There could be many reasons the federal court lawsuit stemming from the 2013 Mountain Fire was dismissed.
Some of those reasons would be legitimate — “new evidence” justifying its dismissal in the interests of justice would be one. That’s the U.S. Attorney’s/Department of Justice (DOJ) full comment. We have no reason to doubt that it’s true. If the “new evidence” is legitimate, we’re sure the public will agree with the dismissal decision.
But, of course, there could be reasons for a dismissal that are not legitimate. One would be graft, i.e., someone taking a money bribe. That would be an obvious one. Politics would be another, and there are other possibilities. We have no reason to believe that any improper motive is at play here. We want only assurance that the reason for the dismissal makes sense to the public who pays the bills. So why is the “new evidence” being kept a secret by the DOJ?
Since our public officials would, of course, want the public to agree with them that the reason for the dismissal was appropriate, they would, of course, want the public to know what that reason is. Unless, they thought the public would not like the reason for the dismissal. If the “new evidence” involved something from graft all the way down to simple ineptitude — like a well-intended but botched investigation, for example — our public officials might not want the public to know what that “new evidence” is.
So, why is the Town Crier pursuing the federal court dismissal of the Mountain Fire lawsuit, when the other larger, more affluent, newspapers are not? Well, maybe they feel that the 2013 Mountain Fire is “old news.” Or maybe it’s not local enough for them to follow up on. Or maybe they have bigger nation-wide or state-wide stories to cover, and not enough space to deal with the concerns of our hill.
The Town Crier is independent journalism reporting on this matter because it is real news that can impact our hill community — past, present or future. That’s what your Town Crier does.