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“THE INDICTMENT CURES ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE WARRANT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 7, 2012) — “Once the indictment comes down, that’s just the end of it,” said Judge Walter C. Kurtz, who is presiding over a case brought against Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III by an illegal county criminal court, the most recent hearing for which was held on June 28, 2012.
Fitzpatrick was arrested on December 7, 2011, after having left the Monroe County, TN courthouse with papers which had been left out on a table with other handouts available to the public. That afternoon, sheriff’s deputies went to his home to inform him that some of the documents were not intended for the public and to request their return. Apparently because Fitzpatrick was not home at the time but an FBI agent reportedly said he was, a SWAT team returned that evening and confiscated his computer, two printer/scanners, and numerous hard-copy documents and folders of information.
Fitzpatrick was told during his probable cause hearing last January that the charging documents were not signed by Martha M. Cook, whose signature appears on them. At that time, since Cook said she was not Fitzpatrick’s accuser, Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush said he was the accuser in the case. Kurtz cited several cases which had apparently been decided such that a clerk is allowed to assign deputy clerks the authority to sign the clerk’s name to court documents, even though he “agreed” that “it wasn’t a good idea.”
Following the June 28 hearing, Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that the judge failed to take judicial notice of existing Tennessee law and Rules of Evidence.
Fitzpatrick quoted Tennessee Code Annotated in describing the term “forgery” to the judge in regard to the unknown signer of the charging documents and questioned the judge’s assertion that a deputy clerk signed the warrants on December 7, 2011.
“How do we know it was a deputy clerk? How do you know that?” Fitzpatrick asked.
“That’s irrelevant. The judge has ruled on this. I’ve even said I think it’s a bad idea to have a deputy clerk sign the clerk’s name. This motion has been resolved adversely, and it’s time to go on to another one,” said Kurtz. DM420333_A_2_B_1_A
After Fitzpatrick expounded on the 1984 laws which ordered the criminal county courts to disband and organize into districts comprising one or more counties, the judge told Fitzpatrick to “stop recycling” information brought up previously during the hearing. DM420333_A_2_B_2_A
Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email that for most of the hearing, he was facing the judge, who was at the front of the courtroom, but when he had an occasion to look back at the 20 or so observers present that day, many were shaking their heads after the judge declared his edicts.
Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush then made his case for why Fitzpatrick should not be allowed to wear his uniform to the trial scheduled for September 10. He stated that the apparel of the defendant is “something that the jury is aware of” and that people should not attempt to “wrap themselves in the flag” in court. “How a defendant appears in court is extremely important to a jury…I just don’t think that it’s appropriate…For example, I have an assistant in my office who was also in the Navy and is retired and I could have him come in his dress whites, and I have a couple of officers who served warrants on the defendant at his home that are retired, and they could come in their dress blues…and we could fill the whole court with red, white and blue and khaki, and we can all kind-of look like something that we’re not,” Rush said. “It’s a blatant attempt to wrap yourself in the flag for purposes of gaining favor with the jury,” Rush said. DM420333_A_2_B_2_B_B_1
Rush stated that the U.S. Navy had sent a letter stating that one’s wearing of the uniform presumably in a court setting would bring dishonor to the military but did not appear to submit the letter to the judge for the record.
Kurtz then read from U.S. Code (10 USC 772) relating to a retired military member’s wearing of the uniform. “The Congress of the United States says that a retired officer can wear the uniform, so do I trump that?” he asked.
“Of course you do,” Rush said, citing that “the Constitution of the United States” allows the wearing of an obscene T-shirt in public but not in court. “Every court imposes restrictions,” he said.
Kurtz then asked Rush to “educate” him about the items seized as a result of the search warrant issued on December 7, 2011, which resulted in the confiscation of Fitzpatrick’s computer, two printers, and numerous paper documents. Rush said that the state had “conceded” that some of the equipment now in the possession of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) would not be helpful to them but mentioned a search for emails. The judge stated that anything not material to the prosecution’s attempt to gather evidence against Fitzpatrick should be returned to him. Rush promised to return the scanners. DM420333_B_B_B_B_A
Rush then expressed his displeasure at “extensive communication back and forth” between Fitzpatrick and The Post & Email. He did not cite the website’s name, but rather, this writer specifically. DM420333_B_B_A Rush said Fitzpatrick “stole” the documents and sent them to a website belonging to “Ms. Rondeau,” who “posts his [Fitzpatrick’s] unique theories” about government corruption at “her website.”
For the record, Fitzpatrick never sent us an email regarding the documents in question. Therefore, unless the TBI has created something which did not exist, it will find nothing on Fitzpatrick’s computer relating to the missing court documents communicated to this writer at any time. The Post & Email did not receive any type of request from “officials” in Monroe County to return the documents even after we contacted both the TBI and Knoxville FBI in the event that they were the documents reported missing by the local media.
During the June 28 hearing, Rush contended that Fitzpatrick was “criminally insane” or in some way mentally unstable and requested that an attorney be appointed to him. Making false public statements about an individual’s mental status could be considered “defamation,” which could be grounds for a federal lawsuit.
The Post & Email has never been told that it has produced an inaccurate report about Monroe County, TN by any government official, and Rush acknowledged that we report on “government corruption.” While speaking of The Post & Email and Fitzpatrick in derisive terms, Rush does not state that anything we have published is false, misleading or slanderous in any way. We cannot say the same of him, as in his response motion to Fitzpatrick’s defense motions, he said:
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.
In contradiction to Rush’s assertion, the documents taken from the Monroe County courthouse, which is holding county criminal grand juries and trials in violation of current Tennessee state law, were not “seized” by the FBI at the office of The Post & Email. On February 7, 2012, a state trooper and FBI agent came and courteously asked to retrieve them if they were still in our possession, in addition to which we provided proof of having contacted the FBI and TBI about them on two separate occasions. Contrary to Rush’s statement that “Sharon Rondeau” made an “admission” “to the FBI,” our statement was requested and taken by the state trooper while the FBI agent stood by, looking on silently with his arms crossed.
We told the trooper and FBI agent that our findings showed a tremendous amount of corruption in Tennessee and specifically mentioned overbearing, intimidating sheriffs, to which the trooper smiled and responded, “I imagine they do things a little differently down there.” He then asked, “Do you do investigations of anything around here?”
It was an entirely pleasant, unintimidating exchange during which we discussed the importance of voting, rooting out corruption in government and our belief that “the Founders gave us the best form of government in the world.” We mentioned to the two law enforcement officers that, like Fitzpatrick, we have received death threats because of the work we are performing and that local authorities had been informed.
Both officers provided their business cards, shook hands with us, and the trooper thanked us for “reaching out” to law enforcement regarding the matter. He stated that he “doubted” that he would be in touch with us again, and we have not heard from either officer since that time.
How would Paul Rush have known what happened that day? His assertion in court that the documents were “seized” is completely false. Moreover, why did no one from Monroe County simply ask for the return of the documents after seeing them in redacted form at The Post & Email?
At Fitzpatrick’s probable cause hearing on January 17, 2012, chief clerk Martha M. Cook described “a list of jurors” that had gone missing, which was not what we received. Compounded by the non-response of Tennessee officials after two attempts to reach them and the lack of action on the part of Monroe County, we could come to no other conclusion than that the documents in our possession were not those which they were seeking.
Local media also described the missing document(s) as “a listing of the grand jury members,” which was not what we received.
When speaking with a Tennessee journalist several months ago about grand jury corruption, we were told that reporters choose not to cover grand jury activities because of the “secrecy” which surrounds them. It is clear that the judges maintain the “secrecy” so that they can continue their unlawful activities, incarcerating hundreds or even thousands of their own citizens each year to collect money from the state to further the racketeering enterprise they have established.
More than two years ago, Special Agent Whitehouse of the Knoxville FBI office told Fitzpatrick, “We wouldn’t know where to start” in regard to the corruption in eastern Tennessee.
A trial date for Fitzpatrick’s case has been set for September 10, 2012.