The Response to the Griffin’s summary judgment was received at 11:00 by our attorney and sent to us the following morning. I guess it is the legal game and even if you have government officials whose actions appear definitely unlawful, one can change the events by picking only certain criteria from the depositions and leaving out pertinent items. It will now be up to the Federal Judge to weed through these facts. Although it is very difficult to secure a personal judgment against a government official, the evidence presented by our attorney certainly shows a conspiracy and that the Mayor at the time was gunning for Joe’s PTI…an agreement he entered into because I was the one who completed his application and attached the awards.
Likewise the Town’s attorney used the summary judgment to bring forth actions regarding his public records requests back in 1999-2001. Shirley Heath and Pam Tomlinson just did not like Joe and even the then Mayor Helen Miller said she received her facts from the Town Staff. Yet many of the facts made fraudulent statements about actions Joe had never been involved with. With Miller it seemed like everything is hearsay but the Town still loves to punish us.
The Town states did not seize upon the PTI agreement as a means to abandon our political activities….stating it arose before the issues of this lawsuit. Our PTI agreement was executed by us on May 15, 2014 with the appropriate payments as required by the courts. The PTI agreement only stated that the awards could not be mentioned and the only way in which it could be revoked would be a secondary criminal charge by the Griffins. There was never a formal revocation of his PTI, only correspondence by the ASA to our attorney on June 23, 2014 that it was revoked because of the “blog and other things” .
On June 19, 2014, although it came much after the fact in January 2015, there supposedly was a Violation report stipulating Joe Griffin has continued to maintain contact and harass the witnesses in this case, with a recommendation that the case be returned for prosecution. At the time the PTI agreement had been reinstated in October 30, 2014 by the new ASA, the Program administrator who supposedly signed the June 19th violation when we met with him, knew nothing about a violation He not only told us but our criminal attorney that he thought that the PTI had to be reinstated because of the change in ASA’s.
Again what the Town considered Harassment was Joe’s request for public documents. June 19th was also the date Tracy Rodriquenz called the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office after stipulating the complaints of the Town to the ASA. Then on June 19th, the formal complaints were made by Helen Miller, Pam Tomlinson and Anita Rivers with the Deputy Sheriff with a warrant for cyber-stalking harassment against both Joe and Karin Griffin. All of these charges were pre-determined against us because the Jasper News stated on July 24, 2014 the following:
“On June 19, Town Officials filed numerous complaints with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office HCSO against Griffin and his wife Karin of harassment and cyber-stalking as well as attempting to disrupt Town business.
Additional complaints against the Griffins were turned over to the State’s Attorney office. On June 23rd, Joe’s PTI program was revoked by Third Judicial Circuit assistant state attorney Karen Hatton. Griffin and the Town were notified that a pre-trial hearing would be held Wednesday July 16 at 9:00 am. ‘
Now you will note that it states in the newspaper that the PTI was revoked on June 23rd, yet the document stating we had to go to a pre-trial hearing was received by us on Saturday June 20th, so it would appear that the complaints went directly to the ASA on June 19th. . For us to have received the notice to appear in Court on the 20th means the notice had to have been sent by the ASA on the 19th, the same date the Town pressed criminal charges. It is obvious that these complaints promulgated the revocation of the PTI agreement and it had been further stated that the then mayor was extremely upset and wanted the Chief to do something immediately to silence our political activity.
Stating that “Had Chief Rodriquenz intended to violate the Griffin’s First Amendment Rights, she would have arrested them and not reached out to an independent agency for guidance on the matter”.
The aforementioned is lame in view of the fact that she was advised to secure an independent agency and per the ASA to determine the charges with her attorney. But obviously everyone believed the charges would stand since the PTI was revoked immediately on the 19th and the newspaper also stated criminal charges were pending because of numerous complaints.
What is not stated is the deputy did not see probable cause in one item (i.e. the e-mails; the political satire; and the calling up of candidates for Town Manager) but all combined he agreed there was probable cause that we cyber-stalked the Town. Yet that specific law does not apply to the Town but individuals alone and had Deputy Fouraker made that determination there would have been no excuse for a probable cause charge which was manifested by the Town. It was stated on Mr. Fouraker’s report “ Chief Rodriquenz requests warrants for Joe and Karin Griffin on the above charge” On June 21st, the Chief made a complaint which stated Rhett Bullard’s concern about Town applicants being contacted.
When Deputy Fouraker arrived at our home, he immediately went into attack mode about charges being made against us for the blog. He would not tell us who the individuals were who were making the charges and as a result, not knowing what the charges were, how could we complete the police statement after being read our Miranda rights, if we did not know the circumstances. We asked for a copy of the complaint and he said it had not been completed yet and would not be until he returned from his days off.
Although we would not be arrested that date because the report had not been completed, we were constantly in fear of being arrested. Even after the cyber-stalking case was closed and notification was given to the Town in September, 2014, we were never advised. Instead our attorney kept inquiring about the matter and we were told insofar as our arrest “Not yet”. We even had to ask permission to go on our pre-paid cruise because we did not wish to appear we were running away from the law.
What was amazing during Fouraker’s deposition was the fact that although he assisted the Town with their harassment case against the Griffins, for posts on our blog, etc. Mr. Fouraker would not assist me a year prior when I wished for his help to stop the e-mails from the Camel Club. In fact he at that time complained he could not assist us because of the blog. Yet much said about Joe and I was far more damaging than the complaints made on our blog. Obviously political people help political people. Forget the citizens, because when you are a Griffin, you have no rights.
Prior to June 19th, there were various phone calls from the Town as was verbally stated to our attorney, and confirmed by the Town’s Chief of Police which complained of Joe Griffin’s supposed harassment but she could not remember the dates of the phone calls. Yet once it was determined by various State officials that the entire matter (The Fraud Case) was “Political”, The PTI agreement was dropped.
February 15, 2015 by reason of “successful completion of the Pre-trial diversion program” – Administrative Nolle Prosequi Code F “The above-entitled case has been investigated by the Office of State Attorney and it appears that justice would be best served by the entry of a Nolle Prosequi. The State therefore declines to prosecute the above cause for the following reasons: The Defendant has successfully completed the Pre-Trial Diversion Program.
I love how the response to Summary Judgment stated” Mr. Koberlein advised the mayor not to send the letter and the mayor followed this advice”. That apparently is not what happened. Mr. Koberlein however probably did advise the mayor to take her letter before the council. And as I stated before on the blog, this is what transpired: Helen Miller’s letter was discussed in the July 8th meeting of the Council. At the time three council members refused to vote on the letter Rhett Bullard, Willy Jefferson and Tanja Brown, all of which were chastised by Walter McKenzie for not doing so. As you will recall, that letter stipulated:
“The intent of this letter is to request an opportunity to provide a Victim’s Statement regarding the subject case and any subsequent proceedings due to potential violations of his Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
As you are aware, the behavior of Mr. Griffin, including actions by his wife Karin, or Mr. Griffin using his wife’s name, has become increasingly vituperative regarding the Town of White Springs, its elected officials and their families, and its employees and their families. Not only does Mr. Griffin’s behavior encompass everything and everyone associated with the Town of White Springs, but it also extends to candidates for employment and the business activities of the Town conducted beyond municipal borders. Mr. Griffin’s actions and behavior are tantamount to tortuous interference with Town daily business and operations”………
I believe Mr. Griffin’s actions are criminal and violate his Deferred Prosecution Agreement, and should result in revocation. Further, I believe that Mrs. Griffin’s actions are criminal and should result in her prosecution. While I believe the rightful place for people like Joe and Karin Griffin is prison, at an absolute minimum, I would insist that Joe and Karin Griffin be required to immediately cease and desist from further interference regarding any and all activities of the Town of White Springs, that they terminate their blog, remove it from the internet, and refrain from any similar actions directly and or indirectly through any remaining cohorts.”
“Lastly, Mr. Griffin has submitted approximately 20,000 119 requests for information during his 15 year harassment of the town, a substantial portion of these requests are vague or request legal research, while many, many more are repetitive. In the future, Mr. Griffin must limit his 119 requests to specific, well-defined subjects, preferably submitted through his attorney. We stand ready to respond to legitimate requests for information, but should not be responsible for responding to duplicate requests intended by Mr. Griffin to disrupt town operations.”
What is funny in the response to Summary judgment is that it was stated “Moreover, Miller never considered that her witness statement would be used in a criminal investigation. “ “Miller never requested that the Chief of Police conduct a criminal investigation into the defendants (Griffins)”. From what was stated to the contrary, it appears that Mrs. Miller is again placing the Chief under the bus. Yet there was a certain excitement in her voice at the deposition when she bragged that she spoke to the States Attorney and told him what a bad boy Joe Griffin was.
That is a hilarious statement in view of the fact that everything points to Helen Miller and her desire to have our blog eliminated as well as our political activities. The entire thing began with not only Joe applying for Town Manager but the fact that then Mayor Miller did not wish for Joe to win the election so criminal charges were pressed so that he could have his Photo (Not mine) on front page news. If we would have had the resources to fight the initial charges rather than agree to the PTI, FDLE may have had recourse for what was done to us during the election. Even then, there were fabrications to FDLE.
The defendant’s attorney is even stating that we cannot establish a valid First Amendment retaliation claim. We are not employed by the Town and therefore would never be able to file a “retaliation” claim. Our attorney has only stuck to the facts and it is obvious with the evidence in discovery that the Town worked very hard to silence our blog and take our first amendment rights away by trying to have us arrested.
The Town has found it easy to lie their way out of anything which is unpleasant to them. Even if complaints are made against them, including ethics complaints, they may come up with a valid story that makes the complaining party wrong. I would not make a good attorney if I had to lie about my clients; nor could I lie about events as they have. At the time we filed our Civil Rights Suit, we found they were terrorizing the funds for the new School, which fortunately was stopped because of our suit.
The Town seems to complain a lot about the 119’s and we know such 119’s do not fall under our First Amendment Rights but rather the Florida Sunshine Laws and Constitution. But our blog is what was attacked and I started censoring the blog way in advance of the PTI being revoked because of the complaints made to the ASA and her mentioning those complaints to us. I guess when you are an attorney and the case is against public officials, half-truths are okay if you can get the results.
Our hope for a successful outcome rests with the Judicial Process and the Law.
Karin for the blog
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: The Town’s attorney stated “Similarly because PTI was revoked by the State Attorney’s Office before the defendants even had written their witness statement, any adverse action alleged by the plaintiffs associated with the revocation of Joe Griffin’s PTI cannot serve as adverse action resulting from the defendants’ (Town) retaliatory conduct. At least it was admitted the Town was retaliatory. Yet, there was no formal PTI revokation and the same date, the 19th of June was the day it was revoked because we saw the trial continuance on the 20th, but our attorney did not find out about it until the 23rd. Fouraker made an investigation on the 24th and read us our Miranda rights. We had the rights to remain silent and we did. Thus it was because of the Town that the PTI was revoked. And it was revoked on the same day the witness reports were written. One can see how the truth is stretched even if the facts are in the paperwork.