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Slater: I Was Railroaded

In an email to his friends and family (and LAObserved, which posted it), fired LAT reporter Eric Slater tells his side of the story:

On Monday, April 17, following a brief investigation, LA Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet told me that either I could resign or I would be fired. Because I could not reach my attorney at 8:30 a.m., I agreed to resign. I told Dean that I would meet with my counsel and draft a letter of resignation that I would file as soon as possible. Everyone agreed that was the way to proceed.

A few hours later, a reporter for another paper phoned me to ask for a comment on my resignation. The Times, this journalist said, was reporting that I had resigned. She was right. Before I was given time to write my letter of resignation, the LA Times was reporting to other journalists (and Dean confirmed this personally to me) that I had indeed resigned.

Following weeks of odd inquiries, thinly veiled threats about the impending ruin of my career, inappropriate questions about my health and personal life, I asked my attorney if I could retract my resignation. He encouraged me to do just that.

I did. The Times fired me.

Slater goes on to state that in the “near future” he will release exonerating materials from his time in Chico “including original notes, AmEx and other receipts, as well as a dozen or so versions of the story as it was written, edited and rewritten.” However, he claims to have no plans to sue the LAT, and instead wants to clear his reputation so he can get another job.

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