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August 18, 2011

Monroe County, TN is the sixth largest in area of the 95 counties in the state

Ms. Laura Click
Public Information Officer
Tennessee Supreme Court
Administrative Office of the Courts
511 Union Street, Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37219

Dear Laura:

You might recall that I contacted you some months ago about my investigation into corruption in Monroe County, TN as well as surrounding counties, particularly within the judiciary.

There is no question that the judges, court clerks, court reporters, prosecutors, defense attorneys, sheriffs and their deputies are involved in a criminal syndicate in which people are convicted to life in prison without due process.  The conditions in the jails are subhuman.  There is a human trafficking enterprise going on in plain view as well as extortion of the citizenry, and the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts and Tennessee Corrections Institute have turned a blind eye to it.

It has just recently come to light that a court reporter licensed with the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, Ms. Denise Barnes, is also a personal secretary to Judge Carroll L. Ross, who has been accused of numerous judicial violations:  http://www.thepostemail.com/2011/08/17/monroe-county-tn-judge-explodes-at-his-own-crooked-prosecutor-in-the-courtroom/

There are many other examples at The Post & Email of the endemic judicial corruption in Monroe and other counties in Tennessee.  None of the judges adhere to the state constitution, the U.S. Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, nor even Tennessee Code Annotated.  Grand juries and trial juries are routinely rigged so that the desired outcome is achieved.

When I filed a complaint against Ms. Barnes for failing to send a transcript in a timely fashion and overcharging for transcripts, the TAOC would say only that “There is no basis for the complaint” but provided no “basis” for its decision nor evidence that Ms. Barnes’s fees were reasonable as compared to other court reporters and administrative guidelines.

Additional evidence of judicial corruption is here:  http://www.thepostemail.com/2011/07/10/who-is-the-real-grand-jury-foreman-in-monroe-county-tn/

I am going to call the contact person at Governor Bill Haslam’s office whom Walter Fitzpatrick contacted yesterday, as you will hear in the audio clips embedded in the first article cited above.

There is nothing in Tennessee Code Annotated which says that a grand jury foreman can serve over and over again at the behest of a judge.  He or she is not a state employee, and it is not a patronage position.  When the grand jury finishes its term, the foreman should be dismissed with them.  That is what TCA 22-2-314 states:  http://www.thepostemail.com/2011/02/25/has-monroe-county-admitted-to-violating-the-law/

Your salary is paid by the taxpayers of Tennessee, and they deserve honesty and transparency in their government, even if they will not rise up and demand it for themselves.  The role of the media in a free society is to report on the activities of government so that the people will have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.

I am publishing this letter at The Post & Email, where you will find it in our “State” category on the front page.

Will you work with me to fight this corruption, or are you part of it?


Sharon Rondeau
The Post & Email, Inc.

Update, August 18, 2011, 1:11 EDT:  The Post & Email called Governor Haslam’s office as promised and asked to speak with Nathan Buttrey, the gentleman who spoke with Walter Fitzpatrick on August 17, 2011.  When we were asked who we were, we stated that we were a member of the press and our company name.  We were put on hold briefly, then told by the receptionist that we would be transferred to “Communications,” where we got someone’s voice mail.

We left a detailed message about the corruption in Monroe County and throughout the state, ending with “If you’re not doing something about the problem, you’re part of it.”  We also asked for a return telephone call or “at least an email” and provided the email address given in all of our communications.  We mentioned that we have called before, gotten voice mail, and never received a response.

Regarding corruption within the Tennessee judiciary, and specifically within Monroe County, a constituent’s letter to Gov. Bill Haslam was responded to on August 17, 2011:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me concerning the issues you are having related to the court system.  I appreciate you sharing this information.

 Unfortunately, the situation you face is a matter that must be addressed by the court system.  As Governor, I have no jurisdiction or control over the Judicial Branch of our state government.  If you have a complaint about a particular judge, you may wish to get in touch with the Administrative Office of the Courts, 511 Union Street, Suite 600, Nashville, Tennessee 37219.

I genuinely hope that you find an appropriate resolution of this situation.  Please accept my best wishes, and I look forward to working with you and all Tennesseans to make our great state an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Warmest regards,

Bill Haslam