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Bogus charge won't stop coverage by Herald-Mail

February 02, 2005

The Rev. LeRoy J. Guillory, who promised last year he could bring $185 million in development money to Hagerstown, brought something else this week - a ridiculous charge that Herald-Mail reporter Greg Simmons sent hate letters to several local residents.

Guillory's absurd accusation came after Simmons began investigating the reverend's background and that of his organization, Ombudsman International Inc.

The charge is ridiculous and nothing more than an attempt to intimidate Simmons and The Herald-Mail.

It won't work. Not in a million years. This newspaper and its employees will not be frightened out of doing their jobs by someone who has made a serious accusation with no proof.

Simmons and The Herald-Mail will continue to report on the activities of Guillory, particularly since he is the campaign manager for a candidate in the race for Hagerstown City Council.

Simmons will keep reporting this story with the full backing of The Herald-Mail's editors.

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That's because during his time at the paper, he has shown himself to be a fair, accurate, professional journalist.

The letters Guillory has accused Simmons of sending have gone to at least five people. Recipients include John Lesititan, who heads Hagerstown's permits and inspection department and who is gay, and to Andy Smith, president of Brothers United Who Dare to Care, a group of African-American community activists.

Capt. Charles Summers, acting chief of the Hagerstown Police Department, said Tuesday that if Guillory has any proof of his charges, "I'd love to talk to him."

Capt. Summers will wait a long time for that talk because Guillory has no proof. If he had any, he would have presented it already to get Simmons to stop looking into his background and that of his organization.

We invite anyone in Hagerstown, or anywhere else for that matter, to look at Guillory's background and then at Greg Simmons' work record and decide for themselves who's full of baloney and who's not.

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