Hey! Plain Dealer ??? What NOW??? Is there a P-U in Puente?

November 25, 2011 at 2:58 am 11 comments


I have had issues with the Plain Dealer from time to time – YES! I know I have had issues with the Morning Journal ( but at least the Morning Journal issues were “personal” at the time – the relationship has progressed from those dark days I am glad to say 🙂

My focus today is the Plain Dealer – now they have been known to be a very good newspaper but there have been times when their credibility has been seen to be lacking in the past few years – from this bloggers viewpoint at least – and that is worrying. As Lorain City Schools is finding out TRUST is paramount in any relationship :

1. The Foltin Fiasco and the Open Mike Plain Dealer Blog where Foltin was allowed to change and edit a piece after publication. When I pointed out something in my blog it was changed without a by your leave- making me look like the idiot- only this idiot had copied and pasted the original post by then Mayor Craig Foltin

2. The Plain Dealer’s CRA piece ( no longer available on line- hard copy available) which pilloried certain local officials what I read( knowing the background and information) was so slanted as to be seen as a mud slide of media manipulation. I did write to the Plain Dealer pointing out the errors and the slant in that piece but they ignored me! noted here :

The Chronicle and the Morning Journal both put the “rest of the story “ out on their front pages last week

“As for the Plain Dealer – well if it was mentioned it certainly wasn’t mentioned on their front page as the “aspersions” cast that October day of “THREE YEARS” ago merited.

In 2007 the Plain Dealer closed the door on the “Wide Open Experiment”

1. Wide Open was an experiment. Political bloggers were sought out to blog, unfiltered, unedited. That’s what we did.

The PD’s decision to say to Jeff, essentially, either follow what we require of our traditional journalists when it comes to political donations and stop writing about a particular political official and his opponent, or leave, is an intolerable restraint for a blogger. It turns the blogger into nothing more than a traditional journalist, already subject to such restraints, who also has to blog.

Picture Source :Media Declares Open Season on Political Spouses .

3. We also dealt with:

Plain Dealer sparks ethical debate by unmasking anonymous Cleveland.com posterPublished: Friday, March 26, 2010, 7:00 AM

CLEVELAND, Ohio — By unmasking an anonymous poster at its companion Web site, The Plain Dealer finds itself in an ethical quandary, stirring a debate that balances the public’s need to know against the privacy concerns of online participants.
On one side are experts who believe the newspaper has violated a trust by exploring and revealing information about a critic. On the other are those, including Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg, who believe that information is too important not to see the light of day………

and my take https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/it-is-all-in-a-name-comment-or-commodity/

In 2006 the Plain Dealer alleged their reporter Mark Puente was harrassed by the Lorain Police Dept.


Plain Dealer editor Thomas O’Hara has alleged that Lorain cops harassed members of reporter Mark Puente’s family at a high school football game and also let the air out of tires of the reporter’s car while it was parked at the Lorain City Hall.

In an investigation of his own agency, Lorain police chief Cel Rivera said the complaint was unfounded but he has forwarded the Plain Dealer’s complaint to the FBI office in Cleveland who is reportedly investigating.

and NOW we find a story from Cleveland dot com today seems the relationship of Mr. Puente with the Lorain Police Dept went from went from adversarial to advantageous- Is that the case??? :http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/11/reporter_accused_of_being_conf.html

As according to the article ( emphasis mine)
Reporter accused of being confidential informant in criminal investigation in Lorain County

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Two detectives allege that former Plain Dealer reporter Mark Puente served as a CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT in a criminal investigation into who wrote dozens of anonymous letters critical of the Lorain Police Department and its chief.

Detectives Thomas Nimon and Andrew Mathewson named Puente as the informant in sworn statements given as part of a federal lawsuit filed by former Lorain officer Joseph Montelon, whose home police raided in 2008 as part of the investigation.

Cleveland Scene Magazine – For the Record –
There are a couple of issues at stake here as I see it –

The Plain Dealer( and all print media for that matter) is held to a higher standard by the citizens and the courts ( who often use their articles in their cases) than this poor little blog – It is the print media who took this burden upon themselves to be ” fair and unbiased and to report the news not be the news”

In this instance , if the information is correct that a journalist then became a “CONFIDENTAL” police informant, then by association, the Plain Dealer has become the news and the price they have paid his “loss of trust” in the 4th estate.

Photo source http://www.tampabay.com/writers/mark-puente

I know Mark Puente personally – he has sat upon my couch on more than one occasion , when he first came to Lorain to “report”. He wanted to be a “top” investigative reporter. He was at the very start of his career with the PD.

He was, at the time, looking into Mayor Foltin and Craig Miller – and because of the adversarial situation I found myself in at the time with then Mayor Foltin over Veterans Park – Condos for Cole- and the Shawnee Fiasco – he came to talk to me. He was looking into the “Board of Control Minutes” for the City of Lorain and had questions about the money being spent for the new police department / jail etc.

PD editorial from the time– WoM blog post found here:

WoM Cole Shawnee Jail Loraine October 2007

Lorain, the largest city in Lorain County, has no jail. Its police send their criminal suspects to the county’s lockup. Some critics say the city of 68,000 people lacks a jail because Mayor Craig Foltin and Safety Director Craig Miller diverted available money that could have been used to replace the antiquated facility that was closed last year. They say it was spent on City Hall improvements, downtown lighting, landscaping and the like.

I couldn’t be too much help but kept in touch and used Mark as a PD contact with the Compass House situation or when I needed to get information out to the Plain Dealer.

AND readers please remember THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OFF THE RECORD – you have to trust the “person” won’t “out you” . I was shocked recently that locally a “source was outed “ to another person involved in a story – I knew who, what, where and why but when another participant of the situation told me “who” had been the person to contact the media” I said:

are you sure and was met with

Oh yes when XXXXXXX interviewed me I was told it was YYYYYYYY who had contacted them

………. SIGH I filed that journalist away in don’t contact them file.

https://www.spj.org/quill_issue.asp?REF=1848protecting a source

If indeed a Plain Dealer journalist at the time – Mark Puente- used this avenue to get the story or for what ever reason- then I am extremely disappointed for he has blackened not only his journalistic reputation but those who ” report”.

Society of Professional Journalist – Code of Ethics:
Channel 19- http://www.woio.com/story/14393438/fbi-probe-controversial-raid-by-the-lorain-pd-catches-eye-of-the-fbi

Plain Dealer ? Mark Puente? – SAY IT ISN’T SO??????????????????


Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, commentary, hell is other people, media, notorious opponents of exactitude, Open for Discussion. Tags: , , .

Thanksgiving- 2011- A time “NOT” to remember – Chris Ritchey Mark Puente – says NOT SO!!!!!!!

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. thatwoman  |  November 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Due to some issues with the comment section of this site ( please let me know if you are experiencing any problems) I am posting this for Denise

    “Since that home invasion in August of 2008, not only did the lives of Joe Montelon’s family change (as guns were blazing, and ready to ram down his door), my life changed that day as well.
    Reason being, I had written a letter that was to be sent to Washington asking for an investigation in the Administration of the Lorain Police Department. This is a copy of the letter that I had wrote:

    May 14, 2008

    Council at Large: Ann Molnar/Dan Given/Mitch Fallis Council Ward Members

    Dear Members of Council:
    This letter has been drafted in response to some very disturbing reporting of actions and lack of actions in the LPD that reflect a lack of management, oversight and direction within the department. We the public feel that those matters should be addressed in a forum that provides a reassurance that members of the department can speak without fear of possible retribution.

    We need council’s support for the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of Lorain. We request that Council investigate the issues with the proper authorities.

    Please consider our request to further identify some of the problematic conditions that may exist within the department that will foster enhanced public trust and cooperation.
    denise caruloff

    It took me weeks to draft my letter. I sat with friends (here in my kitchen) helping me find the right words to use..as it was scary to be writing a letter of such a nature. I need the support and reassurance.

    Who’d ever thunk that that letter would end up (in a box from a raid and then sitting) in Chief Rivera’s office.

    I also had 2 other letters that I had written. One to Governor Strickland and one to (Attorney General) Marc Dann, re: concerns about Felix Rosario, (which is the father of the Chief’s significant other…Elba Armstrong) and the arrest of Felix for hosting cock fights back in March 2008. Case # CRB 0702799A Lorain Municipal Court.

    My letters were sent to those two Departments because I was concerned that the Chief of Police’s “father-in-law” was hosting these fights and then arrested. I was in hope that someone with authority might consider that suspicious as to whether or not the Chief had any involvement. I had questions that I was hoping would get answered. The letters were sent directly to said officials…what was taken in the raid were the copies. The response from Marc Dann’s office…”while we understand your frustration and appreciate your concern, unfortunately, the AGO can not act upon criminal allegations unless a request is received from law enforcement…Ohio Revised Code Chapter 109…”Sincerely, Marc Dann.

    My letters that were taken out of Joe Montelon’s home should have never ended up in the office of Chief Rivera. There was no valid reason in my opinion for that raid to have ever taken place. I believe the Chief was out to get (at any cost) the source of those anonymous letters that were being circulated. He was trying to silence a critic.

    I felt confident with Joe having my letters…copies/originals. I did not ever imagine that the Plain Dealer Reporter Mark Puente could or would become a “Judas”.

    We had often tried to pin the source of that raid, and how it was to be, that the LPD and FBI landed on Mr. Montelon’s front yard, that day in August 2008.

    I know for certain as to how that raid affected the Montelon’s family, as I too was feeling it’s wrath.
    I quit going out in the evenings unless I was accompanied by a companion. I was in fear of possible retaliation from those letters, as the Chief had started asking questions about me, and warning people to stay away from me because I was “trouble”.

    I was and am in fear that drugs might be planted in my auto…things of that nature. I trusted and trust no one..and now we may have learned that you can no longer trust a respected Journalist to keep a whistleblower/s safe. Joe has never admitted to me that he was the writer of those letters, and to be honest I really do not want or need to know who the writer/s were.

    Mr. Puente…(if the allegations against him are true) had not only betrayed and threw under the bus Mr. Montelon, he also threw me under at the same time…as well as others that had signed their names to a petition also asking for
    an investigation.
    Again, if it is true that Mr. Puente had Judas lips, it goes beyond unethical. It is darn right criminal in my opinion. I feel I have become a prisoner since that day in August of 08 for sharing my concerns in written word re: the chief and his myrmidons…Those letters should have never ever ended up up in the hands of the very person I had concerns about. It might be that we have Mark Puente to thank for that!
    I will await to see the outcome of what happens with Mark Puente and the Plain Dealer…I will wait to see how I feel when things conclude. I have a thought, and I have my rights…as well as all whistleblowers and critics.

    denise caruloff

  • 2. Mary Barth  |  November 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Someone needs to send a copy of this blog to the St. Petersburg Times in Florida where Mark Puente works. Good Job Loraine!!! You raised quite a few questions, which need to be answered.

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  November 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Mary- I have sent an FYI and link to the post to the Plain Dealer editors etc. also to the MJ since they were mentioned in the post and to Mark Puente and to the Editor of the the St. Petersburg Times………. we will see if anything comes back but I doubt it 🙂

  • 4. Mark Puente – says NOT SO!!!!!!! « That Woman’s Weblog  |  November 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    […] I sent a link to Mark Puente less than an hour ago to the blog post https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/hey-plain-dealer-what-now-is-there-a-p-u-in-puente/ […]

  • 5. Mary Barth  |  November 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Loraine, I saw in your other blog that Mark denied being the informant. I have known, socially, Det. Nimon, Mathewson, and Rick Resendez. All appear to be straight shooters. What would these officers have to gain by throwing in Mark Puente as the infromant? Police officers don’t lie in my books. Remember, Mark alleged Lorain cops were following him and his family around at a game, and the FBI investigated, and found no wrong doing.

  • 6. thatwoman  |  November 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Sorry I am having issues with the comment section- sorry about that Denise :

    What I was saying as “that woman” was
    Mary- your guess is as good as mine – it sounds to me as if the two detectives ( just reading the PD on this ) were led to believe Mr. Puente was the informant….. I am just once again a surface dweller and the only person I have met is Mark but I would think all parties would want the “truth” to come out……. . after all the 4th Amendment may come into play here

    The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and arrest should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it.

    Now it would seem to me that there might be an issue if the information supplied was faulty ??????????????

  • 7. aka mozart  |  November 26, 2011 at 3:51 am

    You hit it right on the head Loraine.

  • 8. Kalin  |  November 27, 2011 at 5:57 am

    “Police officers don’t lie in my books. Remember, Mark alleged Lorain cops were following him and his family around” -Mary Barth

    In case you missed it: http://morningjournal.com/articles/2011/11/03/news/mj5236236.txt

    It’s a tale about a police officer lying about following someone around.

  • 9. aka mozart  |  November 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Kalin…”tale” or police officer tail on a reporter….

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