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TO DELIVER LETTER ASKING THE JUDGE TO PROHIBIT FITZPATRICK FROM WEARING HIS UNIFORM TO COURT ON JUNE 28
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 30, 2012) — The Post & Email had published an article earlier today updated at 3:13 p.m. indicating that Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush, who also identified himself as Fitzpatrick’s accuser in a case emanating from the “Monroe County Criminal Court,” asked the owner of Fitzpatrick’s address of record if he could speak to Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was not there, and the homeowner told Rush to send a letter. After Rush asked the homeowner if he were assisting Fitzpatrick, the homeowner refused to answer. Rush then called back to obtain the address, which was provided to him.
Rush has identified himself as Fitzpatrick’s accuser in a case of “tampering with government records.”
At approximately 4:10 p.m. EDT, The Post & Email received a call from the homeowners, who stated that Rush, accompanied by two McMinn County Sheriff’s deputies, had driven out to their home unannounced instead of mailing the letter.
“We just had three cars pull into the driveway. I didn’t hear a thing; my grandson came in and said, ‘Grandma, there’s cops out here; they need to talk to you. And there’s somebody else, an attorney?’ So I went out the door with him. There were two deputies in separate cars. The third car was Paul Rush. Rush had one deputy in front of him and one behind him,” she said.
When we asked why they were at her property, the homeowner said, “They had to hand-deliver a motion which he said was filed on Friday that Walter could go to the records and look up. Do you want to hear what their motion is?”
“Yes, what did they say?” we asked.
“This is a ‘Motion to preclude the defendant from wearing military uniform during trial.'” (laughs) “Isn’t that hilarious that they had to drive out here with three cars…that uniform means that much? I think it’s hilarious!” she said.
The homeowner reported that the stationery reflected “R. Steve Bebb” as District Attorney General for the Tenth Judicial District, and “Paul D. Rush” as Assistant District Attorney General. However, Bebb has not been serving in that position for some weeks, having handed over his responsibilities to Assistant District Attorney General Jim Stutts.
While using the term “Tenth Judicial District” on its stationery, the “Tenth Judicial District” and all other new districts created by the 1984 laws were never fully implemented such that criminal cases would be reviewed by grand juries chosen from the districts and administered by clerks and judges belonging to the new districts. Instead, the county criminal courts continued to operate as they had previously.
The letter delivered by Rush reads:
Comes the State of Tennessee, by and through the offices of R. Steven Bebb, District Attorney General for the Tenth Judicial district, and respectfully requests this court to disallow the defendant from wearing his uniform during official proceedings in this matter. The state would show that 1) the state has been in contact with the U.S. Navy, who states that wearing the uniform in this manner would bring disgrace to the uniform and to the U.S. Navy, and 2) that wearing the uniform in this manner is a blatant attempt to gain favoritism with the court and jury. Such communication may tend to bias the jury or cause them to consider factors outside the scope of this trial. As proof, the state asks Your Honor to consider that on the status date for Mr. Fitzpatrick, the defendant stated that he wore the uniform as a salute to Your Honor and your service in the military and your four bronze stars. Criminal proceedings should not be about saluting the judge or communicating with the jury about facts other than those at hand.
Wherefore, based on the foregoing, the state respectfully requests this court to enter an order disallowing the defendant from wearing his uniform during official proceedings in this matter.
In one of the motions Fitzpatrick filed last Thursday with Rush’s office, he asked with whom Rush’s office had spoken at the Department of the Navy claiming that the wearing of his dress uniform to court would “bring disgrace” to the Navy, as Rush had stated the same on May 4, the date of Fitzpatrick’s last court hearing.
The next scheduled court date is scheduled for June 28, 2012. The first motion filed with Rush’s office last week disclosed that laws passed in 1984 and still part of the Tennessee Code Annotated preclude county courts from hearing criminal cases.
When we asked how long Rush and his entourage were there, the homeowner said it was long enough for Rush to exit his vehicle, approach her to ask if she would accept the letter, to which she answered in the affirmative, and then they left.
By the end of the interview, the homeowner was laughing again.