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by Sharon Rondeau

(Aug. 12, 2012) — The first part of a six-part series on corruption within Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District has been published today in the print version of The Chattanooga Times Free Press but was not available online earlier today.

During the course of a discussion with Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III about the article in Fitzpatrick’s possession from which he read key parts, the story appeared online at MSNBC, credited to Judy Walton at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, although the left margin appears to obliterate some of the text.

The article is entitled “Records show history of impropriety in 10th Judicial District” and states that a seven-month investigation by Editor Judy Walton revealed allegations of Tenth Judicial District officials engaging in misconduct including misuse of taxpayer money, “condoning misconduct,” lying under oath, and breaking other state laws.

The Post & Email has been reporting on Tenth Judicial District corruption for nearly three years, with Walter Fitzpatrick literally risking his life to expose and stand up to the corruption which he later found is endemic throughout the state of Tennessee.

Walton names District Attorney General R. Steven Bebb as being the focus of malfeasance, while Fitzpatrick named Bebb as “a criminal” more than two years ago.  She also raises the case against John Edward Dawson, about which contributor to The Post & Email Todd Sweet has written extensively because he was part of the criminal activity perpetrated by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department against Dawson.

Both Fitzpatrick and The Post & Email have contacted Walton and two reporters at the Times Free Press over the same time frame and received no response.  Walton also mentions allegations raised by the defense attorney for Jessica Kennedy Powers for the murder of Jim Miller of prosecutors withholding “crucial evidence” which could impede Powers’ right to a fair trial.

“I’ve been talking to Judy Walton and Shawn Ryan for about two years now,” Fitzpatrick said.  Regarding the Miller case, Fitzpatrick had also told The Post & Email more than a year ago that Jessica Kennedy Powers was not the murderer of Jim Miller and had named the men he was sure were responsible.  Having reported the information to the Knoxville FBI, no action appeared to have been taken.

Fitzpatrick read from the print copy of the article information which does not appear to be available in the online version:

Among other allegations, [defense attorney] Eldridge has claimed in motions that Kennedy was held in isolation and interrogated without federally-required Miranda warnings, that her confession was coerced, and that prosecutors for months withheld video and audio statements and other evidence and even the location of the crime scene.  He had noticed that several other people alleged to have knowledge of who may have participated in the crime have not been charged.  He has also filed unsuccessful motions asking that the indictment be dismissed and that the Tenth District be removed from this case.

Fitzpatrick then said that two of the three men he had identified last year as being involved in the murder are mentioned in the article:  Boonie Stokes and Brandon Steele, along with the name “Shawn Corn,” whom Fitzpatrick had not mentioned.

An editorial about the six-part series written by the Times Free Press’s managing editor, Alison Gerber, states, in part:

…we do this work because nobody else will do it. Many of the financial and professional allegations raised in the series have been around for years but apparently were never questioned.

This is the type of work that sets newspapers apart. Sadly, too many newspapers simply don’t have the resources to do this kind of work anymore.

But we believe it’s a newspaper’s role to pull back the curtain and scrutinize what public officials do with public money, and to report it if they don’t act in the interest of the public. It’s our job to keep an eye on those entrusted to watch over us and protect our interests, including government and law enforcement.

It’s our job to be a watchdog.

We take this type of reporting seriously and intend to do more of it in the future.

But where has The Chattanooga Times Free Press been for the last three years, or for the last several decades as laws were broken, innocent people jailed and mistreated, and the prosecutors worked in tandem with other public officials to bilk the citizens of their hard-earned income by way of attorneys’ fees, court costs, transcript fees, and other penalties?

What about the crooked defense attorneys who go along to get along?

The mainstream media in Tennessee has refused to report Fitzpatrick’s first-hand accounts of local, state and federal corruption, beginning with the obstruction by the Monroe County grand jury foreman in late 2009 to hearing his complaint of treason against Barack Hussein Obama II.

Nearly three years later, others have also accused Obama of treason, including a New Hampshire state representative, and a congressman has raised the possibility of introducing a bill to undo everything Obama has signed.

The long-form birth certificate Obama released to the public on April 27, 2011 has been declared “definitely fraudulent” by a criminal investigative team, although the Tennessee and federal governments have labeled those doubting its authenticity “Sovereign Citizens” in a pejorative sense, a story broken and reported exclusively by The Post & Email on April 30, 2012 and rejected by mainstream media outlets, including WorldNetDaily.

After reading Times Free Press Managing Editor Alison Gerber’s laudatory comments about Walton’s new investigative series, The Post & Email sent the following email:

Dear Ms. Gerber:

I take issue with your statement that “nobody else” will report on corruption within the Tenth Judicial District of Tennessee.  My online newspaper, The Post & Email, has been reporting on that topic as well as corruption throughout the state for the last three years.

As a reporter, I have been doing this single-handedly, with no budget, salary or resources, working 12-hour days.  Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III has been the object of derision and false imprisonment for having first exposed such corruption and standing up against it, including rigged grand juries and foremen over-serving their legal terms of office.

Since 2009, Fitzpatrick has been in contact with the TBI, the FBI, and all local officials about corruption within the Tenth Judicial District and has been ridiculed, marginalized, beaten, tasered, libeled and slandered in numerous local publications which your new series now proves.  There was no plan for a “courthouse takeover” in April 2010, and Darren Huff is now sitting in a federal prison as an innocent man because of the demonization of his intent and statements in the mainstream media.

Contrary to local news reports, Fitzpatrick’s accounts of corruption have not been “outlandish,” and The Post & Email has submitted its own ethics complaint against Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush.  Over the last two years, Fitzpatrick has spent more than seven months in the Monroe County jail, which is unfit for human habitation and has been condemned by the Tennessee Corrections Institute.

Both Fitzpatrick and The Post & Email have contacted Judy Walton directly before her seven-month project commenced.  We have been contacting reporters Pam Sohn and Shawn Ryan since 2010 and never received a response.  While I commend you for finally exposing the endemic corruption in the Tenth Judicial District, it goes much deeper, and I maintain that Walter Fitzpatrick has been reporting this information for the last three years, and as a newspaper, The Post & Email has been reporting these revelations after performing the same type of due diligence for which you now take credit.

Sohn has never corrected some of the erroneous statements she has made about the Fitzpatrick and Darren Huff cases.  On April 30, 2012, The Post & Email broke the story of the “Sovereign Citizen” movement, which sought to demonize Fitzpatrick and Huff for attempting to expose the very corruption for which you now describe yourself as the sole proprietor.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email

When we spoke with Fitzpatrick earlier about the article, his response was, “This vindicates everything we’ve been saying, and the treason complaint is still on the table.”

Fitzpatrick said that in the print version, photos of Bebb, Assistant District Attorney General Jim Stutts, and Jessica Kennedy Powers are shown.  Fitzpatrick has named Stutts as guilty of criminality on multiple occasions.  “This is what we’ve been reporting on for three years!” he said.  He told The Post & Email that he plans to buy the newspaper for the next five days to see if Walton reports corruption within the county grand juries.

Update, August 12, 2012, 11:05 p.m. EDT:  Fitzpatrick found a guide to the subsequent articles which will be published this week by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, and the topics identified do not include corruption within Tennessee grand juries, the judiciary or local sheriffs’ departments, which we know exists.

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  1. Sharon, you are awesome! I have been really sad about Cmdr Fitzpatrick’s situation. What deplorable conditions and unfair punishment. I have another friend who is a political prisoner in VA, but some of that situation is unravelling here. The ex-sheriff Abbott’s trial began 8/9 in Middlesex County. Patriot groups are monitoring what is going on locally and having great effect. New sheriff is a constitutionalist. TN is much worse than here, I must say.
    Sharon you should get a medal for patriot of the year. Thanks for all your hard work!

  2. Cracks are opening up and the sun is starting to peek out. The exposure is what is needed given the FBI is politically motivated these days. Maybe you can submit an exclusive to FOX and beat the Knoxville press. The heavy weight investigators can get things moving along simply because of the election year.

  3. The Times Free Press circulates 75,000 copies in SE TN and north GA.
    This expose’ runs to nearly four full pages in today’s installment one of a six part installment, with 3/4 of the front page being devoted to the lead in. It focuses on all Walt’s cast of characters in the TN 10th District Court of Corruption.

    Question is can this huge exposure put a stop to activities that have gone on for decades and will it expose all those who are affiliated with the corruption? If not, then that will be verification that the corruption runs beyond the 10th District.

    We had a similar situation in a more local area here in north GA, some time ago, whereby a local newspaper started to run with an expose’ of corruption on the county level, which we have. When it all started we had two newspapers; now we have one and the corruption goes on. Just sayin’.