Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How the Miami Herald's David Ovalle broke the story everyone is talking about

Here's how the Miami Herald's David Ovalle found and broke the story of Miami Beach House Rep. Richard Steinberg's "sexxxy" text messages.

From Howard Goodman of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting:
The story almost didn’t happen. As Herald courts reporter David Ovalle relates, he spotted a search warrant while on a routine check of the clerk’s office in the Miami state courthouse, something he does every couple of weeks. He doesn’t usually find big stories there. “Mostly, they are run-of-the-mill drug seizures or hydroponic labs, or maybe a drug or domestic murder,” Ovalle told me in an email.

The name Steinberg didn’t leap out at him. Maybe an anonymous ticket lawyer, Ovalle thought. “I took a copy anyway just to be sure,” he said. “On my drive to the office, I Googled the name and my jaw dropped.” Ovalle had actually talked to Steinberg once or twice, back when the state representative was a Miami Beach commissioner.

The next day, Ovalle called Steinberg’s office, which wanted proof he was under investigation. Ovalle sent them a copy of the warrant, which left no doubt the Secret Service knew the messages came from him. “Within two hours,” Ovalle said, “Mr. Steinberg had admitted he sent the texts.”

That was Wednesday. Two days later, Steinberg stepped down.
Click here to read the full story at FCIR.org.

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