COMMENTARY: The tragedy of Art Morris

Art Morris is much admired and beloved by the public and his many friends, of whom we would be honored to be considered as one.

Having come from a youth of utter poverty in England, he is passionately devoted to the well being of the poor and neglected.

Even his friends may have been objects of his ‘Irish Temper’ that momentarily, and perhaps longer on the issue of Conestoga View, can overcome his generally warm demeanor and good judgment.

Morris was beside himself over the sale by the County of the Conestoga View nursing home. He felt, despite the assurance of ongoing county funding to provide care for the poor, that it would cease to properly serve those unable to provide for themselves. As things turned out, he was wrong. But he honorably believed it. (He also believed it was sold for too cheap a price.)

He and others believed that the sale had been rushed through without a sufficient period of public notice and, although done for appropriate reasons, all three commissioners came to concede that point and to apologize.

But Morris was close with the executives of the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. for which he wrote a monthly column. He also occasionally contributed Letters to the Editor. At the time, the Lancaster Newspapers were engaged in a fierce public battle with the commissioners who did not want to provide a guarantee for Convention Center debt.

According to the suit brought by former commissioner Molly Henderson, the Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. knowingly, repeatedly, and with malice reported incorrect accusations about her in order to discredit her. Morris, who was particularly angry at Henderson, the cause for which we never quite understood, went unrestrained (and perhaps was egged on) by the Lancaster Newspapers. And thus he became drawn into the larger suit.

We do not presume to act as either judge or jury as to whether Morris libeled Henderson.  But in recognition of the many services Morris has provided to the community and our warm feelings towards him, we will be sending a modest donation to his legal defense fund.

Updated: August 3, 2016 — 8:47 pm

1 Comment

  1. Please don’t. It would set a very bad precedent.

    Would you contribute an equal amount to Molly Henderson?

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