Newspaper reporter says Georgetown mayor threatened her

    A newspaper editor in Georgetown claims Mayor Dale Ross threatened and bullied her for her coverage of the city's renewable energy contracts. (CBS Austin)

    A newspaper editor in Georgetown claims Mayor Dale Ross threatened and bullied her for her coverage of the city’s renewable energy contracts.

    As CBS Austin reported last month, the city of Georgetown is facing a $26 million budget shortfall after overestimating how much renewable energy it would use.

    Beginning February 1, the city will charge utility customers an additional $12.82 on electric bills to help make up for the shortfall.

    Editor Lorraine Brady with The Williamson County Sun claims she’s requested details on the city’s 20 and 25 year renewable energy contracts but the city hasn’t provided answers.

    The Sun published an article Wednesday titled “A Bruising Encounter” written by Brady describing her run-in with Mayor Ross Friday.

    In the article, Brady claims Mayor Ross starting questioning her coverage after the two ran into each other at the Williamson County Museum Friday night.

    “Accused us of using unreliable facts however he wouldn’t answer my questions when I asked him specifics,” says Brady.

    Brady says Ross then threatened to use his political power to negatively impact the newspaper.

    “He went on to say that he had influence with how the city spends its money and that would again have an impact on the paper. I said well in that case I need to look for another job and he said yeah that’d be a good idea,” says Brady.

    Wednesday, CBS Austin spoke to Mayor Dale Ross who claims the article is untrue.

    “I was kind of surprised when I read that because its inaccurate,” says Mayor Ross.

    According to Ross, he spoke to Brady about how he felt her coverage of the renewable energy contracts were unfair.

    He says he never threatened to use his status as Mayor to negatively impact the newspaper.

    “First of all I cant do that,” says Ross.

    Mayor Ross said he did tell Lorainne Brady he would not use the Williamson County Sun for campaign advertising in the future.

    “I want to spend my money where it makes sense in campaigns,” says Ross.

    Ultimately, Ross says he called Brady to apologize and never meant to make her feel bullied or threatened.

    Brady tells CBS Austin the newspaper has received an outpouring of support since publishing the article, and it’s pushing her to keep seeking the truth.

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