Rumor has it isn’t a story

On Tuesday, some news organizations ran with the “story” that Gloversville Mayor Dayton King had worked out a plea deal in his criminal case of official misconduct for allegedly using the city’s postal meter to send out personal and outside business mailings, as well as doctor the accompanying ledger, that would see him resign as mayor as part of the alleged plea deal.

Here at The Leader-Herald, we had also heard the rumor, but no source would verify, even “off-the-record” that a deal had been arranged prior to King’s appearance in City Court today. Every source had the same response — no one had knowledge of such a deal and were flabbergasted by the frenzy that ensued. Even King when contacted said to his knowledge no such deal had been worked out.

His lawyer also denied such a deal had been worked out prior to the court appearance, noting that he was taken aback by the media frenzy that had ensued following the published media reports.

Since we did not publish the rumor, nor did we re-post from other media sites, we took a few knocks on social media for being, essentially, a day late and a dollar short for not having the “story” of the alleged plea deal.

As news journalists, we did not feel an unverified “rumor” was a news story and that is what responsible journalism is all about.

Our reporters and editors took the time to follow up on the rumor of the plea deal, talking with, among others, council members, the mayor and his lawyer.

Here at The Leader-Herald our mission is to be a trusted news source. We would like to be the first to report breaking news, but we will always do our best to not jump the gun and report on something that we cannot verify.

As for the alleged plea deal, that remains to be seen with King’s court appearance today.