- Associated Press - Monday, June 25, 2018

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - A judge has ruled that a reporter who led The Virginian-Pilot’s coverage of a councilman facing charges of forgery and identity theft will not have to testify at the official’s trial.

The newspaper reports Judge Harold Burgess on Monday granted The Pilot’s motion to quash a special prosecutor’s subpoena.

The prosecutor sought to have reporter Scott Daugherty take the stand, saying Portsmouth Councilman Mark Whitaker’s statements in an Oct. 31 article Daugherty wrote are material to the case.

Whitaker faces 20 felony counts arising from an investigation into New Bethel Baptist Church - where he serves as assistant pastor - its development company and defunct credit union.

The newspaper’s top editor, Marisa Porto, called the decision a victory for news organizations across the state.



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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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