Frederick Co. councilman apologizes for newspaper threat

WASHINGTON – A Frederick County Council member who told the local paper it couldn’t print his name has apologized.

In a statement released by the county, Councilman Kirby Delauter says that it was inappropriate to tell the Frederick News-Post not to print his name.

“My statement to the Frederick News-Post regarding the use of my name was wrong and inappropriate. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong,” Delauter says in the statement.

He said he feels frustrated when he is misrepresented or misinterpreted by the local paper and that he regrets writing the Facebook post.

Delauter threatened reporter Bethany Rodgers saying she would be “paying for an attorney” if she used his name in print again without first obtaining his approval.

In a story that ran last weekend, Rodgers had written that Delauter shared another councilmember’s concern about a lack of reserved parking spaces for the council at the county government building.

The county’s statement also says it strives to provide residents with an open and transparent government and that county leaders support the constitutional principles of a free press and free speech, saying they are “a vital part of our democratic process.”

Delauter also acknowledged that the paper has the right to publish his name and said that the First Amendment “is alive and well in Frederick County.”

“Over my career I have fired off my fair share of angry e-mails, which in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. I can’t think of one that had a positive effect. Usually, they only served to escalate the conflict,” he says.

The paper’s managing editor told WTOP that the councilman’s request was ridiculous. The paper responded by publishing an editorial that repeatedly named Delauter and the first letter of each paragraph spelled out his name.

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