A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, OR TO INDICT FITZPATRICK?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 25, 2014) — The Post & Email has just confirmed that Jeffrey Cunningham, attorney and bank executive who also served as McMinn County, TN grand jury foreman for more than two terms, resigned on March 4.
On Tuesday morning, Sherry at the McMinn County courthouse told The Post & Email that another foreman was appointed the same day.
Cunningham’s name appears as a witness on the indictments issued against Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, who was arrested last Tuesday and remains in the McMinn County jail, which is part of the “Justice Center.”
Fitzpatrick had returned to the courthouse to attempt to advance criminal charges against Cunningham and others within the judiciary to one of two sitting grand juries for the 2014 term.
Fitzpatrick was threatened with arrest by Cunningham on February 18 after he brought similar evidence of criminality to the courthouse for the grand jury to examine. However, Cunningham refused to accept Fitzpatrick’s submission, as had occurred on five previous occasions dating back to late 2012.
In Tennessee, grand jury foremen are selected by the judge “from wherever they choose,” which violates state law and the District Attorneys General Conference description of a grand jury. Last fall, Tennessee deputy attorney general Kyle Hixson argued to a Knoxville appellate court in another case against Fitzpatrick that the foreman is not a juror and has never been considered a juror. State code makes no allowance for a judicially-appointed foreman who serves for years and even decades.
Cunningham was serving his third term, having been appointed by Judge Amy Reedy, who Fitzpatrick named as a criminal in his grand jury submissions and in numerous interviews with The Post & Email. On December 7, 2011, Fitzpatrick observed Reedy hand-picking slips of paper with potential jurors’ personal information visible in violation of state law and removed a set of papers containing that information from the courthouse, mailing them to this writer, who promptly notified the FBI in two states. No action was taken until two months later, at which time the documents were given to an FBI agent from New Haven, CT. Fitzpatrick was then indicted for “tampering with government documents,” which case now rests with the appellate court.
Atty. Van Irion defended Fitzpatrick is that case as well as his latest arrest last Tuesday, a hearing for which was held on Monday. Several months ago, Irion declared himself a candidate for Reedy’s position as Criminal Court Judge should he survive the primary in April. Irion is a certified EMT, former medical researcher, attorney, farmer, and founder of Liberty Legal Foundation.
Fitzpatrick has been exposing systemic corruption in the Tenth Judicial District of Tennessee for more than four years and has been jailed a total of six times as a result of his actions. Eastern Tennessee is known as a lawless area which capitalizes on human misery by incarcerating as many citizens as possible to garner payment from state and federal sources. Grand juries and trial juries have been empaneled illegally for decades; due process has been denied to defendants, and a man’s murder has gone unpunished which Fitzpatrick has described as “a government hit.”
Fitzpatrick correctly identified the perpetrators of the murder of Elections Commissioner Jim Miller more than three years ago, but to date, they have not been prosecuted for the crime.
The news of Cunningham’s resignation came just as The Post & Email was readying a letter to the Tennessee Supreme Court, Board of Professional Responsibility, and several state legislators about the judicial corruption within the Tenth District involving Cunningham, Reedy and others. Said letter will be sent with the update that Cunningham resigned, although the question of conflict of interest during his service remains.
In early 2011, the Monroe County grand jury foreman, Gary Pettway, who Fitzpatrick had placed under citizen’s arrest on April 1, 2010, was also “quietly replaced.”
[Editor’s Note: Any and all articles dated previous to March 25, 2014 referring to Cunningham as the McMinn County grand jury foreman were written without the knowledge that he had resigned on March 4.]
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.