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Councilman Kirby Delauter apologizes for threatening to sue reporter

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Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

After much online ridicule was thrown his way, Frederick County, Md. Councilman Kirby Delauter has apologized to the Frederick News-Post for threatening to sue the publication for publishing his name.

In an article published by the Frederick News-Post on Saturday, Delauter was mentioned briefly in relation to asking for more parking spots for council members. Once this article was published, Delauter took to social media to chastise the Frederick News-Post as well as the author of the article, Bethany Rodgers.

The social media post, made to Facebook, reads, “Shame on Bethany Rodgers for an unauthorized use of my name and my reference in her article today…” Delauter admitted Rodgers attempted to contact him by phone, but he did not return her calls.

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Delauter's Facebook post.
Delauter’s Facebook post.

Rodgers responded to the post by writing, “there is no requirement to get a person’s authorization in order to mention them in the paper…” Delauter then went on the offensive by writing, “you’ll be paying for an Attorney,” if his name is ever used again without his consent. Then, he felt the need to write, “Your rights stop where mine start.”

Terry Headlee, the managing editor for the News-Post, said, “Kirby Delauter can certainly decline to comment on any story… But to threaten to sue a reporter for publishing his name is so ridiculously stupid that I’m speechless.”

Now, after nationwide coverage of the incident, Delauter has issued an apology saying his statements made online were “wrong” and “inappropriate.”

The apology, which was posted by the News-Post, reads, “The first amendment is alive and well in Frederick County… Of course, as I am an elected official, the Frederick News-Post has the right to use my name in any article related to the running of the county.”

Delauter continued by saying he felt “misrepresented and misinterpreted” in past news articles about him. However, Headlee said, according to the AP, that he and his staff of editors found no factual errors in the article which sparked Delauter’s online outburst.

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