Why Were Phone Lines Shut Down in the Monroe County Jail Last Week?

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by Sharon Rondeau, first published on Feb. 5 at Gulag Bound

Sheriff Bill Bivens operates the Monroe County jail in Madisonville, TN, where rats have been reported in the kitchen

(Feb. 7, 2012) – The Post & Email has received a report from a visitor to Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, who has been incarcerated in the Monroe County jail since December 7, 2011.

We were told that the Madisonville mayor and the “chief inspector of the state, and all the bigwigs” inspected the facility, about which many have reported horrible conditions equated to a “dungeon.”  The source reported that the inspectors went into Fitzpatrick’s cell and said, “That’s Fitzpatrick.”

“That just indicates that between your articles and our letters and our contacting people, we kicked up a storm,” the source said.

Last evening The Post & Email was contacted by an individual in Tennessee who expressed sudden concern for Fitzpatrick’s well-being.

The Post & Email was also told that Fitzpatrick is pleased with paperwork he received last week at the jail, about which we will be reporting in the near future.

The visitor stated that they attempted to visit Fitzpatrick last Wednesday and were” turned away. They said ‘the phones were shut down.’”  However, the report today from Fitzpatrick to the visitor is that the jail staff “shut the phones down because they did not want the word getting out that an inspection was in progress.”

The Post & Email asked, “Do you think they got advance warning of this inspection?” and the visitor answered, “Yes, they knew about it ahead of time.”

The TCI has told us in the recent past that their inspections are unannounced, although we do not know if TCI staff were present at Thursday’s inspection of the Monroe County jail.

We asked the visitor if any “retribution” was taken out against Fitzpatrick following the inspection, and the visitor answered, “No, he did not indicate anything done against him for that purpose.”

Fitzpatrick is looking forward to his release on February 9.

Recently two Monroe County Sheriff’s Department deputies were arrested for spraying pepper spray in a restrained inmate’s eyes, and we are told that the deputies’ spouses, who also worked for the department, were fired as well.

“According to the article, I think it is only the two men who are up on charges,” the visitor said.

Fitzpatrick has claimed that his incarceration is unlawful because the grand juries which indicted him are illegally constructed.

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