Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cab driver sues Chron over photo error

San Francisco cab driver Jack Neely, right, is suing the Chron, saying a photo error has put his life in jeopardy. At left is a photo from January showing SF Police Chief Heather Fong holding a Chron story about Sgt. John Haggett, a police officer who supposedly broke department rules when he brutalized members of the public. The only problem was that, as Fong pointed out, she doesn't know who the guy was in the photo -- it wasn't Haggett. A day later, the public identified the man in the photo as cabbie Jack Neely, who hired a lawyer and yesterday sued the paper. The suit says Neely "has been placed in situations which nearly escalated into violence" and remains afraid that someone will mistake him for the officer and try to injure or kill him." The Chronicle, which demands transparency from other institutions, has refused to say how the error occurred, who committed the error or what was done to prevent it from happening again. "We said at the time that we were looking into it," Chron spokeswoman Patricia Hoyt said. "At this time, because of the legal action and because it's a personnel matter, we're not going to be publicly explaining the cause."

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