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Online portfolio and blog by Tony Gonzalez, family issues reporter for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. I married my high school sweetheart, Katie, a designer and bookbinder. I like juggling, maps, baseball, and bullmastiffs.

Two years at The Tennessean, July 2011 to present. Three years reporting and editing at The News Virginian, 2008 to 2011. Editor of college and high school newspapers. Internships at The Star Tribune, The Detroit News, and The Toledo Free Press. Chips Quinn Scholar 2007.

Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors 2012 statewide Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, as well as the Freedom of Information award, for Department of Children's Services project.

Gannett company-wide award 2012 for Watchdog Journalism

Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 International Perspective First Place for "The Borders Within," as well as Public Service Honorable Mention for investigation into troubled children's psychiatric hospital

2009 and 2010 winner, with staff, of the Virginia Press Association's highest award: the Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service.

Virginia Press Association 2008, 2009, and 2010 awards for crime, investigative, breaking news, and feature writing

2011 Robert Novak Fellow

Michigan Collegiate Press Association "Journalist of the Year" 2008

Chips Quinn Scholar, Class of 2007

Civil Rights Project DCS project
Borders Within Multimedia
Friday, May 14, 2010
Lawsuit: Board ignored laws
By Tony Gonzalez
The News Virginian

A Fort Defiance man charges in a lawsuit that Augusta County and its Board of Equalization did not follow the law while changing property values during appeals hearings in the wake of the 2009 reassessment.

Thomas Cline says in his six-page suit that the board violated the state’s Freedom of Information Act by failing to conduct open meetings and record minutes and votes when raising the value of his 63-acre hilltop property.

A Virginia Coalition for Open Government representative said Monday that the board’s actions might have turned the open meeting presumption “on its head.”

Informed of the lawsuit, board Secretary Martin Lightsey said it was “definitely possible” that the law wasn’t followed. He said he did not “keep the sort of notes that one would take if you were trying to record minutes of a board meeting.” Meetings, he said, felt more closed than open.

County Real Estate Manager Mary Garris said appeals decision forms sent to homeowners served as minutes. County Attorney Patrick Morgan backed her.

Morgan said he will answer the suit, filed Friday, in a way that “will show there is a difference of opinion as to how those things can be done.”

“It’s been done the way they have been taking minutes … for a very long time,” Morgan said.

Cline’s filing also includes the letter the board sent to him Nov. 9 announcing his hearing for Nov. 18, a violation of state code, which requires hearings to be announced at least 15 days in advance, he said.

Read the full story at

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