Once again my wonderfully crafted take down of President Obama’s pick to replace former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will have to wait. More pressing local issues deserve attention in this space first. Sorry, I really did want to show our conservative friends that I’m not all bad.
Instead, I want to address our front page stories today first, and then I want to address a “news story” in a competing “newspaper.”
Our story first. Sharon Broadhead reached out to this newspaper this week in an effort to make public a few things. First, she wanted to share with the community what life has been like the last two years, 24 excruciating months, since she lost three of her children and her girlfriend in a horrific fire. She also wanted to let us know that of all the things she’s had to endure, the biggest slap in the face came in the form of a lawsuit filed against her in Clark County by the father of two of her deceased sons and her former in-laws. Anthony, Chad and Trudi Broadhead, best known for their ownership of the Pahrump Speedway, filed a lawsuit seeking thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from Sharon as well as from the owners of that home on Prospector Lane that burned. Even the property management company Sharon paid her rent to is named in the lawsuit.
How disturbing and so close to the anniversary — how close indeed, since the statute of limitations on such a suit was about to expire.
Among the claims in the lawsuit is that Sharon and her girlfriend had used illegal drugs in the hours prior to the fire. Yet, police found no evidence of that. Also, the lawsuit claims the structure of the home helped exacerbate the fire. Who knows if that’s even provable.
What’s for certain is that this lawsuit really does very little to lift up the memories of those four people who perished. Talk to Sharon for five minutes and you will soon learn she has nothing left to give — no money, no job, no home, a future filled with memories of this tragedy and now this. It’s sad. Sharon Broadhead is probably no angel. Actually, she might be a pretty good poster child for poor choices — she’s a high school dropout for instance.
But don’t you think she’s suffered a lot, enough even? I do.
What is a lawsuit going to do to Sharon. She’s already poor. She’s already hurt and will be until the day she takes her last breath. So why bother, unless you’re just a bad person yourself, right?
Who beats up a grieving mother. Apparently we can see.
Now, I understand Anthony and his family hurt too. A lot of people hurt, including Crystal Smiley’s family. But litigation won’t do anything. It won’t heal anything. Even if a little money is squeezed out of some insurance company, the boys an Crystal are gone.
There’s only one way to truly heal here. Try forgiveness. Drop this stupid lawsuit.
Tony DeMeo, the attorney general is calling.
Let me first say this, the Pahrump Mirror will do and print anything to make this newspaper look bad. Why? Because we kick their ass on a weekly basis. Week in, week out.
That said, it’s no surprise that in yesterday’s Mirror, on page 5, a story titled “Questions raised over decency of news articles” attacks the PVT for doing outstanding journalism. Instead of actually doing outstanding journalism themselves, the Mirror (attacked on decency grounds by a convicted felon, ex-pimp-owned publication is really funny, by the way) chooses to suck up crumbs left for them by such stalwarts of truth as our beloved Sheriff Tony DeMeo, himself a consistent butcher of facts.
DeMeo uses the Mirror like a press arm (not a good one) of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office. Why? Because we have zero faith in his ability to either be truthful or competent as evidenced by the lack of DeMeo quotations in this publication of late. So, he has to blab to someone, especially when he gets his nuggets in a ringer like he did recently with this Perry Hood case.
See, Perry Hood is the school psychologist arrested in Tonopah last month and charged with multiple child porn possession charges. He was in jail a whole week, even saw a judge and had his bail set at $1 million before anyone said a damn thing to the us about it. And that person was not the sheriff, or the school district or the DA’s office. It was a concerned citizen.
Stay with me here. For a whole week the NCSO knew it had a potential child sex offender in jail who worked directly with children in our community and said jack squat about it to the public.
I’m sorry, but that’s unforgivable in my book, accident or not.
So what does the PVT do when it gets wind of this? We go to work. We put out a story. We inform the public, and maybe we twist some nuggets over the lackluster official response to what we believe is an obvious public concern.
No sweat, right?.
Then of course there is Peter J. Helfrich, the loon who killed his “neighbor,” Salvador Gama, last month. The police decided to withhold Gama’s name from the public, or more, WE decided to withhold his name, at least for a little while, next of kin and all. But 48 hours turned into 72 and then a whole week.
Nothing at all from anybody about this victim, at least officially. No name, no age, nada. We still don’t know much. The man was killed and we just aren’t going to say anything about him?
Well a week is a week, and in my book it’s time to tell the world who Peter J. Helfrich killed with a baseball bat. Maybe, just maybe, we might actually, by putting the name out, HELP the authorities track down the man’s next of kin. But, noooo. According to Tony DeMeo, the PVT violated some sacred right of murder victims not to be identified until they turn into mummies.
Now. None of this upsets me too terribly. Classic DeMeo buffoonery, really. But, while insulting us over our outstanding journalism (covering up his own inept public relations effort), Tony also lied to Mirror readers. He told the tabloid that this newspaper had identified a victim of a sex crime to such an extent that a sex offender was not prosecuted. That’s a lie. Never happened. Have we made mistakes? Sure. Did it mean a sex offender got off or that a victim refused to testify? Not at all. Total garbage. And the only reason to even say that is to make this newspaper look bad. I won’t tolerate it.
Did the Mirror ask him what case it was? No. Did the sheriff give any specifics at all? No. Wait, did the Mirror reporter or editor or publisher call me or my publisher for a comment to clarify any of this? Not at all.
It’s a smear job by a “newspaper” that practices poor journalism and by a sheriff who is better equipped to play one on TV.
Last Word: Brian Kunzi, hurry that attorney general’s complaint, Nye County needs to move out of the DeMeo era.