Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Are Communications with me "safe"?

From time-to-time I have mentioned that email to me is safe from prying eyes. Why do I say that? Because it is.

I wrote a blog in Illinois and frequently found fault with the sheriff's department and a number of police departments in the county. People thought I didn't like cops. That's not true. I like cops who believe the laws are for them, too. They should be first to obey the laws, not last.

A number of deputies fed me the dirt from the sheriff's department, and it was driving the sheriff crazy. He couldn't find the leaks. After the sheriff fired a deputy who had complained about racial profiling (and had three years' worth of documentation to prove it), that deputy filed a Federal wrongful-termination lawsuit.

The sheriff had his attorney subpoena 27 months' worth of my blog records as part of that case. As soon as I received the subpoena, I knew I was not going to reveal sources. The deputies (and others) were counting on my word never to reveal sources. So I wrote up a Motion to Quash and filed it pro se in the Federal courthouse.

That was in 2010, and I filed it in person. When the court clerk told me that the magistrates heard such motions on Wednesdays and Fridays and asked when I wanted the court date, I asked, "What do you have in 2015?" She laughed and told me I couldn't put it off that long, and she gave me a court date 30 days later.

I shined my shoes and put on my best suit (my only suit) and went to court. When my matter was called, the magistrate asked me one or two questions, and he turned to the sheriff's attorney. He told her that her motion had nothing to do with the (deputy's wrongful termination) case and that the sheriff was just on a "fishing expedition" (his words). 

"Mr. Philpott, you have won your motion." I was feeling seven feet tall as I walked out of the courtroom.

Of course, it could have gone the other way. He could have ordered me to produce the records. I had already hidden them and would not have done so. If he had threatened me with Contempt of Court and jail, I would have told him my car was in hourly parking across the street and asked if I could take it home (40 miles away) before going to jail. Federal judges don't usually have a sense of humor, but I would have tried it, anyway.

I might have sat in jail weeks or months, but he never would have gotten any names out of me.

So, your email to me is safe. Write to gusphilpott@gmail.com or call 847.971.7083

Look out - here comes the DOJ

You read last week about the National School Boards Association running off to the Biden Administration for help; right?

Now read this: 
Here's a little story that might help you decide what to do when the FBI knocks on your door.

On March 20, 2019 trustee-elect Teresa Holmes filed a harassment report against me at the Richland County Sheriff's Department (RCSD). I had sent an email to all board members on that Wednesday morning, telling the board if Holmes and McKie were not going to be sworn in legally by the next Tuesday's board meeting, then I intended to file charges on Friday (two days later). That was at 10:30AM.

By 1:00PM Holmes was at the RCSD, 27 miles from her Blythewood school place of employment, and registering her complaint with Deputy Jenkins.
On the next afternoon, while I was cleaning up dog poop in my backyard, my cell phone rang. I answered, and it was a Deputy Sergeant calling from RCSD to tell me he had a report in front of him that I had been harassing a school board member. Thanks to my law-enforcement experience, I immediately thought of the Miranda Rights ("Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law"), and I knew I wasn't going to "give" him anything. He didn't know that, though.

So I said, "That's interesting." After he talked a little longer, I thanked him for calling and said Good-bye. He said he wasn't done yet. I asked, "Is there something else?"

He said he would like to get my side of the story, and I said, "I'm sure you would."

I knew I wasn't going to tell him a thing on the phone. I said I wanted to read the report, and he told me to come on down (to RCSD). When I got there, he greeted me at the door and escorted me upstairs to the office of the Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations. Now, I was not intimidated at all by that, and I walked right in, shook hands with the DC and sat down. They pushed the report across the table to me.

"Before I read this, I'm going to tell you a little story. When I lived in Denver, the minister of the church I attended was accused by his former step-daughter of molestation. The girl, by then an adult, was mad that the minister and her mother had divorced. (She later retracted her accusation.) A Denver Post reporter saw the minister on a sidewalk one day and asked him about the charge. He said, "Young lady, if I weren't a minister, I'd say it's all bullshit." The reporter printed his exact words in the Denver Post.

Then I read the report about Holmes' complaint. I told the DC and the Sergeant. "This is all bullshit. I wasn't going to "give" you anything, but I am." I pointed to each sentence in the deputy's report. "This is a lie. This is a lie. This is a lie. This is a lie. This is a lie. You haven't got anything."

At one point the sergeant said in a surly voice, "You just want those two women kicked off the board."

I didn't take the bait. I paused and said calmly, "No, I just want them to take the oath of office and become legal members of the board." 

The decision at RCSD was that no crime had been committed. 

That was March 21, 2019. Holmes and McKie still have not taken the oath of office legally. They are not legitimate members of the board. They cannot serve as officers of the board. And yet???

The morale of the story. When the FBI or SLED or RCSD or the cops show up at your door, if you don't know your rights and what you are doing, keep your mouth shut! "You have the right to remain silent." Exercise that right. Be polite, but exercise your rights!!!