As perhaps thousands of people now know, my conflict (for lack of a better word) with the Boone County Courthouse didn’t end a month ago.
If anything, these people know that:
- the judge rejected my written apology and offered a second opportunity to send another apology,
- I declined that second opportunity and did not send another apology; and
- the judge declared a 30-day ban for me to enter the Boone County Courthouse effective Dec. 15 unless I filed a request for a hearing.
What the vast majority of those people do not know is this: I never declined that second opportunity. Additionally, the 30-day ban has — as of yesterday around 10:45 a.m. — been lifted.
In this entry, I will attempt the following:
- explain how it was that I’d never declined that second opportunity,
- divulge all relevant details, including associated court documents and e-mails,
- discuss the importance of reporters’ getting ALL sides of a story and
- express my gratitude to the many who helped me and supported me through this tough time.
This account will be told chronologically. As was the case with my first account pertaining to this incident, it will be long. But so many people have read my account about how I made my mistake and tried to atone for it, and I can only hope that at least half that many will read this follow-up.
How it happened
As was published first in a Columbia Daily Tribune article and then picked up by the Associated Press, I received a statement from the court on Friday, Nov. 20. This statement came almost a full month after the Missourian director of photography, the photo editor who edited with me on that assignment and I sent letters of apology to the judge.