Historic City News was the only media outlet who refused to publish the false claims against St Johns County Commissioner Bill McClure; knowing that he was on his was to North Carolina where the charge had been alleged.
It appears that McClure is the victim of local politics, and this time, they didn’t get their way, so they are whining. The local newspaper, their Jacksonville counterpart, Action News and First Coast News all “bit” on an e-mail that was circulated in March and then again Monday, aimed to embarrass and discredit the commissioner — who is popular with the voters because of his objections to wasteful government spending and new taxes; but unpopular with politicians like Sheriff David Shoar whose bloated budget has been questioned.
“When arrests are pending in a legitimate criminal case, the notification will come from someone in public information office of a law enforcement agency — not in an e-mail from the accused’s ex-business partner, and not forwarded to the newsroom by the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners,” Historic City News editor Michael Gold stated. “I replied to the commissioner and Kathy Nelson, editor of The St Augustine Record, who was in the distribution of that e-mail, asking for a minute’s restraint for reasons I shared with them from my own investigation into the incident.”
In a virtual blow-by-blow of a telephone call between the sheriff and the commissioner that was published in The Record and attributed to David Shoar, the sheriff goes into great and unnecessary detail about what the commissioner “should have done”. Shoar expected McClure to “turn himself in” to the sheriff’s office, be publicly humiliated with a mug shot on the Internet, and while in custody for a crime that he did not commit, perhaps Shoar and other confederates at the county administration building could lean on Governor Scott to suspend him from office … just in time to miss the sales tax referendum vote.
“I can tell you in 34 years in law enforcement I’ve never seen anything happen like that,” Shoar said to The Record reporter Stuart Korfhage. Shoar is not an attorney, nor does he have a law degree. He was given an “honorary” doctor of law degree from Flagler College; who is not accredited to issue a doctorate level diploma, a master level diploma, or any other diploma higher than a Bachelor of Arts or Science. Shoar actually has a Master of Science degree from University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Since our editorial was published on the subject, after The Record decided to join the attempted character assignation of Commissioner McClure, we received a polite reply from Kristin Bullock, the person who made the complaint. At this point, it would not be appropriate to publish her comments as fact, since her allegations are refuted by the prosecutor who dropped the charges.
Ms. Bullock is welcome to have us publish her comments as a “letter to the editor” to appear on our editorial page, or do, as she already has done, and make her remarks either on our website at historiccity.com or our facebook at historiccitynews.com.