Mayor: We Will Just Ignore Rumor Mongering

Mayor: We Will Just Ignore Rumor Mongering

Rock Springs City Hall | SweetwaterNOW photo

ROCK SPRINGS – “It’s not journalism,” Rock Springs City Councilman Tim Robinson said.

Allegations focused on RSPD Officer Amber Siddoway were addressed during the Rock Springs City Council meeting Tuesday evening. The city and the RSPD consider the issue closed and Robinson said the NewsBreak reporters that published the false accusations should apologize to Siddoway, the RSPD, and the city.

Robinson said he had been contacted by one of two reporters representing DMV Investigations, the organization affiliated with NewsBreak that authored articles critical of Siddoway and the RSPD, saying he was told a “horrendous story of corruption at the Rock Springs PD.” Robinson said the story he was told didn’t sit well with him and contacted RSPD Chief Bill Erspamer to talk about the situation.

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Robinson read the article and found it to be based on allegations and claims rather than facts. Robinson said the initial allegations made came from a family member related to the victim involved in the incident, according to what he had been told by the DMV Investigations writer he spoke with. A second attempt made by Robinson to contact the author via text message was returned with a message that the phone was no longer in service.

Mayor Max Mickelson said he has become a certified NewsBreak reporter while researching the organization and claims the articles were written to enrich the writer.

“Once you have written 10 articles for them and you have had 100 interactions, they start paying you,” Mickelson said.

He said the company’s code of ethics reporters need to agree to before being allowed to report for NewsBreak prohibits writing articles not based in fact and serve as clickbait.

“We will just ignore rumor mongering,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson said the video related to the arrest cited by the NewsBreak articles will be posted on the city’s website to allow residents curious about the incident to view the bodycam footage.

SweetwaterNOW attempted to contact DMV Investigations correspondent Shane Browning through X (formerly Twitter) but did not receive a response prior to publication.