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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |


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January 13, 2006

A Clarification and An Apology

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

Sometimes we repeat rumors without classifying them as such. And then we have to go back and write a clarification. That is what this is.

While speculating on the race for Frederick County Sheriff in my political predications column on January 3, I gave apparent credibility to a rumor that had been swirling for some time. I repeated a rumor, first heard from a county commissioner, that the Animal Control Division was being moved to the Sheriff's office to facilitate Harold Domer's eventual run for sheriff.

I've heard the rumor again, this time from a Sheriff's Office employee. I should make clear that I did not hear the rumor from the other individual I mentioned, Detective Chuck Jenkins, chairman of the Republican State Central Committee for Frederick County.

When I wrote about the rumor, I inferred that Sheriff Jim Hagy might have been involved in the "grooming" (my word) of his successor.

I have a deep and abiding respect for Jim Hagy. I consider him a friend, and I value his lifetime of commitment to keeping our county safe. I should have called and asked him the question directly. A good reporter would have.

Had I bothered to do so, I would have found that he had nothing to do with the shift of Animal Control into the Sheriff's Office. He did not initiate that dialogue; it came from Capt. Domer, who looked at other animal control agencies and found that several were aligned with local law enforcement agencies.

Jim took the time to contact me to account for his role (or lack thereof) in this whole matter. I apologize that I created the impression that Jim was directly involved.

A big part of writing for The Tentacle is about learning: earning the craft of writing, trying to find my "voice," and developing skills as a researcher. Consider my apology to Sheriff Jim Hagy as a part of that ongoing learning experience.

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