Tuesday, November 08, 2011

ACLU: No Comment on Resolution
of Gay ED Romero's Drunk Driving Arrest

In August, I blogged about the out gay executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony Romero (pictured), and his legal and ethical troubles stemming from a drunk driving arrest in late June in East Hampton, NY. Romero faced allegations that he covered up the arrest, and Newsday reported he would appear in court on October 6 as the matter worked its way toward a resolution.

Seeing no follow up stories on the web, at the end of October I started calling and emailing the East Hampton Justice Court, seeking details about the October 6 hearing. I never reached a live person, and none of my voice mails or emails elicited a response from the court.

Yesterday I sent a query to the ACLU's national press office, requesting info as to the legal resolution of Romero's arrest. Press rep Molly Kaplan replied:  

Thanks for reaching out to us on this. We don’t have any further information on this, but have you tried the East Hampton Town Court?

How odd that the ACLU couldn't shed any light on the ED's arrest and if the legal proceedings had been resolved, not to mention the group pushing me to contact the court, instead of simply asking Romero to answer my few questions. I wrote back to Kaplan, copying the note to Romero, stating I had indeed reached out to the court and received no reply, and again requested the ACLU to explain the status of the case.

Receiving no reply from Kaplan or Romero, I sent them another email this morning, pleading for an update. Steven Gosset, whose email identified him as the manager of media relations, shared this response:

In regards to your inquiry, neither Mr. Romero nor the ACLU will have any comment on this matter. If you seek further information regarding the proceedings in connection with this matter, I would suggest you contact the East Hampton Justice Court.

I am sorry I cannot be of further assistance.

What utter nonsense, that the mighty ACLU can't comment on the relatively minor legal infraction of its executive director and whether they matter has been resolved. Pushing me off to the court for some details is quite uncooperative and just doesn't smell right.

Why all the secrecy on the ACLU's part, especially considering the organization in July railed against secrecy and its poisonous effect on democracy? They should be doing every thing in their power, through their press office, to get the facts out there before the public about Romero's arrest and possible resolution of the matter.

The ACLU needs to come clean about Romero's October 6 hearing before the court, and fully explain the legal situation of his arrest.


JustMeee said...

This is bullshit--hope you keep on this story and get some answers.

Michael said...

thanks for the encouragement. i contacted all of the reporters back east who covered romero's august court appearance, and none responded to my nudging. i hope bloggers and reporters back east also demand answers from romero and the ACLU.