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Why Is Johnson Dragged Into Fight?


Ann Clarke's letter of Aug. 6 ("Free Press' Boone: Just More ‘Whining’) regarding the Street Talk about Ray Boone and his issues with Ukrop's Super Markets ("Free Press Editor Accuses Ukrop's of Racial Bias," July 16) truly is disappointing.

Ms. Clarke took an article about competing newspapers and policy and turned the first paragraph of her letter into a cheap shot at Johnny Johnson, who awaits a final decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia on the merits of SuperValu's appeal of Mr. Johnson's historic $16 million jury verdict.

Her letter speaks volumes because, once again, someone has taken what the mainstream press has either printed or insinuated as gospel. We are three of the lawyers who represented Mr. Johnson and we each were present for every word of testimony at last June's trial. There was never any credible testimony to support Ms. Clarke's assertion that Mr. Johnson's business practices were "inept." There was, however, testimony and supporting evidence that Mr. Johnson's stores brought in more than $500 million during his tenure despite having been presented with incredible obstacles.

Why did Ms. Clarke find it necessary to bash Mr. Johnson in such an irresponsible manner in order to make her point about Mr. Boone? The tone of civility she seems to be seeking from Mr. Boone seems to be missing in her own letter to the editor. At the very least, there should be some effort to be fair, even when one has an ax to grind.

Christopher Anderson

Gina M. Burgin

Robert E. Walker Jr.

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