The first Amendment gives Americans the right of free speech; but you can’t yell “Fire” in a theatre. In an unprecedented conference yesterday, at the Ludington Police Department, Chief Mark Barnett revealed results from an investigation of the local website known as The Torch. Editor and founder Tom Rotta was accused of allowing threatening posts regarding city manager John Shay and alderman Mike Krauch. Both Shay and Krauch felt threatened by the postings on the website, concerned that even if the person making the comments did not act, that another might be incited to violence against them or their families. Complaints to the Ludington Police Department led to the investigation. The screen names of two posters were revealed as Ed Thompson and John Chippi. Councilor Krauch accepted an apology on the phone from Mr. Chippi. Chippi also went onto the torch to apologize again, saying “Please watch your words, the written word does not come with a face gesture or tip of intent like a spoken word does. Again I am sorry.” Thompson refused to be at the meeting or be on conference call, but later responded to Chippi’s apology, saying, “the fact of the matter is, sometimes anyone on a talk forum can get a little carried away with simple frustration and grief about our local officials in the way they run things around here nowadays. In my case, I would also like to apologize for similar posts I made, due to bad past experiences with Shay on numerous occasions the last 10 years+.” The prosecuting attorney has declined to file any charges. Rotta was asked by Chief Barnett if he would make modifications to his website and policies after this matter. He said his website is protected by first amendment speech and called the investigation a “witch hunt”. City Manager Shay blurted out "You're a liar" and “You’re Despicable” to Rotta. The meeting concluded with discussions of what constitutes a physical threat and accusations of mental instability against Rotta. Observers say that the Ludington Police Chief maintained order by concluding the meeting before it escalated any further.