The next thing I know I get your call telling me about the story you were going to put in the next day’s paper. You weren’t thinking about doing this mind you. The story was in the can. My foul message back to you was meant to slap you into reality. I followed that up by sending you all the emails which proved Mxx Xxxxxx was a petulant fraud.
There was one other person beside me, Jana and Mxx Xxxxxx at that meeting – Steve Greenfield. I’d never seen Greenfield at a school board meeting prior to the assault on Gary Glass. I don’t recall if I knew at the time that Greenfield was JCI’s public relations man in Duluth. Judging by the many thousands Greenfield made helping JCI pass the St. Louis County Schools building referendum with faulty information he must have gotten rich working on the Red Plan. I know about his pay for the St. Louis County School’s project because the Timberjay published those figures after their fight to get public data released. Greenfield’s generous remuneration fits into the category of â€œsoft money.â€ Why was Greenfield at this crucial School Board meeting?
Xxxxxx Xxxxxx was unemployed. [He/She] had a bee up his bonnet about me. [He/She] was into technology. I was Johnson Controls most vociferous enemy and JCI was Steve Greenfield’s biggest client*. This was the meeting that could have removed the School Board’s only Red Plan critic. Xxxxx claimed to have heard everything I said under my breath from fifty away. [He/She] nearly got me pegged by your paper as a man who threatened school children.
It was damn awkward for me. Half way through his/her emails my wife told me that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Even so, [his/her] xxxxxxxxxxxxx nearly succeeded with your unwitting help in blackening my reputation. If [he/she] had succeeded I would never have recovered. That’s the power of the press and that’s what the Tribune has meted out to Art Johnston.
It’s been four years since these events and my curiosity got the better of me a week ago. I called up Xxxxxx, who I never see at xxxxxx, and hoped to invite [him/her] to coffee to clear the air and ask [him/her] about my suspicions. The conversation proceeded like this: “Hello Xxxxxx, this is Harry Welty calling”…(ten seconds of silence)…click.