Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ex-publisher sues over mental health hold

Former Point Reyes Light publisher David Mitchell (pictured) is suing Marin County, claiming he was falsely imprisoned when a sheriff's deputy took him to a mental health ward because he suspected the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist was suicidal, the Marin IJ reports. Mitchell, 63, said in the suit that in March 2006 a deputy came to his home and quizzed him about his mental state. Mitchell admitted he spoke philosophically about suicide. The deputy took Mitchell to Marin General Hospital, where he was confined to the mental ward. During that same month, Mitchell was hit with a temporary restraining order requiring him to stay away from the man who purchased his newspaper, Robert Plotkin. Plotkin, a former prosecutor, claimed Mitchell grabbed him by the throat while the two were driving in a car, and that Mitchell crashed his car through the paper's door. The Point Reyes Light, with Mitchell as editor, won a Pulitzer in 1979 when it exposed the violent Synanon Cult.

1 comment:

Dave Mitchell said...

This account is a jumble of mistakes. Dishonest as Robert Plotkin sometimes is, he never claimed I crashed my car through The Point Reyes Light's door. Nor did I. And while he made the ridiculous claim I had tried to strangle him, he also told deputies I didn't squeeze his neck. Apparently he felt psychologically strangled. Plotkin himself caused a deputy to come to my house by falsely claiming I was suicidal. As soon as county staff talked to me, they determined the claim was bogus and immediately sent me home in a taxi. A factual account of what happened, largely drawn from the public record, can be found at http://www.sparselysageandtimely.com/blog/?p=265. Meanwhile Plotkin's sordid approach to publishing has offended much of his readership, and a group of former Point Reyes Light staff on June 1 launched a competiting weekly newspaper in Point Reyes Station.