Saturday, July 01, 2006

News from Alachua

Watson Switches Parties

City Manager Clovis Watson Jr. switched political parties Friday, becoming a Republican.

Just can't stand any more of the loony left.


"Alachua Wal-Mart may be delayed by county"
same paper, same day.

Common Dreams had this Thursday.

The Dirty South
Down in Florida, where the next president will probably be selected, politics are as loose and corrupt as ever
by Andrew Gumbel

No matter how lousy politics can get, it’s consoling to remember that it’s almost always worse somewhere else. The Westly-Angelides gubernatorial primary was about as distasteful a race to the bottom as we’ve seen in this state, a textbook example of what happens when campaign fund-raising trumps any pretense at meaningful debate, and negative advertising tries to fill the void of public indifference. But at least neither candidate stooped so low as to try to have the other arrested.

Over in Florida, where the politics are almost invariably lousier, no such indignity has been spared a state assembly candidate by the name of Charlie Grapski. Grapski, an energetic proponent of ethics reform and a political scientist who teaches at the University of Florida in Gainesville, found himself under arrest last month for the heinous – heinous! – offense of tape-recording a conversation with a public official in the small nearby city of Alachua.

Thanks to Nordy at Howard Empowered People

Friday, June 30, 2006

Judge (nearly) bans political candidate from Alachua

Charlie Grapski can go home but that's all he can do in the city of Alachua, a judge decided Thursday.

Circuit Judge Peter K. Sieg barred Grapski from the city's borders - other than going home - during a court hearing over whether the Florida House candidate violated conditions set after he was released on his own recognizance following a May arrest for unlawful interception of oral communications.

Grapski's Alachua home was even off limits until his attorney, Craig DeThomasis, pointed out to the judge that his residence had changed from an earlier address listed in court records.

Sieg also said he can have no contact with city employees or elected officials and gave examples including face-to-face meetings, mail, e-mail and phone messages.

Click post title for full article.

Thanks to Renee in Ohio at Howard Empowered People

Thursday, June 29, 2006

update for 6/29

Here is what happened. The State (with Alachua-resident in tow - who is the State Attorney's Public Information Officer - but happens to be right smack dab in the middle of EVERYTHING to do with this case, in my view, highly inappropriately) sought the judge to rescind my ROR (release on my own recognisance) for the crime of felony wiretapping for which I was arrested but have to YET be charged with - and asked for a "substantial" bond.

When it was clear that the judge was not going that direction - for PR purposes - the State prosecutor got up and said that they were not looking for the judge to "deny me my liberty"! They were not? Then why did they ask for that in their formal motion? And in their opening statements at the Court?

THe judge did not revoke my release - but did amend the restrictions on my liberty.

Get this: I am not allowed into the city of Alachua (where I am living) until the case against me (which has not been charged - so this is indefinite) has been resolved.

And by the way - PayPal has "mysteriously" turned off my account for recieving money - again "coincidentally" the day that money is expected to come in and a national story is going out.

This is extremely troubling - and I hope that people will contact PayPal about this. This is an unacceptable business practice. And they will not tell me WHO is contacting them - to cause these problems.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Latest

06.26.06 - 12:21 pm
Just an alert - it turns out that the City's set up of having me thrown out of the meeting - was used to try and have me thrown back in jail.

The State Attorney - who HAS evidence in his possession that the original arrest made against me was based on perjured statements by the police commissioner - and has had an eyewitness state that he lied - and thus knows that I did not commit the crime I was arrested for - and who has not charged me with that crime - has refused to officially drop the charges against me.

They are trying to corner me into a position where I will "deal" so as to not bring charges against the City and Clovis Watson.

I will make no deals. So they are threatening now to have me thrown in jail over that meeting - so that they can leverage me further.

This is getting to the point of absurdity already.
Just an update.

06.26.06 - 8:36 pm
Hello everyone,

I am putting the call out to everyone I know who is also familiar with what is going on with Charlie Grapski and the fight against corruption in the City of Alachua. Charlie has learned that the Mayor of Alachua, Jean Calderwood has filed another sworn complaint against him stemming from the last City Commission Meeting. In that meeting Charlie tried repeatedly to use procedural rules to point out and correct several unlawful actions by the City Commission in a previous meeting. Charlie was forcibly removed from the building by the Chief of Police and another officer. Today, Charlie has found out that someone in the State Attorney's office is trying to get Charlie's bond (from his unlawful arrest) revoked which would make it possible for him to be arrested again and held in jail for some time.

And so I am asking that everyone:

1. Write letters to the Gainesville Sun and call other media outlets.

2. Contact the State Attorney's office (352-374-3670) and ask them why charges against Charlie have not been dropped and why it is that powerful people in the City of Alachua are able to file complaints Charlie Grapski even while he has not been allowed to file any complaints against them.

3. Get the word out to the online community that Charlie is being threatened with arrest and incarceration. That they are putting the screws on him to get him to drop his investigation and legal actions against the City of Alachua. He needs money to pay his legal expenses and to continue his legal actions against them.

Thanks for your help and support,
John Prosser

06.27.06 - 10:39 am
Hey all, just checking in. We have a hearing on Thursday morning - the State Attorney, who has refused to accept any charges to investigate against City officials in Alachua, and who has not charged me with a single crime - but - having the sole witness testify the day I was arrested that Watson LIED to have me arrested, and having the actual evidence in his possession (my recorder) proving that he lied and that he consented to being recorded - has not filed a "no information" - has kept this thing alive and encouraged the City officials to continue down this path.

I find this negligent on his part. I have strong suspicions that this is a result, however, of persons WITHIN his department - particularly his Public Relations person, Spencer Mann, who has actually been intimately involved with this matter from the start (why?).

He is from Alachua and is deeply connected with the players in this matter.
As such they are accepting any and every complaint - no matter how baseless - by City officials against me.

Not to try me - but to try and put me into a position where I will make a "deal" - and let the City and its officials off the hook - if they promise not to prosecute me.

Good luck to them on that. I want these individuals prosecuted, and I want that City cleaned up.

The State Attorney has referred to that as "political" (rather than legal) - and says he won't get involved in that. He already is - but this is also a cop-out.

Violations of the law - criminal activities - by public officials are CRIMES not political actions. This is the reason we have such rampant political corruption in this nation - because our system has fundamentally broken down as the judicial branch and related law enforcement refuse to play their "check and balance" role.

So on Thursday morning - although I have not been charged with a crime, and although the State Attorney has evidence of my innocence and the guilt of those bringing forth the charges - the State Attorney will be seeking to have me thrown back in jail.
This is harassment pure and simple. But I have no intention of caving in to their tactics.

Just an update.

ShadowTeatimetim | 06.27.06 - 11:17 am
Would it help if we started contacting your attorney General and complaining?

06.27.06 - 11:23 am
Yes - it would help to contact the State Attorney's office - and speak directly to Bill Cervone (do not speak with Spencer Mann - he is their PR person - but he is an Alachua resident with deep connections to the political corruption there - and it is my belief that he is a KEY to what is going on here. I believe the FDLE as well as the Attorney General should open an investigation into the activities and role of Spencer Mann in the State Attorney's office).

So I think it would also be good to contact the Attorney General Charlie Crist. After all - he is running for governor (So is Spencer Mann and Clovis Watson's benefactor - Rod Smith - by the way. An Alachua resident - and one deeply connected to much of this corruption, unfortunately for many, as he is running as a Democrat. But corruption in America knows no party affiliation it did not operate under).

06.27.06 - 12:17 pm
Tim - that would be great - we have racketeering and other crimes going on down here I believe.
Also - got your message - will call you.

06.27.06 - 3:09 pm
Bill pronounces his name sir-vone.
Alachua is pronounced two ways - depending on where you are from.
The County is a-lach-u-uh.
Many in the City pronounce the city as a-lach-u-ay