MASSIVE LAW-ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE TO STOP “MILITIA EXTREMISTS” REVEALED AS UNNECESSARY
by Sharon Rondeau
Fitzpatrick said he had learned that Bivens had again declared his candidacy after he observed signs promoting Bivens’s campaign on Friday morning in Madisonville. Most notably to Fitzpatrick, Bivens was Monroe County sheriff in April 2010, when “The Madisonville Hoax” was staged by the FBI, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), seven sheriffs’ departments, Tennessee Highway Patrol and local police on the pretext that militia members with bombs and guns were planning to “take over the courthouse.”
The gathering of hundreds of law enforcers on April 20, 2010 resulted from one or more false threats called in to then-Madisonville Mayor Allan Watson’s office to quell the alleged “takeover” plot and make any necessary arrests.
However, no arrests were made that day, nor did law enforcement name anyone carrying a gun illegally or acting in a threatening manner. On April 26, 2010, FBI Special Agent Mark A. Van Balen signed and submitted a sworn affidavit to Federal Judge C. Clifford Shirley in Knoxville which paved the way for the April 30, 2010 arrest, then trial and eventual imprisonment of Navy veteran Darren Wesley Huff for three and one-half years based on what the federal government claimed he had been thinking about doing.
In addition to misstating Huff’s position in relation to the courthouse on April 20, 2010, Van Balen’s affidavit contained other significant, provable errors.
At the time, Robert S. Mueller, III, now Special Counsel in the “Russia” investigations, was FBI director. In December, as corruption was reported to have been discovered within the Russia probes and many Americans questioned Mueller’s impartiality to conduct them, Fitzpatrick told The Post & Email, “As I’ve said before, Mueller’s actions, including Darren Huff’s conviction, cannot stand. It was a thought crime. Darren wasn’t at that location, he didn’t have a gun, and Mueller prosecuted Darren while working shoulder-to-shoulder with Eric Holder, the AG, and Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security, and of course, Resident Obama.”
Fitzpatrick reminded us on Sunday that Bivens testified falsely at Huff’s trial and is undoubtedly aware that there was no legitimate need for the enormous local, state and federal resources deployed into Madisonville on the day of “the Hoax.” In contrast, eyewitnesses with exculpatory information were not summoned to testify for the defense.
Following Huff’s conviction on one count of the two-count indictment, in a rare public Internet podcast dated 22 May 2012, two FBI employees, Scott Johnson and Mollie Halpern, spoke with pride about the operation the agency conducted on April 20, 2010 by allegedly stopping a “militia extremist” plot to take over the Madisonville courthouse.
In the wake of recent perceived FBI failures, missteps, politicization and corruption, some have opined that the “premier law enforcement agency” is in need of a major overhaul.
“Bill Bivens should be in prison,” Fitzpatrick said, rather than seeking elected office.
After learning of Bivens’ newest candidacy, Fitzpatrick went to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and met a group of MCSO employees standing outside, enjoying the weather. Fitzpatrick was asked: “Can we help you?” Fitzpatrick then asked to speak with someone in Internal Affairs. Captain Chris White then directed Fitzpatrick to follow him inside.
Fitzpatrick began to lodge his complaint against Bill Bivens. Captain White adroitly pointed out that Bill Bivens no longer worked for the Sheriff’s Department. Fitzpatrick then asked White if he knew whether or not there are current MCSO officers who were serving in 2010. “I don’t know that,” White answered. “You’re going to have to go to the personnel office, which is up the street. Submit a Freedom of Information Act request to them.”
Fitzpatrick then related that by seeking an appropriate response to White’s challenge he easily located a deputy who was working for the MCSO in 2010 and revealed a shocking revelation.
I walked two-tenths of a mile away to the main courthouse, where Madisonville Mayor Tim Yates’s office is. Yates was mayor in 2010 as well. I spoke with his receptionist and asked to speak with Yates. He wouldn’t come out to meet with me, so I told her why I was there: that I was sent from Captain White’s office with a question about personnel.
Walking around town, I was able to obtain names of about five people working for the sheriff’s office in 2010 who are still there. Within 20 minutes, I was back in Capt. White’s office.
Walking back to Captain White’s office, I spotted MCSO Sheriff’s Deputy R. Moses, ironically, standing guard at the entrance to the R. Beecher Witt “trailer park” Courthouse. Deputy Moses recognized me. Moses was smoking a cigarette, and as we were talking, I remarked remembering Moses working for the MCSO back in 2010, and Moses acknowledged, “Yes.” I then asked Deputy Moses if he remembered the huge law-enforcement call-up in April 2010, and he said he did. In remembering the occurrence, Moses pointed to a window on the second story of the brick-and-mortar courthouse two blocks away. Moses said: “I was up there.” I said, “Nothing happened that day; do you remember that?” and he said, “Yeah, but it was good.” And I said, “How? Good in what way?” and Moses said, “It was good for training.”
About 20 minutes before I had the exchange with Moses, I was in White’s office telling White that the whole thing with the FBI was a hoax; it was all made up. I said, “You have officers now who know that there was never any plot to carry out any kind of violence. None of that happened.” And I told him about the podcast and Van Balen’s perjured statement, just as a perjured statement was used against Carter Page last October.
That got White’s attention, and he stood up to see me out. When he returned to find me back there, I told him, “I’ve got names. These are the names of the people who are here now and were there in 2010.”
Captain White then took my criminal complaint.
Bill Bivens had sought a third consecutive four-year term in 2014 when he was defeated by Republican Randy White. However, Bivens filed suit against White, claiming he was ineligible, with which a judge ultimately agreed. White was removed from office, and the Monroe County Commission voted to replace him with Tommy Jones II out of a host of eight candidates, including Bivens.
According to the Advocate & Democrat, Jones hired White to be his chief deputy but fired him after reportedly finding that White’s renewed run for sheriff this year “was affecting his duties.”
In 2016, a special election was held in which Bivens competed but did not prevail against Jones, who is now the incumbent. Patrick Upton, currently a Loudon County detective, is also a declared candidate, and Tonia Norwood may also seek the office.
[Editor’s Note: This story will be continued in a near-future installment.]