Dear "Delta Scoop" and "Forthright":
As the attorney for the Delta Regional Medical Center and its employees, including Ray Humphreys, Allyson Williams and Alphe Wells, I am writing to ask you to stop publishing false statements about Mr. Humphreys, Ms. Williams, Alphe Wells, and other DRMC employees. You know these statements are not true. You have written and published them with an express intent to injure their professional reputations. That is something the law does not permit.
By way of example only, contrary to what you have said, Mr. Humphreys has not been charged with any crime and not, as you put it, "the biggest criminal in Washington county." The board of the hospital has not been "easily bought." They found nothing in their Christmas "stockings" from Mr. Humphreys. Mr. Humphreys is not guilty of either "bribery" or "corruption." He is not Ms. Williams "bedfellow." There is no basis for a conclusion that the race of an African American, including Mr. Wells, is a badge of professional incompetence.
Each of these statements you have made is demonstrably false. You seem to believe you can say anything you want to say under the cover of anonymity on the ground that you are just expressing your "opinion." But an "opinion" that implies the existence of false facts to support it is an actionable statement of fact. Not only do you recklessly disregard the truth, but your writing on its face displays spite, ill will, and an intent to do harm which is a ground for punitive damages.
Please publish this letter on your blog, apologize for these statements, and bring your future criticism within lawful bounds.
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Dear Mr. Munford:
While I do not doubt that you represent the interests of Mr. Humphreys, Ms Williams and Mr. Wells, I have serious reservations that you "speak" for all employees of DRMC. Scores of contributors to the "Delta Scoop" are current or former DRMC employees, who view this forum as the only venue in which to express their dissatisfaction with the current administration.
The current climate of threat, fear and intimidation created by this administration is very frustrating to DRMC's employees. Many have dedicated their entire professional careers to this medical center which now turns a deaf ear to their concerns for job security, fairness and overall patient safety.
Unfortunately Mr. Munford, I do not "know" that each of the above statements is false, nor is it my "express intent" to injury anyone's professional reputation. I host a local blog that deals with local issues and concerns submitted by its readers. I post all views of an issue, both pro and con, and have often solicited comments from those readers who may support Mr. Humphrys and his administration.
The "tide" of this blog is not controlled by me, but by its readers who voice their concerns in hopes of improving the quality of health care, education as well as many other public services in the Delta. However, "Where there is smoke, there is fire", and I find it hard to believe that even Mr. Humphreys can continue to ignore the cry for a full and public accounting of DRMC's fiscal condition.
As to your rather legalistic assertion that I "recklessly disregard the truth" and that "my writing on its face displays spite, ill will and an intent to do harm", I beg to differ. I seek the truth; however painful it may be to those who choose to deceive the public. I hold spite and ill will only toward those who deem themselves unaccountable to the taxpayers they serve.
As for my "apology" for my opinions... that will have to wait. Only time will prove one of us right...
And I am betting on me.