To the Editor:
“Belain says he is ‘embarrassed’ after night of drinking.” I want to congratulate The Times for having the courage to publish what was obviously going to be a wildly unpopular and divisive subject, this being the loss of trust in our public officials. That innocent citizens of Tisbury could be so victimized by their own public officials is appalling. The possible trauma of such events in one’s living room at 3 am, and the ensuing cover-up, opens up the public purse to an incredible liability from lawsuits.
The backlash The Times has had to face in the community for its courageous decision to expose these actions of an otherwise popular public official, is breathtaking. Clearly, accountability is waived for some, but not for others. This is not a privilege a small community can invoke at its whim without cost. I believe it has split the Island community and irreparably damaged the public trust in an already failing Tisbury police force. Wouldn’t it be nice if those same public officials stepped forward to do the right thing rather than dump on anyone who exposes such corruption?
Nearly 47 years ago to the day, the editor of the Beacon Press made an unprecedented decision to stand up to the entire U.S. government and announce its decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, calling it “a moral obligation.” We may be slightly lower in stature here, dealing with an “embarrassing” night four months ago, but the same bedrock principles apply; the public has a right to know, no matter how unpleasant the details may be of these public records.
Thank you for not selling out your principles to intimidation and unpopularity.