Letter: Don’t Sanitize Liang’s Record

I am deeply disturbed by what may be partisan reporting in this newspaper.

Naturally, papers lean one way or the other politically, but all newspapers have a duty to uphold the integrity of the law.

In the report on last week’s Loxahatchee Groves Town Council meeting, a paragraph referred to Councilman Ryan Liang’s criminal record. The reference trivialized the law. I quote: “Pled guilty to disturbing spiny lobster traps.”

In point of fact, as outlined on his criminal record, the offense was “molesting crawfish traps,” which Liang’s own lawyer, in an earlier edition of this newspaper, determined to be “theft” when he referred to the incident, again trivializing a serious matter, describing Liang’s crime as “grabbing a few undersize lobsters.”

In addition to theft, Liang was also found guilty of “violating saltwater fisheries.” In other words, trespass.

Further, he was also found guilty of failing to display a “diver down flag.” In other words, concealing his intent and demonstrating malice aforethought.

For this newspaper to trivially summarize this catalogue of crimes, theft and trespass committed with malice aforethought, is improper.

It has been suggested to me that the reason for the “sanitizing” nature of references to Liang’s criminal record is that the Town-Crier endorsed Liang in the recent compromised election.

I, however, am confident the editorial staff of the Town-Crier will have the integrity and conviction required to not only print this letter by way of indicating the paper does take the law and the breaking of it seriously, but also to demonstrate it can be independent of political influence.

Tim Hart-Woods, Loxahatchee Groves