The managing editor of the Missouri Baptist Convention newspaper The Pathway reportedly was fired Oct. 11, after Executive Director David Clippard charged him with insubordination.
Sources told EthicsDaily.com that Bob Baysinger received a reprimand Aug. 26 for writing a story about a contract to sell the Baptist Building to Cole County a day early.
The Cole County Commission on Aug. 25 signed a $2.75 million contract to buy the building for construction of a new jail and criminal justice center. The sale is contingent on voters approving a half-cent sales tax in February and the county being able to acquire other properties in the 400 block of East High Street in Jefferson City, according to the Jefferson City News Tribune.
Baysinger’s story showed up on The Pathway Web site a day ahead of its originally planned release. He reportedly apologized and observers thought the matter was closed, until Clippard came back six weeks later with a letter of dismissal.
The Pathway Web site didn’t carry a story about Baysinger’s firing as of Tuesday afternoon. The most recent postings were dated Oct. 14, but biographical information about him had been removed from an “About Us” page introducing the paper’s staff.
Neither the paper’s editor, Don Hinkle, nor Clippard responded to e-mails requesting comment prior to the deadline for this story.
An Internet archive of the Web site described Baysinger as a lifelong resident of central Missouri who worked 18 years at the Jefferson City News Tribune and 13 years in public relations in Missouri state government. He and his wife, Sonya, have four adult children, one of whom is a junior at Southwest Baptist University.
Sources told EthicsDaily.com that Baysinger’s supporters were seeking to have him reinstated. The Missouri Baptist Convention is in session this week, meeting Monday through Wednesday morning in Raytown, Mo.
Clippard, a former associate executive director with the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, was named executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention in 2001. His tenure has been marked by turmoil, first from a lawsuit filed by the convention to regain power to elect trustees of five agencies that recently moved to self-perpetuating boards and later by a lawsuit alleging libel, slander, gender discrimination and retaliation by a former financial comptroller fired for misconduct after she tried to retrieve an e-mail mistakenly sent to Clippard’s office computer.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.