Stumbling from one end of the field to the other, city attorney Tom Carr has given up his demand that Seattle Times reporters name their protected story sources.
Mr. Eclipse, head of the governor's Sunshine Committee on open records, first indicated he tried to pry out the names merely as a legal move even while doubting he'd get the sources anyway. He also "tried to ask" the Times for the information and believed the Times refused his request so the paper could test the state's new reporter shield law.
Turns out none of that was, well, correct.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Carr acknowledged Wednesday that he didn't actually know about the subpoenas until one of his department lawyers, Paul Olsen, caused an uproar by issuing them.
Trying to explain his contradiction, he did not initially admit in an earlier AP interview that he was unaware of Olsen's action because, the AP reports, he said:
he generally tries to take the heat for decisions his office makes. Carr called Olsen an excellent attorney and said he agreed with everything Olsen did, but noted, "We now have a policy that all newspaper subpoenas must be approved."
In summation: His office wrongly issued critical subponeas to reporters that he didn't know about but agreed with and took blame for by misleading another reporter in part by telling him it was just a fishing expedition anyway and as bad as that all turned out the head of the Sunshine Committee now has an actual policy on how to issue subponeas to reporters. Heck of a job, Tommy.