The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Violates State Law

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by Sharon Rondeau

TBI Director Mark Gwyn’s office has failed to respond to an Open Records request filed by The Post & Email on October 10, 2012. Our first request was placed on August 23, 2012.

(Oct. 26, 2012) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), which is allegedly carrying out an investigation into corruption in the Tenth Judicial District of Tennessee, is a law-breaker itself.

Open Records requests sent by The Post & Email over a two-month period have gone unanswered.  The second request, mailed on October 10, 2012 and addressed to TBI Director Mark Gwyn, has not responded to within the seven business days mandated by TCA 10-7-503.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security provided responses through a staff attorney, Lizabeth Hale, on two occasions.  We were told that by November 30, the department will have completed its review, redaction and retrieval of the documentation we requested.  An initial inquiry was responded to by a letter stating that one document responsive to our request had been located but was involved in a criminal investigation and could not be divulged at that time.

The Post & Email is seeking to discover who authorized its name to be used in a training program funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Southern Poverty Law Center, U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, TBI and other agencies.

An individual from the Department of Safety who spoke to us off the record maintained that he or she had no knowledge of “The Post & Email,” although the reference appears on slide 29 of the “Talking Points” in the raining program which instructs law enforcement how to deal with “Sovereign Citizens.”

The program has numerous Power Point slides which depict Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III and Darren Wesley Huff, the latter of whom is incarcerated in a federal prison, as “Sovereign Citizens” capable of violence toward public officials and in the same category as Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and a father and son team who brutally murdered two police officers during a traffic stop.

On April 1, 2010, Fitzpatrick had conducted a citizen’s arrest of the Monroe County acting grand jury foreman for over-serving his legal term of office, after which Fitzpatrick was arrested himself.  Huff had traveled to the courthouse to observe and videotape the exchange between Fitzpatrick and Gary Pettway, the foreman.  Fitzpatrick had attempted the arrest only after meeting with local law enforcement about Pettway’s 20+-year service as foreman.  Later, Fitzpatrick discovered that Pettway had served in that capacity for 28 years without an appointing order or any evidence that he had ever been sworn in.

Tennessee law states that no juror can serve consecutive terms on any jury in the state, but jurors routinely serve multiple terms in Monroe County.  State legislators, the Tennessee Supreme Court, the governor and the attorney general have all been contacted in regard to the corruption found in the Tenth Judicial District.

Huff was arrested ten days after he attempted to attend Fitzpatrick’s assignment hearing, which took place on April 20, 2010.  The U.S. Department of Justice has to date refused to release any documentation regarding the order placing between 100 and 200 police officers, FBI and TBI agents, Tennessee Highway Patrol, a SWAT team, snipers, and canines in and around the courthouse  on the day of the assignment hearing.

Huff was convicted last October of attempting to use a firearm to create a civil disturbance even though his firearms had been locked in his truck before he arrived in Madisonville, where the hearing took place.  He is serving a four-year prison sentence for a crime “that never happened.”  Several government witnesses in his trial are subjects of the TBI investigation, although many local residents have expressed doubt that the TBI will investigate and prosecute other government officials in earnest.

Huff maintains that the witnesses lied at his trial, and he learned afterward that the “Sovereign Citizen” training program had been in use by law enforcement and therefore could have prejudiced the witnesses’ statements and jury members’ verdict.  Judge Thomas Varlan was made aware prior to Huff’s sentencing hearing on May 15, 2012 that the program had been in circulation without Huff’s knowledge during his trial, but Varlan did not investigate.

According to The Rutherford Institute, Obama’s FBI, Secret Service and Department of Justice have arrested numerous veterans who have spoken out about what they perceive to be as an overreaching federal government which does not observe the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The state of Tennessee continues to prosecute a case against Fitzpatrick of “tampering with government records,” a charge he denies and his attorney terms “malicious.”  Eric Holder has reportedly retaliated against whistleblowers despite laws in place to protect them.

On March 17, 2009, Fitzpatrick had filed a criminal complaint of treason against Barack Hussein Obama.  Given the events surrounding the attack on the U.S. installation in Benghazi, Libya, others are now asking if Obama is guilty of treason.

Because the TBI has violated the law by failing to provide at least a response to our Open Records request, The Post & Email will be taking further action.

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