Schafer Law Firm
Washington Building, Suite 1302
1019 Pacific Avenue
P.O. Box 1134
Tacoma, Washington 98401-1134
(253) 383-2167 (Fax: 572-7220)

January 8, 1999

Hand Delivered

Elizabeth Brenner, Publisher
The News Tribune
P.O. Box 11000
Tacoma, WA 98411

            Re: Request for Investigative Coverage of Certain Judicial System Problems

Dear Ms. Brenner:

            I direct these materials to you because I have lost confidence in the professionalism and objectivity of Mr. Zeeck, your Executive Editor. He failed to honor his assurance given to me over a year ago that his staff would probe into the sorry state of "professional" guardianship services in this county. Further, since his wife, a former judge, was recently hired by the Gordon Thomas law firm, I reasonably doubt that he would support any journalistic effort to expose problems in the local judiciary. That extraordinarily sycophantic firm (the TNT's law firm) has a well-recognized reputation for profitably nurturing its close relationship with local judges, hosting receptions or providing other benefits for incumbents and candidates whenever possible, and seemingly having a standing policy of offering a job or office to any former judge seeking one. (If you doubt this, ask former Gordon Thomas partner, now Superior Court Judge, Marywave Van Deren, or most any other local lawyer.)

            When I urge out-of-county journalists to cover problems with the Pierce County judiciary, they ask why the TNT won't cover them. I give them the same response that one of your reporters gave me when I suggested some investigative journalism into some local government problems--she laughed and said, "Are you kidding, this is the News Tribune."

            I continue to believe that one of the highest callings of journalists is to expose corruption, dysfunction, and other serious problems in local and state government. I hope that some of those in your shop share that belief.

            The enclosed materials document some serious problems that cry out for responsible journalistic coverage. I am confident that if you read them, you will agree. Please do so.

Very truly yours,
 

Douglas A. Schafer

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