Monday 10 March 2014

Prentice Fails to Corroborate Somerville Threat Allegation

In 2013, the Newmarket Era named Gordon Prentice “Newsmaker of the Year.”  How ironic is it that he has since been found to be literally making up the news?
In Gordon Prentice's blog of Thursday, March 5, 2014 entitled “Police investigation into alleged threats against Somerville now closed,” the now-disgraced blogger writes:

York Regional Police tell me that the investigation into the alleged threats against Stephen Somerville and his family “has been concluded and our file is closed”.

Unfortunately, that statement contradicts what the Newmarket Era published on the matter :

We will investigate and lay charges if we believe that an offence has taken place and if there is evidence to support that charge," York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle said, declining to confirm if there was an investigation.

It made no sense to me that the Police would confirm an investigation with a blogger while declining information requests from the Era.  So I took it upon myself to ask the York Regional Police about the force’s policy for commenting on an on-going investigation.  Here is the response I received:

We do not confirm or deny if someone has reported an incident to us.  Information becomes public record if charges are laid. (Via twitter @YRP March 9, 2014)

So clearly, we have to be mindful of the credibility controversy with Mr. Prentice’s blogs (as I have been contending all along).  What he writes in his blog needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt.  Even an occasional reader of his blog will quickly find that Prentice often has trouble connecting his words to anything that resembles reality.  He is the grocery store tabloid of Newmarket bloggers – all gossip all the time. 
The reason I mention this inconsistency is not to rub Gordon Prentice’s nose in the truth, but to show how this incident further unravels the back story of Stephen Somerville’s threat allegations. 

The chief accusers, Stephen Somerville and Darryl Wolk, needed Gordon Prentice to authenticate their story.  He was supposed to be the independent “witness” that corroborated their claim that a police investigation was initiated by the flawed PC nomination candidate.  With Prentice’s corroboration now cast in doubt, who can say if anything that Somerville and Wolk have been alleging is actually true? 

Personally, I blame this mess on to the Era and to the Auroran.  Both papers acted recklessly when they took Stephen Somerville at his word that this "criminal" threat had occurred.  Neither paper asked for any proof (such as a York Regional Police Incident Report number or a badge number of the constable who took the report), to confirm whether the complaint was authentic. 

Because the papers lacked journalistic professionalism, good, decent people are now facing false, spurious allegations.  Twitter followers have been witnessing Newmarket Regional Council candidate Darryl Wolk weaving a bizarre tale alleging that crimes have been committed, that the York Regional Police haven’t done their jobs, that there are conspiracies by the elite of the PC Party to circumvent nomination rules, and accusing several high profile people of lying.  All of these allegations are being made without him providing a scintilla of evidence to back up his claims. 
It’s a train wreck and unfortunately the Era and the Auroran have been asleep in the conductor’s chair. 
I  can’t see how the community is well served by newspaper people who fail to live up to the standards of their profession. 

1 comment:

  1. Read my response to this drivel at

    Gordon Prentice