Fired 'NYT' Foreign Correspondent Angrily Denies Charges

By: Joe Strupp New York Times foreign correspondent Susan Sachs, who lost her job for allegedly sending anonymous e-mails to the wives of Times reporters in Baghdad commenting on their sexual behavior, contends she is innocent and will fight the charges against her.

?I am completely absolutely innocent of the accusations made by The Times,? Sachs said in an e-mail to E&P late Friday. ?To underline that fact, I have taken a polygraph test administered by a competent and independent expert, during which I repeated that I am innocent of these accusations, and I passed the polygraph test with flying colors.?

Sachs told E&P "this nightmare" began last month. "I leave it to The Times to provide you the details of the false accusations that have been made," she wrote.

Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis would not elaborate on the dismissal Friday, saying only that Sachs "is no longer in the employ of the company.? Mathis said Sachs, 53, became Istanbul bureau chief in March 2004, after five months heading the Baghdad bureau, where she was replaced by John Burns.

Sachs allegedly sent e-mails or letters to the wives of foreign correspondents Burns and Dexter Filkins, according to the New York Daily News.

In proclaiming her innocence, Sachs offered a lengthy defense of her work and experience as a reporter.

?The accusations against me have nothing to do with the credibility of my journalism, my writing or my reporting. I will say that in the 32 years I have been a journalist, I have never been accused of impropriety, let alone punished, suspended or fired,? the e-mail said. ?My honesty in my personal life and in my professional life has never been questioned. I never would have imagined that, at the age of 53 and with a spotless record, such baseless accusations would threaten my reputation, my career, my livelihood and the livelihood of my dependents.?

Then she adds, ?I am represented by The Newspaper Guild and I intend to fight, to the extent of my financial resources and with all my power, to regain the job I love either through arbitration or through other legal means. Again, I am completely innocent of the accusations brought against me by The Times.?

Newspaper Guild local president Barry Lipton could not be reached for comment, but he told the Daily News ?that Susan Sachs has maintained her innocence to the Guild, and we're representing her and defending her rights as a Guild-covered employee."


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