Thursday, November 09, 2006

CHARLIE GOES TO TRIAL MONDAY!

PLEASE FORWARD AND RE-POST!!
CHARLIE GOES TO TRIAL MONDAY!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Wednesday November 8, 2006
Ad Hoc Committee for the Legal Defense of Charlie Grapski

Contacts:
Carol Thomas 386-418-3791
Michael Canney 352-871-1991

GRAPSKI TURNS DOWN STATE ATTORNEY'S SETTLEMENT OFFER, TRIAL STARTS MONDAY ON BOGUS "WIRETAP" CHARGE
Gainesville, FL – Former University of Florida instructor Charlie Grapski will face a third degree felony wiretapping charge in Circuit Court on Monday November 13. The trial is already steeped in local politics, and Grapski's prosecution stems from his May 1 arrest at Alachua City Hall. Grapski was there attempting to inspect public records related to a city commission election that is being challenged in a citizens' lawsuit.

On Wednesday November 8, Grapski turned down an offer by the State Attorney to settle the case out of court, and as a result he will be going to trial on Monday November 13 in Circuit Court in Gainesville.

"Their offer would have been reasonable had I done something wrong," Charlie Grapski said of the settlement offer made to him by State Attorney Bill Cervone and Assistant State Attorney Geoff Fleck during a meeting in the State Attorney's office on Wednesday, where the defendant met with his prosecutors to discuss his case.

"The terms of the settlement I was offered were absurd. In essence, they were asking me to forfeit my First Amendment rights for a year, in return for having these trumped up charges dismissed," Grapski said. "I made the State Attorneys a very reasonable offer, but they weren't interested in cooperating with me to ensure I have a fair trial."

Grapski, who is representing himself in the trial, was forced to dismiss Gainesville criminal defense attorney Craig DeThomasis as his counsel after the attorney demanded an additional $40,000 retainer before doing any further work on the case.

Grapski's supporters have organized an ad hoc Grapski Defense Committee and the group will host a potluck dinner and fundraiser at the Civic Media Center next Saturday, with local singer-songwriter Lars Din performing. Funds are still needed to pay for transcripts and depositions, and there will be a minimum $5 donation at the door.

For more information:
State Attorney's offer to Charlie (PDF)
Charlie's offer to State Attorney (PDF)
CMC fundraiser flyer
Web: http://grapskidefense.org

Also: www.freealachua.org and www.highspringsherald.com (search the Herald archives for "grapski alachua")

- CitiZen

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