Star's chairman, former publisher resigns

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H. Brandt Ayers, former publisher of The Anniston Star, resigned his role as chairman of the board of directors of the company that owns the newspaper Thursday, after a series of allegations against him.

"It is of utmost importance to me that this newspaper continue to serve its role of reporting on matters of concern to the Anniston community and that nothing stand in the way of preserving the newspaper as an independently owned publication serving this community," Ayers wrote. "I feel my resignation at this time is in the best interests of the paper and its mission."

Ayers, known nationwide as one of the few Southern newspapermen who openly supported racial integration in the 1960s, fell from public grace this week after a former reporter, Veronica Pike Kennedy, accused him of spanking her, against her will, in The Star's newsroom in the 1970s. Other women, who have asked that their names not be used, told The Star similar stories of spankings.

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Ayers, Anniston

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