Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Town of Cicero responds to continued distortions and false allegations by the Chicago Sun-Times

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Town of Cicero responds to false allegations by Chicago Sun-Times
Sept. 21, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times

Dear Editor:

The Chicago Sun-Times newspaper is determined to go down in history as one of the most irresponsible, unprofessional and politically vicious publications in journalism.

In its political campaign to libel Cicero Town President Larry Dominick, and assist the campaigns of his political enemies, the Sun-Times has taken one sentence out of obvious context and turned it into one of the most ridiculous "scandals" ever published.

The story is maliciously headlined "Cicero’s Dominick swore he didn’t touch town worker — but had sex with her," (Wednesday, Sept. 21). To justify this outrageous lie, the Sun-Times took six words on Page 193 of a 2009 deposition that consists of 363 pages and 77,666 words and intentionally distorts it's obvious meaning into malicious yellow journalism.

In the prior 192 pages, President Dominick was asked repeatedly if he sexually harassed employees and he repeatedly denied each and every false accusation. There is not one piece of evidence, not one corroborating witness, not one text message and not one record to back up the spurious claims that he sexually harassed Sharon Starzyk, a person with whom he once had a relationship  but broke up with and later married his wife. The context of the discussion and question is clear.

Yet the Sun-Times ignored that context to distort the meaning of the question, "Did you ever touch Sharon Starzyk?" The context is not of touching but sexually harassing someone. He said "No."

Sharon Starzyk is a serial litigator. She filed numerous lawsuits and criminal complaints against many people outside of her work at the Town of Cicero, including alleging sexual harassment. That is what she does.

Under President Dominick, the Town of Cicero has built a new Town Hall, expanded health services to the public, opened new parks, attracted new business and industry into the community building a stronger sales tax base, kept property taxes low, is building a new sports stadium to promote hockey for students in our local schools and offered an endless array of programs to serve our youth, seniors and families. But these are programs the Sun-Times has refused to cover in its campaign of libel, name-calling and pernicious political insults.

Instead, over the past six months, the Chicago Sun-Times has filed two dozen FOIA requests and published a dozen derogatory stories including one that falsely claims the town spent $26,000 for hotdogs when in fact the money was spent on an assortment of sandwiches, chips, pop, cookies and treats to feed 6,000 Cicero residents at a four-day festival celebrating the opening of an important new community park that the Sun-Times was invited to cover but chose to ignore. And it has published equally false columns by Carol Marin whose aversion to Cicero is notorious.

The people of the Town of Cicero see the amazing positive changes but they also see the deterioration of the Chicago Sun-Times from a professional newspaper into a politically motivated campaign tabloid with a maliciously one-sided election agenda.

Ray Hanania
Spokesman, Town of Cicero
4949 W. Cermak Road,
Cicero IL 60804

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