What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 29, 2011

Now This Is Interesting...

An astute reader clued me into this curiosity found in the pages of the Tribune-Review:
FBI agents involved in a secret grand jury investigation into the Allegheny County Jail have interviewed a former jail inmate who claims he was handcuffed and brutalized after an escape attempt last year, the man told the Tribune-Review.

Gary Barbour Jr., 29, who now is incarcerated in the state prison in Huntingdon, also asked attorney Ronald Barber to file a federal lawsuit naming the county and unspecified officials and guards as defendants in the April 6, 2010, incident that he says sent him to UPMC Mercy for treatment.
So far, so good. But take a look at this from 2005:
An Allegheny County judge decided Tuesday to unseal some records from the estate of the late Sen. H. John Heinz III after eight months of legal wrangling between the powerful family's lawyers and several newspapers.

Attorneys for both sides said yesterday they are pleased with Common Pleas Judge Frank J. Lucchino's decision, which opens 11 documents for public inspection in 20 days, but holds back on some details the judge called private and sensitive.

"It looks like a significant victory for the press. But we won't know how close we got to the target until we see the records," said Ronald Barber, an attorney for the Tribune-Review.
Since Attorney Barber is also quoted in the P-G's coverage of the same story:
When Gary W. Barbour Jr. tried to escape from the Allegheny County Jail last year, he was caught and beaten by guards before and after he was handcuffed, an attorney representing the inmate said Thursday.

Mr. Barbour's treatment after his escape attempt is one of the subjects of a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of the lockup.

Statements Thursday by attorney Ronald D. Barber are the first accounts of the incident to emerge, beyond the initial Allegheny County police report that described Mr. Barbour as "injured and bleeding" to the extent that he required hospitalization.
I think we can assume that the papers called him to get a comment in print and not the other way around.

But still - if he's the Trib's attorney and he's quoted on the pages of the Trib for another story, shouldn't they at least mention that?

Not being completely forthcoming with the facts is the Trib's editorial page practice - one we're well aware of. Leaving important stuff like this out of the news shouldn't be.


EdHeath said...

I think you are right, a single sentance saying that "Attorney Barber has represented the Tribune Review in past lawsuits" or what their specific arrangement is would have been appropriate.

Dayvoe said...

That's all I am saying.