By: The Associated Press
A businessman who says his reputation suffered after the Sioux Falls Argus Leader incorrectly identified him as having been arrested following a domestic disturbance sued the newspaper Wednesday, alleging libel.
Rory Randal Kelly, 33, is part owner of Cellular Only in Sioux Falls. He said he received e-mails and text messages after the misidentification appeared on the newspaper’s Web site July 14 and in print editions July 15. One major commercial client called his company to inquire about his alleged behavior, he said.
“I don’t want Cellular Only to be affected by the mistake,” said Kelly, whose voice is heard in Cellular Only advertising.
Police had initially identified the man arrested as Rory Randal Kelly, 33, but later corrected the ID to Rory Patrick Kelley, 24.
Kelly’s attorney, former governor and congressman Bill Janklow, acknowledged Wednesday that the “first mistake was not the media’s fault.”
But he said the newspaper failed to run a correction for three days, allowing the damage to go on.
“It’s sloppy, or it’s deliberate or it’s negligence,” Janklow said. He said Kelly deserves to be compensated for the mistake.
A message seeking comment was left Wednesday afternoon for Argus Leader Publisher Randell Beck.
The incorrect brief listing Kelly as the person arrested remained available on the Argus Leader’s Web site Wednesday.