Speaking of, I had an odd conversation last week with former Associated Press reporter turned flack Lawrence Messina regarding a recent item about a letter from a Regional Jail correctional officer upset that the Regional Jail Authority's new computer-assisted scheduling system had eliminated the overtime he relied on to make a decent wage.
Messina wanted to see the letter, saying that although it was addressed to RJA executive director Joe DeLong, they could not find where the original had been delivered to the central office.
I suggested that would not be appropriate, since it was given to me in confidence. Though unsigned, I was concerned it might be possible to identify the officer by looking at the typeface of the letter, or more likely, through information included in the body of the letter about his career, and about specific jail operations.
Then I was completely floored when Messina said he wanted to see the letter to verify I hadn't made it up. Made it up? Do you think I would have stayed in this job for coming up on 29 years by making up stories?
Suffice to say, I told him the conversation was over and hung up. Certainly not what I would have expected from someone with so many years in the news business.
(For the record, if an independent, third-party would like to verify the existence of the letter, I have it in the press room.)*
Finally, House Health and Human Resources Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, irked some constituents when he was on the sidelines for West Virginia University's epic Orange Bowl rout of Clemson, and was clearly visible in photos and video of the post-game interview with coach Dana Holgorsen.
Perdue had an opportunity to make amends with Marshall fans while attending the State Government Affairs Council's 2013 Leaders Policy Conference last month in Miami, where he got a sideline pass for Marshall's game against FIU (whatever a FIU is ...), even posing for a picture with the mascot to verify his attendance.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.