The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s managing editor failed to disclose conflicts of interest while overseeing articles criticizing the King County Sheriff’s Office, leading to “biased and unprecedented intensity” in those stories, charges Sheriff Sue Rahr. Rahr’s assertions are the latest salvo in a two-month-old dispute with the newspaper over the accuracy of “Conduct Unbecoming,” an ongoing investigative project that began in August 2005.
The Post-Intelligencer reports that Rahr said Managing Editor David McCumber twice violated ethical constraints by failing to disclose attempts to enter business relationships with former Sheriff Dave Reichert. McCumber and Publisher Roger Oglesby called the allegations baseless. Rahr apparently mailed the complaint to the Washington News Council. That media watchdog group is scheduled to hold a hearing in late October on whether “Conduct Unbecoming” is unfair and biased. Rahr cited McCumber’s failure to disclose that he had unsuccessfully sought a contract in 2003 to ghostwrite Reichert’s account of the Green River killings investigation.