York, Pa., mayor forbids press contact p. 24

By: Editorial Staff

CHARLES ROBERTSON, THE new mayor of York, Pa., has ordered city employees not to talk to the press, directing that all information, including crime and fire reports, be funneled through his office or his information officer.
One day after talking office Robertson slapped the gag on city employees. He said he was annoyed by leaks and concerned that holdovers from the previous administration would gossip about him and his staff.
There was no official announcement abou the new policy; it was leaked to the media.
Robertson, a retired police officer, commented, “”We want to make sure that the information that is released is accurate. Those talking to the press should have all the facts.””
Dennis Hetzel, editor and publisher of the York Daily Record, said he planned to discuss the policy with the mayor. He expressed concern about the consequences of clearing information through a spokesman.
And in Duncannon, Pa., the borough council has ordered the town’s only policeman not to speak to reporters.
Council vice president Keith Worlford told the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News, “”You people put us on the firing line. We feel there’s lot of misquotes.””
All information pertaining to the police must come from Mayor Irvin “”Bud”” Ney, the council said. The policy was adopted after publication of stories about a collission involving the borough’s police cruiser and the police chief’s truck on a deserted country road.

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