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Investigative report on Camp Coleman elicits warning from Girl Scout lawyer

By Scott Buttram

An investigative report regarding the sale of Camp Coleman by theĀ Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama from Weld for Birmingham by local editor Katherine Webb has drawn a stern warning from the lawyer representing GSNCA, the newspaper reported today in a column by editor Nick Patterson.

Webb, who has been working on the Camp Coleman story for weeks, has conducted extensive interviews with representatives of GSNCA and Friends of Camp Coleman, a nonprofit organization attempting to save the camp from being sold. The Friends of Camp Coleman group was organized by Sarah Edwards and has filed suit against GSNCA over the proposed sale.

The Weld story is expected to be published next week and The Trussville Tribune will link the story.

In his letter to Webb, attorney Daniel J. Burnick, who represents GSNCA, admonished her, stating, “There is potential for a great deal of harm to GSNCA should false and/or defamatory statements be published by Weld or any other news outlet. The harm could include, but not be limited to, damage to the reputation of GSNCA, loss of volunteers, and financial loss
. Should any false and/or defamatory statements be published by Weld, or any other media outlet, I am obligated to advise GSNCA of their legal rights and remedies.”

Weld has never been sued for publishing false or defamatory statements, according to publisher Mark Kelly.

Webb was seeking answers to follow-up questions in regard to the sale of the Trussville camp, which is almost 90 years old.

Burnick’s letter went on to say, “It appears that any information provided by GSNCA to you (Webb) was being relayed to Ms. Edwards and/or others you are communicating with…”

The GSNCA attorney ends the letter by telling Webb that there may be reason to depose the writer if litigation continues and informs her to “…maintain and preserve any notes, emails, correspondence, photographs, videotapes, documents provided to you, tape recordings, or other documents provided to you in relation to this story as they may be needed in the future.”

Read the full story, including the attorney’s letter, here.

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