was a story when he admitted at least one lewd photograph was taken in his office at City Hall. That is clearly a case of a personal life spilling over into a professional one — a professional life that is funded by tax dollars.
I don't know what we would have done if it turned out he was doing this from his own home with his own cell phone on his own time.
To some, that is clearly personal.
To others, the chief of the Saratoga Springs Police Department is never off the clock and what he does always reflects on the city.
I can see both sides, but clearly this time we didn't have to have that debate. If it happens in City Hall, it is city business.
We will obviously continue to follow the story and we will see what action is taken by Wirth and his staff.
Either way, the story is still icky.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home