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Local TV reporter victim of harassment

Vigilantism against a TV Reporter

6-6-2007 Washington:

A KING 5- TV reporter and Laurelhurst resident was harassed when someone in the early hours of May 12 put fliers announcing that she was a sex offender on windshields of vehicles on the woman's street.

The fliers listed her current address, her former address, her date of birth and her phone number, and they characterized the reporter as a "high-level sex offender" who had just been released from treatment, according to the police report.

The fliers - which misspelled her first name - also claimed the woman has a drinking problem and smokes crack cocaine, the police report adds.

A neighbor of the reporter spotted the fliers and collected them, the reporter told police.

The reporter has her suspicions about who was responsible. It was allegedly Andrew Vaughey, a mortgage broker and real-estate agent the reporter was investigating for a story that aired on May 15.

Police declined to release the reporter's name. But a search of the KING-5 TV website revealed the story about the mortgage broker was put together by Susannah Frame, who did not return a call for comment.


Vaughey caused two brothers to go broke after they bought two condos and a house through him, according to Frame's story. The broker allegedly forged loan documents to show one brother was making 41-percent more money than he was to qualify for the loan, and Vaughey also allegedly inflated the value of the house the brothers bought by $205,000.

Frame also uncovered evidence that Vaughey had allegedly threatened the two brothers in a series of obscenity-laced text messages sent from his cellular phone.

Vaughey declined to comment for the story, but his attorney denied Vaughey did anything wrong, according to the KING 5-TV piece, which notes that both the King County Prosecutor's Office and the FBI are looking into the story.

And Seattle Police are looking into Frame's harassment case, said spokesperson Sean Whitcomb: "The case is still being actively investigated, and lab work is pending."

John Sandifer, executive director of the Seattle branch of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, was surprised to hear about Frame's case. Just off the top of his head, Sandifer said, he hadn't heard of a similar situation before.

Both print and broadcast reporters often upset people they cover for stories, but Washington Newspaper Publishers Association general manager Bill Will was aghast when told of Frame's case. "That's the most egregious one I've heard of before," he said. ..more.. by

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