Filing a complaint about President Obama’s eligibility has led retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Walter Fitzpatrick III into some very deep waters.
The 58-year-old Naval Academy graduate is now paying the price for fighting City Hall. Fitzpatrick was arrested Wednesday for missing a court date, and he now sits in jail after allegedly being beaten and tasered by Monroe County, Tenn., deputies.
“I’ve been told he’s been beaten up pretty good, enough to require X-rays,” freelance reporter J.B. Williams told WND.
Williams, a Tennessee businessman, has been following the Fitzpatrick case for two years.
Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens confirmed that Fitzpatrick is being held while he awaits a Dec. 1 trial.
“I can’t tell you about his health, but I can say there’s nothing wrong with him,” Bivens told WND.
A Monroe County police officer told WND Fitzpatrick has been seen by the jail nurse.
“I’m told he was tasered repeatedly,” said Williams.
Williams said Fitzpatrick has uncovered “systemic corruption” in Monroe County in the course of attempting to bring accusations regarding Barack Obama before the grand jury.
According to Williams, the FBI is currently investigating corruption in Monroe County. FBI Knoxville office special agent Gary Johnson refused to confirm or deny that an investigation is ongoing.
“There’s been one death in all of this,” Williams told WND.
Newly appointed GOP election commissioner Jim Miller was murdered in July, and “only” Monroe County deputies are suspects, said Williams.
Williams said backers of Fitzpatrick have collected sworn affidavits from several Monroe County residents claiming they have been physically abused by the sheriff’s department.
“Everybody’s clammed up now,” said Williams. “They’re scared to death, even folks who’ve given us their affidavits.
“I can say this because I’m from Tennessee,” Williams continued. “Eastern Tennessee is very much of the ‘Deliverance’ mindset down there still, where small-town authorities feel completely free to run roughshod over anybody they want. It’s a very dangerous situation down there.”
As WND reported, Fitzpatrick tried unsuccessfully to place evidence about Obama’s eligibility before a Monroe County grand jury in 2009. The effort led him to discover what he considers to be corruption in the county courts and sheriff’s office.
For example, Fitzpatrick has asserted that state law places a two-year limit on the term of a grand-jury foreman, but Monroe County grand-jury foreman Gary Pettway has occupied the office for 27 years.
In April, Fitzpatrick attempted to execute a citizen’s arrest of Pettway at the county courthouse, resulting in his own arrest for allegedly inciting a riot.
According to an AP story reprinted by the Knoxville News Sentinel, “Assistant District Attorney General James Stutts said in a previous court filing that rulings in such challenges of grand-juror qualifications show there is ‘no limit on the number of two-year terms for which a foreman may be reappointed.’”
Williams claimed Fitzpatrick has never been formally charged with a crime.
“No complaint has ever been filed. … He’s asked at every hearing to know his accuser, and several different judges have told him it’s none of his business,” said Williams.
Last Friday’s court date was a hearing to determine whether Fitzpatrick could replace his legal counsel. According to Williams, Fitzpatrick submitted a written request to dismiss attorney Steven Pidgeon on Oct. 19, leading Special Circuit Judge Jon K. Blackwood to schedule an emergency hearing Oct. 22.
“Circuit Court Clerk Marty Cook said Fitzpatrick was sent notice that he was supposed to be in court Friday,” Oct. 22, according to The Advocate & Democrat newspaper.
Not so, says Williams.
“They never notified Fitzpatrick” about the hearing, Williams asserted. “He found out he was wanted from newspaper reports on Monday.”
“Special Circuit Judge Jon Blackwood also ordered Fitzpatrick held without bond until his Dec. 1 trial,” AP reported.