How Many Criminal Acts have been committed by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department?

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by Sharon Rondeau

What kind of state would allow human beings to be subjected to the health hazards and building code violations which apparently exist in Sheriff Bivens's jail?

(Nov. 29, 2010) — Just about noontime today, one of the deputies here approached me and asked me if I wanted to make a phone call to somebody to make arrangements for a suit for my court appearance on Wednesday, the first of December.  I declined the phone call.  I’m going to go in to court on 1 December wearing what I’ve been wearing for the last 34 days, in stripes.  People are going to see me the way I’ve been living my life here.

I don’t know who I was supposed to call; I didn’t get the name; I didn’t ask.  I’m not going to put on a suit.  What needs to happen is that I get released from here and then I go out and I take care of those kinds of things by myself.

I’m going to go in wearing stripes, and that’s purposeful intent, but it’s also a reminder about the grand jury that’s going to be chosen in the first part of December.  I may not be able to make that hearing myself, so other people in the community should be put on alert to get to that court hearing to see how the grand jury is selected for 2011.

I received a letter today from someone with the last name of Fitzpatrick who is no relation.  The $50 that you and I were talking about at the beginning of November finally showed up today.  She wrote about it in a letter to me.  I read it and showed it to the deputies here, and they went back and found the receipt and put it in the commissary account.  That happened on the 4th of November, but that money was first reported to me today.  She also sent me your Thanksgiving article.  You did a great job, Sharon.  That was a wonderful piece of writing, so thank you for that.

We know that Bill Bivens is already involved in a criminal act as sheriff, letting go the man who broke into the property locker.  We also know that Bill Bivens and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are not aggressively pursuing the murderer of Mr. Jim Miller.  We have a name, and nobody has contacted Mr. Crawley or me.  And then Mr. Pettway is involved in interrogating inmates here in the booking room in the jailhouse without any witnesses, without the rest of the grand jury, and without any attorney present for either side.  There’s a lot that’s going on here that’s being hidden, and the arrest of Mr. Pettway or Sheriff Bivens could turn on its head the case against Darren Huff and me.  So who knows what happens in the future.  But there’s a lot going on here which could turn everything upside-down with the arrest of Bill Bivens or Mr. Gary Pettway and everybody else.

For the last three days, it has been absolutely freezing cold in the cell that I’m in right now and throughout the rest of the jail.  This place is not fit for human habitation, and today we found out that the heater units have been broken.  They’re still here tonight working on the heating unit.  Temperatures outside have been subfreezing, in the 20s at night, and this has been a freeze-box.  It’s been bone-chilling, shivering cold; people are getting sick and are sick tonight because of the terribly low temperatures.  It’s unending; it goes on day after day after day.  Maybe tonight they’ve gotten a handle on it.  They’re not putting any money into this facility or any other structure in this county; they’re putting it in their pockets.

Lt. Wakefield has been running around here all day long; he’s jumping back and forth.  These guys are under pressure.  As I said, they’ve had a team of maintenance men in here all day long, so Lt. Wakefield is under pressure to get things repaired.  They weren’t repaired before today; we’re shivering in our cells, and as I said, people are getting sick.

MRS. RONDEAU: I spoke with one honest official from the state of Tennessee today who said he knew that the Polk County jail had been shut down because of the poor conditions.  So I said, “I have another one for you.”  This morning when I was on the website which gave the information for the building codes, I got an error message that said that there was too much demand for the site to even perform a simple search.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Polk County is in the Tenth Judicial District as well.  Polk, Bradley, McMinn and Monroe Counties are all in the Tenth Judicial District.  So you see the same kind of corruption in another county of the Tenth Judicial District, where the same judges who work here in Monroe County are also on that circuit.  The same district attorney general, Steve Bebb, also covers that area.

The letter that I got from Ms. Fitzpatrick was very uplifting.  She said that this news about what’s going on here is growing and growing, and that the information about the case and its significance and importance about the Constitution is spreading rapidly, so that’s good news.

MRS. RONDEAU: When I went to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department website today, I noticed that the photo of the sheriff accepting the VFW award was gone, and the big photos of Bryan Graves and Officer Trent Prock, the chief jailer, are gone.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: We know that Sheriff Bill Bivens has been paying people for votes.  It has also been made known that he went to local graveyards to collect names and the people would go in and vote using the bogus names.  I keep hearing this over and over again. Here in this facility, people say they know family members who were in the room when these kinds of overtures were made; money was offered to people to vote.  So going back to his first election in 2006, Bill Bivens has been completely corrupt.  He can be arrested for what we know about him tonight. He is not pursuing the Jim Miller investigation; nobody is pursuing that.  Nobody has been approached about the information we have regarding the name of that person who has admitted to being one of the hit men for the murder of Jim Miller.

MRS. RONDEAU: I reported that again over the weekend to the TBI and the FBI.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: If Pettway and Bivens get arrested for the things they know they have done – and by the way, the interrogation of Mr. Cozart that we learned about here the day after Thanksgiving is huge.  That’s not the first time he’s done that.  You know that he’s been doing this for years and years and years, and who knows what else he’s been involved in?  He thinks he’s a one-man grand jury who can operate independently and as he pleases.  Well, you know what?  He can’t do that.  And that’s why the judges keep picking this man, because he’s involved in extraordinary criminal conduct.  So if Pettway gets arrested, or Bivens, or both of them, those charges that go against Darren Huff and me will just blow up.  This thing is wildly out of control as far as a news report about the corruption.  As you wrote about in the Thanksgiving article, these kinds of things are going on throughout the rest of the country.

I think there’s more to learn about Sheriff Bill Bivens and the sheriff’s department.

MRS. RONDEAU: People have to start taking responsibility for what happens in their own communities, start digging into the corruption and rooting it out.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: There’s a urine pool on the floor tonight in that day room coming from the overhead.  Health Department officials could come here tomorrow and shut it down.  It’s an outrage.  There was fecal matter on the floor before; tonight it’s urine, and it’s in the assembly room.  So you have raw sewage pouring onto the floor in a room where people are assembled on a regular basis for any number of events.  This place should be condemned.

MRS. RONDEAU: I’ve reported it.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Good job on doing that, Sharon.

MRS. RONDEAU: I wish I could do more.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: You’re doing a great job, Sharon; you’re doing plenty, believe me.  You have a whole bunch of admirers here, I’ll tell you that.

MRS. RONDEAU: What about you, though, and what about them?

LCDR FITZPATRICK: (Laughs) We’ll take it a day at a time.

MRS. RONDEAU: I’m sorry it’s so cold.  One of my complaints was that there’s no heat.

LCDR FITZPATRICK: Temperatures outside have been in the 20s, and in here, it’s just bone-chilling cold.  We ‘re shivering in this place.  When you talk to the FBI, you can say that Sheriff Bill Bivens knows that Gary Pettway has been in here as the grand jury foreman interrogating inmates, which is highly criminal.

MRS. RONDEAU: I also contacted two mainstream media reporters whose names you gave me about the corruption within the sheriff’s department, but I never heard anything from them.  I included a note that said that the media is supposed to be a watchdog on government, not a lapdog.  I’m telling them what’s going on their own back yard!

LCDR FITZPATRICK: One day at a time, Sharon.  We get one day closer every day.  Tell everybody I said “hi,” and take care, and keep the faith.

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