DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — In complete disregard of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and in an effort to silence a news reporter, Sheriff Jeff Johnson and his attorney have demanded retraction of an editorial published by Fetch Your News last month regarding a deputy’s refusal to report to a single-vehicle accident on Nimblewill Gap for more than six hours.
On June 18, 2019, Joey Homans wrote: “I have been retained by Sheriff Jeff Johnson and Sgt. Larry Busher as a result of the libelous article you published on June 14, 2019 at dawson.fetchyournews.com. Your effort to camouflage and cover your malicious, hateful and libelous obloquy by posting under the “opinion” designation fails.”
Homans is the former Dawson County Attorney. The Board of Commissioners declined to renew his contract in 2017. He subsequently sued the Board of Commissioners on behalf of Sheriff Johnson in a failed lawsuit that cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
He concludes his attack on this reporter by stating: “Your article lacks actual, unvarnished truth and was published solely to damage Sheriff Johnson and Sgt. Busher. Therefore, on their behalf, I hereby demand that your June 14 publication be retracted within five (5) days of the date of this letter, that the retraction be clearly stated as such, that the retraction be published in the same manner that the libelous article was published and that no further publication or dissemination of the false statements set forth within your article occur.”
It has been three weeks since the threat was received and there has been no retraction. There will be no retraction. Not in five days, five weeks, five months or five years. What has failed is Sheriff Johnson’s attempt to ignore the First Amendment and frighten this reporter into writing a retraction.
Fetch Your News will have additional articles that focus on the Nimblewill fiasco, including Johnson’s false claim that the accident did not occur in Dawson County. Gilmer County officials are not pleased that Johnson attempted to scapegoat Gilmer County to cover up his sergeant’s failure to respond.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com