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Publications did not get facts straight

By Staff
To the editor:
I feel compelled to express my disappointment and complete dissatisfaction over an erroneous front page article published by your paper and forwarded to The Atmore Advance for publication.
On Sunday, March 18, 2001, The Brewton Standard and The Atmore Advance published an article entitled, "Summer jobs finally pay off" by John Wallace.
The fifth paragraph of the article reads: "Superintendent Melvin F. "Buck" Powell explained to board members that former Superintendent Dr. Margaret Breland-Bradley said the four summer employees would be paid with monies from the High Hopes Fund."
The sixth paragraph of the article reads: "These four people were hired in the summer and told they would be paid out of High Hopes money," Powell said. "We can't use High Hopes money to pay them. High Hopes funds are for tutoring."
While I do not know why Mr. Powell made the above-referenced statements, I have not been contacted by Mr. Powell or any member of his staff in an attempt to verify the accuracy or truth of those statements attributed to him in the article which referred to me (Dr. Margaret Breland-Bradley). Those statements were false and defamatory.
No one from The Brewton Standard contacted me in an attempt to verify the accuracy of truth of those portions of the article which referred to me. May I reiterate, those portions of the article which referred to me were false and defamatory and were published by The Brewton Standard and The Atmore Advance without questioning the truth or accuracy of the statements. The false and defamatory remarks have impugned my reputation and professional standing.
Mr. (Bill) Crist (publisher of The Brewton Standard), I have the utmost respect for you and your work. I know that your goal or mission is "to cover and report the news without exclusion in our community with honesty, fairness and integrity." I am seeking a fair and proper resolve to this matter. The publication of a retraction within the next ten days or the defamatory statements cited above is an acceptable remedy. I would be pleased to make myself available to discuss this matter with you so that you can get the facts straight.
Dr. Margaret A. Breland Bradley
Former Escambia County Superintendent of Education