The Chatham Daily News published a letter on November 13, 2007 that was allegedly signed by somebody other than the true author. Jim Desat is an also-ran candidate in the 2006 mayoral election who came in last place. His campaign articulated little of value, and he was assisted by the same people managing the mayor's campaign. The letter was defamatory, yet the Chatham Daily News refused the victim any opportunity to refute it.
In my opinion, it is fraudulent to publish a letter signed by somebody the editor knew was not its true author, which is blindingly obvious based on the familiar literary style. Unfortunately, this counterfeiting is a common practice employed by the mayor's supporters.
Once again, the Chatham Daily News chose to publish libel to mislead readers, even though they knew the truth behind the matter in question. This response was crafted to the person who apparently didn't write the letter that bore his signature. He didn't reply, so it probably assessed the situation accurately. I wonder who is going around publishing anonymous defamatory letters with the full knowledge and assistance of Chatham Daily News editors?
November 19, 2007
Wallaceburg, ON N8A 4Y1
Nice letter you had in the Chatham Daily News. It's good to see that you are still following politics so closely. One would almost think you were sitting in Council Chambers watching the debate first-hand based on the amount of detail you included.
I have two words of advice for you:
First, make sure you know all the facts before commenting publicly about something, especially when the comments are libellous. There's way more to the audit issue than the media reported, and you can sometimes get in serious trouble for publishing things that go beyond the realm of fair comment, like your letter.
Second, before signing your name to somebody else's letter, find out why they aren't brave enough to sign their own name to it and send it in themselves. It could be that they are already facing a lawsuit for publishing anonymous libel and are using you as a scapegoat so they don't get in trouble. Why do you think they came to you?
Jim, why don't you tell me what's really going on, and who put you up to that letter. Even though I don't believe you have been following the compliance audit story anyway, I would gladly share all the audit details with you that weren't published, so that you can form a more informed opinion independently and make up your own mind. However, you may inadvertently find out more than you bargained for anyway, because based on the content of the letter you signed, there is a risk of being made a potential witness or even a party to all the lawsuits that have been flying around behind the scenes. I bet nobody told you that when they asked you for a favour!
Perhaps I'm wrong but I have no doubt that you are being played as a pawn. Unfortunately, this drags you into the midst of a rather nasty ongoing situation, and I would strongly suggest that you find out the facts before blindly taking advice or direction from others. I remember last year during the campaign that you had a problem with the kind of secretive activity that seems to be happening now. My phone works - pick it up and call me if you want answers.
I look forward to hearing your response, and would welcome the chance to chat about this. I know you can be counted on to keep this between the two of us and not go running to the troublemakers for more faulty advice. At this time, I'm prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, but either way, you'll be hearing from me again shortly. Please consider assisting me by swearing an Affidavit containing the exact details of how a letter that you didn't write came to be published under your name in several newspapers – it would be much better than defending a lawsuit.