County official backs off lawsuit threat; says he was wrong to ask his name not be printed

A local elected official in Maryland who achieved instant Internet notoriety after he threatened to sue a newspaper for publishing his name now says he won't sue after all.

Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter (dee-LAW'-tur) said in a written statement Wednesday he was wrong when he told a Frederick News-Post reporter in a Facebook post: "Use my name again unauthorized and you'll be paying for an attorney."

Delauter says the threat reflected his frustration about feeling misrepresented or misinterpreted by local news coverage. But he says the First Amendment is alive and well in Frederick County.

Delauter's threat generated a sarcastic editorial response from the newspaper and an avalanche of mocking messages on social media Tuesday.

News-Post Managing Editor Terry Headlee says he's glad Delauter saw the light.