Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ex-Editor Pleads No Contest in Impersonation Case

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ex-Editor Pleads No Contest in Impersonation Case

Article excerpt

Ex-editor pleads no contest in impersonation case

Former Johnstown (Pa.) Tribune-Democrat editor Theodore Beitchman pleaded no-contest June 4 to charges he impersonated a deputy state attorney general in an attempt to intimidate a man who had a legal dispute with Beitchman's younger brother.

In the proceeding in Bucks County Court in Pennsylvania, Beitchman was placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay court costs.

Despite the court plea, Beitchman continues to deny vigorously he ever called Upper Southampton resident Henry Malinowski on the Tribune-Democrat's WATS line and impersonated a Pennsylvania deputy attorney general to get Malinowski to back off in the dispute with Beitchman's brother Arthur.

"Of course not," he said. "If I had made those calls I would have admitted it. I've got nothing to hide."

In the telephone interview from his Johnstown home, Beitchman maintained he was the victim of malicious prosecution.

"The fact of the matter is the prosecutor put a gun to my head . . . My life is too important to me . . . I just can't keep fighting by myself," he said.

Beitchman said the case had cost him $120,000 in defense costs.

Beitchman's no-contest plea came even as he said that he had witnesses who would testify to what he said was improper conduct by the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.

The plea - in a case Beitchman once described as a "frame" and a "setup" - ended a story with several odd twists and turns. …

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