Update 9 pm: at 2:58 today, I posted the headline of the 1:48 PM Nfld News story titled: Summa admits poaching petition, won’t face jury with an excerpt of the first three sentences and the blog post title “Summa admits guilt; criminal charges dropped.” (continued)
I’ve now changed the blog title to a question and removed the excerpt because at 5:48 pm today, the Northfield News published another version of the story (both versions are still available as of this writing) titled: Summa, prosecutors make deal. They included this correction at the top of the article:
CORRECTION – This story has been changed to clarify information regarding the stay of prosecution agreement between Victor Summa and Rice County.
While we discuss what actually happened, here’s the comparison between the text of the two versions.
Code: BLACK=unchanged; Strike-through=deleted; Underlined=new text
Summa admits poaching petition, won’t face jurySumma, prosecutors make deal
A The Rice County Attorney’s Office will drop its criminal case against a former City Council candidate has admitted wrongly accused of wrongfully taking public documents from City Hall, the Rice County Attorney’s Office said if he remains law abiding for 12 months, according to an agreement signed Monday.
Prosecutors will drop a
criminal charge of interfering with property in official custody against Victor Michael Summa, 77, if for 12 months he remains law abiding for the next 12 months, said Rice is not involved in any offenses that could result in criminal charges, according to the agreement signed by Assistant County Attorney Paul Beaumaster. In exchange Summa was required Tori Stewart and Summa’s attorney.
Summa waived his right to a speedy trial for the deal. He said little in court, other than to say that he understood the terms.
While the agreement does not require Summa to admit
guilt, Beaumaster said, but not to apologize as had been requested by the city until recently.wrongdoing, it does imply that Summa’s actions were worthy of criminal charges, noting that the condition of the stay is that he doesn’t engage in the “same or similar chargeable offenses.” The agreement specifically cites the “unauthorized taking of public documents.”
In September 2008, according to a criminal complaint, Summa filed a petition with the city and returned the next morning to remove pages from what had by then become a public document.
Despite City Clerk Deb Little’s objections, police alleged, Summa left with six pages, which were altered and returned later that
day.day. In his order earlier this summer moving the case forward for prosecution, District Judge Gerald Wolf found probable cause to believe that Summa may have committed a crime in taking the documents.
Interfering with property in official custody is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Summa did not immediately return a call seeking comment.