Retraction Demand By Colin C. Claxon
"The Lost Estate of Sophie Tucker Greenberg
you please let me know what fact checking or background information you
consulted, to corroborate your story appearing in March issue, obviously
without divulging your "sources."
For example, did you review the court's file with regard the history and progress of the case?
Did you speak to and/or interview Norman Greenberg who was chiefly responsible for turning what should have been a simple case into the litigious matter that it became?
Did you review the accounting filed in the action, approved by the court, which authorized the fees paid, detailed the Moines received by Ms. Greenberg prior to closure of the estate by borrowings against the estate, the income taxes owed for prior years, with penalties and interest?
… the fact that I personally loaned Ms. Greenberg $500 to rent a truck to remove her personal belongings from her mother's house, and that the administrator only took action when Ms Greenberg did not; she never used the money I gave her for a truck rental;
…that in the year after the decedents death, the house utilities were disconnected, the real estate taxes unpaid, the property deteriorated, the homeowners insurance unpaid; funeral expense unpaid, and that because Ms Greenberg did nothing to protect the estate so in desperation her brothers filed the initial action to probate the estate;
… that Ms. Greenberg, and her brother Edward, and his attorney agreed on the appointment of Fiduciary Resources and Ms. Schmierer in open court; Norman while standing silent, did not object: all because Ms. Greenberg and her brothers agreed that it would be impossible for them to act together as executors (Ms Greenberg had her brother arrested when she found him at the home in Vallejo with what she perceived as "burglar tools" to gain entry into the home. I believe he has since sued her and her husband in Federal Court for that action).
… that I filed the will finally admitted in court in June, Ms Greenberg was given a copy and I immediately filed a petition to have it admitted in June. It could not be heard due to court backup and Norman's will contest until October. Ms Greenberg won the will contest and Norman lost. I represented her. Eventually the appellate court affirmed the result I obtained, dismissing Norman's appeal.
… that Ms Greenberg agreed that the house should be immediately sold because there was no other way to pay the bills owed, and the property was in such disrepair that she had no hope of restoring it and that she personally reviewed, with me and her husband, each of offers received and approved the one accepted;
Finally, I join in Ms. Schmierer's demand for retraction dated 3/14/05 and for publication of her letter of that date.
The idea, clearly the argument and conclusions you want your reader's to draw, are that this estate was somehow "lost" by someone's actions, presumably Ms; Schmierer's or mine. That conclusion is without any foundation, is clearly unsubstantiated, not warranted by any reasonable examination of the real facts or the court's file and smacks of a hidden agenda unrelated to this case. That suggestion or conclusion is certainly not applicable to this writer or the result obtained by this writer in the action on behalf of Ms. Greenberg. She won her case!
It is unfortunate that your newspaper apparently lacks the motivation, or structure for oversight and/ or editorial review, which if in place would never have permitted the referenced article to run as published. This is not I trust an example of what this paper has become, which amounts to a repudiation of the fine reputation which you enjoyed at one time. That is sad.
I have mailed this email to you today and demand that you publish this email in the above form together with the letter from Ms Schmierer. After all objective and fair reporting seeks to inform your reader's of the truth of the subject discussed. This was not an editorial piece. Publication of this, the rest of the story, will hopefully balance the scales of truth.
Colin. C. Claxon