MEDIA

Delamotte followed encouragement of FB friends she didn’t know

Tim Novak was one of Nicole Delamotte's casual Facebook friends

Cleveland reporter's social media friends weren't really friends but social media acquaintances

CLEVELAND, OH – Nicole Delamotte got it in her mind to reach out to an uncle who didn’t stay in touch with “the family” and the family didn’t stay in touch with him.

The 30-year-old well-liked reporter hadn’t seen him in 15 years. Delamotte had fond memories of her father’s brother, so her Facebook post on October 14, 2018 describes a newly-found courage from being a reporter that emboldened her to go up to someone’s door she didn’t know and knock on it. 

The Facebook post generated 262 categories of “likes” and 11 comments from friends.  None thought of asking her to examine the idea of reaching out to a loner family member she hadn’t seen in 15-years.  All wrote for her to move forward on a decision that would lead to uncle Robert Delamotte’s trailer and his bullets inside her body before he took his own life.
Joann Ullman told her daughter she was “proud” of her decision.  The encouraging words imply Delamotte’s mother couldn’t have possibly known how her  daughter would have found her brother-in-law and his state-of-mind.
One writer, Alex DiFrancesco, encouraged Delamotte by sharing how they decided writers had the right to invade the privacy of the private citizens who were the relatives of the victim, and the person the state charged with the offense, just because they write.  

None of Delamotte’s encouragers suggested that she give pause and consider the privacy of a loner family member who had apparently shown no interest in her life over the past 15 years; or any other member of the family’s. 

While Delamotte wrote about a “journalist’s courage,” the camaraderie that came from her friends weren’t really from working journalists.

Tim Novak, another friend, encouraged Delamotte to “Be bold” and that “fortune favors us.” 

EJBNEWS reached out to Novak via Facebook messenger to learn how he knew Delamotte and why he encouraged her to pursue her reunion plan.  We sought to learn if he was aware she had followed up on her words and that her “yes” to the idea she shared resulted in her death.

Nikki Delamotte’s connections to Cleveland as a reporter touched all demographics and made her one of the area’s most liked journalists. Business woman Vel Scott described “Nikki” as well-regarded and expressed sadness at learning of her tragic death.

Novak shared that the two were “professional friends” and that he didn’t know Delamotte.    He learned through business associates that “something was amiss” was her as the way he heard about her death.  It was confirmed when he read her boyfriend’s post on “the wall.”  The term “wall” is a reference to a Facebook post.

Novak said he was not at all aware of her relationship with the relative described in Delamotte’s post and had no personal knowledge of her family history.   The “professional capacity” of their relationship came through his following her on social media.  Novak said he thinks he may have met her but he’s not a journalist.  He co-owns a beer brewery.

EJBNEWS supplied Novak with the words he used to encourage Delamotte and he wrote, “I feel like I did then.” 

“It is very brave to try to reconnect with family. Who could have imagined that this would come of it?” he continued.

In a follow-up response Novak wrote that knowledge of the outcome of the decision made him sadder.

“I hadn’t even thought about this interaction until now,” he lamented.

Eric Jonathan Brewer
Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more. Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings. As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national. Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year. Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.

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