The Times buries an embarrassment

Buried in the back of the first section of today's Cape Cod Times is another chapter in a  criminal conspiracy against Cape Wind which the newspaper should have run on page one since the villain of the piece is a former employee of the newspaper.

John Donelan who worked for The Cape Cod Times before becoming the Asst. Director of The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound was found to have "knowingly published defamatory statements about the developer of the proposed wind farm" by Judge Allan Van Gesta on Monday.

Not only was the story buried, but The CC Times' connection was further buried in the last paragraph.

Times' reporter Dennehy's had called Mark Rodgers late yesterday afternoon when he saw the item in a court report. Rodgers called him back to answer Dennehy's questions, and then Dennehy slammed him with this bush league slap - Mark Rodgers, a Cape Wind spokesman, yesterday seized the opportunity to say Donelan's actions typified the Alliance's history of ''deception and false information." Strange (and unprofessional) way to handle a news source who calls you back.

 Dennehy also didn't have the intelligence to ask Alliance flack Ernie Corrigan why, as his story states - "the matter remains between Cape Wind and John Donelan," since the newspaper knows full well that Donelan was a founding board member of The Alliance, and thus ANYTHING Donelan did was nailed to the backside of this organization for all time.

The Alliance is still trying to stop (see March 2005 story) Cape Wind's lawyers from reviewing emails on The Alliance computers. Some believe there may be a link to the newspaper in these Donelan/Alliance files. Here's today CCTimes article in full.

Ex-Alliance worker sent phony e-mail, judge says

By KEVIN DENNEHY
STAFF WRITER
A former employee of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound knowingly published defamatory statements about the developer of the proposed wind farm, a Massachusetts trial court judge has determined.

But before any liability can be entered, Cape Wind Associates must prove an e-mail and press release sent by Barnstable resident John Donelan damaged their reputation.

''It remains the burden of Cape Wind to prove that it suffered damages as a result of Donelan's defamatory publication,'' according to an order sent by Judge Allan VanGestal on Monday.

Donelan, a former research director and co-founder of the Alliance, admitted last year he wrote a press release alleging that a Cape company cut its ties with Cape Wind Associates because of legal problems, a charge that was not true.

The release was sent to the State House News Service in Boston on Jan. 29, 2004.

The lawsuit filed by Cape Wind in Suffolk Superior Court alleges that the bogus press release damaged the company's relationships with other businesses.

Mark Rodgers, a Cape Wind spokesman, yesterday seized the opportunity to say Donelan's actions typified the Alliance's history of ''deception and false information.''

Alliance officials distanced themselves from their former employee, who resigned in March 2004.

''We have not seen the judge's order, and the matter remains between Cape Wind and John Donelan,'' said Ernie Corrigan, an Alliance spokesman.

Nonetheless, Alliance officials are still hoping a state appeals judge will overturn a March court decision that would allow Cape Wind to review more than 400 of the group's e-mails and documents as part of the libel suit. Donelan also is a former employee of the Cape Cod Times.

Kevin Dennehy can be reached at [email protected]

(Published: November 23, 2005)

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