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UPDATED: Randy Dorn should handle his own damage control

Post by Kim Bradford on March 25, 2010 at 10:05 am |
March 26, 2010 10:14 am

In our editorial today, we called on state schools chief Randy Dorn to come clean about his DUI and to give the City of Orting the all-clear to release the police report. A few minutes ago, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a statement (see below) from Dorn that includes a bit more information about last Saturday night and explains that he’s instructed his attorney to ask Orting to release all documents.

That’s certainly progress. Now Dorn should also stop using his taxpayer-supported media relations staff to field inquiries about his after-hours activities. Dorn himself (or his attorney) should be taking those calls and issuing statements.

UPDATE: I asked Nathan Olson, OSPI’s communications manager, why Dorn was using his official press office to handle inquiries about his legal case. Olson replied:

Randy is using his media relations staff to issue his statements because he wants to get his message out to the public. I have a list of media professionals, so I sent it to them.

More generally, the interest in this story is due to Randy’s elected position. The media – and the public as well – have been calling and visiting our office seeking comment. His statements have been relevant to his elected position.

Here’s Dorn’s statement:

I understand the public wants to know more about my recent citation. I am not at liberty to discuss the legal aspects of this case, but I can now share more information.

First and foremost, I want to apologize for what happened last Saturday night. My wife, our sons and I attended the annual crab feed and dance at Swiss Sportsman Club Park in Bonney Lake. My family has long supported the club. As members, we stayed late to help clean up the hall. I drank beer during the event, but I thought I was capable of driving home. I now know that drinking any amount of alcohol before driving is an extremely poor choice.

Today, my attorney has asked the city of Orting to release all the documents regarding this case because the public has a right to see this information. I am pleased the court has moved my hearing date from Monday, April 6, to Friday, April 2, to begin to address this matter sooner.

This week, I have continued to do the job the people of this state elected me to do. This morning I attended an important meeting with Gov. Chris Gregoire regarding our state’s application for the federal “Race to the Top” grant. Next week, I will take a long-planned vacation with my wife – a school librarian who will be on spring break.

Again, I want everyone to know how sorry I am for what happened on Saturday. I have caused hurt and embarrassment to my family and I have disappointed my supporters and my staff. I work hard every day for the school children of this state and it pains me deeply that I have not set a good example for them. I will work hard to earn back your trust and I pledge that I will never make this mistake again.

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