Ex-Ombudsman Who Sued ‘Star Trib’ Now Its Ethics Columnist

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

When Lou Gelfand left the Minneapolis (Minn.) Star Tribune in 2004 after 22 years as its reader representatives, he complained to state and federal agencies that he was a victim of age discrimination. Gelfand, then 81, subsequently sued the newspaper in federal court.

Now Gelfand is back in the pages of Star Tribune, writing a twice-monthly column entitled “Talking Ethics.”

“I don’t know how long I’ll continue to do (the column),” Gelfand said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “It depends on my stamina, and depends on if I don’t get senile overnight–but so far I’m kind of enjoying it.”

He wrote most recently about the controversial firing of The Associated Press’s Vermont bureau chief, Christopher Graff. “It appears AP fired the wrong person,” Gelfand concluded the column, in a pointed reference to AP chief Tom Curley.

Gelfand settled the federal lawsuit last July. Terms of the settlement are confidential, and Gelfand would not discuss whether the new column was a part of the settlement.

“I can’t talk about it,” he said. At the settlement hearing, he added, “The federal judge read me the riot act” instructing him not to comment. “All I can say is that I’m very pleased,” Gelfand said.

Asked the same question about whether the column was part of the settlement, Anders Gyllenhaal, the Star Tribune?s editor and senior vice president/news, said, ?That?s something we?re not discussing.?

Gyllenhaal said Gelfand has been writing the column since the fall, concentrating mostly on business ethics.

Asked the same question about whether the column was part of the settlement, Anders Gyllenhaal, the Star Tribune?s editor and senior vice president/news, said, ?That?s something we?re not discussing.?

Gyllenhaal said Gelfand has been writing the column since the fall, concentrating mostly on business ethics.

In his lawsuit, Gelfand alleged that when he was removed from the readers representative position he was offered a reporters job for which he was not qualified. The newspaper denied the lawsuit’s allegations.




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