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Published: Monday, 2/2/2009

Claims of fraud retracted in letter in TV-station case

BY DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Murry Murry
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A Monclova Township man involved in a recently settled legal battle with Cornerstone Church over control of Toledo's smallest television station sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission retracting allegations he made against the church and its representatives.

Earl Murry, writing as an individual and as president of two corporate boards involved in the dispute, said his "allegations of fraud, misconduct, and misrepresentation made against Cornerstone Church, its officers, attorneys, and associated parties" are unfounded.

The letter was dated Jan. 27 and placed in the public inspection file of Cornerstone's subsidiary, Matrix Broadcasting Communications, Inc., on Friday.

Mr. Murry's letter also stated he was withdrawing any applications for review, objections, appeals, or letters with the FCC relating to WMNT-TV.

The station broadcasts secular programming on an 11,000-watt signal over the airwaves on Channel 48, and is carried by Buckeye CableSystem on Channel 58.

The dispute over ownership dates to 1997, when the station's former owners, Lamaree "Marty" Miller and his wife, Linda, received $10,000 from Cornerstone Church, described by opposing sides as either a loan or an investment.

Dozens of attorneys have become involved over the years, and lawsuits and motions were filed in six county, state, and federal courts.

Complaints were lodged with the FCC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and the FBI.

Cornerstone bought the station in 2006 for $913,854 after it was auctioned by a court-appointed receiver.

Mr. Murry became involved in the legal battle about two years ago and was elected president of the board of two corporations founded by the Millers, L&M Video Productions, Inc., and L&M Broadcasting, Inc.

The Rev. Robert Pitts, associate pastor of Cornerstone, said the letter from Mr. Murry to the FCC was crucial in the church's decision to settle the case and absolve the Millers of judgments totaling nearly $600,000.

"To me, they had to be responsible for the things they have thrown out in public filings and in public forums," Mr. Pitts said. "If they weren't willing to retract their statements, then we were not willing to drop our motions for sanctions against the board members and their attorney."

The pastor said with the global settlement, following Cornerstone's prior victories in courts and federal agencies, "We feel fully, totally vindicated."

Mr. Murry said the motion for sanctions "represented nothing of importance to me because the motions were baseless. They would not have been upheld by the judge."

He said he wrote his letter to the FCC "for a variety of reasons which I am choosing not to make public."

Mr. Murry added "the FCC can do what it chooses to do with what I have written because I have only asked the FCC to withdraw my complaints. The FCC determines what is dismissed."

Contact David Yonke at:

dyonke@theblade.com

or 419-724-6154.



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