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Back the Blue,
Reporters have spoken with Mr. Braaten quite a few times since he left Victoria. He's never expressed a willingness to speak about any problems he experienced here. If he ever does, we certainly will report that.
As I understand this particular case against Mr. Smith, he is not charged regarding any previous conversations he might have had about other cases. The indictments all center on the Ratcliff investigation.
We've reported Mr. Smith spoke with us regarding his concerns about the Ratcliff investigation before the indictments. That's no secret.
"I'm not aware of David Smith speaking with an Advocate reporter about any other ongoing investigation since I came in April 2007"Please take notice of the words "any other ongoing investigation". The way I read that is Mr. Smith is on record for discussing the Ratcliff investigation with the press prior to there being any indictment. I still don't see how Mr. Cobler will be able to avoid testifying in the upcoming trials.
"I'm not aware of David Smith speaking with an Advocate reporter about any other ongoing investigation since I came in April 2007"
You will become aware when other Advocate reporters and editors are called to testify against Attorney Smith. It has been happening for some time. At least as early as 2004. A former chief, Tim Braaten, refused to be complicit in Smith's tactics of releasing sealed evidence to the Advocate and resigned/retired because of it.
If you want a real story, call Tim Braaten and inquire about the situations surrounding his departure. But be careful, the cronies that run the Advocate and pay for the advertising in the Advocate, don't want this story to be told. However, writing that story will make you a local celebrity amongst the people, but it will likely cause you alot of professional problems.
Victoria Concerned Citizen,
I'm not part of any vigilante group. That's a ridiculous assertion.
As for the rest, you can either believe what I write or not. That's entirely your right. We have this forum and our Viewpoints page to give everyone the chance to be heard.
"Is this the first time Attorney David Smith discussed an ongoing investigation, prior to Grand Jury Indictment, with the Victoria Advocate?"
I'm not aware of David Smith speaking with an Advocate reporter about any other ongoing investigation since I came in April 2007. However, our reporters routinely try to talk to a variety of sources about cases that already are or could become criminal in nature. That's what reporters do. I'm not in on every such conversation.
"Has Attorney David Smith given sealed evidence or copies of sealed evidence to any reporter or editor of the Victoria Advocate, prior to Grand Jury Indictment?"
I don't know of the city attorney giving us sealed evidence. He didn't do that in the meeting I had with him and reporter Gabe Semenza shortly before Michael Ratcliff was indicted. We've reported what we know from this conversation.
We don't have evidence a city official or officials were violating the due process clause of the Constitution of the United States. That's the crux of the case, of course.
It's tough for a newspaper to be unbiased when your editor is presumed to be either one of or assisting a vigilante group trying to stop the DA from doing his job. And also when the editor came here from Colorado, where he was found to have been plagiarizing AP news stories - some real credentials there! Let's see what he has to say when it's his turn on the stand.
I have a few questions for the Victoria Advocate Editor.....
Is this the first time Attorney David Smith discussed an ongoing investigation, prior to Grand Jury Indictment, with the Victoria Advocate?
Has Attorney David Smith given sealed evidence or copies of sealed evidence to any reporter or editor of the Victoria Advocate, prior to Grand Jury Indictment?
Since these are detailed questions and are leading in nature, one would be correct to assume I and others know the answer to these questions prior to asking them. It would be encouraging to see the Victoria Advocate admit as much and do their job as "objective" journalists.
If the Victoria Advocate has information that a City official or officials were violating the due process clause of the Constitution of the United States, one would assume it would be good journalism to report as much. But in the case of the Victoria Advocate, it would not be a solid assumption. They will protect their sources at all costs.