Matthew Keys, the Reuters editor who is under indictment for his alleged collaboration with the Anonymous hacking group, was fired on Monday.
Keys himself tweeted the news. He had already been suspended as the wire service's deputy social media editor. He has been accused of providing Anonymous with information that helped it hack into the Tribune company's servers.
Keys said he would fight the dismissal:
Just got off the phone. Reuters has fired me, effective today. Our union will be filing a grievance. More soon.— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 22, 2013
The decision by Reuters came days after Keys found himself the subject of controversy for his tweeting during the Boston bombing crisis. He was criticized for, among other things, tweeting information from police scanners that turned out to be wrong.
Keys defended his actions in a Facebook post, saying he had stopped once he saw reports that police were warning journalists not to tweet from the scanner.
In an interview with Politico, Keys said that his Boston coverage had been cited by his bosses as a reason for his firing, and that Reuters did not bring up his indictment in the conversation. He added that he thought Reuters was looking for an "out" in terms of his contract.
"They have a specific set of reasons for the termination which I don’t agree with and the union that represents me does not agree with," he told Politico. "We are in agreement, the union and myself, that I have done nothing wrong, that the basis for the termination is incorrect and doesn’t hold any water.”
He also tweeted:
The New York Newspaper Guild, which represents Keys, issued this statement:
"Our contract with Thomson Reuters prohibits management from dismissing anyone without just and sufficient cause. We don’t believe the company has the required justification here. At this point, we intend to vigorously defend Matthew Keys as we would any other hard-working member of the Newspaper Guild of New York who had been fired without cause."
UPDATE: Keys later wrote a lengthy post about his firing, confirming that Reuters had terminated his contract over his Boston tweets. Keys strenuously defended his work, and said it did not violate the company's guidelines.
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