Editorial decision

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Roger Leonard’s column was not published in Tuesday’s News-Herald.

A decision was made Monday by the News-Herald to suspend publication of his columns after the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office confirmed that is was looking into the city’s RFP process.

The commonwealth’s attorney’s actions were prompted by a letter from Mr. Leonard requesting an investigation of the process. Mr. Leonard alleges in the letter that he has been singled out for discrimination by the city, ostensibly because of his outspoken criticism of city officials at council meetings and through his column in the News-Herald.

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The goal of the News-Herald’s opinion page is to provide a forum for any resident of Suffolk to speak his or her mind on local issues, as well as provide a source of credible opinion and commentary on local issues. This comes through staff editorials, staff columns and columns from people like Mr. Leonard.

Mr. Leonard is a columnist those of us at the News-Herald admire and respect. But he is too close to the situation, and our decision to discontinue his regular column until this matter is resolved is based on what we deem best for our readers and for Mr. Leonard.

In the meantime, an invitation has been extended to Mr. Leonard to submit letters to the editor for publication, which will be subject to the same policies and limitations as any other received.