Tribune Columnist Robert Kirby Suspended Following Inquiry Prompted By Facebook Post
Readers of The Salt Lake Tribune may have noticed something missing over the weekend - an article from popular columnist Robert Kirby, who was suspended from the paper because of inappropriate behavior.
Last week, writer and blogger Courtney Kendrick took to Facebook to share an encounter with the longtime Tribune columnist, first reported by KUER News, and to call out his behavior towards her at conference over the summer.
In a statement released Friday, Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce wrote, “After researching multiple complaints, we found that Kirby’s conduct has not been in compliance with Tribune policy.” She went on to say that Kirby is subject to a three-month suspension without pay and that he has shown a “sincere commitment to change.”
The two appeared on the same panel in July at the Sunstone Symposium, a yearly Mormon conference, where Kendrick wrote that Kirby asked her to pretend to be his paid escort and gave her a marijuana edible. She wrote that she ate the edible primarily to appease him. Kirby went on to tell the audience at Sunstone that Kendrick was high, which she said “completely blindsided” her.
Kendrick responded to the Tribune’s decision with another Facebook post, saying, “My posting was never about apologies or punishments, it was about making my community aware of problematic behavior by so-called progressive men.”
After Kendrick’s post got traction online, Kirby issued an apology. But that didn’t stop Tribune management from looking into other areas of possible misconduct.