EXPOSED CRIMINALITY RAISES PROSECUTION’S IRE
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 3, 2012) — On June 28, 2012, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III attended a hearing regarding an accusation made against him of “tampering with government records” on December 7, 2011 by someone as yet unidentified in Monroe County, TN.
Fitzpatrick has told The Post & Email that the “confidential paperwork” to which the local news media has referred was on a table in the lower floor of the Monroe County courthouse with other documents available to the public on December 7, 2011. He stated that he picked up several papers and handouts from the table, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department reportedly has a video of Fitzpatrick’s having done so. Fitzpatrick stated that everything he took had been out in plain view for public consumption.
Fitzpatrick stated that during the grand jury selection process on December 7, one of the potential grand jurors told him that he had been selected to report for potential grand jury service the year before but not chosen to serve on the grand jury. He stated that Judge Amy Reedy had told him at that time to “come back next year.”
After the papers were allegedly discovered missing by courthouse staff on December 7, sheriff’s deputies went to Fitzpatrick’s home but found him not there, reportedly leaving a note about the missing documents. That evening, they returned with a SWAT team, FBI and TBI agents based on warrants bearing the name of the head clerk, Martha M. Cook. However, the signatures were admittedly not Cook’s.
Fitzpatrick has demanded to know the name of his accuser in keeping with his Sixth Amendment rights but has been refused. Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush substituted himself as the accuser at the previous hearing on May 4, 2012. During the June 28 court proceedings, a “deputy clerk” has been floated as the plausible signer of the documents, but neither the judge nor Cook nor Detective Conway Mason, who obtained the arrest and search warrants presumably in the presence of the person signing them, will confirm the person’s name or position.
The county has moved forward the case against Fitzpatrick despite the forged signatures on the arrest and search warrants. During the last hearing, Fitzpatrick was told that his computer, which was seized during the SWAT raid, is in the possession of the TBI, which is reportedly looking at “emails.” However, the search warrant referred to attempting to recover the missing documents of December 7, 2011 only, and Fitzpatrick has said that he did not turn on his computer on December 7. The documents in question have been returned.
Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that the documents show “evidence of a crime” in the selection of grand jury members in Monroe County, TN, which he had witnessed at the courthouse that day. After his arrest on December 7, he spent until February 9, 2012 in jail, during which time nearly all of his personal possessions and a large amount of money were stolen from his home. In February, after Fitzpatrick’s release from jail, the Sweetwater Police Department took a report from both Fitzpatrick and two witnesses but failed to prosecute the crime despite overwhelming evidence of the perpetrators. If Fitzpatrick has identified the criminals correctly, they have attended several of his court hearings.
On May 14, 2012, while reading through Tennessee statutes (Tennessee Code Annotated), Fitzpatrick found that the legislature had passed a law in 1984 ordering the trial courts to reorganize into districts, something which was never done. Instead, the county courts continued to empanel their own grand juries and trial juries; issue arrest and search warrants, as in Fitzpatrick’s case; produce convictions, and sentence hundreds, if not thousands, of Tennessee citizens to jails and penitentiaries in clear violation of the law for the last 28 years. There is evidence of endemic corruption dating back much farther.
The prosecutors’ offices in Tennessee identify themselves as working for a “district,” as in the “Tenth Judicial District” comprising the counties of Monroe, Polk, Bradley and McMinn, but the counties never amalgamated to form district grand juries from which a larger pool of jurors could be selected as directed by the legislature in 1984.
At least one member of the legislature who has been told about the redistricting law and the refusal of the Judicial branch to observe it has either ignored their constituents’ inquiries or discarded them. Before the discovery of the law which was blatantly flouted, state legislators were unresponsive to reports of an abusive, outlaw judiciary which Ftizpatrick found has deep roots in the state’s history and will be reported on more fully at a later date.
When Fitzpatrick pointed out the law to Judge Walter C. Kurtz last Thursday, Kurtz refused to take judicial notice of it but did not deny its existence. Similarly, the prosecution acknowledged its existence in its response to Fitzpatrick’s defense motions. The judge reported that shortly after the last hearing on May 4, he had set a trial date of September 10, but Fitzpatrick was never notified. The prosecution’s response to his motions was not made available to him until approximately 5:30 p.m. the evening before the June 28 hearing, although the District Attorney General’s office claimed that it mailed the documents prior to June 27.
The deadline for its response was June 15. The heading of the document reads, “In the Criminal Court for Monroe County, Tennessee.”
The prosecution’s response to “Defense Motion #4” refers to Fitzpatrick’s Motion to Dismiss filed with their office, the court and Judge Kurtz prior to the May 25 deadline. It reads:
A. At this stage in the proceedings, the State has entered no facts, testimony, or evidence into the record. As such, the filing of this motion, presumably to dismiss, is premature and, therefore, untimely. This motion should be made at the close of the State’s proof, if at all.
During the June 28 proceedings, Fitzpatrick argued that Faye Tennyson, the foreman of the “Monroe County Grand Jury” who signed the indictment against him for allegedly tampering with the paperwork, should have been disqualified because she was serving her second consecutive appointment as foreman and was compromised in her objectivity. On January 17, 2012, during a probable cause hearing, Judge J. Reed Dixon had stated that a special grand jury would be chosen by a judge to review the evidence against Fitzpatrick, but Tennyson served as foreman on that grand jury as well. Chief Clerk Martha Cook has stated in the past that jury selection is “totally automated.”
Previous to Tennyson, the “grand jury foreman” had served for 28 consecutive years.
The second paragraph of page 2 above reads:
H. Faye Tennyson is not a disqualified juror. It is well-established law that a foreman of a Grand Jury may be reselected by a judge for multiple terms. The Defendant’s use of superlative punctuation notwithstanding, it is simply not against any law extant in the State of Tennessee.
To which “well-established law” does Rush refer? Rule 6 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure state that the judge appoints the foreman, but a 2008 law which supersedes the Rules mandates that no “juror” shall serve consecutive terms. The Rules say that the foreman must meet all of the qualifications of a juror.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, who had presided over a previous case against Fitzpatrick, stated in open court that the grand jury foreman is “the same as any other juror.” Tennessee state law, TCA 22-2-314, declares that no juror can serve a consecutive term.
The 1984 law compelling district grand juries to be formed states that the district judge can choose the foreman, but at least two grand juries must be empaneled each year.
The prosecution acknowledged the existence of the 1984 law on page 3 of its response.
Rush referred to TCA 16-2-501, which clearly ordered a reorganization of “the existing trial court system…,” and he stated that “laws must be read in their entirety.” However, directly afterward, he wrote, “The following is an excerpt from TCA 16-2-501 from 1984.” [Emphasis the Post & Email’s]
He also neglected to mention TCA 16-16-101, which ordered county courts to handle solely civil matters. TCA 16-2-506 described the organization of new district courts which would empanel district grand juries.
The prosecution’s response to Fitzpatrick’s Motion #22, which was entitled, “DEFENSE MOTION #22: DISCOVERY MOTION TO ORDER THE PROSECUTION TO RELEASE TO THE DEFENANDT [SIC] THE NAMES OF THE PEOPLE MEETING ON 13 MARCH 2012 IN AN ASSEMBLY DESCRIBED AS A COUNTY GRAND JURY AND ANY OTHER PROOFS OR EVIDENCES THAT MEETING OCCURRED,” stated:
A special Grand Jury was convened in this matter to hear evidence related to the criminal theft by Defendant Fitzpatrick of some personal records pertaining to the identities and personal data of the regularly impaneled Grand Jury members. Additionally, the State can produce evidence that the Defendant, while in jail and after his arrest, through a third party, had contact with a Grand Jury member in which the Grand Jury member was petitioned to testify in the Defendant’s behalf.
This third party, one Sharon Rondeau, is the same party who “publishes” the defendant’s continuous rantings and diatribes on her website, which is exceedingly generously self-described therein as an “electronic newspaper” and a “new media initiative of American patriots.” She is also the party to whom the Defendant sent the purloined court documents in Connecticut and from whom they were recovered by the FBI. She is responsible for the reprehensible public display of these records on her website, thereby betraying any lie of claims to be an actual “journalist” with any ethics or integrity. She admitted in her statement to the FBI that these records did come from the Defendant himself.
Given that the Defendant and his minions have no qualms about attempting to interfere with Grand Jury proceedings (see Defendant’s jury trial conviction for interrupting a Grand Jury proceeding [while attempting to intimidate the grand jury foreman]), given that the Defendant has demonstrated a predilection for stealing private information of Grand Jurors and for posting these forms on the internet, and given that the Defendant through Sharon Rondeau has already engaged in contact with a sitting Grand Juror in Monroe County, it is more than reasonable to assume that the Defendant desires the information for purposes of harassment and intimidation as opposed to lawful purposes.
The Post & Email received documents in the mail from Walter Fitzpatrick approximately one week after the December 7, 2011 “Monroe County grand jury” selection. We had learned of Fitzpatrick’s rearrest from a deputy at the jail. We therefore called our local FBI office, which instructed us to contact the Knoxville FBI. We did so twice via email, copying in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). We received no response either time.
Approximately two months later, a Connecticut state trooper and FBI agent appeared unannounced and showed their credentials. The trooper asked if we operated The Post & Email, to which we responded in the affirmative. He asked about “some grand jury documents” which we turned over to him in the original packaging. We also forwarded the emails sent to law enforcement notifying them about the information received in the mail. We had no reason to withhold the fact that the mailings had apparently come from Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III.
We published examples of the documents we received as we have in the past regarding the corruption Fitzpatrick has uncovered in Tennessee for the last several years. We contest Rush’s assertion that the publication of the documents was “reprehensible,” as all personal information was thoroughly redacted. The slips of paper which Rush has described revealed that a significant amount of personal information is collected by the Monroe County court to select grand jurors, and therefore, when there was a question of a juror serving two consecutive terms in violation of state law, court personnel could have easily verified whether or not the person had been selected in error the second year. Instead, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood chose not to verify whether or not “Angela Davis” served two consecutive terms and to accept the indictment from the grand jury.
Neither Mr. Rush nor anyone else from Monroe County, TN ever contacted The Post & Email to advise that we had the “purloined” documents or request that we return them. Chief Court Clerk Martha M. Cook had our email address and phone number. There had been no note inside the packaging to explain the documents’ origin; therefore, having contacted law enforcement and heard nothing, we concluded that we did not have the materials the court stated were missing.
The FBI agent who accompanied the state policeman said nothing during the entire exchange except toward the end, when he asked if we had ever heard of the “Sovereign Citizen” movement. We said perhaps, but we were not familiar with it. The agent then advised us to call his office if we received anything from anyone which made us feel “uncomfortable.” We agreed to do so if the need arose.
Both law enforcement officers gave us their business cards and we shook hands. As they left, the trooper asked, “Where’s a good place to have lunch around here?” and we obliged with our best recommendation, for which he thanked us. We have heard from neither entity since then.
The Post & Email has never spoken with any person whose name or personal information appeared on the slips of paper mailed to us by Fitzpatrick.
The Assistant District Attorney General then tried to make the case for Fitzpatrick’s undergoing of a mental evaluation, citing the court’s presumed “findings as to the Defendant’s behavior and/or mental status.”
Although Rush stated in court that his response to Fitzpatrick’s motions was mailed prior to June 27, 2012, the document bears that date.
The Post & Email observes the First Amendment, which calls the press to report on the activities of government. We know that media outlets in Tennessee have been threatened if they were to tell the truth about the corruption in the courts. Several have been contacted about the discovery of the 1984 redistricting law, but the promised investigations and reports never appear. When The Post & Email attempted to educate Tennessee citizens about the unobserved statutes during a live chat session several weeks ago, we were blocked from leaving further comments.
Fitzpatrick stated that during the hearing on the 28th, the judge “stood by” the formation of country criminal courts. “The sentiment that I got from it was ‘This is the way we’ve always done things,'” Fitzpatrick said. “The way he put it was ‘I’ve been on the bench for 30 years…'” “I had the law books right there; I had the pages,” Fitzpatrick said. “I would read the law to him…Paul Rush maintained that he mailed the filing that was delivered on June 27 at 5:30 and I didn’t get it because they were having trouble with the address.”
There was a scheduling document dated the 7th of May that I saw for the first time on the 28th. He asked me why it didn’t get to me, and I said, “I don’t know. You have the right address, but I’ve never seen this before.” So now there’s a tag-team between the judge and the prosecutor. Of course, Rush never mailed anything. Then I asked, “Do you have proof of mailing?” and the judge scoffed at me. I knew moments after the hearing got under way how it was going to go.
The judge scheduled a trial date before he received any motions. I appeared in uniform on the 4th of May, and on the 7th of May, the judge supposedly sent a letter with the trial date which I never received.
When the accuser is the prosecutor, they can pull the kinds of stunts that we saw on the 28th. I said that the prosecutor cannot be the accuser, but the judge said, “No, he gets to stay.”
He is required by Tennessee Rules of Evidence, Rule 202, to take judicial notice of the state and U.S. Constitutions as well as state statutes, and I told him that. He did not take notice. I told him it’s the law and it’s not being followed, and he said, “I’ve already ruled on that.”
He wouldn’t allow for the forgery, for the accuser problem; he ignored the fact that Faye Tennyson was in the jury last year. I pointed to the state statute and said, “You have to take judicial notice of these laws,” but he wouldn’t. It’s the whole state. They’re all protecting one another. If this judge were to give this up today, then every judge in the state would be after him. We were wondering if he was going to be courageous enough to be that judge; apparently not. It’s “go along to get along.”
How do you fight this? It’s part of the culture. The message is that I just don’t know how things work around here. It’s just mind-boggling.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.