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by Sharon Rondeau

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam managed his family's gas station enterprise, growing it from 800 to 14,000 employees, before entering public service. He was elected mayor of Knoxville for two terms before becoming governor on Nov. 2, 2010.

(Jan. 26, 2011) — The following letter has been sent via facsimile to the office of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who was elected on November 2, 2010, succeeding Phil Bredesen, who served as governor for eight years.

Governor Bill Haslam
First Floor, State Capitol
Nashville, TN  37243

Attn:  Mr. David Smith, Media Contact
Via Facsimile:  615-741-1416

Dear Mr. Smith:

Pursuant to our conversation of Tuesday, January 25, 2011, I am writing to inform you of the endemic corruption in your state and specifically, within Monroe County, of which I have become aware through seven months of continuous investigation.

There is a criminal enterprise operating among court personnel, judges, district attorneys general, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department as evidenced by the unlawful seizure of property, unlawful arrest of innocent persons, rigged grand juries and trial juries, and murders which go uninvestigated.  Those who have reported evidence regarding such crimes are not interviewed by the Sheriff’s Department, and there is evidence that the Sheriff’s Department itself is covering up the murder of Mr. Jim Miller, an elections supervisor who was found incinerated in the trunk of his car last July.

The local media is complicit in the government’s corruption and purposely misleads the public by making statements which are completely unsubstantiated and biased against the citizens and in favor of those who are apparently pulling their strings.  Such media includes The Buzz and The Advocate & Democrat, both of which are guilty of misinforming the public.

It appears that the chief court clerk has been rigging the juries for many years, and I am in possession of the working papers she used to select a trial jury for a defendant whose case was heard on December 1, 2010.  These documents bear her handwriting and show direct human intervention in the selection of the jury.  One of the jurors was dismissed before the aforementioned trial began due to recent service which precluded his serving again by state law, TCA 22-2-314.

Grand jury foremen in almost all counties in your state are serving 20 years or more consecutively despite the same law which states that no juror after serving his term may serve again within 24 months.  There is no provision which renders the foreman any different from the other jurors.  With the foreman under the thumb of the judges and grand jury members hand-picked, indictments are being issued when there is no probable cause, and with rigged trial juries, defendants are being convicted when they are innocent.  There is evidence that many innocent people are languishing in local jails and state penitentiaries because of juries which were hand-picked to produce a particular outcome.

In Monroe County, the former grand jury foreman of 20 years had reportedly tried to coerce jail inmates to provide false confessions.

On January 3, 2011, I sent a money order for $33.00 to the Monroe County court clerk to purchase a transcript of an arraignment hearing held on June 28, 2010.  After almost three weeks, I called the court reporter, who confirmed that they received the money but that she did not send the transcript, saying “I’ll send it within a few days.”  That was a week ago, and I still have not received it.

Interestingly, a copy of the purported transcript was posted on the internet within days of the hearing last summer, but neither I nor the defendant himself has been able to obtain a copy.  There is something very suspect about the court personnel’s behavior in regard to this transcript.  Last fall, the defendant was informed that he could obtain the transcript at the law office of a private attorney, but when he arrived and requested it during business hours, he was turned away empty-handed by a rather large man named “Butch.”

There is obviously a reason why no one has been able to obtain this transcript.  The defendant stated that the version posted on the internet by “Friends of Politijab” is missing information which would have been damaging to the government’s case against him.

I have contacted the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, which appears oblivious to the 2008 law about limitations of jury service and refuses to respond to the fact that a witness at an arraignment hearing was  the person who picked the jury members for the same defendant’s trial.  How can a witness serve in any other capacity, particularly when the witness is the chief circuit court clerk?  Why should the court clerk have even been a witness in the case?  Why has she been in the courtroom for the same defendant again?  And why is she involved in the jury selection process when it is supposed to be automated and the names selected randomly as mandated by TCA 22-2-314?

I have the emails from the media representative at the Administrative Office of the Courts which convince me that  instead of providing proper oversight, the agency is part of the problem.  The media contact misstated the court rules and didn’t seem to be aware that a law passed by the state legislature trumps court rules.

Recently my newspaper published an article written by a mother whose child was shot by a neighbor in the face and leg.  After tirelessly reporting, advocating and meeting with law enforcement, the grand jury did not produce an indictment of the perpetrator, whose identity was known.  The mother was on the witness list but was not called  to testify to the grand jury.  The prosecutor made the excuse that he “didn’t know”  she was a witness and therefore failed to call her.  The mother reported that both the prosecutor and the sheriff are acquainted with the perpetrator, who had threatened her family before.  This occurred in Sevier County in 2009, and the child was seriously injured.  I have the photos.

A Monroe County resident reported falsified sheriff’s department reports and no penalty for his neighbor, who attempted to injure or kill him and destroyed his back yard with construction equipment in violation of residential caveats.

In Roane County, the grand jury foreman has been serving for more than 23 years. The  judge who presided there during many of those years also served recently in Monroe County and allowed an admittedly tainted grand jury‘s indictment to stand.  The same judge stated in open court that the foreman is “just like any other jury member,” which signifies his knowledge that a foreman cannot legally serve for continuous terms, yet he has allowed it in both Roane and Monroe Counties.

A defendant from Davidson County was told by his public defender, “Your only plea is guilty,” which was a clear violation of his constitutional and civil rights.

A church missionary presently jailed on $25,000 bond asked directly for your help and has claimed that his arrest resulted from retaliation on the part of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department for FBI involvement in the matter of confiscation of property belonging to his missionary organization.

The people of Monroe County are living in abject fear.  Many have been stopped by sheriff’s deputies, particularly at night, yanked out of their vehicles, beaten within an inch of their lives, tortured, falsely imprisoned, fined for crimes they didn’t commit, and betrayed by crooked defense attorneys.  The public defenders, judges, prosecutors, court personnel and sheriff’s department are all part of the corruption. The actions of rogue law enforcement officers who brutalize people should have put them away for many, many years, but instead, they are promoted while continuing to threaten innocent people.  Falsely arresting and incarcerating the citizens perpetuates a human trafficking operates which brings in a continuous stream of money for what can be only nefarious purposes.

It has been reported that the Monroe County jailers obstruct ingoing and outgoing mail, particularly as it concerns a defendant’s right to an appeal.  A former inmate was also told that members of the sheriff’s department are aware of the criminal activity taking place around them but are fearful to come forward.

I have also reported the deplorable, substandard conditions in the Monroe County jail to the Tennessee Corrections Institute, which reportedly performed an inspection in early December and cited the sheriff’s department for code violations.  The problems which inmates have reported directly to me are leaking raw sewage where people are forced to sleep; inmates forced to sleep on concrete floors, room temperature kept at 60 or below; plumbing which doesn’t work, and 40 people to one bathroom. On December 2, 2010  Ms. Peggy Sawyer of the Tennessee Corrections Institute promised to take action, but an inmate reported to me this past Monday, January 24, that the conditions are even worse than those described to us in November and December.  I have recently placed two calls to Ms. Sawyer, who either refuses to respond or isn’t receiving the messages.

The Tennessee Department of Health has said that it can do nothing about the horrendous conditions in the Monroe County detention facility.  Former inmates have stated that they were not provided necessary prescription medications and that the sanitation in the facility is nonexistent.

In summary, sir, Monroe County is a haven for bullies, criminals, money launderers, murderers, drug addicts and dealers, and physically abusive police.  Together, these people are running the county government.  I have contacted Rep. John Duncan about these problems, but his office fails to respond.  Others have contacted state representatives and senators as well as U.S. Senators Corker and Alexander, but nothing appears to have been done.  Meanwhile, people fear for their lives and abused children remain endangered because of the corruption which appears to be present throughout county agencies.  People have been jailed or fined over and over again for the same offense, and no attorney in the county or surrounding ones will take a case for fear of their lives or those of other family members.

Is every politician in the state of Tennessee a phony?  Is the Attorney General an upstanding man?  Why is the position appointed by the Supreme Court, rather than elected by the people, and for a duration of eight years?  Does that not lend itself to corruption?

Why do members of the judiciary have extraordinary protections against oversight and discipline in your state?

While politicians are usually the problem, not the answer, I am appealing to you to fulfill the pledge on your website which says that “when faced with adversity,” you will “respond with determination.”  I think the situation in Monroe and other counties qualifies as “adversity,” given the entrenched corruption which exerts tyranny over the people every day.  There have been reports that prior governors were involved in the criminality going on in Tennessee.  We began contacting you about the corruption directly following your election.  Do you have the courage to step forward and be different?

Is the problem so huge that it will, instead, require federal intervention?

It is well-known that members of the court, sheriff’s department and other public employees read The Post & Email regularly, and none has refuted any of the reports of human trafficking, police brutality, poor conditions in the jail, or judicial misconduct.  The FBI and TBI have been contacted, but it seems that victims of the corrupt system must take action on the federal level to have any opportunity for justice to be served.

The Tennessee constitution states that “All power is inherent in the people,” but that power has been usurped by criminals posing as public servants.  Do you believe in upholding the Tennessee and U.S. Constitution at all costs?

I will call your office in two weeks to obtain a progress report on your investigation of these crucial matters.

Respectfully and sincerely,

Sharon Rondeau
The Post & Email, Inc.
P.O. Box 302
Stafford Springs, CT  06076
Phone/Fax:  203-987-7948


Editor’s Note: The letter has also been faxed to Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr.

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  1. Fantastic letter and article Sharon. We never miss a day of your work, thank you so much.
    You are truly a beacon of light and a fine example to all investigative “journalists”.
    Take care.

  2. Thank you Sharon, for your un-relenting, never-ending fight for good and honesty in those who govern. I know that it seems like an impossible task, but you and many other Patriots are on the winning side, without any doubt; and if anybody wants to do a little research, then here is a great place to start… http://www.shepherdschapel.com/Media/1_27_2011_hi_vid.wmv

    Now that the “The State of The Union” has come and gone, we see precious-little change. We still have all the cool-aid drinkers in the house, in fact they are now gulping, and binge-drinking the cool aid. I still see Americans going over the cliff, in the hundreds of thousands, like Lemmings. Now that republicans and democrats went as dates, holding hands, etc., (so as to mask obama’s unpopularity), it now appears like they will be all be voting the same way “the Kenyan street-thug” wants them to vote, and that is to destroy America from within, by bankrupting our once great Nation.

    If the republicans WANT NOT to be voted out at the very first opportunity along with the democrats, then they must now show the folks that they are different than democrats; and the best way for them to do that is to immediately do the following… (1) Expose the usurper for what he is “NOW”, or this Nation will just never heal (we can’t keep living with the big lie). (2) Totally Kill Obamacare, and all his other socialists programs. (3) DO NOT raise the spending cap at all, so that it will be Government that has to be trimmed, otherwise we will not have a-hope-in-hell of ever getting a balanced budget. (4) Reduce taxes, and restore honest Government, and then Jobs will certainly soon follow abundantly. (5) Quit wasting taxpayer dollars on gimmy-gimmy-useless-worthless programs. (6) Restore Sanity and Reality into our thinking process. (7) Start immediately to develop and produce our own Oil Reserves until we are totally self-sufficient, and clear of obama’s muslim buddies (just imagine the jobs that alone would create). (8) Develop all our own resources and restore industry and jobs back to our own Country.

    IF WE DON’T SMARTEN UP NOW, STAND-UP, AND GET OURSELVES HONEST GOVERNMENT, then the end of America is upon us, and our streets will very soon look like those in the city of Cairo, Egypt right now.

  3. Thank you for this well written detailed letter, Sharon. There are plenty of forums at real estate websites, tourism websites, etc. where the link to your letter can be posted with a warning that says something like this:

    “Thinking of visiting or moving to Tennessee? Read this link first, and find out how you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.”
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Great idea!

  4. Sharon,

    Great letter. Thank you for the exposure as TN officials fail to move even in the face of governmental thuggery which are violating citizens rights in TN of all ages, not to mention, blatant conspiracy and obstruction of justice. No newspaper will print these truths, at least not in Sevier County as the good ole boys will not expose other good ole boys whom are their bread and butter. Sevier County and Monroe county TN have many many eerie similarities in relation to the governmental corruption, being they are very close together in eastern TN.

    I myself have been told that the TBI will not investigate any public official that does not have the request of the jurisdictional district attorney involved (TBI is a state office and right upon their website, it states that they investigate public corruption and misconduct of officials)- However when the DA himself is involved in the misconduct, what is one to do? The DA surely will not invite the TBI to investigate his or her own office!

    I asked these questions of the TBI after receiving a written response from another state office, indicating that “by statute” they had referred matters on to the TBI for an investigation. Now according to TN statute, the TBI DOES have the authorization to investigate a public official, including the District attorney without additional consent. So why does the TBI cite this policy of not investigating matters which do not have the district attorney’s request or blessing, when that differs from what is clearly stated in the TN state statute? Is the answer to that question not blatantly apparent?

    I have been told by the state Attorney General’s office, that there is no person higher than the district attorney. There is no oversight in this office. The state of TN AG website also indicates that they will not intervene into anything locally. This is true, even when if can be proven that the local officials engaged in purposeful misconduct violating a person’s rights? . That is crazy, as it is a further open invitation to even more malfeasance as there is no consequence or repercussion.

    Grand Juries too at the state and county level in TN are not recorded by any means, unlike TN federal grand juries which are recorded by stenography. That too, is an open invitation to further prosecutorial misconduct, which is commonplace in many cities in TN, including Sevier, Hamilton, and Monroe, and far more should the truth be known.

    Additionally, crime victims in TN have no legal civil recourse when the government is the entity that knowingly violates their rights. (Government being Sheriffs office, DA, etc. of a good ole boy community) Why pass victim legislation at all and then protect the very people who knowingly and deliberately violate a crime victims rights?)

    You, Sharon, are a Godsend to the people who are quashed and oppressed by this thuggery which equates simply to organized crime.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: You are too kind, madam. I feel I am only doing the duty which God has somehow placed in my heart.

  5. One Pissed-off Vietnam Vet says:
    Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 8:19 AM
    This Tennessee Voter has faxed a letter in support of your request.

    This BS needs to be cleaned up. I have no faith in the Feds doing anything. All I have faith in are my Vietnam Vet brothers.
    What about us Vietnam era Vet brothers? Just because some of us didn’t go to Nam doesn’t mean you can’t trust us.

    1. Yes, there are many that are not Vietnam Vets that can be trusted. I do know, however, that us that were sent to slatter in Vietnam by politicians that tried to run the war and didn’t give a crap about us are ready to prove our training has not gone to waste.

      Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult anyone.

      1. I’m not insulted, just wondered why we could not be trusted. I went all around Nam, Philippines, Japan, Korea etc, just never made it in country. I still have my training (U.S. Army and Air Force, to fall back on.

        I also refuse to refer to myself as a Viet Nam vet. I am a Viet Nam era vet. I spent over 20 years in the military and now regret wasting that time defending a country that has forgotten what it was founded upon….. freedom!!

  6. The written word versus the actions is sure miles apart. From the site of the Tennessee A G & Reporter:

    The Attorney General is in a real sense the lawyer for every citizen in the state, asserting the people’s rights under the constitution and the laws and protecting them from those who would violate those rights. Through our vigorous prosecution of criminal cases in the appellate courts, this office continues the pursuit of justice on behalf of victims whose rights have been violated by the criminal acts of others. My staff and I are committed to providing appellate information and assistance to crime victims with compassion and respect. –Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr.

  7. Sharon, Great Letter! I will also be writing a letter to the Gov and also will include Ms. Whitaker at the tourist bureau. A copy will also be sent to the campground that wants us to return this year. It is near Cades Cove. I will explain that I won’t be returning until TN returns to law and order and that I feel that a tourist would be safe in the state. Bob

  8. Sharon, you are an amazing reporter. Clone yourself and infilltrate the MSM. If and when this is ever corrected the people of Tennessee owe you an immense debt. I had been making arrangements to purchase land in eastern Tennessee until I became aware of the conditions there. I am also in your debt for your reporting has kept me from making the mistake of my life. Semper Fi
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Well, thank you kindly, sir. I’m sure Monroe County is glad that there is only one of me, although if I find a way to duplicate myself, we’ll expose more corruption!

  9. Sharon –

    This is an outstanding letter. Your persistent efforts to expose the corruption in Tennessee which came to light as a result of the shameful false imprisonment of LCDR Fitzpatrick are an inspiring example of the true purpose of the profession of journalism. This is the kind of investigative reporting that deserves national recognition.

    If your letter fails to produce a meaningful response from the governor’s office, the people of Tennessee have a very serious problem. And if this is going on in other states, we need a major nation-wide investigation to find out how this can be happening. This corruption strikes at the very heart of the Constitutional rights and protections which the Founders provided to us to prevent governmental tyranny.

    I suspect that any such serious investigation will be forced to conclude that the clever excision of the Fifth Amendment citizen’s grand jury from the body of governmentally-recognized constitutional rights was the true origin of this tyranny. We need a major nation-wide effort to restore the proper role of the grand jury or we have no hope of ending and preventing such outrageous lawlessness by government officials.

    For your information, my recent email to the FBI office in Nashville regarding the alarming level of corruption in Monroe County Tennessee has not been answered.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: That’s where the grand juries can come in. Citizens can collect evidence of criminal conduct, make an appointment to present it to the grand jury, and then inform the grand jury of its history in the Fifth Amendment. That means working in secret, without a government prosecutor, and prosecuting any criminal activity in government which they see. It means being fearless and refusing to bow to government dictators. This is how we can be free people once again!

  10. Sharon-

    Thank you for continuing the fight. I just wrote a short letter letting Governor Haslam know I fully agree with you and asking him to get involved and end the corruption.

    ” Hello, Governor Haslam.

    I am writing in support of the letter Mrs. Sharon Rondeau sent (faxed) you yesterday regarding massive corruption in Tennessee.

    I, too, was involved in helping the citizens of Monroe County fight the thugs in Monroe County, and I learned a lot about your state. Unbelievable!

    I’m writing to ask you to get involved and help protect the citizens of Monroe County from the likes of Sheriff Bill Bivens, his goon deputies, the corrupt attorneys, and the juries that are stacked against these people…usually for crimes they didn’t commit. 70% of Monroe County is on probation, huh? Mr. Haslam, I have little to no faith in people, but I don’t believe 70% of the people in Monroe County are criminals.

    Sharon did a beautiful job outlining much of the situation in her letter, so you have that. But don’t believe us, look into it yourself. Or are you already aware, and you, too, are complicit? Seems everyone else is. I made many, many phone calls and sent many, many emails to people who should have had this cleaned up by now, including the FBI, TBI, the former governor, The Corrections Institute, the TN Dept. of Health, ‘defense’ attorneys, on and on….

    Please get involved, do what’s right, and stop the criminal enterprise knows as ‘Monroe County Sheriff Department’.

    Thank you for your time. Have a great day.


    Here is his email address, if anyone else would like to do the same: bill.haslam@tn.gov

  11. This Tennessee Voter has faxed a letter in support of your request.

    This BS needs to be cleaned up. I have no faith in the Feds doing anything. All I have faith in are my Vietnam Vet brothers.

    1. YO VET! Right on target – also a vietnam vet plus other engagements. How about all our bretheran from all conflicts, those who remember the oath, get in on pushing forward with a volley of facts and truth.