Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo-paper flap likely over with latest retraction

LARGO — The war of words between city officials and the Clearwater Gazette may have come to an end.

On Tuesday, Gazette editor Sandy Pollick published a second retraction in less than a month for writer Leo Coughlin's comments accusing city officials of being corrupt. City officials were threatening to sue the newspaper if it did not apologize for Coughlin's statements, which they say are untrue.

"If in fact, Leo's allegations were contradicted by published and known facts, then the Gazette apologizes for any representation that was in error," Pollick wrote.

She could not be reached for comment Friday.

City Manager Mac Craig, who was one of the officials often the subject of Coughlin's columns, said while he was not quite satisfied with the second retraction, he was eager to put the issue to rest.

"It's time for us to just quit dealing with it. It's not worth the time and effort," he said.

Craig said the retraction didn't cut the mustard because it failed to specifically apologize to Assistant City Manager Henry Schubert and finance director Kim Adams, who were also named in Coughlin's accusations.

The dispute started in November when Coughlin called Largo, "pound for pound, the most corrupt city in America."

Craig, Adams and Schubert hired City Attorney Alan Zimmet to pressure Pollick into publishing a retraction or face a lawsuit.

They said Coughlin's claims were malicious and unsubstantiated.

The first retraction was published Dec. 17. The week before, Coughlin quit, saying he left out of concern for Pollick and the Gazette because he heard from a third party that she was worried about a suit.

In the December retraction, Pollick said she did not read Coughlin's article accusing the city of corruption before it was published.

That retraction prompted a second letter from Zimmet to the Gazette that said in part: "Both your letter and the retraction, while recognizing the irresponsibility of the Gazette and Mr. Coughlin for untrue statements made in his article, do not go nearly far enough to satisfy my clients."

Largo-paper flap likely over with latest retraction 01/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 5:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman


    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion


    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.