WHERE ARE THE PERJURIOUS STATEMENTS?
by CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.)
(Jul. 16, 2014) — [Editor’s Note: The following was sent to reporter Dewey Morgan at The Daily Post-Athenian, a local newspaper which covers McMinn and Meigs Counties, TN. On June 24, Fitzpatrick was convicted by a jury for “aggravated perjury” and “extortion” after attempting to submit several petitions to the McMinn County grand jury containing evidence of misconduct and violations of law on the part of criminal court judges, the grand jury foreman, and prosecutors in the office of the Tenth Judicial District.
Fitzpatrick discovered corruption in the Tennessee courts in the fall of 2009 after taking a complaint naming Barack Hussein Obama in the commission of treason against the United States to the Monroe County grand jury, where he lived at the time. After the foreman dodged his complaint for several months, then refused to allow the grand jury to review it, Fitzpatrick inadvertently learned that the foreman, Gary Pettway, had served in that capacity for at least 20 years consecutively. It was later revealed that Pettway had served for nearly three decades without an appointing order or any evidence that he had ever taken an oath of office.
Monroe County jailed Fitzpatrick a total of six times after he attempted a citizen’s arrest, which is legal in Tennessee, on Pettway following the refusal of local law enforcement to act. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had hung up on him and the FBI had told him to “live with it!” after he spoke with agents about the judicial corruption in the district on multiple occasions.
The press in southeastern Tennessee and the state in general has not been willing to report on the matter of the longstanding grand jury foremen who are appointed at the pleasure of a judge and remain as long as the judge desires. There is no provision in Tennessee law which allows a judge to pick any member of a jury, although the Tennessee Attorney General’s office stated in a court brief last year that the practice is accepted.
Local media is routinely uncritical of the judges who serve the district and government in general, asking no tough questions of its actions or outcomes.
Fitzpatrick was indicted by the McMinn County grand jury on March 18 of this year for aggravated perjury, extortion, harassment and stalking, none of which were supported by any evidence or so much as a police report. On June 24, he was convicted on the perjury and extortion charges, while “stalking” had been dismissed by Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood and an acquittal produced on the “harassment” charge.
However, the grand jury which indicted Fitzpatrick was already compromised from then-grand jury foreman Jeffrey Cunningham’s imparting of Fitzpatrick’s “history” in January, a fact Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood refused to consider both before and during the trial. Fitzpatrick’s defense attorney, Van Irion, petitioned Blackwood on that point and claimed that the Tenth Judicial District was pursuing a “vindictive prosecution,” which Blackwood also ignored.
Blackwood was also himself compromised because he had refused Fitzpatrick’s request for a restraining order against Cunningham after failing to hold a hearing on it just one day before Fitzpatrick was arrested.
In 2012, Blackwood was forced to vacate the bench by an appeal filed by the attorney general to a Court of Criminal Appeals for conflict of interest after threatening a district attorney with contempt of court. The assistant district attorney involved in the case reportedly cited “Blackwood’s use of email to shield the media and said the ‘secrecy and deception’ puts his impartiality into question.”
The referenced email reportedly “accused Blackwood of ‘playing fast and loose’ with the rules governing the public’s access to court information.”
McMinn County grand jury foreman Jeffrey Cunningham claimed to be Fitzpatrick’s victim, but during the June 23 trial was unable to point to any statements Fitzpatrick made in a total of 96 pages of attempted submissions to the grand jury which could be considered untrue. It is therefore unknown how the jury convicted Fitzpatrick of perjury.
Jury-rigging has also been identified in the Tenth Judicial District, which includes McMinn, Polk, Monroe and Bradley Counties.
Because the grand jury foreman is judicially-selected by an unstated vetting process if one exists at all, he or she wields undue influence over the grand jury members. Complaints from at least two former grand jurors reported by The Chattanooga Times Free Press two summers ago, along with allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and misuse of funds by then-District Attorney General R. Steven Bebb were reportedly investigated by the state comptroller, the Attorney General’s office and the TBI. In March 2013, the Attorney General declared that it had cleared Bebb of criminal wrongdoing.
Fitzpatrick has named Blackwood as a criminal participating in a “dictatorship of the judiciary” in Tennessee.
Others have noted that Blackwood makes contradictory statements from the bench justifying his decisions.
Rule 10 of the Tennessee Rules of Judicial Conduct states, in part, that “[a] judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned[.]”]
The Board of Judicial Conduct rarely disciplines a judge and does not publicize complaints which have been filed unless it decides to pursue them.
In his email to Morgan, Fitzpatrick attached a referenced letter sent to Special Agent Gary Blevins of the Chattanooga office of the FBI. WFF Blevins FBI letter]
Mr. Dewey Morgan (reporter, Daily Post Athenian ~ Athens, Tennessee),
Thank you for your time this morning. My call to you was an unexpected cold call.
Thanks for taking the call. Thanks for your patient ear. And your professionalism so far as it goes.
I sent a letter to the FBI last Saturday, 12 July. It was received Monday of this week, 14 July. The letter covered the same package of documents I explained to you is now held by XXXXXXXXXX (copied on this email.) That document package is available to you for your inspection and survey.
The cover letter to the FBI is attached. Make of it what you will.
My challenge to you (and FBI officials) is to identify any verbal or written statement I made regarding the accusation of “aggravated perjury” that you, or anyone, can identify first and simply as false.
I’ll not pull that string farther in this writing.
Put abruptly, there is no false statement; hence perjury is an impossibility.
The same challenge goes to you (and the FBI) regarding the issue of “extortion.”
I challenge you sir to name the act that is the expression of any threat I made to Jeff Cunningham supporting an accusation of extortion.
You’ll not find one.
The list of questions you should have as a reporter regarding how matters have progressed to the point we find ourselves today is endless.
The operative word in the sentence directly above is “should.”
You and your colleagues may not have any. Which would go to explain (to outside observers) why, at least in part, matters have progressed to the point we find ourselves today.
In the practice of willful incuriosity, should it persist, neither you nor your colleagues will find themselves alone. I can say the same for many of the FBI agents I’ve reached out to since 2010.
But, facts are stubborn things, to be sure. They will persist.
Once more, thanks for you time today.
Fair winds, following seas,
Blackwood has been asked to vacate the Fitzpatrick verdict in an online petition because of grand jury prejudice, conflict of interest on his own part, the lack of a police report alleging crimes committed on specific dates and times, and false statements made by the prosecution during the pre-trial hearing and trial.
After The Post & Email contacted the communications director for the Administrative Office of the Courts and sent her the recordings from the trial in which Cunningham denied having accused Fitzpatrick of any wrongdoing, she responded that she would not “have time to listen to them.”
When The Post & Email asked Fitzpatrick to describe Morgan’s response to their conversation on Wednesday, Fitzpatrick said, “Mr. Morgan offered nothing. He had no questions. He made no commitment to do anything.”
A journalist is expected to obtain both sides of a story, but in Morgan’s coverage of Fitzpatrick’s trial, he did not contact Irion for comment, relating only the government’s version of events and the verdict. The Post & Email contacted Morgan about his report on the trial but received no response. The Post & Email has spoken with Fitzpatrick in depth about his findings of judicial corruption in the Tenth District and also contacted all of those Fitzpatrick has named as “criminals,” though none is willing to speak on the record about the allegations and evidence of criminal acts.
Fitzpatrick is scheduled to be sentenced on August 19 by Blackwood. Col. Field McConnell (Ret.) of Abel Danger has pledged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Fitzpatrick at the hearing if it proceeds as scheduled. On Wednesday, McConnell stated that some in his listening audience also plan to attend.
This story was updated on July 17 at 7:53 a.m.EDT.