The newly hired Community Relations Coordinator, city spokeswoman Liza Prokop is refusing to speak with reporters from the Gazette with regard to several news articles being investigated. Recently, Louis R. Jasikoff, publisher of the Gazette and this reporter paid several visits to city hall in attempts to investigate either claims made by citizens, or follow up on information contained in responses to Right-to-Know requests. In each instance the Gazette staff proceeded to speak with Prokop in accordance with city policy regarding press releases, and each time Prokop responded with hesitation or resistance.
While following up on a complaint made to the Gazette regarding a city parking enforcement officer Prokop stated flatly, “I will not respond to inquiries made by the Independent Gazette.”
Attempting to confirm whether or not Mayor Leighton attended the US Conference of Mayors’ 81st Annual Meeting held in June in Las Vegas, Jasikoff asked, “Did the mayor travel to Las Vegas to attend the mayors’ conference?” to which Prokop responded, “Why are you asking?” After a brief exchange of questioning by Gazette staff and evasive responses by Prokop, the mayor’s executive secretary, Gwen Blasi interrupted with, “The Mayor was in the office on Friday, June 21, one of the days you’re asking about, so he did not attend the Conference of Mayors.”
Messages and emails left for Mayor Leighton seeking comment were not immediately returned.