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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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  1. Sharon: Just to inform you the property locker bandit was not let go, he stole evidence form another agency while he was a trustee and the other agency is going before the grand jury to get indictments. The man was sent to a state facility after his theft.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: OK, thank you. I believe Walt meant that the trustee was not prosecuted for the crime, but rather, the crime was kept under wraps and the trustee sent to another facility to help cover up what had happened.

  2. Lots of emotions going on! Glad Walter received my letter and managed to have someone put HIS money on his books and at the same time I’m livid at the ineptitude at the very least, of this correctional facility. What Walter has reported so far would fill a notebook with the violations that are occurring within that system! I have done a bit of investigating myself, concerning some of the murders that have happened in that area in the past 4 to 5 years, which happens to strangely be within the time frame of Sherrif Bevin’s tenure, and there appears to be a preponderance of “bludgeoning” going on down there. With baseball bats as the weapon of choice. Don’t worry, I’ve saved and printed this information just in case it “happens to mysteriously disappear”.
    I have contacted the Tennessee FBI in Knoxville twice now and have talked with Security there. I was instructed to contact the Duty Agent whom I will be calling tomorrow morning. If it’s OK with you Sharon, I will have them contact you to fill them in on more details. I’m guessing they will already have an agent (or more) down there tomorrow… morning

    1. There will be “people” there but with out press credentials it is unlikely that they will be allowed in the courtroom. The Monroe county jurisprudence “system” does business differently than other jurisdictions. I recall on a previous hearing that even the press was restricted. There is a little local one man show rag that Walt got into it with who wasn’t allowed inside. He wandered around taking close up pictures of folks standing outside the court room. It’s more like running a zoo than a system of justice.
      Mrs. Rondeau replies: In speaking with Walt last night (article just published), he said that trials are supposed to be open to the public, so the person at the courthouse might have been purveying false information, as usual.

  3. Does anyone know what the hearing is tomorrow that Walt is referring to? Is this the start of his trial? Does anyone know the potential sentence he’s facing if he’s convicted?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: I will be posting the time if I learn of it this evening. It might be 10:00 a.m., but that is not a certainty. He is facing up to 33 years in prison if convicted on all counts, although the trial beginning tomorrow will deal with the first six of eight counts. Darren Huff will also be on trial tomorrow.

  4. Oh, I forgot to tell you- I *heard* that *someone* from MCSD called 2 plumbers in Madisonville on Saturday, reported the leaking sewage, explained how dangerous that is, and asked them to get over there as soon as they could.

    I wonder if they ever showed up. ??

  5. I love these articles and hate them at the same time. I’m so glad to know he’s still alive, but I want him out of there!!
    Thanks again, Sharon. I have posted this in a few places on FB.

    P.S. Next time you speak to him, will you ask him if he got my card and letter?

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I have an idea if it could be helpful. If we had an address we could send blankets, warm clothing, wool socks and slippers. etc. to Fitzpatrick. If there was a lot of this it could be distributed among others also. It might make the sheriff and the other hoods uncomfortable just because the would know that the story is out and they are being exposed.
      Mrs. Rondeau replies: The jail will not allow anything to be shipped in so that their commissary is patronized. I think it would be more effective to file a written complaint with the health department. I have now been told by the state health department that the county health department is the agency to contact, but that directly contradicts what one of their field fire inspectors told me on Monday.

  6. I have contacted the FBI in Knoxville, but no response as yet.

    I am truly shocked to learn of what is going on in Monroe County, TN. This is like an episode in a Charles Dickens novel. The depravity of those judges and and deputies is beyond comprehension. People like Bivens and Pettway should be put in stocks in front of the courthouse like they did in colonial times for their crimes and their gross abuses of the public trust.

    LCDR Fitzpatrick is a true hero. I am inspired by his fearless acceptance of his circumstances. I hope this nation will ultimately find a way to give him the recognition he deserves for the sacrifices he is making for the Republic and for the Constitution.

    GO NAVY!

  7. Zeb, thanks for the info.

    I’m curious, though. What is the information that there will be no access allowed to trial based on? I’ve not read that anywhere but here, so I’m curious if the clerks have said this or what.

    I ask because I have a friend who has indicated she might be able to attend if things work out at her work today so that she can get the time off.

    1. I was there for the April hearings. They did not allow public access at that time. They used the excuse that it was necessary to assure security of the courtroom. I assume they will do the same thing tomorrow.
      Please make sure your friend will comply with all traffic regulations when she goes through town. This is very important.

      1. Thank you, Zeb. I will pass that information along. I did just get word that she plans to attend. She’s hopeful nothing changes in her work schedule to interfere with attendance.

  8. Here’s the information again for the trial tomorrow for those folks who can be there. Note that the weather will be clear and 43 deg daytime but will continue at freezing or below at night.
    It’s pretty much impossible to get any information out of the Monroe
    county courthouse. So for the folks who are going to Madisonville on
    Wednesday here’s the best I can do:
    GPS address for the main courthouse is:
    103 College St. Madisonville.
    The trial will probably be held in the annex (double wide) located two
    blocks north and two blocks east of the courthouse. You are probably
    better off to go to the annex and park since there is little parking on
    College St.
    You will not be allowed access to the trial. The purpose for going is
    to show support for the local folks and if Walt is brought in through
    the front you can wish him well as he shuffles in and out.