Vadim Lavrusik, editor-in-chief and co-publisher of The Minnesota Daily, resigned Wednesday.
Lavrusik was suspended for a week without pay effective Sunday, May 3, for contributing Daily content to a Star Tribune article about riots during Spring Jam. Part of Lavrusik’s penalty was the loss of his bonus.
On Tuesday morning, Lavrusik likely violated the terms of his suspension by editing a story. The story also featured him, meaning the editing was a journalistic conflict. His resignation came before The Minnesota Daily Board of Directors determined whether or not this action violated his suspension.
Daily editors contacted Lavrusik about his actions and called for his resignation Tuesday. He sent a letter of resignation Wednesday to the board of directors.
“Me going in and editing the stories on the website was not done out of malice or done with intention to change the news in any way,” Lavrusik said Wednesday. “I was simply doing what I had always been doing and that’s ranking the stories the way they would appear in the paper.”
Lavrusik, who has been with the Daily for nearly four years, said he later realized he made a mistake, and resigned in hopes that his action would “put out the fire that’s been going on at the Daily for the last week.”
However Paul Cordes, sports editor at the Daily, said Lavrusik knew that his actions were wrong.
“Vadim is a smart guy, he knew he should not have been on the site,” he said. “It was not only a violation of his suspension, it was a clear conflict of interest because the story involved him.”
Holly Miller, who was set to succeed Lavrusik as editor-in-chief, has taken over the position.
“It’s a shame because Vadim has done an amazing job this year and has worked really hard and has been very dedicated to the organization,” Robin Perez, president and co-publisher of the Daily, said. “We all feel really bad that it had to end this way.”
John Scholz, business manager and co-publisher of the Daily, said he felt Lavrusik’s actions were justified as the order of the stories on the website did not reflect the order in the printed edition.
Scholz also said the terms of suspension are unclear, so Lavrusik may not have thought he was doing anything wrong.
The board is the only entity that can punish any of the three co-publishers of the Daily. They will meet Thursday to follow-up on the event, Dave Peters, Daily board member, said.
“It never does an organization good to have that kind of turmoil at the top,” Peters said.
Despite the turmoil, Peters said he believes the Daily will recover.
“The Daily has been through a variety of controversies in the past and it has always emerged in fine form,” he said.
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