Jude Lopez Sr. contacted us a few months ago about his daughter’s nasty custody battle with Brian Miller, son of Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea. The letter was filled with many of the details he is now saying that forced his daughter to run with her, and Brian’s, three sons. Charges of abuse against the son and interference by the congressman topped the list. When we received the letter, we quietly looked into it. But though it appeared nasty, it seemed a battle that didn’t rise to the level of journalism. Now, after Jennifer DeJongh ran, and police and the Millers search for her whereabouts, all is now on the table.
While some complain about the media’s intrusion into private lives, others see us as a last resort when the courts, police and maybe even their own community don’t believe them. When we get it right and run with a story that does highlight an injustice, even if it is minor to the larger world, we’re reminded of what we can do. And when we miss, though I still believe we did the right thing in the Miller case, we second-guess ourselves to death.