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by Sharon Rondeau

Two of Monroe County, TN Sheriff Bill Bivens's deputies pushed a citizen down the courthouse steps at the behest of the grand jury forewoman. Is this justice? Is it assault?

(Sep. 8, 2011) — On September 7, 2011, a resident of Monroe County, TN went to the courthouse in Madisonville to present evidence of a crime to the grand jury which was convening for the first time after its August recess.

There have been reports of corruption within grand juries in both Georgia and Tennessee.  Several states no longer convene grand juries, which were guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment contained within the Bill of Rights.

The Fifth Amendment states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III had been threatened with arrest if he did not vacate the courtroom in which he had been lawfully seated on August 24, 2011, to witness the trial of George Raudenbush.  Fitzpatrick had complied with the request made by the deputy stationed outside the courtroom to refrain from bringing a recording device in to the proceedings before entering the courtroom.  Judge Carroll L. Ross had then ordered Deputy Bennie Byrum to remove Fitzpatrick, claiming that he had a “recorder” on his person when in fact he had a ballpoint pen in his hand.

George Raudenbush had told The Post & Email that he had been arrested two days previous to his trial on the grounds that he had tried to “record court proceedings” and had had a Mont Blanc pen confiscated, with the deputies who arrested him claiming that the pen was a “recording device.”

Fitzpatrick gathered his evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of Judge Carroll Ross and went to the courthouse to present it to the grand jury, which is the grand jury’s function.  He stated that he was the first person to arrive to see the grand jury.

However, that was not what transpired.  After entering the clerk’s office, Walter Fitzpatrick was given a form to sign which required him to “sign away his rights” before testifying in front of the grand jury.  He refused to sign it.  Fitzpatrick also witnessed the prosecutor, Jim Stutts, coaching a witness as to what to say in front of the grand jury on a separate matter. DS400348_A    DS400348_B

Fitzpatrick waited for more than four hours, and no one apprised him as to whether or not he could present his evidence in front of the grand jury.  Fitzpatrick then spoke with Renee Ezzell in the clerk’s office and was told that the grand jury was “still here.”  DS400349

When Fitzpatrick entered the clerk’s office, Sheriff’s Deputies Pat Wilson and Michael Morgan were there, having been “dispatched” before Fitzpatrick arrived.  Ms. Ezell then told Fitzpatrick that if he didn’t sign “the paperwork,” he could not speak to the grand jury.  Fitzpatrick was requesting a copy of the appointing order for Ms. Faye C. Tennyson as grand jury foreman, and Tennyson was present in the clerk’s office at that time.  Fitzpatrick described Morgan and Wilson as having “set up an ambush,” as they threatened him with removal if he didn’t sign the waiver of rights to which Ms. Ezell had referred.  The two deputies then physically “laid hands” on him and “threw him down the stairs” of the courthouse.  DS400350

Morgan had claimed that Fitzpatrick had assaulted him during his arrest of Fitzpatrick on October 27, 2010, and he also failed to complete a police report before a defendant was put on trial and sentenced to life in prison without due process.  Are Morgan and Wilson now guilty of assault?

Once outside, Fitzpatrick approached a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer, stating that he had been assaulted in the courthouse.  The patrolman first said, “We don’t handle domestics and stuff like that,” but later said that he would “pass along” the report of the assault.  Fitzpatrick told Trooper Best, “They’re stormtroopers.  There’s a mafia going on here.”

Fitzpatrick had attempted to request a copy of the appointing order of Faye C. Tennyson, the person currently acting as grand jury foreman, as he had found no such appointing order of Ms. Tennyson had been made for the new term which began in January 2011.

“Pat Wilson tried to break my recorder.  He tried to slam it down twice.  He tried to turn if off twice and was not successful,” Fitzpatrick said.  “This is how the government controls access to the grand jury.  There is a four-page document they present to you.  The cover sheet is a petition to appear before the grand jury.  Page 2 is a Miranda warning.  Pages 3 and 4 are a sworn statement.  So to get in, you have to sign a waiver of rights.  You’re being Mirandized before you go in.  The gateguards they have set up are unconstitutional.”

Fitzpatrick went in person to report the incident and that of August 24 to the FBI later on September 7.  He reported that he mentioned that The Post & Email has been investigating the corruption in Monroe County for some time, and the duty agent’s response was, “Oh, yes, we know about The Post & Email.”

Regarding the evidence he had brought to be reviewed by the grand jury, Fitzpatrick said, “Jim Stutts, Ms. Tennyson, the clerks and the grand jury knew why I was there today because they read The Post & Email.  They had read your article with the Stalin picture there about what Judge Carroll Ross did.  The mayor’s office is all over your stuff every day.”

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies have scoffed that they “are not afraid of the FBI.”  What reason do they have for saying that?

The Monroe County grand jury, and grand juries from other Tennessee counties, have been using the same foreperson for decades, and jurors are not selected randomly as is specified in the law.  Judges have routinely violated the civil rights of defendants by, among other things, ordering the arrest of citizens without cause and denying them defense counsel.  Trial juries are rigged, with the outcome that many innocent people may have been given jail sentences without justification.

In the case of United States v. Chanen, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:

“[R]ooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history,” Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 490 (1960) (Frankfurter, J., concurring in result), the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It “`is a constitutional fixture in its own right.'” United States v. Chanen, 549 F.2d 1306, 1312 (CA9 1977) (quoting Nixon v. Sirica, 159 U.S. App. D.C. 58, 70, n. 54, 487 F.2d 700, 712, n. 54 (1973)), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 825 (1977). In fact, the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people. See Stirone v. United States, 361 U.S. 212, 218 (1960); Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 61 (1906); G. Edwards, The Grand Jury 28-32 (1906). Although the grand jury normally operates, of course, in the courthouse and under judicial auspices, its institutional relationship with the Judicial Branch has traditionally been, so to speak, at arm’s length. Judges’ direct involvement in the functioning of the grand jury has generally been confined to the constitutive one of calling the grand jurors together and administering their oaths of office. See United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974); Fed.Rule Crim.Proc. 6(a). [504 U.S. 36, 48]  

Editor’s Note:  Quote is found under heading “A.”

How does the Monroe County Grand Jury operate?  Is it at “arm’s length” from or under the direct control of the judiciary?  Is it convened to protect people’s constitutional rights or confiscate them in order to intimidate the citizens and send more of them to the state penitentiary to satisfy a judge’s goal of sentencing defendants to one million years during her career?  Are the grand jury and judges punishing and intimidating people with their stolen power?  Where does it say that a judge can “pick the foreperson from wherever they choose?”  And what if the foreman is a criminal, working in concert with the judges, sheriff, and his deputies, who exert brutality on the citizens they are supposed to be protecting, while those charged with law enforcement continue to ignore it?

How can there be an arraignment without an accuser?

Is Madisonville Mayor Tim Yates taking any action on these crimes?  Is the FBI?  Is the governor?  Is. U.S. Rep. John Duncan?

Are the citizens?

Of the numerous violations carried out by the Monroe County judiciary, Fitzpatrick summarized:

One of the first duties of the 2011 Monroe County Tennessee Grand Jury was to stop, turn around, and carry out an exercise in self-reflection.

The Monroe County Grand Jury for 2011, as a matter of duty, was required to investigate Mr. Gary Pettway’s public corruption offense they knew (and certainly had reason to believe had been committed) which is triable and indictable in the Monroe County Criminal Circuit Court.

The Monroe County Grand Jury for 2011 is burdened as well with an investigation into each and every government officials’ conduct and involvement that consummated the act of outlawry that seated Mr. Pettway into the Grand Jury in the course two-decades.

The Monroe County Grand Jury for 2011 is not operating lawfully. This takes us now into a twenty-first year.

Miss Tennyson is not lawfully operating in the illegally operating Grand Jury.

Miss Tennyson is placed in the outlaw outfit so as to ensure no one looks back at the Gary Pettway dynasty.

There is no legal writing identifying or “appointing order” for Faye C. Tennyson as a “juror” or “foreman.”

The Post & Email asked, “Why hasn’t anything been done?” and Fitzpatrick answered, “Because the consequences of acting against these thugs is extraordinary.  The state of Tennessee, just because of what’s happening in Monroe County, would have a tremendous consequence with lawsuits left and right.  Once one person gets arrested, it’s just going to be nothing but bad.”

A new sign barring audio and video recording devices is now attached to the original "rules" sign outside of the Monroe County courhouse. What about the reporter who was allowed to use a recording device on August 24? Will he be allowed to record events because he publishes the government line?

Update, September 9, 2011:  Outside of the Monroe County courthouse is a new sign below the original A-frame sign which reads:


The Post & Email reported on the signage outside of the courthouse on August 25, 2011, and the stipulation about recording devices was not there at that time.

Are Monroe County court employees fearful that if their activities are recorded, it might incriminate them in wrongdoing? be shown to be breaking the law? violating citizens’ civil rights? assaulting citizens lawfully conducting business in the courthouse? show that they are nothing but jackbooted thugs?

Is that also why Judge Carroll Ross turned off the microphone during the Raudenbush trial of August 24?  What did he not want to be part of the official court record?

Past transcripts have been identified as “doctored” by several parties, so Ross conceivably did not need to turn off the microphone.  His court reporter edits out and changes the incriminating material as a matter of course, as she is also his personal secretary.  Is that “in the public interest,” or simply a convenient arrangement?

Citizens of Monroe County, are you happy with this state of affairs?