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by Sharon Rondeau

Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III shortly before his release from the Monroe County jail on December 3, 2011. His health is reportedly deteriorating, and it is unknown if he is able to obtain proper medical care while an inmate in the jail

(Dec. 14, 2011) — A visitor to Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III today reported that Fitzpatrick “looks good” after having having experienced either a seizure or lapsing into a diabetic coma after his arrest on December 7, 2011.  Fitzpatrick is reportedly receiving some type of medical attention from the jail nurses, whom he reportedly described as “real good.”  The visitor understood that Fitzpatrick is now taking some kind of medication.

“He was alright,” the visitor said of his 30-minute visit with Fitzpatrick today.

The Post & Email was informed by the visitor that a SWAT team “trashed his house in the middle of the night” when they rearrested Fitzpatrick for allegedly taking court papers having to do with the selection of the new grand juries for 2012.  Fitzpatrick had attended the grand jury selection, which was reportedly open to the public, on December 7.  It has been reported that no such documents were retrieved from Fitzpatrick’s home.

He reported that Fitzpatrick must serve “another 60 days or so” because of a miscalculation about the jail time he was expected to serve following his arrest on September 23, 2011.  Fitzpatrick had been released on December 3, 2011 after spending approximately 70 days in the jail.

The visitor stated that Fitzpatrick told him that Judge Amy Reedy “picked” the grand jury on December 7 rather than selection having occurred from a random draw of names. He was also informed by Fitzpatrick that Fitzpatrick picked up jury instruction sheets which were available to the public in the courtroom and to which he had been directed by another person in attendance at the time.  There is reportedly a video of Fitzpatrick picking up some documents as well as full audio and video of the “picking” of the grand jury by Judge Reedy.

The Post & Email has been told that another observer of the grand jury selection is willing to testify to the same events as Fitzpatrick, and we are aware of that person’s identity.  According to TCA 22-2-314, grand juries must be chosen by totally automated means to avoid human tampering with potential defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to a trial by an impartial panel.  The Monroe County Chief Court Clerk has stated that a judge can “pick the (grand jury) foreperson from wherever they choose” without having to ensure the person’s eligibility to serve.

On August 24, 2011, Fitzpatrick was ejected from the courtroom of Judge Carroll L. Ross for having a recording device, although Fitzpatrick had placed his recorder in his vehicle before re-entering the courthouse that day.

Others close to the events surrounding Fitzpatrick’s exposure of corruption in Monroe County and his several arrests and incarcerations have expressed concern and fear for his safety.

Members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department have been known to be abusive toward the injured or individuals taken into their custody.

The Post & Email has contacted several counties from Tennessee about their grand jury selection process, and three have stated that the names are selected by computer.   Officials from Knox County, Stewart County and Franklin County have told us that anyone who was found to have served within the last two years, as mandated by TCA 22-2-314 are excused from service, but Monroe County has seated jurors who have served more recently than two years.

An individual who visited Fitzpatrick last Sunday stated that Fitzpatrick is suffering from diabetes and cannot get the treatment and exercise he needs to return to his blood sugar levels to normal.  The Post & Email contacted the sheriff’s department this evening at approximately 8:45 p.m. and was told that the nurse checks the blood sugar of diabetic inmates.  When we inquired about Fitzpatrick’s health and well-being, the man who answered the phone responded that he was not a deputy but was only “watching the phone” for a few minutes while the deputies were “in the back.”  He said he could see all the inmates on camera and that Fitzpatrick was “fine” but advised us to call back between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to speak with a deputy.

The Post & Email has also been informed that Knoxville FBI Agent Roxane West has “made it clear” that the agency has no intention of investigating judicial corruption in Monroe and other Tennessee counties.  In a conversation today with a concerned citizen, West reportedly stated that it is a state matter and not the FBI’s purview.  “She made that quite clear today that they would be doing nothing,” the citizen said.  The FBI has told The Post & Email to contact the TBI in regard to judicial corruption.  We have done so on numerous occasions but received no response.  Others have contacted the TBI with no result, including Fitzpatrick himself.

On the morning of October 27, 2010, Fitzpatrick had been informed by a Knoxville FBI agent that he could “expect a visit” from one of their investigators, but it never occurred.  He was arrested shortly after the telephone call ended for allegedly missing a hearing, although the nature of the hearing did not indicate a clear need for his presence.

Fitzpatrick has maintained that the indictments issued by the Monroe County grand jury against him have all been invalid because the jury was illegally convened.  He also obtained written evidence from the court clerk that the grand jury foreman of at least 27 years had never been properly appointed or sworn in.

This writer is intimately familiar with both seizures and diabetes.  It is this writer’s informed opinion that it is imperative for Fitzpatrick to receive blood sugar monitoring at least three times daily.  To ascertain the extent of the diabetes, he should have blood work done immediately to include a HA1C and other studies such as a complete blood count, lipid panel and a test for ketones.  Blood pressure monitoring and regular eye exams are imperative.  Many diabetics ignore the symptoms or are unable to get care in time to prevent serious damage to organs, and the risk of heart attack and stroke are much higher in people with the disease. Physical inactivity such as that which Fitzpatrick might be experiencing in the jail is an aggravating factor of diabetes.  Diabetics can experience seizures from hypoglycemia, when blood sugar falls too low.

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  1. You can see if the State of Tennessee has a Legal Rights Advocate and contact them. They will prosecute on his behalf if they think he has a case.

  2. They’ll do their best to kill him. He’s an honest man in a den of vipers, and the vipers don’t want to back down. My heart goes out to the honorable man. I wish him good health and much happiness.

  3. You will find that when it comes to inmates in ANY system, or corruption in ANY system, you have no recourse and no one cares.

    I am going through this with my son. They will deny care and when you try to help the inmate, they will say HIPA laws prevent them from releasing medical information.

    They legally kill them and you will have no way to prove or prevent it, if that’s what they want.

    I’m sorry to be so harsh, but this isn’t just a Tennessee problem. Its national.

  4. Mr Fitzpatrick needs to file a Federal Suit against those people. Constitutional rights only protect those who are willing to fight for them, and that would launch this into federal courts.

  5. Obviously the concerns for Mr. Fitzpatrick’s safety are well founded. There can be no
    doubt he has been intentionally targeted out of pure spite and retribution for his efforts
    to expose the malignant rot in his county and state, and his deteriorating health and
    possible death would be most pleasing to his antagonists.

  6. The two primary precursors for alternative therapy treatment of adult onset diabetes, as Sharon says above, are diet and exercise. The diet is to be low or no simple carbohydrates, i.e. low glycemic (starch and sugar) and daily mild aerobic exercise.

    Fitzpatrick has described the diet in the jail as cheap food based primarily in starches.

    He has been observed to stagger when leaving the visitors cell, i.e his large muscle mass has deteriorated to the point that he can no longer stand steady.

    It would not be unusual at all for adult onset diabetes to occur or reoccur under these conditions. However if it is not controlled by proper diet, exercise, and monitored medication the consequences can be serious. None of these controls can or will be done in the jail.