By David Armstrong
One of the most interesting things about reading the Pine Cone – the Pacific Grove weekly that decamped in a huff from Carmel in 2004 – is what you won’t see printed there in a timely manner, and sometimes not at all.
Reports by both voicesofmontereybay.org and the Monterey County Weekly this past week detail a lawsuit against the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea filed July 9 by former Monterey County Herald editor and present-day blogger Royal Calkins. Calkins is seeking documents that he and the Weekly have previously and separately sought that could support Carmel City Council’s unanimous refutation of allegations that city attorney Glen R. Mozingo exaggerated or fabricated parts of his resume prior to winning a contract last year to serve as lead city attorney for Carmel. Calkins, through his attorney, Neil Shapiro, contends that such supporting documents are public records, and withholding them is illegal.
One of Mozingo’s hires – former city council member and present deputy city attorney Gerard Rose – appeared in Monterey County Superior Court July 12, where he characterized Calkins as a “failed journalist” and liar, saying the city will aggressively defend Mozingo and itself. A hearing on the suit is scheduled for 9 a.m., Friday, September 7, Judge Susan J. Matcham presiding.
The CRA has not conducted its own investigation of the matter and hence we take no position on who is right or wrong. Nor do we presume to predict the eventual outcome. If Calkins is upheld, it could do considerable damage to the reputation of Carmel’s vetting process and that of the council.
In the meantime, failure to mention the suit in the July 13-19 issue of the Pine Cone punches a hole in the paper’s claim to be a newspaper of record for all things Carmel.
Upshot: Just as it pays to eat a balanced diet when sitting down for a meal, it pays to have a balanced media diet and get your Carmel news from more than one source. Full accounts of the suit are available online at voicesofmontereybay.org and montereycountyweekly.com.