Les Zaitz says he’s got more pressing matters to attend to than being sued by the government.
Zaitz is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise, a 1,400-circulation weekly in Vale, Oregon. The town’s an old stop on the Oregon Trail up against the Idaho border. The paper is one of those little community weeklies that have been struggling all over the country, victims of tectonic shifts in tastes and business models.
Now this one’s also got $400-an-hour taxpayer-financed attorneys to reckon with.
The tiny weekly was sued this past week by a state agency. Not because the paper did anything wrong, but because it’s pursuing public records in a horrific murder case of intense interest in the town. The government wants to shield the records, and make the paper pay its court costs and any “additional relief as this court deems just and proper.”