Smith County Judge Is Angered At Reporter's Question - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/24/06-Tyler

Smith County Judge Is Angered At Reporter's Question

Smith County commissioners voted today to begin severing their relationship with the architect and contractor who would have built the new jail, if voters had approved it. After the meeting this morning, KLTV 7 reporter Oralia Ortega asked Smith County Judge Becky Dempsey: "What happens next?" It was a question the judge did not like.  Here is what was said during the interview. 

Judge Becky Dempsey: Time out, Oralia. This is off the record. Oralia, that doesn't even make sense. Please do your research. Once we're disengaged, we're disengaged. This is off the record by the way, do you understand?

Oralia Ortega: I'm just trying to...

Judge Becky Dempsey: There's nothing to take place after the disengagement. Once we're disengaged, we're disengaged. Just for the record, I don't want to see myself on the six o'clock, on the 10 o'clock news saying this to you.

Oralia Ortega: What I'm trying to understand is, after that process, do you send out RFPs and...

Judge Becky Dempsey: I don't know at this point. There's so much unknown at this point. I can't answer that question. KLTV news director Kenny Boles says KLTV has always honored agreements to go "off the record" but in this case our reporter never agreed with Judge Dempsey to do that. Instead, Boles says, Judge Dempsey commanded KLTV to go off the record, not to give us information, but Boles says to allow her to be rude and condescending to our reporter. In response, Boles said, "The question of what happens next with the Smith County jail process is a legitimate one that Smith County voters want and deserve to know. Because Judge Dempsey does not know the answer to that question does not justify the unprofessional treatment of our reporter."  

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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