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Sandusky reader has a point

Matt Westerhold • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:28 PM

In a recent letter to the editor, a reader from Sandusky asked what the Register might write in an editorial about the Perkins Schools teachers in hot water over double payments they received on health benefits policies. A recently concluded state audit found that 14 teachers in the district had been reimbursed twice — double-paid — for payments made to health care providers.

"When the Register does run an editorial on this issue, where will it stand? Judging by the (headline), 'Health insurance scam,' we have a strong hint," the reader wrote.

Well, not exactly. He has a point. The headline is not the best and suggests it was no accident these teachers collected thousands of dollars that they were not entitled to collect. Insurance forms can be confusing, the reader said, and that's true. The headline over the initial update on the story at sanduskyregister.com was better: "Perkins teacher probe finds $30,427 problem."

But the newspaper's editorial board doesn't base editorials on headlines. This story festered for more than a year with the Erie County prosecutor's office dragging, slowing and finally sidestepping the thorny question by handing it off to the Huron County prosecutor's office.  

The editorial scheduled for later this week based on the description editorial page editor Don Lee wrote after an eddy board meeting on Wednesday read this way: Let the process -- the completed audit and the investigation by Russ Leffler -- run its course with the Perkins teachers before making up your minds as to whether there were crimes or honest mistakes or some mix or both ... DON.

Trying to keep it real.

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