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by Sharon Rondeau

CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) was sentenced to three years in state prison for convictions on “aggravated perjury” and “extortion” following the rigging of a grand jury and trial last year

(Jan. 27, 2015) — The following letter was mailed to the addressee on January 20, 2015.


January 20, 2015

District Attorney General Stephen Crump
Tenth Judicial District of Tennessee
P.O. Box 1351
Suntrust Bank Bldg.
93 Ocoee Street, 2nd Fl
Cleveland, TN 37364-1351

Dear DAG Crump:

I read with great interest and astonishment a synopsis of your interview with WOOP-FM as reported by The Cleveland Daily Banner on December 14, 2014.


While your description of the grand jury as offering a considerable “level of protection” to citizens of the community is exactly the way in which the Fifth-Amendment body is expected to operate, it is not the reality within the Tenth Judicial District and in many other places in Tennessee as well as other states.

As long as grand juries are led by judicially-selected foremen, they cannot be acting independently, although you asserted their independence to The Chattanooga Times Free Press on September 3, 2014.


The Post & Email has found that for decades, Tennessee criminal court judges have been allowed to pick grand jury foremen “from wherever they choose,” to quote Monroe County Chief Court Clerk Martha M. Cook in comments she provided to the Advocate & Democrat in an article which has since been removed from the web.


The denial of a grand jury’s protection which the Founding Fathers wrote into the Fifth Amendment is systemic, long-standing, and thoroughly protected by the entire state of Tennessee, including the state Supreme Court.  Therefore, while your words reveal what the truth should be, they are belied by the reality of the hundreds, if not thousands, of Tennesseans serving time in jails and prisons after having been indicted by “fake” grand juries which are incontrovertibly influenced by foremen carrying out the wishes of the judges who “hired” them.

In many instances, such “foremen” serve for years or even decades, voting with the other 12 and in many cases, casting the decisive vote for indictment.  How could that not be characterized as government influence on the grand jury, which you stated on the radio show is “unethical?”

In my writings over the last five years, I have likened eastern Tennessee to a penal colony, with its courts operating in similar fashion to the “People’s Courts” of Hitler’s time in which the defendant was considered guilty before his trial even began.  Cuba and China operate in a similar fashion, incarcerating individuals as political prisoners for speaking out against the government or other perceived “crimes.”

The judicially-appointed grand jury foreman is exactly that which CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) attempted to bring to the public’s attention beginning in April 2010 in Monroe County and for the last time on March 18, 2014.  On that day, Fitzpatrick was arrested after being quickly indicted by a grand jury with a foreman appointed by former criminal court Judge Amy Reedy just minutes before.  Interestingly, Thomas Balkom’s appointing order indicates that a case number had already been assigned (14-CR-69) despite the lack of an indictment at the time (copy of appointing order enclosed).

How does that happen unless the judge is commandeering it?  Would that not qualify as “unethical?”

You have also stated correctly that, according to Tennessee law (TCA 40-12-104), any citizen can apply to testify before a county grand jury.  With that being the case, why is CDR Fitzpatrick now sitting in a Tennessee state prison when his only “crime” was to do what the law allows?

Why is it that Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Van Irion, said, following Fitzpatrick’s sentencing hearing, that if he were to go before a grand jury, “I’m afraid that I’ll be arrested just like Commander Fitzpatrick was based on what happened in this case”?


We know that former DAG and criminal court judge R. Steven Bebb and Reedy were involved in convincing the “grand jury” to issue the four indictments against Fitzpatrick without any evidence.  Moreover, members of that “independent” body admitted in the June 16, 2014 pre-trial hearing that they were compromised or unable to remember the information presented to them for deliberation against Fitzpatrick on March 18.

With compromised grand jurors, why did the indictments stand?

Until the grand juries are truly “independent,” operating under a foreman who is uninfluenced by a judge, prosecutor, or attorney, they are an illegally-constructed body of citizens who themselves should be prosecuted for their many instances of malicious malfeasance against those in their community who the government wishes to silence or fine into destitution.

I cannot fathom a more twisted, evil morphing of what should be a constitutional protection into a tool wielded by the government against the citizenry than that which now exists in the Tenth Judicial District.  Can you imagine a federal grand jury with a hand-picked foreman serving for years at the pleasure of a U.S. attorney or judge whose job it is to instruct the grand jurors to indict people disliked by his boss?

The Tennessee Attorneys General Conference describes a grand jury as (http://www.tndagc.org/vwh.htm#jury):

a group of thirteen citizens chosen from the jury panel. One of these thirteen is the fore person and will preside over the grand jury. The grand jury hears testimony from witnesses in a private session. Neither the defendant nor his lawyer will be present at the grand jury hearing. A representative of the district attorney general’s office may be present when witnesses present their testimony, but the grand jury’s voting must be done in secret. If twelve of the thirteen grand jurors believe a crime was committed by the defendant, they will charge or “indict” the defendant for that crime. The formal charge by the grand jury is called an INDICTMENT. Sometimes this charge is also referred to as a “true bill”. When the grand jury refuses to indict someone, its action is sometimes referred to as a “no true bill.” When the Grand Jury returns a “no true bill’ against a defendant, then that person cannot be brought to trial.

Even if the judge chooses the foreman, as is stated in TRCP Rule 6g http://www.tncourts.gov/rules/rules-criminal-procedure/6   (“The judge of the court authorized by law to charge–and receive the report of–the grand jury shall appoint the grand jury foreperson.”), the foreman should come from the group of individuals impaneled in accordance with the law, not “from wherever they choose,” which resulted in the appointment of a convicted felon in Davidson County and made national news:


The same railroading of a citizen has occurred in the case of Marvin William Young, who was indicted by the Monroe County grand jury in August 2013 for “especially aggravated kidnapping” and “especially aggravated burglary” on the claim of three Godwin family members without any evidence.  The motive?  To incarcerate Young so that his absconded father’s considerable estate can be pilfered and divided among crooked law enforcers to turn into ready cash to fuel the ongoing methamphetamine business flourishing in eastern Tennessee and adjoining states.

Without the collusion of judges, local sheriffs, their deputies, court clerks, and people within your office, the prisoners-for-profit operation Fitzpatrick discovered years ago could not operate with impunity as it has.  I can say with certainty that the criminality in Tennessee’s Tenth Judicial District is under observation by groups with access to legal resources seeking to expose it once and for all so that the citizens of the community may be served, rather than incarcerated without due process, by their elected officials, and those incarcerated without constitutional due process freed.

A video documentary on the Fitzpatrick case which points straight to the heart of the corruption is about to be released and marketed to various media outlets.

I am in possession of grand jury foreman appointing orders from numerous Tennessee counties, including Bradley County orders signed by Amy Reedy and McMinn County orders signed by Bebb, dating back to 1980 which show that the same persons were reappointed term after term by judges who knew, or should have known, of the illegality of their actions.  According to TCA 22-2-314, no juror can serve a consecutive term.

In an attempt to cover up the illegality, then-Deputy Attorney General Kyle Hixson wrote in September 2013 that the grand jury foreman “is not a juror,” but rather, serves in an “administrative” capacity.  If that is the case, why, then, does he or she cast a vote with the 12 others?

Jeffrey Cunningham, the alleged “victim” in Fitzpatrick’s case, admitted in sworn testimony on June 16 that he never filed a police report or complaint.  Moreover, the Bill of Particulars used to prosecute Fitzpatrick lacked specifics and identified no incidents wherein Fitzpatrick allegedly committed a crime.  How, then, can Fitzpatrick’s conviction be explained?

I have recordings of the Fitzpatrick pre-trial hearing, the trial itself, and the sentencing hearing on August 19 during which Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, himself an inveterate lawbreaker, complained about people “demanding their constitutional rights.”  I also have sworn affidavits from eyewitnesses who heard the parole officer, Judith Hilton-Coffman, state that her initial report, which claimed that there was “no victim” in the case, was mistaken and that, in fact, a victim had been identified:  Jeffrey Cunningham.

A parole officer does not make such a “mistake” and then correct it during the sentencing hearing.  Rather, The Post & Email published her report in an article, after which Ms. Hilton-Coffman apparently was made aware of her “mistake” so that it could be illegally “corrected” during the sentencing hearing, knowing that without a victim, there is no crime.

As an investigative journalist who has amassed considerable documentation on the criminality in the Tenth Judicial District, I am requesting that you open an investigation into the operation of the grand juries, including the judicially-appointed foremen.  I am willing to supply a sworn affidavit of my findings should you require it.

I am also requesting that you order Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III released as an innocent man framed by a corrupt local government and commandeered “grand jury” which was undoubtedly instructed to do what it did.  I am sure Bebb and Reedy can attest to exactly what happened under oath and the threat of incarceration themselves.

Last summer I supplied some of this same information to media representatives for the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees, as we have evidence that Tennessee judicial corruption extends to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  With the seating of the new Congress, my request for an investigation will be renewed this week.  I have already notified the FBI in Washington, DC of the ongoing civil rights violations and criminal activity on the part of public officials in the district.

Sincerely yours,

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 195
Stafford Springs, CT 06076

Cc:   Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III
P.O. Box 20207
Nashville, TN 37202-0207


The following email was sent on January 26, 2015:

From:  Sharon Rondeau (editor@thepostemail.com)
Sent: Mon 1/26/15 4:00 PM
To: kathryn.rexrode@mail.house.gov (kathryn.rexrode@mail.house.gov)
Cc: whistleblower@judiciary-rep.senate.gov (whistleblower@judiciary-rep.senate.gov)

Hello, I own and operate an electronic newspaper, The Post & Email, which reports on government corruption.

For the last five years, I have compiled extensive evidence of judicial corruption through court documents, interviews and recordings of proceedings in the state of Tennessee which extends to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville as well as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, OH.

The corruption is so widespread, to include methamphetamine production and sales, a prisoners-for-profit operation, murder, vote-buying, forgery, impersonation, underage prostitution, and other crimes, that a special agent at the Knoxville FBI told a resident whistleblower, “We wouldn’t know where to start.  We could claim distress.”

Judges in Tennessee have been rigging grand juries and trial juries for decades; I have appointing orders for grand jury foremen dating back to 1980 in which the same “foremen” were reappointed, sometimes for more than 20 consecutive years.  The foremen then mix their votes with the other “grand jury” members to obtain the result the judge desires.

While I realize there is nothing the U.S. Congress can do about Tennessee corruption directly, it also includes at least two federal courts and a U.S. attorney’s office.  It certainly merits an investigation, perhaps by a special grand jury convened by the House and/or Senate Judiciary Committee(s).

Some of the hard evidence I have gathered includes:

  • A sworn affidavit from an FBI agent dated April 30, 2010 containing falsehoods targeting two individuals who became whistleblowers on the local corruption, one of whom was sent to federal prison for four years for a “thought crime”
  • U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Varlan failing to take into account exculpatory information prior to the person’s sentencing.  During the trial, after the jury acquitted the defendant on one charge and was “hung” on the other, Varlan told them, “Try again.”  http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2013/12/corrupt-federal-judges-and-tennessee-officials-commit-obstruction-of-justice-go-unpunished-2780440.html
  • The curious, almost-immediate denial by the U.S. District Court in Knoxville of a habeas corpus petition after failing to provide a response for 27 months after the appellant, who was representing himself in the petition, was arrested following the issuance of false indictments against him by a colluding judge and prosecutor
  • The forwarding by the U.S. District Court of the same habeas corpus petition to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals without the knowledge of the petitioner, after which the Sixth Circuit told the petitioner it was not filed “timely”
  • The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’s case manager failing to take action on the habeas corpus petition when corruption within the local grand jury which issued the indictments was proved beyond a doubt
  • False testimony was provided on January 30, 2014 by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke A. McLaurin to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals naming the two individuals identified in the FBI affidavit mentioned above as having been engaged in text-messaging in preparation to commit a crime, which was untrue and of which there was no evidence, in order to make the government’s case against continuing detention of the prisoner.  The hearing is available here:  http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/internet/court_audio/audSearchRes.php
  • I have audio recordings of a former resident of eastern Tennessee who alleges that he has spoken with federal agents (DEA and FBI) about the drug trade in the area and the fact that they are too frightened for their families’ safety to take action to stop it.

This is only a tiny percentage of the corruption I have discovered, by first-hand witnesses and victims, of the corruption in Tennessee which spills over into the federal courts, which are misinformed, misled and manipulated.

Because Congress cannot do everything, it would seem constitutionally sound for a special federal grand jury to be empaneled to examine the evidence.

Both whistleblowers are Navy veterans; one is a retiree drawing a pension.  The latter has attempted on numerous occasions to ask to testify to one of two federal grand juries in Knoxville about the systemic court corruption in eastern Tennessee but has been prevented from doing so by U.S. Attorney William C. Killian.  In fact, Killian wrote him a letter 18 months ago instructing him never to contact him again.

It was Killian’s assistant who gave the Sixth Circuit panel false information on January 30, 2014.

Despite expressing surprise that the federal defendant was incarcerated without any incident having occurred, the Sixth Circuit panel never provided an opinion following the appeals hearing, which has kept the prisoner incarcerated through the end of his sentence this coming May.

Thank you for your consideration of these concerns.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 195
Stafford Springs, CT  06076

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  1. It amazes me that we have approx 125 veterans in congress, and this BS is happing to the very same people that they say they support.If thats the case, these are the ones that I wouldn’t want watching my back on the battle field. Maybe Sharon should send each veteran in congress this letter and see if they are really behind thier so call military family, or is it just lip service!

  2. Sharon, this has to be one of the best articles you have written that I have seen from you in many years. It is brilliant and shows what an intelligent and wonderful person you are to help people and veterans that are being taken advantage of. I hope with the change of guard coming that Walt and Darren will be released. Also, I hope that Federal Authorities will continue to complete in depth reports and endless investigations of the corruption in Tennessee to help save citizens and Veterans from the dirty business of these entitlement criminals.