Monroe County Courthouse Employee Who Forged Clerk’s Name in Fitzpatrick Case Arrested pb


by Sharon Rondeau

The Post & Email has reported on corruption within the Monroe County courthouse and greater Tenth Judicial District for more than three years. Local, state and federal authorities have thus far declined to take action against court employees who rig juries, alter court transcripts, and collude with crooked sheriff’s department employees to frame and incarcerate members of the community without the due process guaranteed by the Tennessee constitution, Tennessee code, the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution

(Mar. 27, 2013) — On February 8, 2013, The Chattanoogan reported that a Norman Bruce Arp was arrested for theft and misconduct by members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

Arp had been employed at the Monroe County, TN courthouse as an administrative assistant and had testified at the trial of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III on December 3, 2012 on a charge of “tampering with government records.”

When Arp was asked why he was no longer employed by the county, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.  When questioned by Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Van Irion, Arp stated that he did not understand what he had done in signing the charging documents.

Fitzpatrick, however, was denied his Fifth Amendment right to have been found by a presentment or indictment of a legitimate grand jury likely to have committed a crime, as the Monroe County grand jury is not lawfully convened and has no officially-appointed foreman.

Davidson County grand jury foreman was recently found to have had a felony conviction in his history, necessitating the retrying of possibly hundreds of cases in which he had been involved.  In Tennessee, the foreman is chosen by the presiding judge and sometimes serves for decades, bringing into question his or her impartiality.  Grand jurors take an oath to perform to the best of their “skill and ability” but not to the Tennessee or U.S. Constitutions.

The members of the grand jury were not told that Arp had signed the name “Martha M. Cook” on the documents used to arrest Fitzpatrick and seize his computer and other electronic equipment on the evening of December 7, 2011.  Judge Walter C. Kurtz, who presided over Fitzpatrick’s case as a special judge, admitted that whoever signed Cook’s name to the charging documents acted improperly but allowed the charges to stand.  Kurtz contended that “the indictment cures”

The Fifth Amendment allows a defendant to challenge the legitimacy of any grand juror, but in the Tenth Judicial District, the judge declares law from the bench in violation of state and federal statutes.

The jury took only several minutes to deliberate and then obediently emerged with a guilty verdict after Fitzpatrick’s attorney was not allowed to present a defense for his client, a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

At the time of the trial, The Post & Email had been told, but it was not confirmed, that Arp had stolen $10,000 from the county government and could have charges pressed against him.

In 1984, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a set of laws which directed the county courts to cede criminal matters to district-level courts to be formed from the combining of several counties in most cases.  Large counties such as Knox and Sullivan were to form their own respective district criminal systems.  The laws ordered that at least two grand juries be convened each year.

The Tenth Judicial District and possibly the entire state of Tennessee ignored the laws and continued to try citizens accused of crimes in county courts, often impaneling jurors in successive terms in violation of a specific law, TCA 22-2-314.  Kurtz contended in court that the law did not say what it said.

Judge Amy Reedy and others within the Tenth Judicial District hand-pick members of juries openly, although the law states that human intervention in the selection of jurors is prohibited.

The Chattanoogan also reported that the “10th Judicial District Attorney General requested TBI to investigate” the allegations against Arp last September.  In August, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that an investigation had been launched among the Comptroller’s Office, Tennessee Attorney General, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to include the District Attorney General’s office, whose members had been accused of financial misconduct as it related to the operation of an area drug task force.  District Attorney General R. Steven Bebb had pledged to step down while the probe went forward but remains in his position today.

Arp bonded himself out of the Monroe County jail directly following his arrest in February.  The TBI and other outlets are reporting in almost identical articles that Arp made restitution for the $10,000 he took from funds collected by the court.

The TBI has not returned phone calls from The Post & Email regarding whether or not an investigation is ongoing.  Likewise, the Office of the Comptroller and Attorney General’s office will not confirm or deny that they are involved in an investigation.

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3 Responses to Monroe County Courthouse Employee Who Forged Clerk’s Name in Fitzpatrick Case Arrested pb

  1. gigclick

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    What they have done to Walt, Lakin, Wood and others that tried to legally stand up for the Constitution is beyond criminal and this comment. We can only pray and wait to see if these criminals working inside the “system” as “public servant/public trustees” will be prosecuted or be held to be “above the law”. Every day the news is filled with more corruption than we have ever seen with no end in sight. All the people must be removed from office before America is beyond repair. With all the evidence of Obama’s identity fraud and refusal to show his background papers do you think we will get him out before his illegal term is up? Nothing has been done with all the evidence, it is apparent that the people controlling the Judicial want it to remain just as it is and will not allow prosecution of any of these criminals. The people of America are suffering and the politicians are only worried about keeping their jobs and power.

  2. gigclick

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Sharon deserves a medal for her unending dedication to all that she has done to keep the truth out in front on so many areas, it is hard to imagine how much work she has done and is doing every day to expose all the criminal elements that are 24/7 non stop. Thank GOD we have her and Martha Trowbridge as women dedicated to GOD and telling real Americans the truth and being our eyes dealing with very evil criminal minds of this Godless clan called “The Chicago Machine”.

  3. Sher Zieve

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM


    You have done a magnificent job with your reporting on this and other Monroe County crimes!


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