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It appeared as though David himself wrote the story. Assumptions based solely on how Mr. Baugh perceives himself appeared throughout the article. Your reporter neglected the fact that, at one time or another, Mr. Baugh's style of practicing law has been called into question by many of the area's top legal minds including former U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr., and former longtime prosecutor (and current Richmond Circuit Court judge) Learned D. Barry.

The article was replete with self-absorbed comments such as "I was a great prosecutor ..." sacrilegious offhand quips such as "sweet galloping Jesus Christ," and unnecessary vulgarities that did not add the color intended, such as Mr. Baugh's claim that people walk up to him and tell him "you saved my a—" and his observation, "Now that's some heady s—." These inflated expressions of ego are consistent with what David has said to me in our past conversations. He bombards a conversation with his opinions and tolerates no dissent. Your article reinforced a belief among some court observers that Baugh has long been in love with the sound of his own voice.



The article stated that Baugh was fired as an assistant U.S. attorney in Beaumont, Texas, which he explained resulted from his asking a federal judge the heroic question of "why black defendants got more time than white defendants." Your reporter should have investigated why Mr. Baugh left the U.S. Attorney's office; if his explanation is accurate, a more thorough coverage of the story would have allowed us all to learn more about the evolving aspects of racism.



Most of all, however, I was surprised by the nonchalant manner in which David Baugh spoke about the issue of terrorism. While this country is still grieving the loss of thousands of innocent people murdered on Sept. 11, Mr. Baugh comments on it as though it were another Richmond City Council debate on the dog leash law. Your story did not mention that, as recently as two months ago, Mr. Baugh stated, "The greatest attack on our liberty is not coming from Osama bin Laden. It's coming from our own government." Style could have done the victims of Sept. 11 more justice, reported with more dignity, and provided its readers with a more informative and thought-provoking article.



I only refer to these instances to remind Style that it has an obligation, not to spin a story with selective information, but to provide the truth and give readers an opportunity to draw their own conclusions based on an account of the facts.



The article mentions D'Angelo, Rick James and Joe Morrisey and states that "Baugh wins more trials than he loses." Did your reporter actually examine Mr. Baugh's win-loss record, or did he rely on Mr. Baugh's assessment of his own record? By the way, on the Baugh/Morrissey fight, I heard it was little Joe who won that one.



I only wish that Style, when it covered me in the past, had reported on positive aspects of my life, like my artistic skills as a sculptor or that many significant pieces of legislation I single-handedly maneuvered through City Council or the two Purple Hearts and the Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry I received in combat or any other positives that accompany my many human flaws. Alas, I was never the benefactor of an "all-good-press" article like the one on David Baugh.



Chuck Richardson



Editor's Note: Style stands by its story.Corrections



In a March 5 News & Features article on archaeological finds in a city construction site, Style erred in attributing some comments made in an online discussion to Carole Nash, president of the Council of Virginia Archaeologists. The comments we attributed to Ms. Nash were actually made by Annapolis archaeologist James Gibb.



In a recent Street Talk (March 26) Advantis Real Estate Services Co. and Fulton Hill Properties were incorrectly identified as partners in the development of Canal Crossing in Shockoe Bottom. Fulton Hill Properties is the developer, in partnership with building owner Pete Lane, and Advantis is the office leasing agency.



Style regrets the errors.



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