On January 20th and 21st respectively, this reporter’s Opinion piece “In Defense of Jennifer McDonald and the EPA” and follow-up story “Superfund ‘watchdog’ reached out to ITFed owner prior to attack blog” were published on the Royal Examiner news site.
Since those publications, blogger and self-proclaimed Superfund watchdog Matthew Berdyck has been posting increasingly shrill and accusatory online statements and videos, as well as sending a number of similarly-toned e-mails to the Royal Examiner, among others.
We have made an editorial decision to NOT engage Mr. Berdyck directly over his litany of false accusations made against us as a news organization or this reporter personally for, among other things, having a name he can’t spell or pronounce – (that one actually made me laugh out loud – “Roger Biawhateverhisnameisnoonecares,”). However, we HAVE decided to respond to Mr. Berdyck’s assertion that he did not send the referenced e-mail of December 23, 2016 to ITFederal CEO Truc “Curt” Tran.
Among the places Berdyck has expressed that denial was in a January 22 “cease and decist” (sic) message to our news department threatening litigation if we did not retract the information in that story.
We at Royal Examiner stand by the legitimacy of that e-mail and the quotes attributed to Berdyck in our story “Superfund ‘watchdog’ reached out to ITFed owner prior to attack blog”.
While our initial copy of the Berdyck-Tran e-mail was received from a third party, EDA Executive Director McDonald, the “From” source of the e-mail to Tran – <[email protected]> – is the same e-address from which Berdyck’s first several hostile messages to Royal Examiner were delivered January 20, the day BEFORE publication of the story about the content of that e-mail. Following our request for further verification, Tran communicated through McDonald that the Berdyck e-mail dated December 23, 2016, “was sent directly to him, but that he did not respond.”
However, following receipt of Berdyck’s January 22 claim that, “At no time I have I (grammar in context) communicated with ITFedral (sic), Curt Tran, or any of his employees or agents …” claiming defamation, we again sought direct, first-party verification from Tran himself. So, we sent that request to the same e-mail address Berdyck’s December 23 e-mail to Tran was delivered to. The following morning we received two e-mails from Tran. The first had the succinct reply – “Yes. I will forward you the original email as well.”
That forwarded Berdyck e-mail to Tran dated December 23, 2016, was identical to the first copy we received from McDonald, with the same three-word exclamation “Soli Deo Gloria!”
Tran’s Latin exclamation initially attached to his January 18 forward to McDonald was apparently a reaction to the appearance that day of Berdyck’s “SuperfundResearch.org” blog widely circulated online here under the title “EDA Executive Director Caught In Web Of Lies Over Avtex Redevelopment”. It was our January 20 response to this blog in our OPINION and BREAKING NEWS sections that changed Berdyck’s initial assessment of our coverage of ITFederal and Avtex redevelopment from “brave, and brilliant” to “fake news” three days later.
About those ‘Comments’
In a side note to our readers, we have received numerous COMMENTS to those two pieces concerning Berdyck’s allegations about McDonald, ITFederal, the EPA and Avtex Superfund site. We appreciate the support, background information and related links regarding Mr. Berdyck’s past; and we apologize for having posted only about a quarter of those COMMENTS due to time constraints related to editing requirements and verification of some information related to Berdyck’s personal, as well as cyber history of similar behavior in various locations around the nation that have been included in many of them.
In a related matter, we have noticed that in one of Mr. Berdyck’s e-mails dated January 23 sent to numerous local officials, he makes a rather startling announcement – “I’ll be issuing a national press release to announce my run for Mayor in 2018.” – And in an earlier e-mail to McDonald dated January 19, he states, “I’m warning you though, if this course of action you are taking continues, by the time this is over, it will be me that is running this town.”
However we wonder, if Berdyck lives in Linden as he publicly claims, is he planning a move into town before the BIG announcement? We are sure a worldly fellow such as he is aware that one must live within the boundaries of a municipality they plan on running for elected office in.
And lest he also deny writing these posts about taking over Front Royal politically, they both came from the same <[email protected]> e-address as the above-referenced e-mails to Tran and Royal Examiner.