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“TYRANNICAL DESPOTIC MEN”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 13, 2014) — Over the past four years, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has been informed of but refused to address systemic misconduct and criminality on the part of judges, sheriffs’ departments and court personnel which has imprisoned an unknown number of innocent men and women, robbing them of their ability to make a living, provide for their families, and contribute to their communities.
The Post & Email has been reporting on Tennessee corruption since late 2009, when CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) attempted to submit a criminal complaint of treason against Barack Hussein Obama to the Monroe County, TN grand jury. After several months of stalling, then-grand jury foreman Gary Pettway refused to accept the petition. Upon further observation, Fitzpatrick discovered that Pettway had been serving as foreman for at least two decades in contradiction with Tennessee code.
Malfeasant judges, prosecutors, investigators and court personnel have been shielded for decades in a culture of corruption over which the appellate and state Supreme Courts appear to have little-to-no objection.
Monroe County Chief Court Clerk Martha M. Cook told local media in early 2011 that judges routinely hand-pick the grand jury foreman “from wherever they choose” in an article often-cited by The Post & Email which recently disappeared from the web. An article from the Knoxville News Sentinel quoting a former attorney of Fitzpatrick’s as having described the Tennessee judiciary as “hopelessly corrupted” has similarly been removed.
Monroe County has also been noted for unsanitary, substandard jail conditions and brutality on the part of sheriffs’ deputies which has resulted in permanent injury for some.
Last Thursday, Haslam won an overwhelming number of votes on the Republican gubernatorial ticket in the statewide primary. The day before, McMinn County resident Eugene Whiting attempted to approach Haslam at a “Meet & Greet” to raise the matter of judicial corruption but was treated rudely and told “You may have to leave” by plainclothes Tennessee Highway Patrolmen charged with “protecting the governor.”
McMinn and Monroe Counties are located in the Tenth Judicial District, which occupies the southeastern-most corner of Tennessee bordering North Carolina and Georgia. Corruption has been reported to The Post & Email in the counties of Knox, Sumner, Sevier, Polk, Tipton, Jackson and Davidson. Over the last decade the FBI has conducted two sting operations in Cocke County which netted arrests of state legislators, sheriffs, deputies and others involved in racketeering, illegal gambling, drug trafficking and other crimes.
On Tuesday, CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) is facing sentencing for two felonies which he did not commit but of which a jury convicted him on June 24. His attorney, Van Irion, has requested a new trial and a suspended sentence pending appeal. Before the trial, Irion had asked Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to not only recuse himself, but the entire Tenth Judicial District for conflict of interest and “vindictive prosecution,” which Blackwood denied.
A pre-sentencing report confirms that there is “no victim” in the Fitzpatrick case.
Blackwood previously insisted on presiding over a case after prosecutors demanded that he step aside for conflict of interest until the state attorney general asked an appellate court to order Blackwood off the bench.
Monroe County is attempting to imprison Marvin William Young, who in 2012 discovered that his father’s will was forged and his estate stolen, perhaps through murder. Just before press time, The Post & Email learned that the same prosecutor who presented Fitzpatrick’s case signed a request for Revocation of Bond for Young as a result of his filing of a request for a restraining order after he was told that the false “victim” in the case, Larry David Godwin, had verbally threatened to kill him.
Assistant District Attorney General A. Wayne Carter claimed that Young is “a threat to the public safety and has no regard for previous court order’s [sic].”
Contrary to Carter’s claim that Young did not testify, he told the judge at the hearing that he possessed emails from a witness asserting his claim that Godwin had made the threat.
Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. is aware of the forgery of Young’s father’s will but has chosen not to prosecute those responsible for framing Young and allowing the perpetrators to abscond his father’s estate.
Thus far, tt appears that the new district attorney general, Stephen Crump, is as entrenched in the local corruption as his predecessor, R. Steven Bebb, who resigned before his term ended and will presumably receive a generous retirement package at taxpayer expense. Cooper protected Bebb last year when he refused to prosecute him for obvious abuse of power and a state vehicle.
The Post & Email and others have contacted the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees over the last six weeks to request a congressional investigation into corruption in the Tennessee courts, which extends to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A filmmaker who has agreed to film what is expected to be Fitzpatrick’s last day of freedom on Monday told radio show Abel Danger’s audience on Tuesday that an investigation into the Knox County courts is ongoing. The Post & Email, Fitzpatrick and others have repeatedly contacted the Knoxville and Chattanooga offices of the FBI to inform them of jury-rigging, alteration of court transcripts, police brutality and other crimes in the Tenth Judicial District, but no indication exists that an investigation has been opened. Rather, one special agent told Fitzpatrick laughingly, “Live with it!”
On August 6, reader Michael D. Jackson sent the following letter to Haslam.