Thursday, June 22, 2006

Charlie Grapski, on being ejected from the City Commission meeting

Morning Update
Gotta run to court on the election case. But if you saw it - the Republicans have orchestrated the airing of the video of my being ejected (unlawfully) from the City commission meeting.

What they fail to mention is how they had set that up.

And what they fail to mention is what I was doing and why.

The City must follow Florida’s Open Government law - 286.011 florida statutes.

But the City violates that law using a tactic of putting items on the Consent agenda and then approving them without a public meeting - without the public being able to observe or participate - in contravention of that law.

They place the approval of the agenda - which automatically passes the items on the consent agenda - before public comment.

Thus if the public cannot speak until public comment - they cannot speak to items on the consent agenda. Again - that violates Florida law.

The rules and procedures of the City adopt Roberts Rules of Order.

Roberts Rules prescribe that when there is a question as to the rule - you make a parliamentary inquiry.

I did. Instead of following the rules - the Mayor banged me out of order (after reading only one part of the rules - but not the relevant part).

According to Roberts Rules of Order you are then supposed to make a Point of Order - to state that they are violating the rules.

This is what you are SUPPOSED to do under the rules.

What did they do instead?

They violated the rules - and then when I stood up to inquire about the rules - they physically threw me out.

That is a violation of the law.

But this is a town where “the law” is believed to be whatever the City officials say it is.

Evening update
Read my response to Hugh Calderwood’s[...] (the Mayor’s husband and a key backroom politico (he was the “Treasurer” and effectively ran the campaign of 40year commissioner Lewis in this problematic election)).

Hugh does not know the law nor the rules. Unfortunately - neither does his wife - but she is mayor and is supposed to know.

I motioned to have the parliamentarian - who unfortunately is Clovis Watson and I don’t believe he knows these either - read them the rules.

It would be great if the City Attorney would actually speak up as to the law and the rules - but I don’t think she is familiar enough with the laws related to municipal government (Not really her area).

And as a “member” of the public - with speaking rights guaranteed by law in Florida (the Sunshine Law) and attendance rights - you also have a right to utilize the procedures that guarantee those rights are properly assured.


Anyway, long - but very interesting day - first time home.

The City held a “rally” (the one cancelled Friday) to support the city’s officials. About 20+ people - but about half of them were city employees on the clock.

Interesting talk with Clovis after it - and surprisingly productive (if he follows through on what he said - I’ll give him the chance).

But there is news - as the last I mentioned I was off to the court.

THe City filed a motion to dismiss - only set the hearing for 10 minutes they were so sure of themselves being victorious.

The motion to dismiss [Charlie's suit against the city] - was denied.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Update from the Alachua Project

CW: OK, now, with all due respect I know it look like I’m being recorded, which I don’t mind if I’m being recorded.

CG: I just left it on since we … [interrupted]

[Note the recorder was on continuously from the beginning of the meeting with Alan Henderson, when Grapski, holding the recorder in plain sight, explicitly informed him that he was being recorded.]

CW: That’s fine with me. Uh, but I’d like to be told I am being recorded prior to that, so that I don’t … its not legal for you to record me without telling me.

CG: Actually, actually it is...

CW: Mmmm.

CG: … but you’re a public official and anything you say should be assumed to be public. And its only, the only time that the recording can’t be done secretly is a private individual and then it is not really a felony but just can’t be used as evidence.

CW: I’m not worried about evidence because anything I tell you I’ll tell the public.

CG: That’s fine.

CW: I’m just letting you know that I can tell you’ve got a recorder on and I wasn’t advised. And I think it would be appropriate if you would avise me, but that’s OK Mr. Grapski.

CG: I would have once I had gotten a chance.

CW: Right.

CW: I will get with the Deputy Clerk. However, on record, on tape I will tell you when we set up a time …

CW: I don’t think that will be heading on the territory of illegal based on State Statute 119, which I know, on record, on tape that I know quite well.

So where was the felony committed? When was Grapski “such an intimidating bully?”

This is the portion of the actual conversation with Watson on the Friday when we first met to discuss getting access to the public records on the election. The following Monday, when I arrived for an appointment we made to view those records, Watson arrested me under the felony wiretap statute.

He stated that 1) He was “secretly” recorded (which I believe the above transcripts proves was untrue); 2) He “objected” to the recording (which is also not supported by the transcript); and 3) he did not consent to the recording (which is clearly untrue).

All of which should be irrelevant since he was a public official acting on public business with the very members of the public who made the recording in plain sight of the public official.

See the rest of the story - with Watson’s actual sworn statement (contradicting the transcript) and his memos (which contradict each other).

The question is - given the fact that: 1) Eileen McCoy, the only other witness to these events, was called into the State Attorney’s office and asked what happened the day I was arrested - she told the State Attorney that what Watson swore to arrest me was “a lie”; and 2) the State Attorney has had the audio recording of this conversation for over a month - proving it was a lie.

So, wHy has the State Attorney not dropped the charges against me (when he has the evidence that Watson lied to arrest me - he has not formally charged me); and Why has the State Attorney refused to accept a sworn complaint against Watson for perjury and filing a false police report?

And for a really shocking look at local attempts to “frame” (not done very well) issues by the Republican party - you have to take a look at the Republican Party attack site (

Forgetting for a minute that the ALA is not “terrorism” or “communism” (it is a group of concerned Alachua citizens from all political affiliations that stood up to the corruption these past several years - only to be constantly attacked for it); and that I am not a member of the ALA (that doesn’t seem to matter - the ALA = communism = terrorism to these people. Or they are desperate to try and make that connection).

But you have to see the way they try to spin the past few days - in an attack on me made by Stafford Jones (even quoting this blog), the Chairman of the Alachua County Republican Party (who, by the way, claims it is a lie that the REC is going “after me” - problem is - Stafford himself has stated this to other Republicans, and the name of the REC member and former Sheriff who contacted a friend of mine seeking to get his assistance setting me up in a compromising situation is Keith McInnis) …

… but most importantly you want to see the new thing allegedly written by Clovis Watson entitled “What did I miss”. You will really begin to see how desperate these actors are becoming down here and how volatile the situation is becoming, particularly after the refiling of the lawsuit with the allegations and the embarrasment of the Republican Party being outed with its plants inside of the Democratic party (their planned rally never took place as a result).

It is truly getting frightening to a lot of people down here - they are not sure what these people are capable of - and they are in jeopardy of losing power (perhaps even their freedom) and there are multi-millions of dollars at stake. The one thing I have to agree with, I believe listener said it, is that the one saving factor is that you guys have kept a national eye on this situation. (THey are very perturbed by this fact).

A Charlie Update From Connie

Grapski Defense FundPosted at Howard Empowered People on the evening of June 19.

If anyone is interested in updates on Charlie and Alachua there is an interesting story on the Alachua Project Blog about the sworn statements made to arrest Charlie and then at the end there is a TRANSCRIPT of part of the actual conversation they had!

And Charlie was almost arrested at City Hall tonight. The Police Chief grabbed him and forced him outside and kicked him out of the meeting. What was he doing? He was reading to them Roberts Rules of Order! And the mayor was trying to talk to him and even said when Charlie stated that she was not asking the Chief of Police to arrest him or throw him out that she was not seeking him to do that. But the Chief of Police was not acting on the mayor’s orders but Clovis Watson’s! And they threw him out.

So Charlie called the Sheriff and charged the Police Chief with Assault and Battery! And the Sheriff came out there and took the report