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by Sharon Rondeau

Veritas,” the motto of the NCIS, means “truth”

(Feb. 24, 2014) — On March 3, 2005, four agents from the Bremerton, WA office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made an unscheduled visit to the home of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III which ended with a threat against his life.

Led by James H. Connolly, the team positioned itself outside of Fitzpatrick’s doorway “in a crossfire” in the event that Fitzpatrick came to the door armed, which he did not.

The NCIS apparently feared that the truth about the forgery placed into Fitzpatrick’s court-martial and service records would emerge after Fitzpatrick discovered that a report made by Kevin Anderson to a Port Orchard, WA police detective included Anderson’s admission that he had created and printed the letter containing the forged signature.  Following that revelation, Fitzpatrick pressed the NCIS to reopen the investigation that it had quickly closed in early February 1998.  “Connolly made clear it would cost me my life should I persist,” Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email.

In 1990, Anderson had served as Fitzpatrick’s defense counsel in a court-martial contrived to terminate him from the Navy as a result of a personal vendetta on the part of the commanding admiral, John Bitoff.  Initially, Fitzpatrick had believed that Bitoff’s staff JAG, Lt. Tim Zeller, had forged the signature.  However, Anderson’s 2003 admission to the detective revealed the fact that Anderson had printed the letter and “held it in his hands” before its purported administration.

Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email:

Rear Admiral John Bitoff, as the convening authority in my court-martial, and accuser, partnered with his staff JAG Zeller, needed a third accomplice to safely proceed.  Bittoff ordered – assigned (then) Marine Corps Captain Kevin Martis “Andy” Anderson as my defense counsel. This threesome, working in concert, secreted documents, destroyed documents and manufactured at least one document.

As a function of command, John Bitoff commissioned the creation of my “confession” needed at the end of the court-martial process to cover his tracks, and dissuade any serious after action review (there is no such thing as an “appeal” in the military discipline process…just senior command review).

Bitoff ordered Anderson to create the “confession,” forge my name to the confession and then turn it over back to Bitoff (via Zeller) for entry into the official record.

Marine Captain Kevin Anderson is the man who put pen to paper in the forgery. Anderson admits in writing separately and under oath that he, Kevin Anderson, is the person who created the bogus writing.”

The “confession” document, entitled “Response to Letter of Reprimand,” was found by NCIS Special Agent Richard Allen in early December 1997 to have matched other documents printed and signed by Anderson which Allen discovered in the court-martial record.  Fitzpatrick had not known of the letter’s existence until 1992 after making a series of FOIA requests for documents from his file.

After years of petitioning members of Congress, the Navy JAG office, and the NCIS to investigate the forgery, in late 1997, Senior Executive Service Special Agent Gerry Nance finally allowed an investigation to commence.  Nance’s concession was premised on the threat of a second court-martial and lengthy imprisonment at Ft. Leavenworth if Fitzpatrick were found to have been lying, to which Fitzpatrick responded, “Knock yourself out.”

In September 1997, the NCIS admitted internally that if the forgery were proven, “it totally supports his 10 years worth of contentions and makes the NAV look really bad.”  NCIS 5 SEP 1997

In late January 1998, under questioning from NCIS agents in the Kitsap County, WA prosecutor’s office, where Anderson worked as a deputy prosecutor, Anderson insisted he knew nothing of the origins of the same document.  When asked to produce a handwriting sample, Anderson refused.  As Fitzpatrick’s defense counsel, Anderson “was required to know the chain of custody of that document.”

During the NCIS encounter at Fitzpatrick’s home in 2005, Connolly delivered a letter from NCIS Inspector General L.G. Beyer dated November 30, 2004 which falsely stated that a handwriting expert had determined that Fitzpatrick’s claim had no merit.

But that is not what the handwriting expert wrote.

“L.G. Beyer’s statement that ‘Your allegation was not supported either by our investigation or by the analysis of your own retained document examiner’ is absolutely false.  First of all, I didn’t have my own handwriting expert; I went to Mr. Dudink, who was the person Zeller used.  I went to him with witnesses watching.  I have all of the reports that Dudink wrote, and he never, ever connected me to the forgery.  He cleared Zeller, and he requested that a handwriting examination be administered to Anderson.  But Anderson never submitted to one,” Fitzpatrick told us.

Beyer also falsely stated that Fitzpatrick’s criminal allegations could not be acted upon, but there is no statute of limitations on criminal charges, as Anderson could soon discover.

The day after the NCIS agents delivered Beyer’s letter, Fitzpatrick drew up a criminal complaint and filed it with the FBI and NCIS, both located in Silverdale, WA.

Anderson is still employed as a deputy prosecutor in Kitsap County.  Connolly is the same NCIS agent who interrogated Sgt. Lawrence Gordon Hutchins, III illegally in Iraq, as was found by the highest military appeals court last June.

The NCIS took no action on the forgery, but the matter might soon be in the hands of someone who will.


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