BY THE PACKET
Ward Four Columbus City Councilman Marty Turner made at least seven phone calls and sent three text messages to Packet staff between last Thursday and Friday threatening to file a libel lawsuit against the paper for what he said was “a lie” printed about him.
Turner told Packet Editor Jeff Clark that he (Turner) had, at no time, claimed to be a “successful businessman”, and that The Packet should not have printed that statement in the paper. Turner demanded a retraction and asked Clark for the phone number of The Packet’s attorney so he could sue “for libel.” Turner followed with several calls Friday night to Packet Publisher Colin Krieger to demand a phone number for the paper’s attorney. He was provided the number, but has not filed a lawsuit as of press time Wednesday evening.
The councilman seemed to be referencing an article in last week’s Packet, issue #1052, where Clark criticized Turner for travelling to a conference paid for by taxpayers when he is delinquent in paying a large amount of taxes on his defunct business, Turner Furniture. In the article, Clark wrote the following:
I realize Turner has tried to distance himself from the business, but that is not how he ran his election- “I’m a local business owner. Vote for me.”
It seems Turner may have misread that article or was possibly thinking of another article. In the article, Clark was referencing Turner’s own campaign ad that had run in The Packet last Spring, and it did not refer to Turner as successful- only local. The Packet staff searched all available articles in the paper that mentioned Turner since March of this year and were unable to find any instance where the councilman was described as successful in any aspect of his life- either personal or professional.
Should any evidence turn up that The Packet did print such an unfounded accusation, Packet Publisher Colin Krieger said he would gladly print a front page retraction that any description of Councilman Turner as a successful businessman is and was fundamentally false.