That group has included former strippers, Rev. Joe "Fire and Brimstone" Chambers, the chairman of the county commission, a gag-order-slinging judge who could benefit from some Valium, and one thoroughly teed-off district attorney who sputtered with rage when we mentioned Beal's name for a previous story.
Not to be outdone be any of the above, yet another hacked off Beal acquaintance with a colorful background wandered into the offices of Creative Loafing last week, a few days after his release from prison.
The man, whom we'll call Wayne, spun a tale that started with a phone call to Beal and the Justice Coalition to complain about a judge and ended with his stint in jail. What he claims happened in between would make any reporter salivate. Unfortunately, we were unable to substantiate the story. Before we gave up, though, we called Beal and asked him about the guy's story. Beal had a very different take on what had happened. So we dropped the story.
The next day, we began getting calls from the rest of the media, most of whom seemed amused. It turns out Beal had sent out a mass press release under the Justice Coalition's logo accusing CL of a "sick vendetta" against him. Beal advised the media that our story -- the one we had decided not to pursue and which no one would have known about if Beal hadn't sent out his press release -- wouldn't be "anywhere near factual and just another attempt by the corrupt power base here in Mecklenburg County (which Creative Loafing and Servatius align themselves with) to smear Alan Beal and The Justice Coalition."
At Creative Loafing, company policy prohibits us from passing up an opportunity to expose anyone aligned with a corrupt power base -- even if it's us! So to be fair to our readers, we're printing Beal's press release -- which exposes what he says are our intentions and motivations -- in its entirety. We've removed only Wayne's real name and some information that might identify him, since we haven't substantiated Beal's statements, either.
The rest is just as Beal wrote it.