Why it’s so hard to read the paper
A former San Luis Obispo, California, city employee has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for writing the newspaper’s signature missive.
David H. Dorman, 42, of San Luis, was sentenced Tuesday in the San Luis County Superior Court in Santa Barbara to three months in county jail.
Dorman, who served as a city employee in the early 2000s, was charged in March with violating the city’s code of conduct, which prohibits public employees from using their position to promote their personal or professional interests.
In the letter he wrote in response to the letter to the paper, Dorman acknowledged that he wrote the missive “in an attempt to give my friends and family the opportunity to express themselves without the influence of the city government.”
He also acknowledged that the missives violated the city code of ethics.
Dormers at the newspaper, however, said Dorman had never violated the code and was merely exercising his First Amendment right to free speech.
“We do not know whether or not he is guilty, but we do know that he did not violate the law and he has no intention of violating it,” Dormers attorney, Jonathan Stearns, told the San Joaquin Valley News Group.
In a statement, the newspaper said it was “disappointed” in Dorman’s decision to plead guilty, and called the charges “deeply troubling.”
“We are disappointed that the District Attorney chose to bring criminal charges and the sentence will likely be severe,” the statement said.
The newspaper did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.