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This note to readers from Arnie Robbins, editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Pam Maples, managing editor, appeared in this morning's Post-Dispatch:

To our readers:

Sylvester Brown Jr. is no longer writing a column for the Post-Dispatch.

Brown accepted the offer of a free trip to Washington from supporters of a group that he had written about in a column the day before. The column, "Metro East leaders head to D.C. to tout E-Macrosystem," ran on March 26. Brown also had not notified his editors of his trip or the offer. Our integrity and our credibility with readers is of utmost importance to us. Our ethics policy clearly states the parameters regarding conflict of interest, and what our journalists can and cannot do.

Brown declined an opportunity to write a farewell column.

Arnie Robbins • editor

Pam Maples • managing editor

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