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  string(287) " HUMPHREYS Head  2018-12-10T22:09:29+00:00 HUMPHREYS_head.jpg     Stephen Humphreys is an Athens based Attorney and former News Editor for Creative Loafing.  11782 2018-12-10T22:09:47+00:00 Stephen Humphreys athenslaw@gmail.com Stephen Humphreys   Attorney           athenslaw@gmail.com "
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Stephen Humphreys

Attorney

Stephen Humphreys is an Athens based Attorney and former News Editor for Creative Loafing.

Articles By This Writer

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  string(66) "OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: ‘The Case of the Mass Recusal’"
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  string(76) "Conflicts of interest, sleight of hand, and the usual obstruction of justice"
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  string(10181) "“(Tricoli’s attorney) has accused the attorney general’s office of engaging in criminal conspiracy... that this wasn’t a matter of some misaccounting or someone screwing up as far as the audit procedure was concerned.”

— Assistant Attorney General Mac Sitton on WABE radio, September 2014

What happens if you take a case to court but there is no judge to hear it?

In prior installments of the Outlandish Conspiracy Theories series, I wrote as the lawyer in cases pending before the Georgia Supreme Court. One is the Phantom Case at Kennesaw State, in which Attorney General Chris Carr never responded to pleadings documenting a campaign of bribery and extortion to cover up financial fraud in the University System of Georgia (USG), as well as other miscellaneous illegal activities.

Not only did Carr’s failure to answer the allegations go on past the 30-day legal deadline to respond in the trial court. The complete and total vacuum has endured for more than three-and-a-half years now, extending throughout the appeals process. (Though Carr never responded, courts just kept ruling in his favor at every level — which is a trick of legal legerdemain no other lawyer has ever been able to replicate).

Another is the strange case of Anthony Tricoli, in which Chris Carr also failed to answer pleadings documenting falsification and misrepresentations of USG financial reports for the purpose of defrauding the federal government. That pregnant silence has lasted for over a year now, since April 1, 2019.

The USG dragged into this mess the attorney general, the Georgia Department of Audits (DOAA), and the SACS accreditation agency. With a lot of secretive transfers of millions of dollars and double counting of funds, they were able to fudge the USG’s way into meeting the financial requirements to receive federal assistance, and also to misrepresent the USG’s financials to bond-rating agencies who determine how much it costs the Board of Regents to borrow money.

The federal funding received by the USG on false pretenses, by itself, amounts to about a billion dollars a year in Pell Grants alone. Without falsifying the financial records — and substituting phony reports for the independent audits that are supposed to be required — the USG would not have qualified for that money.

Under the federal false claims act, the USG could be required to pay it all back — which, of course, would be a major disaster for higher education in Georgia. Rather than risk that calamity, the USG scapegoated Dr. Anthony Tricoli and Dr. Dan Papp, and destroyed their reputations and careers. Meanwhile, those responsible for the financial fraud keep running the USG. In legal parlance, that is known as injustice. It is the reason we have courts of law, in the first place.

So that explains why Attorney General Chris Carr never answered these allegations. Carr did not even repeat former Attorney General Sam Olens’ famous unfounded smear that the RICO allegations against the state were simply an “outlandish conspiracy theory” I concocted.

It is undisputed that the attorney general never investigated the allegations of fraud arising from Georgia Perimeter College for which Anthony Tricoli was scapegoated. Governor Brian Kemp has also not responded to repeated requests to appoint an independent investigator.

What was more surprising is that the Georgia courts kept ruling in the taciturn attorney general’s favor, entering almost equally minimalist one-sentence orders denying relief to Tricoli and the KSU plaintiffs — without a word of explanation.

They even stopped asserting the position they previously concocted that sovereign immunity allows state officials to commit felonies with impunity. It was nonresponse on top of nonresponse. I never knew before that silence could have an echo. In legal parlance, the phenomenon is more commonly known as denial of due process.

On March 26, 2020, when the Georgia Supreme Court denied review of the Phantom Case at Kennesaw State — again with no explanation, ignoring a motion to consolidate it with the Tricoli case, I finally lost patience with that ephemeral legal theory.

I filed a motion to vacate that order — though the KSU case has arguably gone as far as it can go in the Georgia courts, with Attorney General Chris Carr failing to respond for almost four years, and with the courts never offering a word of explanation.

Before I could get the same treatment in the Tricoli case, I turned my attention away from the law and toward the Supreme Court justices themselves and any biases and conflicts of interest they might be harboring to create this void. That seemed like as good a way as any to elicit a word to the wise from the Georgia judiciary, just to break the monotony, if nothing else.

The result was a motion to recuse seven of the nine justices, along with a request to the other two to examine whether they had been influenced by their conflicted brethren and sistren.

With just a little background research, that motion to recuse seemed to do the trick. For the first time in many years, Georgia judges had to pay attention to these cases. Of course, Carr did not respond to the motion, and the justices did not give any reason why, but five of nine justices disqualified themselves from participation in the Tricoli case.

Despite the usual lack of explanation, this mass recusal speaks volumes. It is a rare event, by itself, for five justices — a majority of the court — to end up disqualified in any case, even without a billion-dollar government corruption scheme at stake.

What is even more noteworthy is that some of the justices, who had to disqualify, had previously been ruling against Tricoli — despite their obvious conflicts of interest — before they were called out.

For example, Justice Sarah Warren, who served as solicitor general in the attorney general’s office under both Sam Olens and Chris Carr, voted to deny my motion to add to the record Chris Carr’s ethical violations in obstructing criminal investigation of the financial fraud in the USG.

A reasonable observer might say she favored Carr or was prejudiced against Tricoli. So what should be done about that apparent transgression of the canons of judicial conduct?

Justice Nels Peterson also voted to deny Tricoli’s same motion to supplement the record with evidence of the USG’s fraud on the federal government — even though Peterson served as legal counsel to the USG and Board of Regents while they were litigating against Tricoli.

Justice John Ellington had previously not only ruled against Tricoli, but had refused to even consider Tricoli’s arguments as a judge on the Court of Appeals — which means he was disqualified by statute from participating in the decision to deny the motion to supplement the record with evidence of Attorney General Carr’s obstruction of justice in that very case.

That motion to point out Carr’s ethical peccadillos committed to save the USG’s felonious bacon was literally dead on arrival in the Supreme Court. The justices got together and denied that motion within an hour of my filing it. They obviously did not have time to discuss their conflicts of interest, as all of them participated.

Other justices who were disqualified in Tricoli did participate in the decision to deny review in the related KSU phantom case. That was the case where Dr. Papp got extorted out of existence to make way for Sam Olens, after Olens obstructed investigation of the federal fraud in the Tricoli case. So there were likely more undisclosed conflicts there (though Warren and Peterson did sit that one out), since one case was just a continuation of the same RICO enterprise in the other.

Another extraordinarily unusual thing happened, though, in connection with the mass recusal. The case of the uncontested billion-dollar fraud, Tricoli v. Watts, actually got some media attention, despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley’s longstanding contention that fraud on the federal government and obstruction by the attorney general (who should be prosecuting the crimes) does not offer any hook to interest the average reader.

That racketeering scheme in state government only caught the attention of five Georgia Supreme Court justices, and Tricoli is filing a further motion to recuse three more, based on the developing state of information.

The unaccustomed media attention came in the form of a Fulton County Daily Report article with a promising headline — about all those justices recusing in a mass exodus from this state barge filled with the bilge of corruption — but the Daily Report left out a lot of the ramifications — such as the prior participation of the disqualified justices. Anthony Tricoli, the one whose life and career was destroyed, took the opportunity to write a letter to the editor to fill in some of the blanks.

The Daily Report declined to publish the letter as a little too controversial, though we offered to supply documentation on any point the publication considered debatable. Though you missed it in the Daily Report, you can read Tricoli’s letter here.

One thing’s for sure, after the mass recusal, Tricoli cannot be subjected to the same old mass refusal to even consider his case. Maybe the replacement judges will honor Tricoli’s request to tear down the already-crumbling barrier of sovereign immunity for felonies and send his case back to Superior Court for a trial by a jury of his peers.

That is the longstanding Anglo-Saxon tradition. Then, at a trial, maybe we can find out what was really behind those screw-ups in the audit procedures the assistant attorney general was talking about on the radio.

And maybe next, if qualified judges reconvene to reconsider the decision to throw out the uncontested phantom case at Kennesaw State, we’ll get to see the evidence presented to a jury about the financial fraud the USG was covering up when Dr. Papp was coerced to vacate the KSU presidency to make way for Attorney General Sam Olens.

Any questions? —CL— "
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  string(17694) "''~~black:“(Tricoli’s attorney) has accused the attorney general’s office of engaging in criminal conspiracy... that this wasn’t a matter of some misaccounting or someone screwing up as far as the audit procedure was concerned.”~~''

''~~black:~~black:— Assistant Attorney General Mac Sitton on [https://www.wabe.org/judge-hears-rico-complaint-brought-ex-perimeter-college-president/|WABE radio], September 2014~~~~''

~~black:~~black:~~black:What happens if you take a case to court but there is no judge to hear it?~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:In prior installments of the ''Outlandish Conspiracy Theories'' series, I wrote as the lawyer in cases pending before the Georgia Supreme Court. One is the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470581-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-timeline-of-the-phantom-case-at|Phantom Case at Kennesaw State], in which Attorney General Chris Carr never responded to pleadings documenting a campaign of bribery and extortion to cover up financial fraud in the University System of Georgia (USG), as well as other miscellaneous illegal activities.~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Not only did Carr’s failure to answer the allegations go on past the 30-day legal deadline to respond in the trial court. The complete and total vacuum has endured for more than three-and-a-half years now, extending throughout the appeals process. (Though Carr never responded, courts just kept ruling in his favor at every level — which is a trick of legal legerdemain no other lawyer has ever been able to replicate).~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Another is the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-425364-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-The-adventure-of-the-disappearing-budget-surplus|strange case] of Anthony Tricoli, in which Chris Carr also failed to answer pleadings documenting falsification and misrepresentations of USG financial reports for the purpose of [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-dE_mK2vhmquoK-uDQsHkHFriJmzUp_D/view|defrauding the federal government]. That pregnant silence has lasted for over a year now, since April 1, 2019.~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:The USG dragged into this mess the attorney general, the Georgia Department of Audits (DOAA), and the SACS accreditation agency. With a lot of secretive transfers of millions of dollars and double counting of funds, they were able to fudge the USG’s way into meeting the financial requirements to receive federal assistance, and also to misrepresent the USG’s financials to [https://drive.google.com/file/d/19WE7F0xRwxeSPmQwHgE6QQFNW4Y7C4MM/view|bond-rating agencies] who determine how much it costs the Board of Regents to borrow money.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:The federal funding received by the USG on false pretenses, by itself, amounts to about [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1baUom5b_UWuvlwXRVa5dG4L_xlWDAZkD/view|a billion dollars a year] in Pell Grants alone. Without falsifying the financial records — and substituting phony reports for the independent audits that are supposed to be required — the USG would not have qualified for that money.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Under the federal false claims act, the USG could be required to pay it all back — which, of course, would be a major disaster for higher education in Georgia. Rather than risk that calamity, the USG scapegoated Dr. Anthony Tricoli and Dr. Dan Papp, and destroyed their reputations and careers. Meanwhile, those responsible for the financial fraud keep running the USG. In legal parlance, that is known as injustice. It is the reason we have courts of law, in the first place.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:So that explains why Attorney General Chris Carr never answered these allegations. Carr did not even repeat former Attorney General Sam Olens’ famous unfounded smear that the RICO allegations against the state were simply an “[https://www.wabe.org/judge-hears-rico-complaint-brought-ex-perimeter-college-president/|outlandish conspiracy theory]” I concocted.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:It is undisputed that the attorney general [https://www.cbs46.com/news/allegations-of-public-corruption-not-investigated-by-ga-attorney-general/article_073ff831-c3f2-5f48-98ee-ccf397eecb8d.html|never investigated] the allegations of fraud arising from Georgia Perimeter College for which Anthony Tricoli was scapegoated. Governor [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4OP-AqsBJToxcEYU70td-PrsNiOnBsi/view|Brian Kemp has also not responded] to repeated requests to appoint an [https://creativeloafing.com/content-423650-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES--Another-open-letter-to-the-Governor|independent investigator].~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:What was more surprising is that the Georgia courts kept ruling in the taciturn attorney general’s favor, entering almost equally minimalist one-sentence orders denying relief to Tricoli and the KSU plaintiffs — without a word of explanation.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:They even stopped asserting the position they previously concocted that [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|sovereign immunity] allows state officials to commit felonies with impunity. It was nonresponse on top of nonresponse. I never knew before that silence could have an echo. In legal parlance, the phenomenon is more commonly known as denial of due process.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:On March 26, 2020, when the Georgia Supreme Court denied review of the Phantom Case at Kennesaw State — again with no explanation, ignoring a motion to consolidate it with the Tricoli case, I finally lost patience with that ephemeral legal theory.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:I filed a motion to vacate that order — though the KSU case has arguably gone as far as it can go in the Georgia courts, with Attorney General Chris Carr failing to respond for almost four years, and with the courts never offering a word of explanation.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Before I could get the same treatment in the Tricoli case, I turned my attention away from the law and toward the Supreme Court justices themselves and any biases and conflicts of interest they might be harboring to create this void. That seemed like as good a way as any to elicit a word to the wise from the Georgia judiciary, just to break the monotony, if nothing else.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:The result was a [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_1bSolAA4Mi4-KsQqXIEhNxj7_6QIIcI/view|motion to recuse] seven of the nine justices, along with a request to the other two to examine whether they had been influenced by their conflicted brethren and sistren.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:With just a little background research, that motion to recuse seemed to do the trick. For the first time in many years, Georgia judges had to pay attention to these cases. Of course, Carr did not respond to the motion, and the justices did not give any reason why, but five of nine justices disqualified themselves from participation in the Tricoli case.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Despite the usual lack of explanation, this mass recusal speaks volumes. It is a rare event, by itself, for five justices — a majority of the court — to end up disqualified in any case, even without a billion-dollar government corruption scheme at stake.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:What is even more noteworthy is that some of the justices, who had to disqualify, had previously been ruling against Tricoli — despite their obvious conflicts of interest — before they were called out.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:For example, Justice Sarah Warren, who served as solicitor general in the attorney general’s office under both Sam Olens and Chris Carr, voted to deny my motion to add to the record Chris Carr’s ethical violations in obstructing criminal investigation of the financial fraud in the USG.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:A reasonable observer might say she favored Carr or was prejudiced against Tricoli. So what should be done about that apparent transgression of the canons of judicial conduct?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Justice Nels Peterson also voted to deny Tricoli’s same motion to supplement the record with evidence of the USG’s fraud on the federal government — even though Peterson served as legal counsel to the USG and Board of Regents while they were litigating against Tricoli.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Justice John Ellington had previously not only ruled against Tricoli, but had refused to even consider Tricoli’s arguments as a judge on the Court of Appeals — which means he was [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-15/chapter-1/15-1-8/|disqualified by statute] from participating in the decision to deny the motion to supplement the record with evidence of Attorney General Carr’s obstruction of justice in that very case.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:That motion to point out Carr’s ethical peccadillos committed to save the USG’s felonious bacon was literally dead on arrival in the Supreme Court. The justices got together and denied that motion within an hour of my filing it. They obviously did not have time to discuss their conflicts of interest, as all of them participated.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Other justices who were disqualified in ''Tricoli'' did participate in the decision to deny review in the related KSU phantom case. That was the case where Dr. Papp got extorted out of existence to make way for Sam Olens, after Olens obstructed investigation of the federal fraud in the Tricoli case. So there were likely more undisclosed conflicts there (though Warren and Peterson did sit that one out), since one case was just a continuation of the same RICO enterprise in the other.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Another extraordinarily unusual thing happened, though, in connection with the mass recusal. The case of the uncontested billion-dollar fraud, ''Tricoli v. Watts'', actually got some media attention, despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley’s longstanding contention that fraud on the federal government and obstruction by the attorney general (who should be prosecuting the crimes) does not offer any hook to interest the average reader.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:That racketeering scheme in state government only caught the attention of five Georgia Supreme Court justices, and Tricoli is filing a further motion to recuse three more, based on the developing state of information.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:The unaccustomed media attention came in the form of a Fulton County Daily Report [https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2020/05/06/5-justices-recuse-in-ex-georgia-perimeter-presidents-rico-case-against-regents/|article with a promising headline] — about all those justices recusing in a mass exodus from this state barge filled with the bilge of corruption — but the Daily Report left out a lot of the ramifications — such as the prior participation of the disqualified justices. Anthony Tricoli, the one whose life and career was destroyed, took the opportunity to write a letter to the editor to fill in some of the blanks.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:The Daily Report declined to publish the letter as a little too controversial, though we offered to supply documentation on any point the publication considered debatable. Though you missed it in the Daily Report, you can read [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dcfnGMs0jmNB23eGpI-QvoFzoshphZZ-/view?usp=sharing|Tricoli’s letter here].~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:One thing’s for sure, after the mass recusal, Tricoli cannot be subjected to the same old mass refusal to even consider his case. Maybe the replacement judges will honor Tricoli’s request to tear down the already-crumbling barrier of sovereign immunity for felonies and send his case back to Superior Court for a trial by a jury of his peers.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:That is the longstanding Anglo-Saxon tradition. Then, at a trial, maybe we can find out what was really behind those screw-ups in the audit procedures the assistant attorney general was talking about on the radio.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:And maybe next, if qualified judges reconvene to reconsider the decision to throw out the uncontested [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470581-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-timeline-of-the-phantom-case-at|phantom case] at Kennesaw State, we’ll get to see the evidence presented to a jury about the financial fraud the USG was covering up when Dr. Papp was coerced to vacate the KSU presidency to make way for Attorney General Sam Olens.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:~~black:Any questions? __—CL— __~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"
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  string(11476) " OCT 5 Judges  2020-05-31T20:43:37+00:00 OCT_5_Judges.jpg   Fraud, racketeering and the misuse of millions of federal and state funds by the Boatd of Regents and University System of Georgia has become the "norm and acceptable" by Governors Kemp, Deal and Perdue, Attorney Generals Sam Olens and Chris Carr and our General Assembly. i.e., Gov. Kemp DENIED meeting with USG Witnesses, EXEMPTED the Regents from Budget Hearings, VETOED the Sovereign Immunity Bill which had passed the House and Senate and NEVER responded to requests to appoint a Special Investigator by Attorney Stephen Humphreys. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue - it is an "American Justice" issue. The Power Pount link enclosed is now at The White House as Gov. Kemp is not on President Tump's "favorite Governors" list - or most Georgians. ✝️   conspiracytheories Conflicts of interest, sleight of hand, and the usual obstruction of justice 31389  2020-05-31T20:34:01+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: ‘The Case of the Mass Recusal’ jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-05-31T20:34:01+00:00  “(Tricoli’s attorney) has accused the attorney general’s office of engaging in criminal conspiracy... that this wasn’t a matter of some misaccounting or someone screwing up as far as the audit procedure was concerned.”

— Assistant Attorney General Mac Sitton on WABE radio, September 2014

What happens if you take a case to court but there is no judge to hear it?

In prior installments of the Outlandish Conspiracy Theories series, I wrote as the lawyer in cases pending before the Georgia Supreme Court. One is the Phantom Case at Kennesaw State, in which Attorney General Chris Carr never responded to pleadings documenting a campaign of bribery and extortion to cover up financial fraud in the University System of Georgia (USG), as well as other miscellaneous illegal activities.

Not only did Carr’s failure to answer the allegations go on past the 30-day legal deadline to respond in the trial court. The complete and total vacuum has endured for more than three-and-a-half years now, extending throughout the appeals process. (Though Carr never responded, courts just kept ruling in his favor at every level — which is a trick of legal legerdemain no other lawyer has ever been able to replicate).

Another is the strange case of Anthony Tricoli, in which Chris Carr also failed to answer pleadings documenting falsification and misrepresentations of USG financial reports for the purpose of defrauding the federal government. That pregnant silence has lasted for over a year now, since April 1, 2019.

The USG dragged into this mess the attorney general, the Georgia Department of Audits (DOAA), and the SACS accreditation agency. With a lot of secretive transfers of millions of dollars and double counting of funds, they were able to fudge the USG’s way into meeting the financial requirements to receive federal assistance, and also to misrepresent the USG’s financials to bond-rating agencies who determine how much it costs the Board of Regents to borrow money.

The federal funding received by the USG on false pretenses, by itself, amounts to about a billion dollars a year in Pell Grants alone. Without falsifying the financial records — and substituting phony reports for the independent audits that are supposed to be required — the USG would not have qualified for that money.

Under the federal false claims act, the USG could be required to pay it all back — which, of course, would be a major disaster for higher education in Georgia. Rather than risk that calamity, the USG scapegoated Dr. Anthony Tricoli and Dr. Dan Papp, and destroyed their reputations and careers. Meanwhile, those responsible for the financial fraud keep running the USG. In legal parlance, that is known as injustice. It is the reason we have courts of law, in the first place.

So that explains why Attorney General Chris Carr never answered these allegations. Carr did not even repeat former Attorney General Sam Olens’ famous unfounded smear that the RICO allegations against the state were simply an “outlandish conspiracy theory” I concocted.

It is undisputed that the attorney general never investigated the allegations of fraud arising from Georgia Perimeter College for which Anthony Tricoli was scapegoated. Governor Brian Kemp has also not responded to repeated requests to appoint an independent investigator.

What was more surprising is that the Georgia courts kept ruling in the taciturn attorney general’s favor, entering almost equally minimalist one-sentence orders denying relief to Tricoli and the KSU plaintiffs — without a word of explanation.

They even stopped asserting the position they previously concocted that sovereign immunity allows state officials to commit felonies with impunity. It was nonresponse on top of nonresponse. I never knew before that silence could have an echo. In legal parlance, the phenomenon is more commonly known as denial of due process.

On March 26, 2020, when the Georgia Supreme Court denied review of the Phantom Case at Kennesaw State — again with no explanation, ignoring a motion to consolidate it with the Tricoli case, I finally lost patience with that ephemeral legal theory.

I filed a motion to vacate that order — though the KSU case has arguably gone as far as it can go in the Georgia courts, with Attorney General Chris Carr failing to respond for almost four years, and with the courts never offering a word of explanation.

Before I could get the same treatment in the Tricoli case, I turned my attention away from the law and toward the Supreme Court justices themselves and any biases and conflicts of interest they might be harboring to create this void. That seemed like as good a way as any to elicit a word to the wise from the Georgia judiciary, just to break the monotony, if nothing else.

The result was a motion to recuse seven of the nine justices, along with a request to the other two to examine whether they had been influenced by their conflicted brethren and sistren.

With just a little background research, that motion to recuse seemed to do the trick. For the first time in many years, Georgia judges had to pay attention to these cases. Of course, Carr did not respond to the motion, and the justices did not give any reason why, but five of nine justices disqualified themselves from participation in the Tricoli case.

Despite the usual lack of explanation, this mass recusal speaks volumes. It is a rare event, by itself, for five justices — a majority of the court — to end up disqualified in any case, even without a billion-dollar government corruption scheme at stake.

What is even more noteworthy is that some of the justices, who had to disqualify, had previously been ruling against Tricoli — despite their obvious conflicts of interest — before they were called out.

For example, Justice Sarah Warren, who served as solicitor general in the attorney general’s office under both Sam Olens and Chris Carr, voted to deny my motion to add to the record Chris Carr’s ethical violations in obstructing criminal investigation of the financial fraud in the USG.

A reasonable observer might say she favored Carr or was prejudiced against Tricoli. So what should be done about that apparent transgression of the canons of judicial conduct?

Justice Nels Peterson also voted to deny Tricoli’s same motion to supplement the record with evidence of the USG’s fraud on the federal government — even though Peterson served as legal counsel to the USG and Board of Regents while they were litigating against Tricoli.

Justice John Ellington had previously not only ruled against Tricoli, but had refused to even consider Tricoli’s arguments as a judge on the Court of Appeals — which means he was disqualified by statute from participating in the decision to deny the motion to supplement the record with evidence of Attorney General Carr’s obstruction of justice in that very case.

That motion to point out Carr’s ethical peccadillos committed to save the USG’s felonious bacon was literally dead on arrival in the Supreme Court. The justices got together and denied that motion within an hour of my filing it. They obviously did not have time to discuss their conflicts of interest, as all of them participated.

Other justices who were disqualified in Tricoli did participate in the decision to deny review in the related KSU phantom case. That was the case where Dr. Papp got extorted out of existence to make way for Sam Olens, after Olens obstructed investigation of the federal fraud in the Tricoli case. So there were likely more undisclosed conflicts there (though Warren and Peterson did sit that one out), since one case was just a continuation of the same RICO enterprise in the other.

Another extraordinarily unusual thing happened, though, in connection with the mass recusal. The case of the uncontested billion-dollar fraud, Tricoli v. Watts, actually got some media attention, despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley’s longstanding contention that fraud on the federal government and obstruction by the attorney general (who should be prosecuting the crimes) does not offer any hook to interest the average reader.

That racketeering scheme in state government only caught the attention of five Georgia Supreme Court justices, and Tricoli is filing a further motion to recuse three more, based on the developing state of information.

The unaccustomed media attention came in the form of a Fulton County Daily Report article with a promising headline — about all those justices recusing in a mass exodus from this state barge filled with the bilge of corruption — but the Daily Report left out a lot of the ramifications — such as the prior participation of the disqualified justices. Anthony Tricoli, the one whose life and career was destroyed, took the opportunity to write a letter to the editor to fill in some of the blanks.

The Daily Report declined to publish the letter as a little too controversial, though we offered to supply documentation on any point the publication considered debatable. Though you missed it in the Daily Report, you can read Tricoli’s letter here.

One thing’s for sure, after the mass recusal, Tricoli cannot be subjected to the same old mass refusal to even consider his case. Maybe the replacement judges will honor Tricoli’s request to tear down the already-crumbling barrier of sovereign immunity for felonies and send his case back to Superior Court for a trial by a jury of his peers.

That is the longstanding Anglo-Saxon tradition. Then, at a trial, maybe we can find out what was really behind those screw-ups in the audit procedures the assistant attorney general was talking about on the radio.

And maybe next, if qualified judges reconvene to reconsider the decision to throw out the uncontested phantom case at Kennesaw State, we’ll get to see the evidence presented to a jury about the financial fraud the USG was covering up when Dr. Papp was coerced to vacate the KSU presidency to make way for Attorney General Sam Olens.

Any questions? —CL—     Supreme Court of Georgia Website   0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: ‘The Case of the Mass Recusal’ "
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Article

Sunday May 31, 2020 04:34 pm EDT
Conflicts of interest, sleight of hand, and the usual obstruction of justice | more...
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  string(56) "Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Where’s my Eliot Ness?"
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  string(52) "Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County"
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  string(11119) "“…it appears that members of (Georgia Perimeter College’s) cabinet, to include the former President, and both the President’s Council and the Strategic Budget Committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations made by the (VP of Finance Ron Carruth) … that were not representative of GPC’s financial condition … It should be noted that this budget neglect did not appear to be malicious or intentional ….”
 — USG Special Review: Georgia Perimeter College

I was hanging out one day in one of the hotel lobbies where FBI agents like to meet near their offices. In passing conversation, at the mere mention of DeKalb County, the two I was talking with both sat bolt upright on their crushed-velour sofa cushions.

“If you can tell us about DeKalb!,” they exclaimed with their eyes bugging under the mood-lighting. They seemed to believe that DeKalb, lying at the Union Army’s eastern gateway to Fair Atlanta, is the holy grail of government corruption.

Now I would argue, if I had to choose, that a close-knit cabal of county officials, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, and Russian mafia money launderers located northwest of the city is the actual epicenter of corruption in Georgia.

But down in southeast Georgia, homespun former members of the police and sheriff’s departments seem to get away with shooting a lot of people without suffering any consequences. So they have an argument.

And over in Valdosta, high school kids can end up rolled-in-a-gym-mat-stood-on-its-head dead, under security camera surveillance, and no one gets caught for that positional asphyxia accident. Well, you get the picture without even having to look at the existing camera footage yourself.

But these two FBI agents seemed to think that investigating and prosecuting in DeKalb County is where it’s at, which may be why they both got transferred out of there fast.

And I have had my own experiences with the district attorneys in DeKalb County. I carried to them bushels of information, including that $10 million, “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012, remained unaccounted for even after a University System of Georgia (USG) investigation of itself.

Yes, there’s more. In all, state records show $20 million disappeared from GPC reserves over three years 2009-2011.

Also, the USG investigation concluded that they, the USG officials themselves, knew nothing about that shortfall until they suddenly discovered it overnight, in April 2012, even though voluminous state records show that then-Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, and others knew about the three-year rising tide of red ink and concealed the information from GPC’s management while simultaneously maneuvering to set GPC President Anthony Tricoli up to take the fall for it — which is why I represent him in his case against the Board of Regents and attorney general.

Most relevant to our hotel discussion that afternoon, state records show that two sets of books were kept at GPC during that time frame, one accurate set that ended up in state auditors’ hands to conceal the fraud — and one given to the management team described above (all the cabinets and councils and committees, as well as President Tricoli) to conceal the true state of GPC finances from them.

That is important because, to get ahead of the story, both DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said there was no evidence of criminal activity any investigation could ever turn up at GPC in those days.


But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

Two sets of books is about as good as it gets. Special Agent Eliot Ness would settle for a lot less to catch a racketeering impresario.

Here’s some more evidence Olens and Boston didn’t cotton to:

In the civil RICO case I filed on behalf of Anthony Tricoli against Olens and the Board of Regents, concerning the $10 million in cash reserves that went away, Ron Carruth was telling the GPC management team they were running a $37 million surplus at the same time he was drawing millions at a time out of the reserves without the knowledge of the rest of the GPC administration. (No, Boston and Olens did not find any problem there, either).

At Carruth’s last GPC cabinet meeting, in March of 2012, he reported a large surplus, and also announced his retirement. It was his last score. Weeks later, the USG announced a $16 million deficit at GPC. You may have heard of Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Disappearing Budget Surplus, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous cases.

Olens said this money caper was just a comedy of errors with some jesters run amok. Clearly not. Enter the DeKalb district attorney’s office (FBI agents wait around hotel lounges for something federal like fraud in funding of higher education).

Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James dug through emails to find a solution to this dilemma. His investigator, who originally hailed from the attorney general’s office, insisted there was no crime to prosecute because Carruth was fired after the April discovery, according to USG records from June of 2012.

First, Carruth wasn’t fired — unless you can fire someone after he already retired. So why did the USG try to act like he had been, unless they were trying to cover their tracks?

Second, what does getting fired from your job have to do with whether or not a person is subject to criminal liability and prosecution?

Does that mean I could embezzle $10 million as vice president of a bank, and then just tender my resignation in lieu of termination when I got caught? Case solved? I doubt it. I know you are wondering where that ten million dollars went. Don’t worry, I will get to that, but only slightly today.

Also, the DeKalb district attorney pulled some financial wizardry: The 10 million dollars were merely projections and budget estimates that did not come to fruition — so, abracadabra, the money is not really missing. But, no, it was not imaginary money that became a double-fantasy when the money that did not exist dematerialized. It was, in fact, millions in cash that was in a bank account and could have been withdrawn from the vault in the form of crisp green bills — until it disappeared.

It became clear, no matter how many of these defenses I shot down, I was going to hear every excuse imaginable from the assistant district attorney who came over from the attorney general’s office to work for Robert James.

Sherry Boston ran against Robert James in 2016 on a platform that James was not fighting corruption — the same corruption the two FBI agents believed so strongly to exist in DeKalb County. And Sherry Boston won on that platform, which made many citizens hopeful for a change of scenery that could be viewed from atop Stone Mountain.

So a state legislator from DeKalb dragged me back to the DeKalb County Courthouse, that replica of Iraqi Air Defense Headquarters down by the MARTA station, to talk to Sherry Boston.

She was nice and set me up for a meeting with her lead investigators. I went in prepared, (finally) some months later, but really I’ve run into more enjoyable ambushes in Baghdad.

I listened patiently as the head of the team of lead investigators explained to me, as I happen to be a lawyer familiar with the case, that while the county had been waiting for Robert James to leave office, the statute of limitations had run out on the crimes — meaning the deadline to prosecute had expired.

Since the statute of limitations happens to be my business, I explained that it had not run out. The three investigators returned fire, like I was back in an alley in Sadr City, saying I was entitled to my opinion.

Opinion it’s not, I purred in my softest nonthreatening avenging lion voice, because I got it straight from the statute book.

The statute of limitations has expired, they repeated, by way of retort. By the way, statute of limitations is the oldest excuse in the book for a prosecutor who doesn’t want to take a case.

I just tried to stay on the subject of the evidence (since the SOL is what it is, regardless of anyone’s opinion, so why argue about it?). Here they opined — just as Robert James had, and as did the USG, as well as Sam Olens — that Ron Carruth was just a bumbling idiot. He did not misrepresent the financials on purpose. That would be a felony under OCGA 16-10-20.

I kept my blinders on and plowed right ahead with the evidence that showed that Carruth knew what he was hiding, and so did his assistant Sheletha Champion, and so did Hank Huckaby, and so did Steve Wrigley, and so did Sam Olens and his assistant attorneys general, for that matter. DeKalb’s ace detectives were not the least bit interested in hearing that, which is maybe why the FBI agents have such opinions of DeKalb County.

That is when the DeKalb County investigators gave me the richest excuse of all. This case is stale, DeKalb’s lead investigator sneered. And then he actually taunted me: It was already turned down once, he observed with tremendous self-satisfaction.

Yeah, it was turned down by the former district attorney your boss ran against for not prosecuting corruption, I thought to myself.

The next time I ran into Boston — in another hotel lobby, the night of the Jon Ossoff run-off — I told her to her face what a crock I had to listen to at her office that day. But she was adamant: Her investigators looked and looked and just could not find any criminality (I told you, just like Sam Olens). I told her I didn’t buy it (Boston's negative response).

Nonetheless, there were still two sets of books kept by Carruth’s office at GPC — one for the USG and state auditors, one for the GPC administration they were deceiving.

Since those unproductive meetings with two different DeKalb district attorneys, it was learned through our own devices that the $10 million missing from GPC was funneled through a shell company — and turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud. Some might call it bank fraud and money laundering, which seem to be popular around town these days. I alleged that much in court last April 1, 2019, and Attorney General Chris Carr has been as silent as Uday and Qusay’s empty castles left without an owner. In short, Chris Carr has never responded, over a year later.

But don’t think that when the attorney general fails the people, and the governor refuses to appoint an independent investigator, that you can just pack up and go to your local district attorney. Every County DA’s office has its own adventure story in this RICO saga, but those will have to wait for a later date.

As for DeKalb itself, it seems real criminal investigators of the Georgia power structure are about as welcome there as Sherman at Decatur. It’s a little disheartening. Politicians come and say they will stop the corruption. And then they don’t. They just become part of the problem."
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  string(12165) "''“…it appears that members of (Georgia Perimeter College’s) cabinet, to include the former President, and both the President’s Council and the Strategic Budget Committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations made by the (VP of Finance Ron Carruth) … that were not representative of GPC’s financial condition … It should be noted that this budget neglect did not appear to be malicious or intentional ….”''
 __— USG Special Review: Georgia Perimeter College__

I was hanging out one day in one of the hotel lobbies where FBI agents like to meet near their offices. In passing conversation, at the mere mention of DeKalb County, the two I was talking with both sat bolt upright on their crushed-velour sofa cushions.

“If you can tell us about DeKalb!,” they exclaimed with their eyes bugging under the mood-lighting. They seemed to believe that DeKalb, lying at the Union Army’s eastern gateway to Fair Atlanta, is the holy grail of government corruption.

Now I would argue, if I had to choose, that a close-knit cabal of county officials, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, and Russian mafia money launderers located northwest of the city is the actual epicenter of corruption in Georgia.

But down in southeast Georgia, homespun former members of the police and sheriff’s departments seem to get away with [https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/supporters-launch-virtual-campaign-after-fatal-brunswick-shooting/s6URizsNMG7tbYOWsWLRfK/|shooting] a lot of people without suffering any consequences. So they have an argument.

And over in [https://www.foxnews.com/us/body-of-high-school-student-found-dead-in-rolled-up-gym-mat-to-be-exhumed-for-second-time|Valdosta], high school kids can end up rolled-in-a-gym-mat-stood-on-its-head dead, under security camera surveillance, and no one gets caught for that positional asphyxia accident. Well, you get the picture without even having to look at the existing camera footage yourself.

But these two FBI agents seemed to think that investigating and prosecuting in DeKalb County is where it’s at, which may be why they both got transferred out of there fast.

And I have had my own experiences with the district attorneys in DeKalb County. I carried to them bushels of information, including that $10 million, “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|gone with no explanation]” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012, remained unaccounted for even after a University System of Georgia (USG) investigation of itself.

Yes, there’s more. In all, state records show $20 million disappeared from GPC reserves over three years 2009-2011.

Also, the USG investigation concluded that they, the USG officials themselves, knew nothing about that shortfall until they suddenly discovered it overnight, in April 2012, even though voluminous state records show that then-Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, and others knew about the three-year rising tide of red ink and concealed the information from GPC’s management while simultaneously maneuvering to set GPC President Anthony Tricoli up to take the fall for it — which is why I represent him in his case against the Board of Regents and attorney general.

Most relevant to our hotel discussion that afternoon, state records show that two sets of books were kept at GPC during that time frame, one accurate set that ended up in state auditors’ hands to conceal the fraud — and one given to the management team described above (all the cabinets and councils and committees, as well as President Tricoli) to conceal the true state of GPC finances from them.

That is important because, to get ahead of the story, both DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said there was no evidence of criminal activity any investigation could ever turn up at GPC in those days.

{img fileId="31081" stylebox="float: left; margin-right:25px;" desc="The untouchable lawman, Eliot Ness"}
But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

Two sets of books is about as good as it gets. Special Agent [https://www.biography.com/law-figure/eliot-ness|Eliot Ness] would settle for a lot less to catch a racketeering impresario.

Here’s some more evidence Olens and Boston didn’t cotton to:

In the civil RICO case I filed on behalf of Anthony Tricoli against Olens and the Board of Regents, concerning the $10 million in cash reserves that went away, Ron Carruth was telling the GPC management team they were running a $37 million surplus at the same time he was drawing millions at a time out of the reserves without the knowledge of the rest of the GPC administration. (No, Boston and Olens did not find any problem there, either).

At Carruth’s last GPC cabinet meeting, in March of 2012, he reported a large surplus, and also announced his retirement. It was his last score. Weeks later, the USG announced a $16 million deficit at GPC. You may have heard of Sherlock Holmes’ [https://creativeloafing.com/content-425364-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-The-adventure-of-the-disappearing-budget-surplus|Adventure of the Disappearing Budget Surplus], one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous cases.

Olens said this money caper was just a comedy of errors with some jesters run amok. [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRsX_hheAGyXQiwLh9z-7F4LpyN8Z-5c/view|Clearly not]. Enter the DeKalb district attorney’s office (FBI agents wait around hotel lounges for something federal like fraud in funding of higher education).

Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James dug through emails to find a solution to this dilemma. His investigator, who originally hailed from the attorney general’s office, insisted there was no crime to prosecute because Carruth was fired after the April discovery, according to USG records from June of 2012.

First, Carruth wasn’t fired — unless you can fire someone after he already retired. So why did the USG try to act like he had been, unless they were trying to cover their tracks?

Second, what does getting fired from your job have to do with whether or not a person is subject to criminal liability and prosecution?

Does that mean I could embezzle $10 million as vice president of a bank, and then just tender my resignation in lieu of termination when I got caught? Case solved? I doubt it. I know you are wondering where that ten million dollars went. Don’t worry, I will get to that, but only slightly today.

Also, the DeKalb district attorney pulled some financial wizardry: The 10 million dollars were merely projections and budget estimates that did not come to fruition — so, abracadabra, the money is not really missing. But, no, it was not imaginary money that became a double-fantasy when the money that did not exist dematerialized. It was, in fact, millions in cash that was in a bank account and could have been withdrawn from the vault in the form of crisp green bills — until it disappeared.

It became clear, no matter how many of these defenses I shot down, I was going to hear every excuse imaginable from the assistant district attorney who came over from the attorney general’s office to work for Robert James.

Sherry Boston ran against Robert James in [https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/how-sherry-boston-won-dekalb-race/AziHSofLRJ67Fh38hr6l6I/|2016] on a platform that James was not fighting corruption — the same corruption the two FBI agents believed so strongly to exist in DeKalb County. And Sherry Boston won on that platform, which made many citizens hopeful for a change of scenery that could be viewed from atop Stone Mountain.

So a state legislator from DeKalb dragged me back to the DeKalb County Courthouse, that replica of Iraqi Air Defense Headquarters down by the MARTA station, to talk to Sherry Boston.

She was nice and set me up for a meeting with her lead investigators. I went in prepared, (finally) some months later, but really I’ve run into more enjoyable ambushes in Baghdad.

I listened patiently as the head of the team of lead investigators explained to me, as I happen to be a lawyer familiar with the case, that while the county had been waiting for Robert James to leave office, the statute of limitations had run out on the crimes — meaning the deadline to prosecute had expired.

Since the statute of limitations happens to be my business, I explained that it had not run out. The three investigators returned fire, like I was back in an alley in [https://www.npr.org/2017/11/02/561334010/sadr-city-attack-on-u-s-troops-retold-in-the-long-road-home|Sadr City], saying I was entitled to my opinion.

Opinion it’s not, I purred in my softest nonthreatening avenging lion voice, because I got it straight from the statute book.

The statute of limitations has expired, they repeated, by way of retort. By the way, statute of limitations is the oldest excuse in the book for a prosecutor who doesn’t want to take a case.

I just tried to stay on the subject of the evidence (since the SOL is what it is, regardless of anyone’s opinion, so why argue about it?). Here they opined — just as Robert James had, and as did the USG, as well as Sam Olens — that Ron Carruth was just a bumbling idiot. He did not misrepresent the financials on purpose. That would be a felony under [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|OCGA 16-10-20].

I kept my blinders on and plowed right ahead with the evidence that showed that Carruth knew what he was hiding, and so did his assistant Sheletha Champion, and so did Hank Huckaby, and so did Steve Wrigley, and so did Sam Olens and his assistant attorneys general, for that matter. DeKalb’s ace detectives were not the least bit interested in hearing that, which is maybe why the FBI agents have such opinions of DeKalb County.

That is when the DeKalb County investigators gave me the richest excuse of all. This case is stale, DeKalb’s lead investigator sneered. And then he actually taunted me: It was already turned down once, he observed with tremendous self-satisfaction.

Yeah, it was turned down by the former district attorney your boss ran against for not prosecuting corruption, I thought to myself.

The next time I ran into Boston — in another hotel lobby, the night of the Jon Ossoff run-off — I told her to her face what a crock I had to listen to at her office that day. But she was adamant: Her investigators looked and looked and just could not find any criminality (I told you, just like Sam Olens). I told her I didn’t buy it (Boston's negative response).

Nonetheless, there were still two sets of books kept by Carruth’s office at GPC — one for the USG and state auditors, one for the GPC administration they were deceiving.

Since those unproductive meetings with two different DeKalb district attorneys, it was learned through our own devices that the $10 million missing from GPC was funneled through a shell company — and turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud. Some might call it bank fraud and money laundering, which seem to be popular around town these days. I alleged that much in court last April 1, 2019, and Attorney General Chris Carr has been as silent as Uday and Qusay’s empty castles left without an owner. In short, Chris Carr has never responded, over a year later.

But don’t think that when the attorney general fails the people, and the governor [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4OP-AqsBJToxcEYU70td-PrsNiOnBsi/view|refuses to appoint] an independent investigator, that you can just pack up and go to your local district attorney. Every County DA’s office has its own adventure story in this RICO saga, but those will have to wait for a later date.

As for DeKalb itself, it seems real criminal investigators of the Georgia power structure are about as welcome there as Sherman at Decatur. It’s a little disheartening. Politicians come and say they will stop the corruption. And then they don’t. They just become part of the problem."
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  string(11562) " 4 Dekalb Humphreys  2020-05-13T22:01:54+00:00 #4_Dekalb_Humphreys.png     Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County 31080  2020-05-13T21:47:36+00:00 Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Where’s my Eliot Ness? jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-05-13T21:47:36+00:00  “…it appears that members of (Georgia Perimeter College’s) cabinet, to include the former President, and both the President’s Council and the Strategic Budget Committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations made by the (VP of Finance Ron Carruth) … that were not representative of GPC’s financial condition … It should be noted that this budget neglect did not appear to be malicious or intentional ….”
 — USG Special Review: Georgia Perimeter College

I was hanging out one day in one of the hotel lobbies where FBI agents like to meet near their offices. In passing conversation, at the mere mention of DeKalb County, the two I was talking with both sat bolt upright on their crushed-velour sofa cushions.

“If you can tell us about DeKalb!,” they exclaimed with their eyes bugging under the mood-lighting. They seemed to believe that DeKalb, lying at the Union Army’s eastern gateway to Fair Atlanta, is the holy grail of government corruption.

Now I would argue, if I had to choose, that a close-knit cabal of county officials, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, and Russian mafia money launderers located northwest of the city is the actual epicenter of corruption in Georgia.

But down in southeast Georgia, homespun former members of the police and sheriff’s departments seem to get away with shooting a lot of people without suffering any consequences. So they have an argument.

And over in Valdosta, high school kids can end up rolled-in-a-gym-mat-stood-on-its-head dead, under security camera surveillance, and no one gets caught for that positional asphyxia accident. Well, you get the picture without even having to look at the existing camera footage yourself.

But these two FBI agents seemed to think that investigating and prosecuting in DeKalb County is where it’s at, which may be why they both got transferred out of there fast.

And I have had my own experiences with the district attorneys in DeKalb County. I carried to them bushels of information, including that $10 million, “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012, remained unaccounted for even after a University System of Georgia (USG) investigation of itself.

Yes, there’s more. In all, state records show $20 million disappeared from GPC reserves over three years 2009-2011.

Also, the USG investigation concluded that they, the USG officials themselves, knew nothing about that shortfall until they suddenly discovered it overnight, in April 2012, even though voluminous state records show that then-Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, and others knew about the three-year rising tide of red ink and concealed the information from GPC’s management while simultaneously maneuvering to set GPC President Anthony Tricoli up to take the fall for it — which is why I represent him in his case against the Board of Regents and attorney general.

Most relevant to our hotel discussion that afternoon, state records show that two sets of books were kept at GPC during that time frame, one accurate set that ended up in state auditors’ hands to conceal the fraud — and one given to the management team described above (all the cabinets and councils and committees, as well as President Tricoli) to conceal the true state of GPC finances from them.

That is important because, to get ahead of the story, both DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said there was no evidence of criminal activity any investigation could ever turn up at GPC in those days.


But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

Two sets of books is about as good as it gets. Special Agent Eliot Ness would settle for a lot less to catch a racketeering impresario.

Here’s some more evidence Olens and Boston didn’t cotton to:

In the civil RICO case I filed on behalf of Anthony Tricoli against Olens and the Board of Regents, concerning the $10 million in cash reserves that went away, Ron Carruth was telling the GPC management team they were running a $37 million surplus at the same time he was drawing millions at a time out of the reserves without the knowledge of the rest of the GPC administration. (No, Boston and Olens did not find any problem there, either).

At Carruth’s last GPC cabinet meeting, in March of 2012, he reported a large surplus, and also announced his retirement. It was his last score. Weeks later, the USG announced a $16 million deficit at GPC. You may have heard of Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Disappearing Budget Surplus, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous cases.

Olens said this money caper was just a comedy of errors with some jesters run amok. Clearly not. Enter the DeKalb district attorney’s office (FBI agents wait around hotel lounges for something federal like fraud in funding of higher education).

Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James dug through emails to find a solution to this dilemma. His investigator, who originally hailed from the attorney general’s office, insisted there was no crime to prosecute because Carruth was fired after the April discovery, according to USG records from June of 2012.

First, Carruth wasn’t fired — unless you can fire someone after he already retired. So why did the USG try to act like he had been, unless they were trying to cover their tracks?

Second, what does getting fired from your job have to do with whether or not a person is subject to criminal liability and prosecution?

Does that mean I could embezzle $10 million as vice president of a bank, and then just tender my resignation in lieu of termination when I got caught? Case solved? I doubt it. I know you are wondering where that ten million dollars went. Don’t worry, I will get to that, but only slightly today.

Also, the DeKalb district attorney pulled some financial wizardry: The 10 million dollars were merely projections and budget estimates that did not come to fruition — so, abracadabra, the money is not really missing. But, no, it was not imaginary money that became a double-fantasy when the money that did not exist dematerialized. It was, in fact, millions in cash that was in a bank account and could have been withdrawn from the vault in the form of crisp green bills — until it disappeared.

It became clear, no matter how many of these defenses I shot down, I was going to hear every excuse imaginable from the assistant district attorney who came over from the attorney general’s office to work for Robert James.

Sherry Boston ran against Robert James in 2016 on a platform that James was not fighting corruption — the same corruption the two FBI agents believed so strongly to exist in DeKalb County. And Sherry Boston won on that platform, which made many citizens hopeful for a change of scenery that could be viewed from atop Stone Mountain.

So a state legislator from DeKalb dragged me back to the DeKalb County Courthouse, that replica of Iraqi Air Defense Headquarters down by the MARTA station, to talk to Sherry Boston.

She was nice and set me up for a meeting with her lead investigators. I went in prepared, (finally) some months later, but really I’ve run into more enjoyable ambushes in Baghdad.

I listened patiently as the head of the team of lead investigators explained to me, as I happen to be a lawyer familiar with the case, that while the county had been waiting for Robert James to leave office, the statute of limitations had run out on the crimes — meaning the deadline to prosecute had expired.

Since the statute of limitations happens to be my business, I explained that it had not run out. The three investigators returned fire, like I was back in an alley in Sadr City, saying I was entitled to my opinion.

Opinion it’s not, I purred in my softest nonthreatening avenging lion voice, because I got it straight from the statute book.

The statute of limitations has expired, they repeated, by way of retort. By the way, statute of limitations is the oldest excuse in the book for a prosecutor who doesn’t want to take a case.

I just tried to stay on the subject of the evidence (since the SOL is what it is, regardless of anyone’s opinion, so why argue about it?). Here they opined — just as Robert James had, and as did the USG, as well as Sam Olens — that Ron Carruth was just a bumbling idiot. He did not misrepresent the financials on purpose. That would be a felony under OCGA 16-10-20.

I kept my blinders on and plowed right ahead with the evidence that showed that Carruth knew what he was hiding, and so did his assistant Sheletha Champion, and so did Hank Huckaby, and so did Steve Wrigley, and so did Sam Olens and his assistant attorneys general, for that matter. DeKalb’s ace detectives were not the least bit interested in hearing that, which is maybe why the FBI agents have such opinions of DeKalb County.

That is when the DeKalb County investigators gave me the richest excuse of all. This case is stale, DeKalb’s lead investigator sneered. And then he actually taunted me: It was already turned down once, he observed with tremendous self-satisfaction.

Yeah, it was turned down by the former district attorney your boss ran against for not prosecuting corruption, I thought to myself.

The next time I ran into Boston — in another hotel lobby, the night of the Jon Ossoff run-off — I told her to her face what a crock I had to listen to at her office that day. But she was adamant: Her investigators looked and looked and just could not find any criminality (I told you, just like Sam Olens). I told her I didn’t buy it (Boston's negative response).

Nonetheless, there were still two sets of books kept by Carruth’s office at GPC — one for the USG and state auditors, one for the GPC administration they were deceiving.

Since those unproductive meetings with two different DeKalb district attorneys, it was learned through our own devices that the $10 million missing from GPC was funneled through a shell company — and turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud. Some might call it bank fraud and money laundering, which seem to be popular around town these days. I alleged that much in court last April 1, 2019, and Attorney General Chris Carr has been as silent as Uday and Qusay’s empty castles left without an owner. In short, Chris Carr has never responded, over a year later.

But don’t think that when the attorney general fails the people, and the governor refuses to appoint an independent investigator, that you can just pack up and go to your local district attorney. Every County DA’s office has its own adventure story in this RICO saga, but those will have to wait for a later date.

As for DeKalb itself, it seems real criminal investigators of the Georgia power structure are about as welcome there as Sherman at Decatur. It’s a little disheartening. Politicians come and say they will stop the corruption. And then they don’t. They just become part of the problem.    Stephen Humphreys   0,0,10                                 Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Where’s my Eliot Ness? "
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Article

Wednesday May 13, 2020 05:47 pm EDT
Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(89) "OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Timeline of the phantom case at Kennesaw State University"
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  string(45) "Bribery, fraud, and extortion never contested"
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''(a) Any superior court may … enjoin violations of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);
(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) by any agency of the state OCGA § 16-14-6''

How did former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, with no experience in academia, end up spending a year as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU), despite widespread opposition at KSU?

How was a lawsuit to block Olens’ appointment swept under the rug and why was no one ever held accountable for the financial crimes that were covered up — and then uncovered — in the University System of Georgia (USG)?

How did the USG create a vacancy at KSU to give Attorney General Olens a $500,000 a year position in the first place? After all the trouble to place him at KSU, why was Olens gone in a year?

The timeline tells the story by itself. Every statement in it is documented by state records and admitted by the USG in court proceedings:

April 28, 2016: While Kennesaw State University (KSU) president Dan Papp, a Russia scholar by academic training, is out of town on vacation, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, visits KSU and is given a tour of the Center for Elections Systems, located on the KSU campus and run by the USG at the time. Dr. Papp knew nothing about the Russian ambassador’s visit and had no involvement in the planning.

Kislyak was Russia’s top intelligence operative in the United States, who later became famous when everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner forgot they had met with the Russian ambassador.

May 5, 2016: One week after the Kislyak tour of the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, USG head of audit John Fuchko goes to visit KSU President Dan Papp, and gives Dr. Papp bad news, out of the blue, that Papp has to resign or else he will be smeared with false accusations of financial impropriety. Dr. Papp agrees under duress to resign, effective June 2016.

June 2, 2016: The USG smears Dr. Papp with claims of financial impropriety, anyway, releasing a report accusing Papp of improperly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation (usually misrepresented in the media as “retirement pay”). Though this turned out to mostly consist of bonuses for longevity and achieving fundraising goals, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution repeats the USG’s financial impropriety smear at face value, with no examination of the underlying facts.

If anyone had actually bothered to read it, the USG report actually reveals financial impropriety by the USG, including small-time bank fraud and money laundering.

The important thing to note, at this point in the timeline, is that all this USG fraud and financial impropriety, and the removal of Dr. Papp from KSU by means of extortion, was all reported to then-Attorney General Sam Olens — who was soon to become Dr. Papp’s successor.

August 2016: Three months after the Kislyak visit, Russian military intelligence agents begin hacking Georgia’s Center for Elections Systems at KSU (though this was not publicly known till two years later — see July 13, 2018 indictment).

October 4, 2016: USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announces that Sam Olens is the sole candidate to be considered, in violation of the Board of Regents policy on USG presidential appointments, to replace Dr. Papp at KSU.

To put the USG appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the sole candidate considered in context, it is necessary to briefly take the timeline backwards to a USG financial scandal that erupted in April 2012. On July 3, 2012, a letter from Attorney General Sam Olens’ office documents the attorney general blocking a hearing by the Board of Regents into USG financial impropriety and obstructing a criminal investigation of USG financial fraud.

As documented in the July 3 letter, in light of $10 million “gone with no explanation,” Olens directed the USG to conduct an investigation of itself, which began on May 10, 2012.

On September 17, 2012, the USG released the results of an investigation of itself, in which the USG found no financial impropriety by the USG, even though it still cannot account to this day for $10 million gone AWOL from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This USG self-review of its finances was substituted for the independent audit required for re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accreditation agency, complied with this substitution in violation of its own rules requiring an independent audit.

Which catches us up on the historical context and brings us back to the USG appointing Olens to a high-paid USG position in 2016.

Oct 31, 2016: A coalition of Kennesaw State University faculty, alumni, and students file for injunctive relief to bar the political appointment of Olens as the sole candidate considered in violation of BOR policies, and as a quid pro quo for Olens obstructing criminal investigation of the USG. The KSU plaintiffs sue under the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes injunctive relief against state agencies.

The KSU coalition filed that legal action under the authority of the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes a court to enjoin the actions of a state agency where criminal impropriety is alleged. Chris Carr, the newly-appointed attorney general to replace Sam Olens, never filed any responsive pleading to the KSU complaint for injunctive relief. Carr never responded to KSU’s subsequent motions placing additional evidence of USG fraud and attorney general obstruction into the court record — over the course of more than three years.

November 1, 2016: Olens started work at KSU with no court action by Judge Tom Campbell on the KSU motion for a temporary restraining order.

November 7, 2016: A hearing on the motion begins at 9 a.m. Subpoenaed USG witnesses do not appear. Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard argues with no evidence that the subpoenas were hidden inside the complaint when it was served on the USG. Willard produces an order entered by the Georgia Supreme Court that very same morning of the hearing, in which the high court let stand, without explanation, a March 30, 2016 Court of Appeals order conferring sovereign immunity on state officials for the financial crimes documented at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC).

November 14, 2016: Judge Campbell enters a final order prepared by the attorney general’s office that misrepresents the failure of the USG witnesses to appear and asserts state sovereign immunity protection against injunctions — contrary to the explicit language of the Georgia RICO statute.

November 18, 2016: KSU coalition files a motion to set aside the judgment based on knowing misrepresentations of the law, in violation of constitutional due process, and to strike the attorney general’s false assertions regarding service of the subpoenas.

The attorney general never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never so much as acknowledged this November 18, 2016 pleading — for over a year, until January 2018.

June 2, 2017: KSU filed a Supplement to the November 2016 Motion to Set Aside. This supplement documented the Board of Regents (BOR) making after-the-fact changes to BOR policies to hide violations committed by the USG in removing Dr. Papp and covering up the USG’s own financial fraud (a story unto itself).

The June 2 filing also documents USG fraud in evading a hearing required by BOR policy, to which Dr. Papp was entitled — to challenge the USG for tarring him with false claims of financial impropriety. The USG clearly would not have wanted a hearing into the misleading financial allegations against Dr. Papp, where USG officials like Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley were the ones committing felony financial fraud.

The attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this June 2 pleading.

July 2017: A public interest group files a lawsuit concerning demonstrated vulnerabilities and irregularities in voting tabulations at the Center for Elections Systems on KSU campus. Three days after the lawsuit is served on KSU President Sam Olens and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the servers at the KSU election center are wiped clean.

October 17, 2017: KSU filed a Second Supplement to the Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, specifying the constitutional due process violations in evading the requirements of the RICO statute — which mandated voiding the order allowing the Olens appointment. The KSU coalition repeated its demand for Judge Tom Campbell to take action since the USG and attorney general still had not filed a single response to the KSU legal action started a year before, in October 2016.

Though the real point of the motion was to spur the court to action, or to elicit a response from the attorney general, the attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this October 17, 2017 pleading.

November 3, 2017: KSU renewed the motion to set aside, repeating the constitutional grounds to set aside the order that allowed Olens’ appointment in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct criminal investigation of the USG. The renewed motion cited 1960s civil rights cases, such as Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham and Wright v. Georgia, in which the US Supreme Court said states could not evade their own laws on the books — like the Georgia RICO statute.

Though, by this time, Sam Olens has been serving for more than a year with an unanswered lawsuit charging bribery and extortion hanging over him, the new attorney general Chris Carr never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this November 3, 2017 pleading.

December 14, 2017: Sam Olens announces his departure from KSU, effective in February 2018. Hint: It was not really about the cheerleaders.

January 12, 2018: Trial court judge Tom Campbell enters an order denying the KSU motion to set aside the judgment, though the KSU action was never contested by the USG or attorney general. Judge Campbell’s order is one sentence long, and merely says motion denied — with no explanation, no citation to any fact or legal authority.

July 13, 2018: Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases indictment of Russian military intelligence agents (see April 2016 Kislyak tour, August 2016 Russian hacking, on timeline). The Russian spies were indicted, in part, for hacking the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (see servers wiped clean to destroy evidence, July 2017).

September 12, 2018: KSU files a notice of appeal, under statute OCGA § 5-6-34 authorizing direct appeal for denial of the motion to void Campbell’s orders on constitutional grounds.

April 1, 2019: While the KSU appeal is pending, a bombshell court pleading is filed in a related case documenting that the USG financial fraud, including the $10 million “gone with no explanation” at GPC — for which Olens obstructed the investigation before the USG appointed him KSU president at $500,000 a year — consisted of systematic USG-wide fraud on the federal government affecting billions of dollars in federal assistance to the University System.

As in the KSU case, the attorney general has never responded to these documented allegations of billion-dollar fraud by the USG on the federal government, admitting them as true. The allegations in the KSU case, to which the attorney general also never responded — for more than three years — include financial fraud, bribery, and extortion. By the State’s failure to respond — the bribery, fraud, and extortion at KSU is also admitted as true.

June 12, 2019: The KSU Appellants’ Brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals outlined the admitted state government corruption, as well as obstruction of justice and constitutional violations committed to cover it up.

On the same day the brief is filed, a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals (Judges Ken Hodges, Elizabeth Gobeil, and Stephen Dillard) enter an order dismissing the KSU appeal on procedural grounds never raised by any party (the USG and attorney general could not have raised them, since they never responded to the KSU action). It is hard to explain without going to law school, but the panel said the appeal was res judicata, already decided conclusively on all issues, based on prior one-sentence orders with no explanation, on top of the attorney general’s non-responses.

March 26, 2020: The Georgia Supreme Court declines to review the KSU case, in another one-sentence order without explanation.

This refusal to review means the KSU case has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system, without the documented allegations of bribery, extortion, and fraud ever being contested by USG or attorney general (and thus admitted as true).

Even more egregiously, the Georgia Supreme Court’s dismissal of the KSU case, without comment, means that the entire case involving all this bribery and extortion in Georgia state government has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system without a single judge ever saying a single word about it.

The courts have provided no remedy to any of the victims of the admitted crimes, and no explanation, either. Thus it remains the phantom case at Kennesaw State University. —CL—

Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future Outlandish Conspiracy Theories columns, online weekly, more or less."
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''~~black:(a) Any superior court may … __enjoin violations __of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);~~
~~black:(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) __by any agency of the state __~~===[https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-14/16-14-6/|~~#2980b9:OCGA § 16-14-6~~]===''

How did former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, with no experience in academia, end up spending a year as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU), despite [https://www.mdjonline.com/news/bigstory/ksu-faculty-students-protest-impending-vote-on-olens/article_3b8fa0a0-8f54-11e6-9ee2-13ff19b80312.html|widespread opposition] at KSU?

How was a lawsuit to block Olens’ appointment swept under the rug and why was no one ever held accountable for the [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRsX_hheAGyXQiwLh9z-7F4LpyN8Z-5c/view|financial crimes] that were covered up — and then uncovered — in the University System of Georgia (USG)?

How did the USG create a vacancy at KSU to give Attorney General Olens a $500,000 a year position in the first place? After all the trouble to place him at KSU, why was Olens gone in a year?

The timeline tells the story by itself. Every statement in it is documented by state records and admitted by the USG in court proceedings:

__April 28, 2016:__ While Kennesaw State University (KSU) president Dan Papp, a Russia scholar by academic training, is out of town on vacation, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, visits KSU and is given a tour of the Center for Elections Systems, located on the KSU campus and run by the USG at the time. Dr. Papp knew nothing about the Russian ambassador’s visit and had no involvement in the planning.

Kislyak was Russia’s top intelligence operative in the United States, who later became famous when everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner forgot they had met with the Russian ambassador.

__May 5, 2016:__ One week after the Kislyak tour of the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, USG head of audit John Fuchko goes to visit KSU President Dan Papp, and gives Dr. Papp bad news, out of the blue, that Papp has to resign or else he will be smeared with false accusations of financial impropriety. Dr. Papp agrees under duress to resign, effective June 2016.

__June 2, 2016:__ The USG smears Dr. Papp with claims of financial impropriety, anyway, releasing a [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KCkY3M-LqjVuh6gtzMOdCwF8JgW2WivH/view|report accusing Papp] of improperly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation (usually misrepresented in the media as “retirement pay”). Though this turned out to mostly consist of bonuses for longevity and achieving fundraising goals, the ''Atlanta Journal-Constitution'' repeats the USG’s financial impropriety smear at face value, with no examination of the underlying facts.

If anyone had actually bothered to read it, the USG report actually [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xsL6uxh4L_ZchyymJDamHUcpTm_QS3UO/view|reveals financial impropriety by the USG], including small-time bank fraud and money laundering.

The important thing to note, at this point in the timeline, is that all this USG fraud and financial impropriety, and the removal of Dr. Papp from KSU by means of extortion, was all reported to then-Attorney General Sam Olens — who was soon to become Dr. Papp’s successor.

__August 2016:__ Three months after the Kislyak visit, Russian military intelligence agents begin hacking Georgia’s Center for Elections Systems at KSU (though this was not publicly known till two years later — see __July 13, 2018__ indictment).

__October 4, 2016:__ USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announces that Sam Olens is the [https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/olens-sole-candidate-for-kennesaw-state-president/Eh7fp3owM3yFO3lqyvkzlM/|sole candidate] to be considered, in violation of the Board of Regents policy on USG presidential appointments, to replace Dr. Papp at KSU.

To put the USG appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the sole candidate considered in context, it is necessary to briefly take the timeline backwards to a USG financial scandal that erupted in April 2012. On July 3, 2012, a letter from Attorney General Sam Olens’ office documents the attorney general [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q7q07YHq5F-JcpFVkUMxMXeIFewgllnJ/view|blocking a hearing] by the Board of Regents into USG financial impropriety and [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tBR4DzXVb6jOht1YSKPi-QKbiwjNShNs/view|obstructing a criminal investigation ]of USG financial fraud.

As documented in the July 3 letter, in light of $10 million “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|gone with no explanation],” Olens directed the USG to conduct an investigation of itself, which began on May 10, 2012.

On September 17, 2012, the USG released the results of an investigation of itself, in which the USG found no financial impropriety by the USG, even though it still cannot account to this day for $10 million gone AWOL from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This USG self-review of its finances was substituted for the independent audit required for re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accreditation agency, complied with this substitution in violation of its own rules requiring an independent audit.

Which catches us up on the historical context and brings us back to the USG appointing Olens to a high-paid USG position in 2016.

__Oct 31, 2016:__ A coalition of Kennesaw State University faculty, alumni, and students file for injunctive relief to bar the political appointment of Olens as the [https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/10/13/politician-named-president-kennesaw-state|sole candidate considered ]in violation of BOR policies, and as a quid pro quo for Olens obstructing criminal investigation of the USG. The KSU plaintiffs sue under the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes injunctive relief against state agencies.

The KSU coalition filed that legal action under the authority of the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes a court to enjoin the actions of a state agency where criminal impropriety is alleged. Chris Carr, the newly-appointed attorney general to replace Sam Olens, never filed any responsive pleading to the KSU complaint for injunctive relief. Carr never responded to KSU’s subsequent motions placing additional evidence of USG fraud and attorney general obstruction into the court record — over the course of more than three years.

__November 1, 2016:__ Olens started work at KSU with no court action by Judge Tom Campbell on the KSU motion for a temporary restraining order.

__November 7, 2016:__ A hearing on the motion begins at 9 a.m. Subpoenaed USG witnesses do not appear. Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard argues with no evidence that the subpoenas were hidden inside the complaint when it was served on the USG. Willard produces an order entered by the Georgia Supreme Court that very same morning of the hearing, in which the high court let stand, without explanation, a March 30, 2016 Court of Appeals order conferring sovereign immunity on state officials for the financial crimes documented at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC).

__November 14, 2016:__ Judge Campbell enters a final order prepared by the attorney general’s office that misrepresents the failure of the USG witnesses to appear and asserts state sovereign immunity protection against injunctions — contrary to the explicit language of the Georgia RICO statute.

__November 18, 2016:__ KSU coalition files a motion to set aside the judgment based on knowing misrepresentations of the law, in violation of constitutional due process, and to strike the attorney general’s false assertions regarding service of the subpoenas.

The attorney general never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never so much as acknowledged this November 18, 2016 pleading — for over a year, until January 2018.

__June 2, 2017:__ KSU filed a Supplement to the November 2016 Motion to Set Aside. This supplement documented the Board of Regents (BOR) making after-the-fact changes to BOR policies to hide violations committed by the USG in removing Dr. Papp and covering up the USG’s own financial fraud (a story unto itself).

The June 2 filing also documents USG fraud in evading a hearing required by BOR policy, to which Dr. Papp was entitled — to challenge the USG for tarring him with false claims of financial impropriety. The USG clearly would not have wanted a hearing into the misleading financial allegations against Dr. Papp, where USG officials like Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley were the ones committing felony financial fraud.

The attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this June 2 pleading.

__July 2017:__ A public interest group files a lawsuit concerning demonstrated vulnerabilities and irregularities in voting tabulations at the Center for Elections Systems on KSU campus. Three days after the lawsuit is served on KSU President Sam Olens and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the servers at the KSU election center are [https://apnews.com/877ee1015f1c43f1965f63538b035d3f/APNewsBreak:-Georgia-election-server-wiped-after-suit-filed|wiped clean].

__October 17, 2017:__ KSU filed a Second Supplement to the Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, specifying the constitutional due process violations in evading the requirements of the RICO statute — which mandated voiding the order allowing the Olens appointment. The KSU coalition repeated its demand for Judge Tom Campbell to take action since the USG and attorney general still had not filed a single response to the KSU legal action started a year before, in October 2016.

Though the real point of the motion was to spur the court to action, or to elicit a response from the attorney general, the attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this October 17, 2017 pleading.

__November 3, 2017:__ KSU renewed the motion to set aside, repeating the constitutional grounds to set aside the order that allowed Olens’ appointment in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct criminal investigation of the USG. The renewed motion cited 1960s civil rights cases, such as ''Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham'' and ''Wright v. Georgia'', in which the US Supreme Court said states could not evade their own laws on the books — like the Georgia RICO statute.

Though, by this time, Sam Olens has been serving for more than a year with an unanswered lawsuit charging bribery and extortion hanging over him, the new attorney general Chris Carr never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this November 3, 2017 pleading.

__December 14, 2017:__ Sam Olens announces his [https://news.kennesaw.edu/stories/2017/president_announcement.php|departure] from KSU, effective in February 2018. Hint: It was not really about the [https://www.mdjonline.com/news/report-sam-olens-told-to-alert-bosses-to-cheerleader-policy/article_44c85e68-cee2-11e7-baf2-cb4576bae508.html|cheerleaders].

__January 12, 2018:__ Trial court judge Tom Campbell enters an order denying the KSU motion to set aside the judgment, though the KSU action was never contested by the USG or attorney general. Judge Campbell’s order is one sentence long, and merely says motion denied — with no explanation, no citation to any fact or legal authority.

__July 13, 2018:__ Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases [https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download|indictment] of Russian military intelligence agents (see ''April 2016'' Kislyak tour, ''August 2016'' Russian hacking, on timeline). The Russian spies were indicted, in part, for hacking the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (see servers wiped clean to destroy evidence, ''July 2017'').

__September 12, 2018:__ KSU files a notice of appeal, under statute OCGA § 5-6-34 authorizing direct appeal for denial of the motion to void Campbell’s orders on constitutional grounds.

__April 1, 2019:__ While the KSU appeal is pending, a [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-dE_mK2vhmquoK-uDQsHkHFriJmzUp_D/view|bombshell] court pleading is filed in a related case documenting that the USG financial fraud, including the $10 million “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|gone with no explanation]” at GPC — for which Olens obstructed the investigation before the USG appointed him KSU president at $500,000 a year — consisted of systematic USG-wide fraud on the federal government affecting billions of dollars in federal assistance to the University System.

As in the KSU case, the attorney general has never responded to these documented allegations of billion-dollar fraud by the USG on the federal government, admitting them as true. The allegations in the KSU case, to which the attorney general also never responded — for more than three years — include financial fraud, bribery, and extortion. By the State’s failure to respond — the bribery, fraud, and extortion at KSU is also admitted as true.

__June 12, 2019:__ The KSU Appellants’ Brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals outlined the admitted state government corruption, as well as obstruction of justice and constitutional violations committed to cover it up.

On the same day the brief is filed, a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals (Judges Ken Hodges, Elizabeth Gobeil, and Stephen Dillard) enter an order dismissing the KSU appeal on procedural grounds never raised by any party (the USG and attorney general could not have raised them, since they never responded to the KSU action). It is hard to explain without going to law school, but the panel said the appeal was res judicata, already decided conclusively on all issues, based on prior one-sentence orders with no explanation, on top of the attorney general’s non-responses.

__March 26, 2020:__ The Georgia Supreme Court declines to review the KSU case, in another one-sentence order without explanation.

This refusal to review means the KSU case has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system, without the documented allegations of bribery, extortion, and fraud ever being contested by USG or attorney general (and thus admitted as true).

Even more egregiously, the Georgia Supreme Court’s dismissal of the KSU case, without comment, means that the entire case involving all this bribery and extortion in Georgia state government has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system without a single judge ever saying a single word about it.

The courts have provided no remedy to any of the victims of the admitted crimes, and no explanation, either. Thus it remains the phantom case at Kennesaw State University. __—CL—__

''Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future ''Outlandish Conspiracy Theories'' columns, online weekly, more or less.''"
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''(a) Any superior court may … enjoin violations of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);
(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) by any agency of the state OCGA § 16-14-6''

How did former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, with no experience in academia, end up spending a year as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU), despite widespread opposition at KSU?

How was a lawsuit to block Olens’ appointment swept under the rug and why was no one ever held accountable for the financial crimes that were covered up — and then uncovered — in the University System of Georgia (USG)?

How did the USG create a vacancy at KSU to give Attorney General Olens a $500,000 a year position in the first place? After all the trouble to place him at KSU, why was Olens gone in a year?

The timeline tells the story by itself. Every statement in it is documented by state records and admitted by the USG in court proceedings:

April 28, 2016: While Kennesaw State University (KSU) president Dan Papp, a Russia scholar by academic training, is out of town on vacation, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, visits KSU and is given a tour of the Center for Elections Systems, located on the KSU campus and run by the USG at the time. Dr. Papp knew nothing about the Russian ambassador’s visit and had no involvement in the planning.

Kislyak was Russia’s top intelligence operative in the United States, who later became famous when everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner forgot they had met with the Russian ambassador.

May 5, 2016: One week after the Kislyak tour of the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, USG head of audit John Fuchko goes to visit KSU President Dan Papp, and gives Dr. Papp bad news, out of the blue, that Papp has to resign or else he will be smeared with false accusations of financial impropriety. Dr. Papp agrees under duress to resign, effective June 2016.

June 2, 2016: The USG smears Dr. Papp with claims of financial impropriety, anyway, releasing a report accusing Papp of improperly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation (usually misrepresented in the media as “retirement pay”). Though this turned out to mostly consist of bonuses for longevity and achieving fundraising goals, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution repeats the USG’s financial impropriety smear at face value, with no examination of the underlying facts.

If anyone had actually bothered to read it, the USG report actually reveals financial impropriety by the USG, including small-time bank fraud and money laundering.

The important thing to note, at this point in the timeline, is that all this USG fraud and financial impropriety, and the removal of Dr. Papp from KSU by means of extortion, was all reported to then-Attorney General Sam Olens — who was soon to become Dr. Papp’s successor.

August 2016: Three months after the Kislyak visit, Russian military intelligence agents begin hacking Georgia’s Center for Elections Systems at KSU (though this was not publicly known till two years later — see July 13, 2018 indictment).

October 4, 2016: USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announces that Sam Olens is the sole candidate to be considered, in violation of the Board of Regents policy on USG presidential appointments, to replace Dr. Papp at KSU.

To put the USG appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the sole candidate considered in context, it is necessary to briefly take the timeline backwards to a USG financial scandal that erupted in April 2012. On July 3, 2012, a letter from Attorney General Sam Olens’ office documents the attorney general blocking a hearing by the Board of Regents into USG financial impropriety and obstructing a criminal investigation of USG financial fraud.

As documented in the July 3 letter, in light of $10 million “gone with no explanation,” Olens directed the USG to conduct an investigation of itself, which began on May 10, 2012.

On September 17, 2012, the USG released the results of an investigation of itself, in which the USG found no financial impropriety by the USG, even though it still cannot account to this day for $10 million gone AWOL from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This USG self-review of its finances was substituted for the independent audit required for re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accreditation agency, complied with this substitution in violation of its own rules requiring an independent audit.

Which catches us up on the historical context and brings us back to the USG appointing Olens to a high-paid USG position in 2016.

Oct 31, 2016: A coalition of Kennesaw State University faculty, alumni, and students file for injunctive relief to bar the political appointment of Olens as the sole candidate considered in violation of BOR policies, and as a quid pro quo for Olens obstructing criminal investigation of the USG. The KSU plaintiffs sue under the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes injunctive relief against state agencies.

The KSU coalition filed that legal action under the authority of the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes a court to enjoin the actions of a state agency where criminal impropriety is alleged. Chris Carr, the newly-appointed attorney general to replace Sam Olens, never filed any responsive pleading to the KSU complaint for injunctive relief. Carr never responded to KSU’s subsequent motions placing additional evidence of USG fraud and attorney general obstruction into the court record — over the course of more than three years.

November 1, 2016: Olens started work at KSU with no court action by Judge Tom Campbell on the KSU motion for a temporary restraining order.

November 7, 2016: A hearing on the motion begins at 9 a.m. Subpoenaed USG witnesses do not appear. Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard argues with no evidence that the subpoenas were hidden inside the complaint when it was served on the USG. Willard produces an order entered by the Georgia Supreme Court that very same morning of the hearing, in which the high court let stand, without explanation, a March 30, 2016 Court of Appeals order conferring sovereign immunity on state officials for the financial crimes documented at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC).

November 14, 2016: Judge Campbell enters a final order prepared by the attorney general’s office that misrepresents the failure of the USG witnesses to appear and asserts state sovereign immunity protection against injunctions — contrary to the explicit language of the Georgia RICO statute.

November 18, 2016: KSU coalition files a motion to set aside the judgment based on knowing misrepresentations of the law, in violation of constitutional due process, and to strike the attorney general’s false assertions regarding service of the subpoenas.

The attorney general never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never so much as acknowledged this November 18, 2016 pleading — for over a year, until January 2018.

June 2, 2017: KSU filed a Supplement to the November 2016 Motion to Set Aside. This supplement documented the Board of Regents (BOR) making after-the-fact changes to BOR policies to hide violations committed by the USG in removing Dr. Papp and covering up the USG’s own financial fraud (a story unto itself).

The June 2 filing also documents USG fraud in evading a hearing required by BOR policy, to which Dr. Papp was entitled — to challenge the USG for tarring him with false claims of financial impropriety. The USG clearly would not have wanted a hearing into the misleading financial allegations against Dr. Papp, where USG officials like Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley were the ones committing felony financial fraud.

The attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this June 2 pleading.

July 2017: A public interest group files a lawsuit concerning demonstrated vulnerabilities and irregularities in voting tabulations at the Center for Elections Systems on KSU campus. Three days after the lawsuit is served on KSU President Sam Olens and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the servers at the KSU election center are wiped clean.

October 17, 2017: KSU filed a Second Supplement to the Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, specifying the constitutional due process violations in evading the requirements of the RICO statute — which mandated voiding the order allowing the Olens appointment. The KSU coalition repeated its demand for Judge Tom Campbell to take action since the USG and attorney general still had not filed a single response to the KSU legal action started a year before, in October 2016.

Though the real point of the motion was to spur the court to action, or to elicit a response from the attorney general, the attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this October 17, 2017 pleading.

November 3, 2017: KSU renewed the motion to set aside, repeating the constitutional grounds to set aside the order that allowed Olens’ appointment in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct criminal investigation of the USG. The renewed motion cited 1960s civil rights cases, such as Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham and Wright v. Georgia, in which the US Supreme Court said states could not evade their own laws on the books — like the Georgia RICO statute.

Though, by this time, Sam Olens has been serving for more than a year with an unanswered lawsuit charging bribery and extortion hanging over him, the new attorney general Chris Carr never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this November 3, 2017 pleading.

December 14, 2017: Sam Olens announces his departure from KSU, effective in February 2018. Hint: It was not really about the cheerleaders.

January 12, 2018: Trial court judge Tom Campbell enters an order denying the KSU motion to set aside the judgment, though the KSU action was never contested by the USG or attorney general. Judge Campbell’s order is one sentence long, and merely says motion denied — with no explanation, no citation to any fact or legal authority.

July 13, 2018: Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases indictment of Russian military intelligence agents (see April 2016 Kislyak tour, August 2016 Russian hacking, on timeline). The Russian spies were indicted, in part, for hacking the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (see servers wiped clean to destroy evidence, July 2017).

September 12, 2018: KSU files a notice of appeal, under statute OCGA § 5-6-34 authorizing direct appeal for denial of the motion to void Campbell’s orders on constitutional grounds.

April 1, 2019: While the KSU appeal is pending, a bombshell court pleading is filed in a related case documenting that the USG financial fraud, including the $10 million “gone with no explanation” at GPC — for which Olens obstructed the investigation before the USG appointed him KSU president at $500,000 a year — consisted of systematic USG-wide fraud on the federal government affecting billions of dollars in federal assistance to the University System.

As in the KSU case, the attorney general has never responded to these documented allegations of billion-dollar fraud by the USG on the federal government, admitting them as true. The allegations in the KSU case, to which the attorney general also never responded — for more than three years — include financial fraud, bribery, and extortion. By the State’s failure to respond — the bribery, fraud, and extortion at KSU is also admitted as true.

June 12, 2019: The KSU Appellants’ Brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals outlined the admitted state government corruption, as well as obstruction of justice and constitutional violations committed to cover it up.

On the same day the brief is filed, a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals (Judges Ken Hodges, Elizabeth Gobeil, and Stephen Dillard) enter an order dismissing the KSU appeal on procedural grounds never raised by any party (the USG and attorney general could not have raised them, since they never responded to the KSU action). It is hard to explain without going to law school, but the panel said the appeal was res judicata, already decided conclusively on all issues, based on prior one-sentence orders with no explanation, on top of the attorney general’s non-responses.

March 26, 2020: The Georgia Supreme Court declines to review the KSU case, in another one-sentence order without explanation.

This refusal to review means the KSU case has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system, without the documented allegations of bribery, extortion, and fraud ever being contested by USG or attorney general (and thus admitted as true).

Even more egregiously, the Georgia Supreme Court’s dismissal of the KSU case, without comment, means that the entire case involving all this bribery and extortion in Georgia state government has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system without a single judge ever saying a single word about it.

The courts have provided no remedy to any of the victims of the admitted crimes, and no explanation, either. Thus it remains the phantom case at Kennesaw State University. —CL—

Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future Outlandish Conspiracy Theories columns, online weekly, more or less.     THE PHANTOM CASE: The Georgia Attorney General never answered and no Georgia court ever wrote a word about it.  0,0,10                                 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Timeline of the phantom case at Kennesaw State University "
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Article

Friday May 1, 2020 12:07 am EDT
Bribery, fraud, and extortion never contested | more...
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  string(28996) "“The Court cannot overlook a remedy the legislature, in its wisdom, saw fit to create.” — Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller

Sovereign immunity is an ancient doctrine from the days of divine right kings that has now been repackaged and expanded for Georgia’s ruling class. Even in the days of our state’s namesake, King George II, sovereign immunity never absolved the King’s ministers for committing crimes, but since 2016, Georgia claims it immunizes state officials for any felony you can think of — from murder to rape to theft of taxpayer money.
The question the governor, attorney general, and the courts of Georgia are now avoiding, is whether sovereign immunity likewise allows them to commit fraud on the federal government with impunity. But that is getting ahead of the story.

Sovereign immunity proponents are backward-looking and argue the doctrine is founded in immutable common law from the mists of prehistory. That is only because sovereign immunity protection for crimes can nowhere be found in modern law of Georgia.

It is important, however, before debunking the theory, to explain exactly what sovereign immunity means, since not everyone has gone to law school or studied Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1700s.
It means, in a word, you’re screwed. Even if King George II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer or the chancellor of the University System of Georgia were to falsify government financial records to frame you for embezzlement, or threatened you with the vilest extortion, you could not go to court and sue them. Even if you have hard evidence a state official committed crimes against you that would inflame a jury to award a hundred-million-dollar judgment against the man who abused his government position of public trust to harm you, he gets to laugh in your face, because sovereign immunity bars you from taking him to trial altogether.
You don’t get a judge or jury. You never even get to present your evidence. It’s over before it begins. Of course, that sounds downright un-American.

Sovereign immunity, nonetheless, has been expanded to such an extent, in Georgia, that either of those chancellors (if the king’s chancellor could come back from the past) could commit murder most vile on you. The attorney general of this state could shoot you on Peachtree Street, but unless the attorney general decided to criminally prosecute himself, you are out of luck. You have no options in civil court.

Some may say sovereign immunity sounds like a stupid idea in a country with no king, and should be abolished altogether. In fact, in 1792 the US Supreme Court told the state of Georgia it had no sovereign immunity protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But the white male landed gentry — the only people who had any say in the 1790s — has been going ape ever since. Suffice it to say that the law handed down over the centuries only provides one avenue of relief: A state, like the most beneficent king you could ever find in the Bible, can waive its sovereign immunity protection — and consent to be sued.
 

Reviving the rule of King George II

Remember when I said the modern Georgia Tories say sovereign immunity has been the law from time immemorial, as though carved in stone by Moses. That does not turn out to be true.

In the last installment, I said that in the course of expanding sovereign immunity, with the support of the governor and the attorney general, the courts have spearheaded a spirited campaign of judicial retroactivism. By retroactive I mean they are taking society backward in time. Whether to the time of King Edward Longshanks or General Longstreet does not matter.

As to judicial activism, the important point is that while the retroactive judges are changing the rules to coincide with their antebellum viewpoint, they are ignoring the law as they found it written on the books today.

And this rewriting of the laws — by judicial officers lacking that authority, which properly belongs to the legislature — has been done with judges appointed by the governors leading the way, and sometimes with the assistance of an attorney general also appointed by a governor, as if it were a single branch of government as opposed to two separate branches.

Sovereign immunity, meanwhile, is not the bedrock principle, from which there is no escaping, they make it out to be. Until 1991, in Georgia, sovereign immunity was waived — meaning you could sue the state — if the state was covered by liability insurance for the claim. Today, the state has insurance coverage for any and all legal claims brought against it. Whenever the state is sued, insurance even covers the state’s legal fees. That would seem to solve the problem, but that isn’t the law anymore because Georgia changed it.
In 1991, without even knowing it, Georgians passed a constitutional amendment to say that sovereign immunity can only be waived — to allow a lawsuit against a state agency or officer — if the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, expressly authorizes a particular kind of lawsuit — and thereby gives the state’s consent to be sued, not for anything, but within that specific limitation.

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals

The issue of sovereign immunity came up, in my experience, about 10 years ago. I was just a corporate lawyer minding my own business when I was called upon to defend a University of Georgia professor. Then-UGA president Michael Adams was trying to revoke the tenure of Adams’ most vocal critic, UGA professor Dezso Benedek, so that Adams could fire him for his unfavorable opinions. The task of defending Benedek against the University of Georgia, where I was once First Honor Graduate, fell to me, not because I was some tenure revocation genius, but only because nobody else would do it.

Benedek won the tenure battle. The revocation failed miserably, and Benedek is a UGA professor today because of it.

The reason we won the tenure battle, though, is what has caused the commotion in the pro-sovereign immunity community. We won because the Georgia attorney general was caught red-handed trying to hide evidence that showed the charges against Professor Benedek were false, and that Adams and the attorney general knew it from the start. The attorney general of Georgia was caught in the act of manufacturing fake evidence to try to frame Benedek, and also caught suborning perjury — that is, trying to get witnesses to lie on the stand under oath — among other felonies.

So I, not knowing any better than to follow the facts and the law, did something that had never been done before: I sued the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), the attorney general, the UGA dean who impersonated real UGA students online (which is computer and identity fraud, among other crimes) to manufacture false evidence, the UGA witnesses who perjured themselves, and the kingpin of this whole racketeering scheme, then-UGA president Michael Adams.

I sued them under the RICO statute — which, where there is a pattern of related crimes spelled out in the statute, allows for either a criminal prosecution (which in Benedek’s case could only be brought by the attorney general, against himself, among others). Or, on the same terms as the criminal prosecution, the statute also authorizes a civil RICO action, just like the kind of civil lawsuit for which anybody could go to court for a slip and fall or a car wreck. Those ordinary civil litigants go before a judge and jury to hear their cases, and they get to present their evidence.

But not Dezso Benedek.

Professor Benedek is not Donald Trump with billions to fund a hundred lawsuits at once. But Benedek’s case has bounced for the last 10 years before 13 different judges, and not one of them wanted to hear it, and they all tried their hardest to throw it out without a trial for any reason they could think of.

The important thing to remember is that this is where Attorney General Sam Olens started the argument that state officials have sovereign immunity to commit these RICO felonies. So even if a state office clerk or the attorney general himself were to extort you or attempt to rub you out — much less commit lesser felonies such as evidence tampering, wire fraud, and perjury — you cannot sue them for it.

Take your evidence of crime, said Attorney General Olens, and show it to your mother or your third-grade homeroom teacher — because you are never going to show it to a judge.

Sovereign immunity even bars you from doing discovery that normally occurs in a civil action in order to find more evidence. Sovereign immunity, according to judicial retroactivism in Georgia, prevents you from using the courts to force the government to produce documents and witnesses that may shed more light on the wrong they did to you, or on a criminal conspiracy.

In the vernacular of sovereign immunity, you get thrown out of court like a bum — even if the state cost you a million bucks or, in King George’s day, cut off your head. It is not a doctrine redeemed by any sense of fairness. According to the supposedly conservative judicial activists, that is true even if the wrong was done to you deliberately, with criminal intent.
 

The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity

That is where I have been respectfully begging to differ for the last 10 years, because the Georgia RICO Act meets the new 1991 state constitutional requirement of expressly authorizing a civil RICO action (and the state does have insurance coverage, so it will never cost the state treasury or the taxpayers a thing) against government officials.

In fact, once before, State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and some henchmen in his office were extorting campaign contributions and then stealing the money for themselves. Commissioner Caldwell was criminally prosecuted, but there was also a civil RICO action — just like Professor Benedek’s case against Michael Adams — filed against Caldwell.

Sam Caldwell tried to tell the plaintiff, in that civil RICO action against him, you cannot sue me in a civil RICO action because I am a state official. But the Georgia Supreme Court said not so fast, Sam, we read the RICO statute, and it expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against state government agencies and officials. So there.

The Georgia Supreme Court pointed out, in the case against State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other state employees, that the RICO statute defines a “racketeering (or RICO) enterprise” to include “any person,” without limitation, and also to include “governmental entities.” So every time the word enterprise appears in the statute, you can write in its place, instead, governmental entity. And, in fact, enterprise is an important word that is written in the statute in several places.

Based on that reading of the RICO statute, the Georgia Supreme Court told Sam Caldwell to take a hike. Imagine doing extortion and theft and then claiming you could not be held accountable — because you are too high and mighty as a state government official.

In fact, using the statutory language and logic of the controlling Caldwell opinion, the RICO statute says, in the words of the Georgia legislature that conservatives say they respect so much, that a RICO injunction can be lodged against a state government entity (though the Georgia courts recently contradicted this clear conclusion by saying that sovereign immunity barred an injunction to prevent the USG from engaging in RICO extortion and bribery to oust Dr. Daniel Papp and replace him with none other than Sam Olens himself).

The RICO statute also explicitly says that state government employees and agents can violate the statute, and therefore be subject to the remedies, including treble and punitive damages, spelled out by the statute.

One strict rule of statutory interpretation by the courts is to never render any language of the statute meaningless. After all, the legislature put the words in there for some reason. In Georgia, in 2020, we are still waiting for the current courts to tell us why the legislators did not mean anything when they said the RICO statute authorized an injunction against the state and a civil action for damages against employees and officials. We are also waiting for them to tell us why the Georgia Supreme Court did not mean what it said in Caldwell.

Moreover, the crimes listed in the statute that qualify for a RICO action (otherwise known as RICO predicate acts) also include many felonies that would tend to be committed by government officials — such as falsifying state agency financial records and audits to conceal the illegal diversion of taxpayer funds, and using state agency computers to commit financial fraud — which brings us to Anthony Tricoli.
 

State financial oversight by embezzlers

Since I did not know better than to take on a racketeering conspiracy in state government that had the full cooperation of the courts, other victims who have been steamrolled by the state have come calling.

Anthony Tricoli, the former president of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), was fired and replaced by the University System of Georgia literally before he knew it — after it was discovered (and later verified by the USG itself) that GPC’s vice president of finance Ron Carruth falsified the financial reports of GPC, and not by some rounding error, but by as much as $37 million at one point.

Anthony Tricoli sued for the financial fraud by Carruth and other complicit state officials that harmed Tricoli. The state of Georgia claimed its officials may commit these crimes with impunity under the protection of sovereign immunity. Even if the defendants did commit the crimes, and Tricoli can prove it, no dice on any trial, no dice on any remedy for the wrong. The state just waves you goodbye.

Tricoli’s trial judge in DeKalb Superior Court, Dan Coursey, put it this way: He said the state officials involved in the fraud were immune because when they were falsifying financial records to steal millions of dollars they were dutifully performing their state “financial oversight activities.”

At the next level in the judicial system, the Georgia Court of Appeals did not adopt Coursey’s colorful theory that cooking the books to hide the theft of taxpayer funds equaled financial oversight.

Nonetheless, they issued an opinion that was curious in many ways, but seconded Coursey’s opinion that victims harmed by the crimes of state officials had no right to sue.

Their reason, without exaggerating: State officials are above it all.

The Court of Appeals opinion, throwing Tricoli’s RICO case out in 2016, said I had advanced an imaginative theory that the state itself could be held accountable, but that was all it was. Imagination.

I did not imagine the language of the RICO statute or the controlling precedent in Caldwell, but the Court of Appeals did not bother to get into that.

Analysis of the impact of the controlling authority in Caldwell: None.

Examination of the language of the RICO statute, as required by the Georgia Constitution: Zero.
 

One judge was brave enough to read the law

Only one judge on the appeals court panel actually looked at the law and wrote a dissenting opinion. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller agreed with me that the RICO statute expressly authorizes a suit against the state, waiving sovereign immunity. So maybe it was not just my imagination after all.

Judge Miller is the only judge in the last 10 years to mention anything about the language of the RICO statute and follow it to the same logical conclusion as the Supreme Court previously did in Caldwell (now the state is trying to sanction me and make me pay the state’s legal expenses, because they say no reasonable person could ever believe what the RICO statute says, but they really should not talk about Judge Miller that way).
What is even more extraordinary, in light of the state’s contention that I should be fined many thousands of dollars for arguing state officials have no immunity for RICO felonies, is that an even higher authority than Judge Miller also agrees with me, the Georgia Supreme Court in the days of Caldwell. The attorney general does not like to mention that case — in fact, neither Sam Olens nor his replacement Chris Carr has ever said a word about it in any legal brief or argument.

The Caldwell Supreme Court’s reading of the RICO statute — no sovereign immunity for criminal RICO predicate acts, which is consistent with the statute and Judge Miller’s dissent — also conforms to another provision of the Georgia Constitution.

The Georgia Constitution says that state employees can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for acts taken with actual malice and intent to cause harm — which is consistent with the English common law from the time of Blackstone, before the American Revolution ended the very notion of royalty or any other person standing above the law in this country.
 

Caldwell was decided in 1984, and the Georgia Constitution says decisions by the Supreme Court are binding — which begs the question of how the opinion rejecting Sam Caldwell’s claim that he could not be subjected to a civil RICO action has been ignored for the last 10 years. The current Georgia Supreme Court, so far, has never addressed the question of whether it agrees with the Georgia Supreme Court in Caldwell that the language of the RICO statute satisfies the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity protection and allowing civil lawsuits to go forward.

How can it be that the same judicial entity is decided against itself and gives its own Caldwell opinion the silent treatment?
 

The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals

The Georgia Supreme Court broke the law governing Tricoli’s appeal by refusing to review the case, and left the appeal court opinion standing to deter any other victim of crimes committed by state officials with the temerity to try to hold them accountable. Today, the Tricoli case stands for the proposition that no one can sue a state official who harms a citizen in the commission of a RICO felony.

The Tricoli case was rejected by the state Supreme Court the same morning a hearing was being held on a case filed by Kennesaw State University faculty for an injunction to prevent the USG from forcing Sam Olens on them as KSU president. Thus the Court of Appeals “imagination” opinion in Tricoli, given the Georgia Supreme Court’s silence that came just in time, was the sole basis of throwing out the case against the USG for hiding its own financial fraud by extorting Dr. Dan Papp to resign as president of KSU so that Sam Olens could be appointed to that position. That case was thrown out on the pretense of sovereign immunity, even though the RICO statute expressly authorizes the injunctive relief against the state sought by the KSU plaintiffs, waiving sovereign immunity — and even though the documented allegations in the KSU case of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion had to be admitted by the state in the course of three years of appeals.

The allegations of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion at KSU were filed November of 2016. Three and a half years later, Attorney General Chris Carr — who was appointed to replace Olens — has never answered them. The KSU faculty filed supplemental pleadings since then, with additional evidence of wrongdoing such as real racketeering-style extortion of Dr. Papp, and the Board of Regents changing its policies to cover the tracks of illegal USG activity.

As of April 2020, Attorney General Chris Carr has never filed a responsive pleading to any of them. He never responded to any correspondence on the subject, or answered in any other forum. But the trial court and appeals court ruled in Carr’s favor with no explanation, in one-sentence orders that did not reference a single fact or cite any legal authority.
On March 26, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the KSU case without explanation, the same as the court did in the Tricoli case. Both times, the highest court in the state allowed its own binding precedent in Caldwell to be steamrolled.

Simply put, it appears the Caldwell precedent no longer suits the philosophy of the current retroactivist court, but the appointed justices don’t know what to do with the binding Supreme Court precedent. That binding precedent is grounded in an analysis of the very words of the RICO statute. Conservatives claim to defer to the legislature, but not when it comes to holding themselves accountable, apparently — or, rather, allowing ordinary citizens of the state to call these latter-day sovereigns before the dock.
 

From $10 million fraud to a billion

After Tricoli’s case was thrown out without allowing any discovery in 2016, continuing investigation found that the 10 million dollars never accounted for from GPC, to this day, were part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government. Five times Tricoli has been barred from adding that evidence to the court record to reopen Tricoli’s case, and Judge Coursey actually blocked a federal criminal investigation by quashing subpoenas and refusing to let Olens, Carruth, and others be confronted with the new evidence.

Attorney General Chris Carr has never answered the new evidence of USG fraud on the federal government, assisted by other state agencies, including the attorney general’s office. In the legal system, such a failure to respond constitutes an admission of the allegations, which are heavily documented. Yet Carr still maintains this attorney should be punished by the state, forced to pay the state’s legal fees, for exposing this state government corruption for which Chris Carr has no answer. Carr has not yet even opined one twit on whether the state enjoys sovereign immunity for defrauding the federal government.
 

Civil versus criminal RICO

Now, after all this inconclusive wrangling over sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, you may ask why Ron Carruth and his co-conspirators were never simply prosecuted for criminal conduct, for falsifying those financial reports that led to a financial scandal where someone had to be the scapegoat? Why weren’t other state officials prosecuted for committing far greater crimes (while the attorney general who could bring the prosecution is, instead, defending the alleged criminals against the civil RICO actions)?

No one has ever argued that a Georgia government official cannot be criminally prosecuted under the RICO statute. Sam Caldwell was, as we have already noted. And former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was prosecuted under the RICO statute for gunning his campaign opponent down in his driveway, and also for financial fraud against the county.

Georgia is saying, now, that if Dorsey defrauded you, a private citizen, or gunned you down in your driveway, you could not sue him — in a civil action expressly authorized in the same RICO statute.

There is some indication of why no one was ever criminally prosecuted though $10 million was never accounted for at GPC — that later turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government, as admitted by Attorney General Carr.

That indication comes in additional evidence that was also discovered after Tricoli’s case was thrown out by the courts on grounds of sovereign immunity. Assistant Attorney General Annette Cowart wrote in a letter right after Tricoli was fired that if Ron Carruth lied to Anthony Tricoli and misled Tricoli on GPC’s finances to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — then that was a private matter between Carruth and Tricoli.

Yes, Cowart actually did write that. Common sense probably tells you that is wrong, on several levels. But, even more to the point, the Georgia legislature has stepped in again and made such misrepresentation of state agency finances a felony — a crime which very explicitly makes it the public’s business under OCGA § 16-10-20.

It certainly makes Carruth’s multimillion-dollar boo-boos the business of the attorney general charged with enforcing the criminal statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature. But Sam Olens did not see it that way, which is why Assistant Attorney General Cowart also wrote in her letter that the attorney general’s office would not conduct a criminal investigation — because there was no evidence of criminal activity at GPC, where financial reports were falsified.

State records later confirmed that two sets of books were kept at GPC , but this criminal violation of OCGA 16-10-20 was taken to be a private matter, as previously noted by Cowart. So, instead of conducting a criminal investigation, Attorney General Olens allowed the USG to investigate itself (the USG, coincidentally, found nothing amiss with the USG), and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year position, in violation of its own policies, as president of KSU (after extorting Dr. Papp to leave).

Suffice it to say that Cowart and Olens were not following the law — which it is the attorney general’s job to enforce. Instead, Cowart falsified and misrepresented state audit information to torpedo Tricoli’s case and deny him a hearing before the Board of Regents to which he was entitled by law. On top of the obvious deprivation of constitutional due process, there are several felonies there, but no attorney general ever prosecuted anyone for it.

Nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the evidence and witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, identity and computer fraud, perjury and subornation of perjury that were proven in the Benedek case. Attorney generals do not seem to perceive crimes that are committed in their own office.

As you can see, Georgia’s state government is asking sovereign immunity to cover a lot of ground when it comes to covering for public officials violating their oath of office and violating the state’s criminal statutes.
 

The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes

Proponents of sovereign immunity claim, ironically, to be conservatives in favor of limited government. It is no small hypocrisy to argue in the same breath that government officials may act with total impunity, and no one can hold them accountable.

In the RICO cases filed against the government, Georgia claims immunity for a related pattern of crimes — just like a mafia family — including theft of taxpayer funds, intentional falsification of financial reports, fraud on the federal government, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, false use of Social Security identification, obstruction of justice, obstruction of federal proceedings, evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, subornation of perjury, bribery, and extortion.

Attorney General Olens admitted he never investigated any of the crimes committed against Benedek or Tricoli, or against the citizens of this state. Instead, Olens, and his successor Chris Carr, have defended the admitted criminals against the civil RICO actions — on grounds of sovereign immunity.

Throughout the 10 years of litigation, every state governor and attorney general, the USG and Board of Regents, and, most importantly, every court has ignored what the Georgia Constitution says about how sovereign immunity is waived.

These state officials (including judicial) have ignored the constitutional requirement to examine the language of statutes enacted by the legislature to see if they waive sovereign immunity, and they specifically ignored the language of the RICO statute itself.

They have ignored the binding Georgia Supreme Court precedent in Caldwell that plainly says the RICO statute expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against the state, satisfying the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity.

Therefore, they have ignored the legislature’s express consent, authorizing a civil action against the state for RICO felonies.


Moreover, by ignoring the law at every level, they have ignored, violated, and denied constitutional due process — a principle of fairness that really does lie at the bedrock of our republic, peddling a counterfeit coin of the realm with their own image on it instead.

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. —CL—"
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(29616) "''“The Court cannot overlook a remedy the legislature, in its wisdom, saw fit to create.”'' — Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller

Sovereign immunity is an ancient doctrine from the days of divine right kings that has now been repackaged and expanded for Georgia’s ruling class. Even in the days of our state’s namesake, King George II, sovereign immunity never absolved the King’s ministers for committing crimes, but since 2016, Georgia claims it immunizes state officials for any felony you can think of — from murder to rape to theft of taxpayer money.
The question the governor, attorney general, and the courts of Georgia are now avoiding, is whether sovereign immunity likewise allows them to commit fraud on the federal government with impunity. But that is getting ahead of the story.

Sovereign immunity proponents are backward-looking and argue the doctrine is founded in immutable common law from the mists of prehistory. That is only because sovereign immunity protection for crimes can nowhere be found in modern law of Georgia.

It is important, however, before debunking the theory, to explain exactly what sovereign immunity means, since not everyone has gone to law school or studied Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1700s.
It means, in a word, you’re screwed. Even if King George II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer or the chancellor of the University System of Georgia were to falsify government financial records to frame you for embezzlement, or threatened you with the vilest extortion, you could not go to court and sue them. Even if you have hard evidence a state official committed crimes against you that would inflame a jury to award a hundred-million-dollar judgment against the man who abused his government position of public trust to harm you, he gets to laugh in your face, because sovereign immunity bars you from taking him to trial altogether.
You don’t get a judge or jury. You never even get to present your evidence. It’s over before it begins. Of course, that sounds downright un-American.

Sovereign immunity, nonetheless, has been expanded to such an extent, in Georgia, that either of those chancellors (if the king’s chancellor could come back from the past) could commit murder most vile on you. The attorney general of this state could shoot you on Peachtree Street, but unless the attorney general decided to criminally prosecute himself, you are out of luck. You have no options in civil court.

Some may say sovereign immunity sounds like a stupid idea in a country with no king, and should be abolished altogether. In fact, in 1792 the US Supreme Court told the state of Georgia it had no sovereign immunity protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But the white male landed gentry — the only people who had any say in the 1790s — has been going ape ever since. Suffice it to say that the law handed down over the centuries only provides one avenue of relief: A state, like the most beneficent king you could ever find in the Bible, can waive its sovereign immunity protection — and consent to be sued.
 

''Reviving the rule of King George II''

Remember when I said the modern Georgia Tories say sovereign immunity has been the law from time immemorial, as though carved in stone by Moses. That does not turn out to be true.

In the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|last installment], I said that in the course of expanding sovereign immunity, with the support of the governor and the attorney general, the courts have spearheaded a spirited campaign of judicial retroactivism. By retroactive I mean they are taking society backward in time. Whether to the time of King Edward Longshanks or [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/596e5ddbe4b05561da5a5b3e|General Longstreet] does not matter.

As to judicial activism, the important point is that while the retroactive judges are changing the rules to coincide with their antebellum viewpoint, they are ignoring the law as they found it written on the books today.

And this rewriting of the laws — by judicial officers lacking that authority, which properly belongs to the legislature — has been done with judges appointed by the governors leading the way, and sometimes with the assistance of an attorney general also appointed by a governor, as if it were a single branch of government as opposed to two separate branches.

Sovereign immunity, meanwhile, is not the bedrock principle, from which there is no escaping, they make it out to be. Until 1991, in Georgia, sovereign immunity was waived — meaning you ''could'' sue the state — if the state was covered by liability insurance for the claim. Today, the state has insurance coverage for any and all legal claims brought against it. Whenever the state is sued, insurance even covers the state’s legal fees. That would seem to solve the problem, but that isn’t the law anymore because Georgia changed it.
In 1991, without even knowing it, Georgians passed a constitutional amendment to say that sovereign immunity can only be waived — to allow a lawsuit against a state agency or officer — if the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, expressly authorizes a particular kind of lawsuit — and thereby gives the state’s consent to be sued, not for anything, but within that specific limitation.

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

''Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals''

The issue of sovereign immunity came up, in my experience, about 10 years ago. I was just a corporate lawyer minding my own business when I was called upon to defend a University of Georgia professor. Then-UGA president Michael Adams was trying to revoke the tenure of Adams’ most vocal critic, UGA professor Dezso Benedek, so that Adams could fire him for his unfavorable opinions. The task of defending Benedek against the University of Georgia, where I was once First Honor Graduate, fell to me, not because I was some tenure revocation genius, but only because nobody else would do it.

Benedek won the tenure battle. The revocation failed miserably, and Benedek is a UGA professor today because of it.

The reason we won the tenure battle, though, is what has caused the commotion in the pro-sovereign immunity community. We won because the Georgia attorney general was caught red-handed trying to hide evidence that showed the charges against Professor Benedek were false, and that Adams and the attorney general knew it from the start. The attorney general of Georgia was caught in the act of manufacturing fake evidence to try to frame Benedek, and also caught suborning perjury — that is, trying to get witnesses to lie on the stand under oath — among other felonies.

So I, not knowing any better than to follow the facts and the law, did something that had never been done before: I sued the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), the attorney general, the UGA dean who impersonated real UGA students online (which is computer and identity fraud, among other crimes) to manufacture false evidence, the UGA witnesses who perjured themselves, and the kingpin of this whole racketeering scheme, then-UGA president Michael Adams.

I sued them under the RICO statute — which, where there is a pattern of related crimes spelled out in the statute, allows for either a criminal prosecution (which in Benedek’s case could only be brought by the attorney general, against himself, among others). Or, on the same terms as the criminal prosecution, the statute also authorizes a civil RICO action, just like the kind of civil lawsuit for which anybody could go to court for a slip and fall or a car wreck. Those ordinary civil litigants go before a judge and jury to hear their cases, and they get to present their evidence.

But not Dezso Benedek.

Professor Benedek is not Donald Trump with billions to fund a hundred lawsuits at once. But Benedek’s case has bounced for the last 10 years before 13 different judges, and not one of them wanted to hear it, and they all tried their hardest to throw it out without a trial for any reason they could think of.

The important thing to remember is that this is where Attorney General Sam Olens started the argument that state officials have sovereign immunity to commit these RICO felonies. So even if a state office clerk or the attorney general himself were to extort you or attempt to rub you out — much less commit lesser felonies such as evidence tampering, wire fraud, and perjury — you cannot sue them for it.

Take your evidence of crime, said Attorney General Olens, and show it to your mother or your third-grade homeroom teacher — because you are never going to show it to a judge.

Sovereign immunity even bars you from doing discovery that normally occurs in a civil action in order to find more evidence. Sovereign immunity, according to judicial retroactivism in Georgia, prevents you from using the courts to force the government to produce documents and witnesses that may shed more light on the wrong they did to you, or on a criminal conspiracy.

In the vernacular of sovereign immunity, you get thrown out of court like a bum — even if the state cost you a million bucks or, in King George’s day, cut off your head. It is not a doctrine redeemed by any sense of fairness. According to the supposedly conservative judicial activists, that is true even if the wrong was done to you deliberately, with criminal intent.
 

''The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity''

That is where I have been respectfully begging to differ for the last 10 years, because the Georgia RICO Act meets the new 1991 state constitutional requirement of expressly authorizing a civil RICO action (and the state does have insurance coverage, so it will never cost the state treasury or the taxpayers a thing) against government officials.

In fact, once before, State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and some henchmen in his office were extorting campaign contributions and then stealing the money for themselves. Commissioner Caldwell was criminally prosecuted, but there was also a civil RICO action — just like Professor Benedek’s case against Michael Adams — filed against Caldwell.

Sam Caldwell tried to tell the plaintiff, in that civil RICO action against him, you cannot sue me in a civil RICO action because ''I am a state official''. But the Georgia Supreme Court said not so fast, Sam, we read the RICO statute, and it expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against state government agencies and officials. So there.

The Georgia Supreme Court pointed out, in the case against State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other state employees, that the RICO statute defines a “racketeering (or RICO) ''enterprise''” to include “any person,” without limitation, and also to include “governmental entities.” So every time the word ''enterprise'' appears in the statute, you can write in its place, instead, ''governmental entity''. And, in fact, enterprise is an important word that is written in the statute in several places.

Based on that reading of the RICO statute, the Georgia Supreme Court told Sam Caldwell to take a hike. Imagine doing extortion and theft and then claiming you could not be held accountable — because you are too high and mighty as a state government official.

In fact, using the statutory language and logic of the [https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/1984/41044-1.html|controlling ''Caldwell'' opinion], the RICO statute says, in the words of the Georgia legislature that conservatives say they respect so much, that a RICO injunction can be lodged against a state government entity (though the Georgia courts recently contradicted this clear conclusion by saying that sovereign immunity barred an injunction to prevent the USG from engaging in RICO extortion and bribery to oust Dr. Daniel Papp and replace him with none other than Sam Olens himself).

The RICO statute also explicitly says that state government employees and agents can violate the statute, and therefore be subject to the remedies, including treble and punitive damages, spelled out by the statute.

One strict rule of statutory interpretation by the courts is to never render any language of the statute meaningless. After all, the legislature put the words in there for some reason. In Georgia, in 2020, we are still waiting for the current courts to tell us why the legislators did not mean anything when they said the RICO statute authorized an injunction against the state and a civil action for damages against employees and officials. We are also waiting for them to tell us why the Georgia Supreme Court did not mean what it said in ''Caldwell''.

Moreover, the crimes listed in the statute that qualify for a RICO action (otherwise known as RICO predicate acts) also include many felonies that would tend to be committed by government officials — such as falsifying state agency financial records and audits to conceal the illegal diversion of taxpayer funds, and using state agency computers to commit financial fraud — which brings us to Anthony Tricoli.
 

''State financial oversight by embezzlers''

Since I did not know better than to take on a racketeering conspiracy in state government that had the full cooperation of the courts, other victims who have been steamrolled by the state have come calling.

Anthony Tricoli, the former president of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), was fired and replaced by the University System of Georgia literally before he knew it — after it was discovered (and later verified by the USG itself) that GPC’s vice president of finance Ron Carruth falsified the financial reports of GPC, and not by some rounding error, but by as much as $37 million at one point.

Anthony Tricoli sued for the financial fraud by Carruth and other complicit state officials that harmed Tricoli. The state of Georgia claimed its officials may commit these crimes with impunity under the protection of sovereign immunity. Even if the defendants did commit the crimes, and Tricoli can prove it, no dice on any trial, no dice on any remedy for the wrong. The state just waves you goodbye.

Tricoli’s trial judge in DeKalb Superior Court, Dan Coursey, put it this way: He said the state officials involved in the fraud were immune because when they were falsifying financial records to steal millions of dollars they were dutifully performing their state “financial oversight activities.”

At the next level in the judicial system, the Georgia Court of Appeals did not adopt Coursey’s colorful theory that cooking the books to hide the theft of taxpayer funds equaled financial oversight.

Nonetheless, they issued an opinion that was curious in many ways, but seconded Coursey’s opinion that victims harmed by the crimes of state officials had no right to sue.

Their reason, without exaggerating: State officials are above it all.

The Court of Appeals opinion, throwing Tricoli’s RICO case out in 2016, said I had advanced an imaginative theory that the state itself could be held accountable, but that was all it was. Imagination.

I did not imagine the language of the RICO statute or the controlling precedent in ''Caldwell'', but the Court of Appeals did not bother to get into that.

Analysis of the impact of the controlling authority in ''Caldwell'': None.

Examination of the language of the RICO statute, as required by the Georgia Constitution: Zero.
 

''One judge was brave enough to read the law''

Only one judge on the appeals court panel actually looked at the law and wrote a dissenting opinion. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller agreed with me that the RICO statute expressly authorizes a suit against the state, waiving sovereign immunity. So maybe it was not just my imagination after all.

Judge Miller is the only judge in the last 10 years to mention anything about the language of the RICO statute and follow it to the same logical conclusion as the Supreme Court previously did in ''Caldwell'' (now the state is trying to sanction me and make me pay the state’s legal expenses, because they say no reasonable person could ever believe what the RICO statute says, but they really should not talk about Judge Miller that way).
What is even more extraordinary, in light of the state’s contention that I should be fined many thousands of dollars for arguing state officials have no immunity for RICO felonies, is that an even higher authority than Judge Miller also agrees with me, the Georgia Supreme Court in the days of ''Caldwell''. The attorney general does not like to mention that case — in fact, neither Sam Olens nor his replacement Chris Carr has ever said a word about it in any legal brief or argument.

The ''Caldwell'' Supreme Court’s reading of the RICO statute — no sovereign immunity for criminal RICO predicate acts, which is consistent with the statute and Judge Miller’s dissent — also conforms to another provision of the Georgia Constitution.

The Georgia Constitution says that state employees can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for acts taken with actual malice and intent to cause harm — which is consistent with the English common law from the time of Blackstone, before the American Revolution ended the very notion of royalty or any other person standing above the law in this country.
 

''Caldwell'' was decided in 1984, and the Georgia Constitution says decisions by the Supreme Court are binding — which begs the question of how the opinion rejecting Sam Caldwell’s claim that he could not be subjected to a civil RICO action has been ignored for the last 10 years. The current Georgia Supreme Court, so far, has never addressed the question of whether it agrees with the Georgia Supreme Court in ''Caldwell'' that the language of the RICO statute satisfies the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity protection and allowing civil lawsuits to go forward.

How can it be that the same judicial entity is decided against itself and gives its own ''Caldwell'' opinion the silent treatment?
 

''The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals''

The Georgia Supreme Court broke the law governing Tricoli’s appeal by refusing to review the case, and left the appeal court opinion standing to deter any other victim of crimes committed by state officials with the temerity to try to hold them accountable. Today, the ''Tricoli'' case stands for the proposition that no one can sue a state official who harms a citizen in the commission of a RICO felony.

The ''Tricoli'' case was rejected by the state Supreme Court the same morning a hearing was being held on a case filed by Kennesaw State University faculty for an injunction to prevent the USG from forcing Sam Olens on them as KSU president. Thus the Court of Appeals “imagination” opinion in ''Tricoli'', given the Georgia Supreme Court’s silence that came just in time, was the sole basis of throwing out the case against the USG for hiding its own financial fraud by extorting Dr. Dan Papp to resign as president of KSU so that Sam Olens could be appointed to that position. That case was thrown out on the pretense of sovereign immunity, even though the RICO statute expressly authorizes the injunctive relief against the state sought by the KSU plaintiffs, waiving sovereign immunity — and even though the documented allegations in the KSU case of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion had to be admitted by the state in the course of three years of appeals.

The allegations of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion at KSU were filed November of 2016. Three and a half years later, Attorney General Chris Carr — who was appointed to replace Olens — has never answered them. The KSU faculty filed supplemental pleadings since then, with additional evidence of wrongdoing such as real racketeering-style extortion of Dr. Papp, and the Board of Regents changing its policies to cover the tracks of illegal USG activity.

As of April 2020, Attorney General Chris Carr has never filed a responsive pleading to any of them. He never responded to any correspondence on the subject, or answered in any other forum. But the trial court and appeals court ruled in Carr’s favor with no explanation, in one-sentence orders that did not reference a single fact or cite any legal authority.
On March 26, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the KSU case without explanation, the same as the court did in the ''Tricoli'' case. Both times, the highest court in the state allowed its own binding precedent in ''Caldwell'' to be steamrolled.

Simply put, it appears the ''Caldwell'' precedent no longer suits the philosophy of the current retroactivist court, but the appointed justices don’t know what to do with the binding Supreme Court precedent. That binding precedent is grounded in an analysis of the very words of the RICO statute. Conservatives claim to defer to the legislature, but not when it comes to holding themselves accountable, apparently — or, rather, allowing ordinary citizens of the state to call these latter-day sovereigns before the dock.
 

''From $10 million fraud to a billion''

After Tricoli’s case was thrown out without allowing any discovery in 2016, continuing investigation found that the 10 million dollars never accounted for from GPC, to this day, were part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government. Five times Tricoli has been barred from adding that evidence to the court record to reopen Tricoli’s case, and Judge Coursey actually blocked a federal criminal investigation by quashing subpoenas and refusing to let Olens, Carruth, and others be confronted with the new evidence.

Attorney General Chris Carr has never answered the new evidence of USG fraud on the federal government, assisted by other state agencies, including the attorney general’s office. In the legal system, such a failure to respond constitutes an admission of the allegations, which are heavily documented. Yet Carr still maintains this attorney should be punished by the state, forced to pay the state’s legal fees, for exposing this state government corruption for which Chris Carr has no answer. Carr has not yet even opined one twit on whether the state enjoys sovereign immunity for defrauding the federal government.
 

''Civil versus criminal RICO''

Now, after all this inconclusive wrangling over sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, you may ask why Ron Carruth and his co-conspirators were never simply prosecuted for criminal conduct, for falsifying those financial reports that led to a financial scandal where someone had to be the scapegoat? Why weren’t other state officials prosecuted for committing far greater crimes (while the attorney general who could bring the prosecution is, instead, defending the alleged criminals against the civil RICO actions)?

No one has ever argued that a Georgia government official cannot be criminally prosecuted under the RICO statute. Sam Caldwell was, as we have already noted. And former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was prosecuted under the RICO statute for gunning his campaign opponent down in his driveway, and also for financial fraud against the county.

Georgia is saying, now, that if Dorsey defrauded you, a private citizen, or gunned you down in your driveway, you could not sue him — in a civil action expressly authorized in the same RICO statute.

There is some indication of why no one was ever criminally prosecuted though $10 million was never accounted for at GPC — that later turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government, as admitted by Attorney General Carr.

That indication comes in additional evidence that was also discovered after Tricoli’s case was thrown out by the courts on grounds of sovereign immunity. Assistant Attorney General Annette Cowart [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q7q07YHq5F-JcpFVkUMxMXeIFewgllnJ/view?usp=sharing|wrote in a letter] right after Tricoli was fired that if Ron Carruth lied to Anthony Tricoli and misled Tricoli on GPC’s finances to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — then that was a private matter between Carruth and Tricoli.

Yes, Cowart actually did write that. Common sense probably tells you that is wrong, on several levels. But, even more to the point, the Georgia legislature has stepped in again and made such misrepresentation of state agency finances a felony — a crime which very explicitly makes it the public’s business under [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|OCGA § 16-10-20].

It certainly makes Carruth’s multimillion-dollar boo-boos the business of the attorney general charged with enforcing the criminal statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature. But Sam Olens did not see it that way, which is why Assistant Attorney General Cowart also wrote in her letter that the attorney general’s office would not conduct a criminal investigation — because there was no evidence of criminal activity at GPC, where financial reports were falsified.

State records later confirmed that two sets of books were kept at GPC , but this criminal violation of OCGA 16-10-20 was taken to be a private matter, as previously noted by Cowart. So, instead of conducting a criminal investigation, Attorney General Olens allowed the USG to investigate itself (the USG, coincidentally, found nothing amiss with the USG), and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year position, in violation of its own policies, as president of KSU (after extorting Dr. Papp to leave).

Suffice it to say that Cowart and Olens were not following the law — which it is the attorney general’s job to enforce. Instead, Cowart falsified and misrepresented state audit information to torpedo Tricoli’s case and deny him a hearing before the Board of Regents to which he was entitled by law. On top of the obvious deprivation of constitutional due process, there are several felonies there, but no attorney general ever prosecuted anyone for it.

Nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the evidence and witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, identity and computer fraud, perjury and subornation of perjury that were proven in the Benedek case. Attorney generals do not seem to perceive crimes that are committed in their own office.

As you can see, Georgia’s state government is asking sovereign immunity to cover a lot of ground when it comes to covering for public officials violating their oath of office and violating the state’s criminal statutes.
 

''The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes''

Proponents of sovereign immunity claim, ironically, to be conservatives in favor of limited government. It is no small hypocrisy to argue in the same breath that government officials may act with total impunity, and no one can hold them accountable.

In the RICO cases filed against the government, Georgia claims immunity for a related pattern of crimes — just like a mafia family — including theft of taxpayer funds, intentional falsification of financial reports, fraud on the federal government, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, false use of Social Security identification, obstruction of justice, obstruction of federal proceedings, evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, subornation of perjury, bribery, and extortion.

Attorney General Olens admitted he never investigated any of the crimes committed against Benedek or Tricoli, or against the citizens of this state. Instead, Olens, and his successor Chris Carr, have defended the admitted criminals against the civil RICO actions — on grounds of sovereign immunity.

Throughout the 10 years of litigation, every state governor and attorney general, the USG and Board of Regents, and, most importantly, every court has ignored what the Georgia Constitution says about how sovereign immunity is waived.

These state officials (including judicial) have ignored the constitutional requirement to examine the language of statutes enacted by the legislature to see if they waive sovereign immunity, and they specifically ignored the language of the RICO statute itself.

They have ignored the binding Georgia Supreme Court precedent in ''Caldwell'' that plainly says the RICO statute expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against the state, satisfying the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity.

Therefore, they have ignored the legislature’s express consent, authorizing a civil action against the state for RICO felonies.

{img fileId="30871" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" max="400" desc="desc"}
Moreover, by ignoring the law at every level, they have ignored, violated, and denied constitutional due process — a principle of fairness that really does lie at the bedrock of our republic, peddling a counterfeit coin of the realm with their own image on it instead.

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. __—CL—__"
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  string(29645) " OC George II By Thomas Hudson  2020-04-17T22:46:27+00:00 OC_George_II_by_Thomas_Hudson.jpg    conspiracytheories Those who know the past are doomed to take advantage of it 30870  2020-04-17T22:23:02+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Counterfeiting sovereign immunity jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-04-17T22:23:02+00:00  “The Court cannot overlook a remedy the legislature, in its wisdom, saw fit to create.” — Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller

Sovereign immunity is an ancient doctrine from the days of divine right kings that has now been repackaged and expanded for Georgia’s ruling class. Even in the days of our state’s namesake, King George II, sovereign immunity never absolved the King’s ministers for committing crimes, but since 2016, Georgia claims it immunizes state officials for any felony you can think of — from murder to rape to theft of taxpayer money.
The question the governor, attorney general, and the courts of Georgia are now avoiding, is whether sovereign immunity likewise allows them to commit fraud on the federal government with impunity. But that is getting ahead of the story.

Sovereign immunity proponents are backward-looking and argue the doctrine is founded in immutable common law from the mists of prehistory. That is only because sovereign immunity protection for crimes can nowhere be found in modern law of Georgia.

It is important, however, before debunking the theory, to explain exactly what sovereign immunity means, since not everyone has gone to law school or studied Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1700s.
It means, in a word, you’re screwed. Even if King George II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer or the chancellor of the University System of Georgia were to falsify government financial records to frame you for embezzlement, or threatened you with the vilest extortion, you could not go to court and sue them. Even if you have hard evidence a state official committed crimes against you that would inflame a jury to award a hundred-million-dollar judgment against the man who abused his government position of public trust to harm you, he gets to laugh in your face, because sovereign immunity bars you from taking him to trial altogether.
You don’t get a judge or jury. You never even get to present your evidence. It’s over before it begins. Of course, that sounds downright un-American.

Sovereign immunity, nonetheless, has been expanded to such an extent, in Georgia, that either of those chancellors (if the king’s chancellor could come back from the past) could commit murder most vile on you. The attorney general of this state could shoot you on Peachtree Street, but unless the attorney general decided to criminally prosecute himself, you are out of luck. You have no options in civil court.

Some may say sovereign immunity sounds like a stupid idea in a country with no king, and should be abolished altogether. In fact, in 1792 the US Supreme Court told the state of Georgia it had no sovereign immunity protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But the white male landed gentry — the only people who had any say in the 1790s — has been going ape ever since. Suffice it to say that the law handed down over the centuries only provides one avenue of relief: A state, like the most beneficent king you could ever find in the Bible, can waive its sovereign immunity protection — and consent to be sued.
 

Reviving the rule of King George II

Remember when I said the modern Georgia Tories say sovereign immunity has been the law from time immemorial, as though carved in stone by Moses. That does not turn out to be true.

In the last installment, I said that in the course of expanding sovereign immunity, with the support of the governor and the attorney general, the courts have spearheaded a spirited campaign of judicial retroactivism. By retroactive I mean they are taking society backward in time. Whether to the time of King Edward Longshanks or General Longstreet does not matter.

As to judicial activism, the important point is that while the retroactive judges are changing the rules to coincide with their antebellum viewpoint, they are ignoring the law as they found it written on the books today.

And this rewriting of the laws — by judicial officers lacking that authority, which properly belongs to the legislature — has been done with judges appointed by the governors leading the way, and sometimes with the assistance of an attorney general also appointed by a governor, as if it were a single branch of government as opposed to two separate branches.

Sovereign immunity, meanwhile, is not the bedrock principle, from which there is no escaping, they make it out to be. Until 1991, in Georgia, sovereign immunity was waived — meaning you could sue the state — if the state was covered by liability insurance for the claim. Today, the state has insurance coverage for any and all legal claims brought against it. Whenever the state is sued, insurance even covers the state’s legal fees. That would seem to solve the problem, but that isn’t the law anymore because Georgia changed it.
In 1991, without even knowing it, Georgians passed a constitutional amendment to say that sovereign immunity can only be waived — to allow a lawsuit against a state agency or officer — if the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, expressly authorizes a particular kind of lawsuit — and thereby gives the state’s consent to be sued, not for anything, but within that specific limitation.

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals

The issue of sovereign immunity came up, in my experience, about 10 years ago. I was just a corporate lawyer minding my own business when I was called upon to defend a University of Georgia professor. Then-UGA president Michael Adams was trying to revoke the tenure of Adams’ most vocal critic, UGA professor Dezso Benedek, so that Adams could fire him for his unfavorable opinions. The task of defending Benedek against the University of Georgia, where I was once First Honor Graduate, fell to me, not because I was some tenure revocation genius, but only because nobody else would do it.

Benedek won the tenure battle. The revocation failed miserably, and Benedek is a UGA professor today because of it.

The reason we won the tenure battle, though, is what has caused the commotion in the pro-sovereign immunity community. We won because the Georgia attorney general was caught red-handed trying to hide evidence that showed the charges against Professor Benedek were false, and that Adams and the attorney general knew it from the start. The attorney general of Georgia was caught in the act of manufacturing fake evidence to try to frame Benedek, and also caught suborning perjury — that is, trying to get witnesses to lie on the stand under oath — among other felonies.

So I, not knowing any better than to follow the facts and the law, did something that had never been done before: I sued the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), the attorney general, the UGA dean who impersonated real UGA students online (which is computer and identity fraud, among other crimes) to manufacture false evidence, the UGA witnesses who perjured themselves, and the kingpin of this whole racketeering scheme, then-UGA president Michael Adams.

I sued them under the RICO statute — which, where there is a pattern of related crimes spelled out in the statute, allows for either a criminal prosecution (which in Benedek’s case could only be brought by the attorney general, against himself, among others). Or, on the same terms as the criminal prosecution, the statute also authorizes a civil RICO action, just like the kind of civil lawsuit for which anybody could go to court for a slip and fall or a car wreck. Those ordinary civil litigants go before a judge and jury to hear their cases, and they get to present their evidence.

But not Dezso Benedek.

Professor Benedek is not Donald Trump with billions to fund a hundred lawsuits at once. But Benedek’s case has bounced for the last 10 years before 13 different judges, and not one of them wanted to hear it, and they all tried their hardest to throw it out without a trial for any reason they could think of.

The important thing to remember is that this is where Attorney General Sam Olens started the argument that state officials have sovereign immunity to commit these RICO felonies. So even if a state office clerk or the attorney general himself were to extort you or attempt to rub you out — much less commit lesser felonies such as evidence tampering, wire fraud, and perjury — you cannot sue them for it.

Take your evidence of crime, said Attorney General Olens, and show it to your mother or your third-grade homeroom teacher — because you are never going to show it to a judge.

Sovereign immunity even bars you from doing discovery that normally occurs in a civil action in order to find more evidence. Sovereign immunity, according to judicial retroactivism in Georgia, prevents you from using the courts to force the government to produce documents and witnesses that may shed more light on the wrong they did to you, or on a criminal conspiracy.

In the vernacular of sovereign immunity, you get thrown out of court like a bum — even if the state cost you a million bucks or, in King George’s day, cut off your head. It is not a doctrine redeemed by any sense of fairness. According to the supposedly conservative judicial activists, that is true even if the wrong was done to you deliberately, with criminal intent.
 

The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity

That is where I have been respectfully begging to differ for the last 10 years, because the Georgia RICO Act meets the new 1991 state constitutional requirement of expressly authorizing a civil RICO action (and the state does have insurance coverage, so it will never cost the state treasury or the taxpayers a thing) against government officials.

In fact, once before, State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and some henchmen in his office were extorting campaign contributions and then stealing the money for themselves. Commissioner Caldwell was criminally prosecuted, but there was also a civil RICO action — just like Professor Benedek’s case against Michael Adams — filed against Caldwell.

Sam Caldwell tried to tell the plaintiff, in that civil RICO action against him, you cannot sue me in a civil RICO action because I am a state official. But the Georgia Supreme Court said not so fast, Sam, we read the RICO statute, and it expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against state government agencies and officials. So there.

The Georgia Supreme Court pointed out, in the case against State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other state employees, that the RICO statute defines a “racketeering (or RICO) enterprise” to include “any person,” without limitation, and also to include “governmental entities.” So every time the word enterprise appears in the statute, you can write in its place, instead, governmental entity. And, in fact, enterprise is an important word that is written in the statute in several places.

Based on that reading of the RICO statute, the Georgia Supreme Court told Sam Caldwell to take a hike. Imagine doing extortion and theft and then claiming you could not be held accountable — because you are too high and mighty as a state government official.

In fact, using the statutory language and logic of the controlling Caldwell opinion, the RICO statute says, in the words of the Georgia legislature that conservatives say they respect so much, that a RICO injunction can be lodged against a state government entity (though the Georgia courts recently contradicted this clear conclusion by saying that sovereign immunity barred an injunction to prevent the USG from engaging in RICO extortion and bribery to oust Dr. Daniel Papp and replace him with none other than Sam Olens himself).

The RICO statute also explicitly says that state government employees and agents can violate the statute, and therefore be subject to the remedies, including treble and punitive damages, spelled out by the statute.

One strict rule of statutory interpretation by the courts is to never render any language of the statute meaningless. After all, the legislature put the words in there for some reason. In Georgia, in 2020, we are still waiting for the current courts to tell us why the legislators did not mean anything when they said the RICO statute authorized an injunction against the state and a civil action for damages against employees and officials. We are also waiting for them to tell us why the Georgia Supreme Court did not mean what it said in Caldwell.

Moreover, the crimes listed in the statute that qualify for a RICO action (otherwise known as RICO predicate acts) also include many felonies that would tend to be committed by government officials — such as falsifying state agency financial records and audits to conceal the illegal diversion of taxpayer funds, and using state agency computers to commit financial fraud — which brings us to Anthony Tricoli.
 

State financial oversight by embezzlers

Since I did not know better than to take on a racketeering conspiracy in state government that had the full cooperation of the courts, other victims who have been steamrolled by the state have come calling.

Anthony Tricoli, the former president of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), was fired and replaced by the University System of Georgia literally before he knew it — after it was discovered (and later verified by the USG itself) that GPC’s vice president of finance Ron Carruth falsified the financial reports of GPC, and not by some rounding error, but by as much as $37 million at one point.

Anthony Tricoli sued for the financial fraud by Carruth and other complicit state officials that harmed Tricoli. The state of Georgia claimed its officials may commit these crimes with impunity under the protection of sovereign immunity. Even if the defendants did commit the crimes, and Tricoli can prove it, no dice on any trial, no dice on any remedy for the wrong. The state just waves you goodbye.

Tricoli’s trial judge in DeKalb Superior Court, Dan Coursey, put it this way: He said the state officials involved in the fraud were immune because when they were falsifying financial records to steal millions of dollars they were dutifully performing their state “financial oversight activities.”

At the next level in the judicial system, the Georgia Court of Appeals did not adopt Coursey’s colorful theory that cooking the books to hide the theft of taxpayer funds equaled financial oversight.

Nonetheless, they issued an opinion that was curious in many ways, but seconded Coursey’s opinion that victims harmed by the crimes of state officials had no right to sue.

Their reason, without exaggerating: State officials are above it all.

The Court of Appeals opinion, throwing Tricoli’s RICO case out in 2016, said I had advanced an imaginative theory that the state itself could be held accountable, but that was all it was. Imagination.

I did not imagine the language of the RICO statute or the controlling precedent in Caldwell, but the Court of Appeals did not bother to get into that.

Analysis of the impact of the controlling authority in Caldwell: None.

Examination of the language of the RICO statute, as required by the Georgia Constitution: Zero.
 

One judge was brave enough to read the law

Only one judge on the appeals court panel actually looked at the law and wrote a dissenting opinion. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller agreed with me that the RICO statute expressly authorizes a suit against the state, waiving sovereign immunity. So maybe it was not just my imagination after all.

Judge Miller is the only judge in the last 10 years to mention anything about the language of the RICO statute and follow it to the same logical conclusion as the Supreme Court previously did in Caldwell (now the state is trying to sanction me and make me pay the state’s legal expenses, because they say no reasonable person could ever believe what the RICO statute says, but they really should not talk about Judge Miller that way).
What is even more extraordinary, in light of the state’s contention that I should be fined many thousands of dollars for arguing state officials have no immunity for RICO felonies, is that an even higher authority than Judge Miller also agrees with me, the Georgia Supreme Court in the days of Caldwell. The attorney general does not like to mention that case — in fact, neither Sam Olens nor his replacement Chris Carr has ever said a word about it in any legal brief or argument.

The Caldwell Supreme Court’s reading of the RICO statute — no sovereign immunity for criminal RICO predicate acts, which is consistent with the statute and Judge Miller’s dissent — also conforms to another provision of the Georgia Constitution.

The Georgia Constitution says that state employees can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for acts taken with actual malice and intent to cause harm — which is consistent with the English common law from the time of Blackstone, before the American Revolution ended the very notion of royalty or any other person standing above the law in this country.
 

Caldwell was decided in 1984, and the Georgia Constitution says decisions by the Supreme Court are binding — which begs the question of how the opinion rejecting Sam Caldwell’s claim that he could not be subjected to a civil RICO action has been ignored for the last 10 years. The current Georgia Supreme Court, so far, has never addressed the question of whether it agrees with the Georgia Supreme Court in Caldwell that the language of the RICO statute satisfies the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity protection and allowing civil lawsuits to go forward.

How can it be that the same judicial entity is decided against itself and gives its own Caldwell opinion the silent treatment?
 

The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals

The Georgia Supreme Court broke the law governing Tricoli’s appeal by refusing to review the case, and left the appeal court opinion standing to deter any other victim of crimes committed by state officials with the temerity to try to hold them accountable. Today, the Tricoli case stands for the proposition that no one can sue a state official who harms a citizen in the commission of a RICO felony.

The Tricoli case was rejected by the state Supreme Court the same morning a hearing was being held on a case filed by Kennesaw State University faculty for an injunction to prevent the USG from forcing Sam Olens on them as KSU president. Thus the Court of Appeals “imagination” opinion in Tricoli, given the Georgia Supreme Court’s silence that came just in time, was the sole basis of throwing out the case against the USG for hiding its own financial fraud by extorting Dr. Dan Papp to resign as president of KSU so that Sam Olens could be appointed to that position. That case was thrown out on the pretense of sovereign immunity, even though the RICO statute expressly authorizes the injunctive relief against the state sought by the KSU plaintiffs, waiving sovereign immunity — and even though the documented allegations in the KSU case of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion had to be admitted by the state in the course of three years of appeals.

The allegations of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion at KSU were filed November of 2016. Three and a half years later, Attorney General Chris Carr — who was appointed to replace Olens — has never answered them. The KSU faculty filed supplemental pleadings since then, with additional evidence of wrongdoing such as real racketeering-style extortion of Dr. Papp, and the Board of Regents changing its policies to cover the tracks of illegal USG activity.

As of April 2020, Attorney General Chris Carr has never filed a responsive pleading to any of them. He never responded to any correspondence on the subject, or answered in any other forum. But the trial court and appeals court ruled in Carr’s favor with no explanation, in one-sentence orders that did not reference a single fact or cite any legal authority.
On March 26, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the KSU case without explanation, the same as the court did in the Tricoli case. Both times, the highest court in the state allowed its own binding precedent in Caldwell to be steamrolled.

Simply put, it appears the Caldwell precedent no longer suits the philosophy of the current retroactivist court, but the appointed justices don’t know what to do with the binding Supreme Court precedent. That binding precedent is grounded in an analysis of the very words of the RICO statute. Conservatives claim to defer to the legislature, but not when it comes to holding themselves accountable, apparently — or, rather, allowing ordinary citizens of the state to call these latter-day sovereigns before the dock.
 

From $10 million fraud to a billion

After Tricoli’s case was thrown out without allowing any discovery in 2016, continuing investigation found that the 10 million dollars never accounted for from GPC, to this day, were part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government. Five times Tricoli has been barred from adding that evidence to the court record to reopen Tricoli’s case, and Judge Coursey actually blocked a federal criminal investigation by quashing subpoenas and refusing to let Olens, Carruth, and others be confronted with the new evidence.

Attorney General Chris Carr has never answered the new evidence of USG fraud on the federal government, assisted by other state agencies, including the attorney general’s office. In the legal system, such a failure to respond constitutes an admission of the allegations, which are heavily documented. Yet Carr still maintains this attorney should be punished by the state, forced to pay the state’s legal fees, for exposing this state government corruption for which Chris Carr has no answer. Carr has not yet even opined one twit on whether the state enjoys sovereign immunity for defrauding the federal government.
 

Civil versus criminal RICO

Now, after all this inconclusive wrangling over sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, you may ask why Ron Carruth and his co-conspirators were never simply prosecuted for criminal conduct, for falsifying those financial reports that led to a financial scandal where someone had to be the scapegoat? Why weren’t other state officials prosecuted for committing far greater crimes (while the attorney general who could bring the prosecution is, instead, defending the alleged criminals against the civil RICO actions)?

No one has ever argued that a Georgia government official cannot be criminally prosecuted under the RICO statute. Sam Caldwell was, as we have already noted. And former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was prosecuted under the RICO statute for gunning his campaign opponent down in his driveway, and also for financial fraud against the county.

Georgia is saying, now, that if Dorsey defrauded you, a private citizen, or gunned you down in your driveway, you could not sue him — in a civil action expressly authorized in the same RICO statute.

There is some indication of why no one was ever criminally prosecuted though $10 million was never accounted for at GPC — that later turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government, as admitted by Attorney General Carr.

That indication comes in additional evidence that was also discovered after Tricoli’s case was thrown out by the courts on grounds of sovereign immunity. Assistant Attorney General Annette Cowart wrote in a letter right after Tricoli was fired that if Ron Carruth lied to Anthony Tricoli and misled Tricoli on GPC’s finances to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — then that was a private matter between Carruth and Tricoli.

Yes, Cowart actually did write that. Common sense probably tells you that is wrong, on several levels. But, even more to the point, the Georgia legislature has stepped in again and made such misrepresentation of state agency finances a felony — a crime which very explicitly makes it the public’s business under OCGA § 16-10-20.

It certainly makes Carruth’s multimillion-dollar boo-boos the business of the attorney general charged with enforcing the criminal statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature. But Sam Olens did not see it that way, which is why Assistant Attorney General Cowart also wrote in her letter that the attorney general’s office would not conduct a criminal investigation — because there was no evidence of criminal activity at GPC, where financial reports were falsified.

State records later confirmed that two sets of books were kept at GPC , but this criminal violation of OCGA 16-10-20 was taken to be a private matter, as previously noted by Cowart. So, instead of conducting a criminal investigation, Attorney General Olens allowed the USG to investigate itself (the USG, coincidentally, found nothing amiss with the USG), and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year position, in violation of its own policies, as president of KSU (after extorting Dr. Papp to leave).

Suffice it to say that Cowart and Olens were not following the law — which it is the attorney general’s job to enforce. Instead, Cowart falsified and misrepresented state audit information to torpedo Tricoli’s case and deny him a hearing before the Board of Regents to which he was entitled by law. On top of the obvious deprivation of constitutional due process, there are several felonies there, but no attorney general ever prosecuted anyone for it.

Nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the evidence and witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, identity and computer fraud, perjury and subornation of perjury that were proven in the Benedek case. Attorney generals do not seem to perceive crimes that are committed in their own office.

As you can see, Georgia’s state government is asking sovereign immunity to cover a lot of ground when it comes to covering for public officials violating their oath of office and violating the state’s criminal statutes.
 

The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes

Proponents of sovereign immunity claim, ironically, to be conservatives in favor of limited government. It is no small hypocrisy to argue in the same breath that government officials may act with total impunity, and no one can hold them accountable.

In the RICO cases filed against the government, Georgia claims immunity for a related pattern of crimes — just like a mafia family — including theft of taxpayer funds, intentional falsification of financial reports, fraud on the federal government, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, false use of Social Security identification, obstruction of justice, obstruction of federal proceedings, evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, subornation of perjury, bribery, and extortion.

Attorney General Olens admitted he never investigated any of the crimes committed against Benedek or Tricoli, or against the citizens of this state. Instead, Olens, and his successor Chris Carr, have defended the admitted criminals against the civil RICO actions — on grounds of sovereign immunity.

Throughout the 10 years of litigation, every state governor and attorney general, the USG and Board of Regents, and, most importantly, every court has ignored what the Georgia Constitution says about how sovereign immunity is waived.

These state officials (including judicial) have ignored the constitutional requirement to examine the language of statutes enacted by the legislature to see if they waive sovereign immunity, and they specifically ignored the language of the RICO statute itself.

They have ignored the binding Georgia Supreme Court precedent in Caldwell that plainly says the RICO statute expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against the state, satisfying the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity.

Therefore, they have ignored the legislature’s express consent, authorizing a civil action against the state for RICO felonies.


Moreover, by ignoring the law at every level, they have ignored, violated, and denied constitutional due process — a principle of fairness that really does lie at the bedrock of our republic, peddling a counterfeit coin of the realm with their own image on it instead.

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. —CL—    The Trustees of the Goodwood Collection / Bridgeman Images IN THE NAME OF THE STATE: King "George II" (oil on canvas), Hudson, Thomas (1701-79)  0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Counterfeiting sovereign immunity "
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Friday April 17, 2020 06:23 pm EDT
Those who know the past are doomed to take advantage of it | more...
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       0,0,11  Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Serving Sam Olens, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Georgia’s Me Neither Moment, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: What goes around comes from down south, Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Imagine Holding Georgia’s Government Accountable, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Reconstruction of the fables, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: GEORGIA'S FIFTY YEAR CYCLE, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:  The adventure of the disappearing budget surplus, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Another open letter to the Governor, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES - When First We Practice to Deceive  "stephen humphreys" "steve humphreys" humphries humphrey conspiracy outlandish                             Outlandish Conspiracy Theories "
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Wednesday January 1, 2020 06:02 pm EST
Junkyard kings, bootleggers ... and suits belly up to the bar | more...
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  string(10326) "!!!Whatever springes the State may set for those who are endeavoring to assert rights that the State confers, the assertion of Federal rights…is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.
!!!— Chief Justice Earl Warren in Wright v. Georgia, 1963
What would you say if state government officials falsified the financial reports of a state college to conceal the transfer of $10 million for unknown purposes, and then colluded in secret to gang up on you to publicly accuse you of being responsible for the $10 million shortfall on the ledger sheet? Take a minute to imagine yourself in that place.

And add to that scenario you were fired from your job in the University System of Georgia (USG) and you appealed your case to the Board of Regents, but they ignored you and denied you a hearing?

Imagine the Attorney General did not conduct an investigation into the $10 million discrepancy but let the USG officials who concealed the misappropriation of funds issue a report clearing themselves—and leaving you holding the bag. Are you starting to feel like you’re living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie?

So you turn to the courts and they say: Don’t look at us. State officials have sovereign immunity protection to falsify state financial reports to conceal wherever the $10 million went and blame you for it.

You argue that state officials could not possibly be immune for criminal acts of falsifying state agency financial reports to hide the theft of taxpayer money—and holding you responsible—and that is not what the law on the books says, at all.

But the courts rule against you. In their orders, they do not mention the laws and case precedents that support your legal position that the state officials can be held accountable. The courts say it does not matter even if the state officials stole the money — because they have sovereign immunity. You cannot sue them and the Attorney General is not going to prosecute them. In fact, Sam Olens and now Chris Carr are defending the state officials who falsified the financial reports, and defending themselves for blocking any investigation of what is happening to you.

Franz Kafka could not have dreamed up a worse scenario in The Trial. Dreyfus could not have received more unfair treatment when he was scapegoated for the failure of the French government. But this is exactly what the USG, Attorney General, and Georgia courts did to Anthony Tricoli.

Tricoli is not alone. The same has happened to Dezso Benedek and others in the last ten years. Notably, there are people alive in Georgia today who can remember similar treatment by a failed justice system in Georgia in a time we thought had long gone by.

Fifty years before Tricoli was denied due process in 2012, African Americans seeking redress in the courts got the same run-around, in which both Georgia law and the US Constitution were equally elusive. The US Supreme Court had to intervene.

In Wright v. Georgia, black kids playing basketball in a public park were ordered to leave by police officers. Georgia courts upheld the police, even though they could identify no law that prevented blacks from playing basketball. Georgia defended its actions all the way to the US Supreme Court, which said no, Georgia courts could not make up their own law to protect the established order and create an extra-legal hierarchy.

Birmingham police ordered Fred Shuttlesworth off the sidewalk in front of Newberry’s Department store. When Shuttleworth responded by actually entering the store, police arrested him under an ordinance prohibiting anyone from blocking a public sidewalk. Alabama courts all ruled against Shuttleworth, even though it was undisputed that Shuttlesworth could not block the sidewalk—that he was not on at the time he was arrested--by himself. Birmingham and Alabama authorities defended their position all the way to the US Supreme Court by saying there was another law giving police officers authority to direct traffic.

The US Supreme Court said in 1962 that Birmingham could not swap a law that applied to traffic in the streets to Shuttlesworth standing on a sidewalk he was not blocking. The high court said this bait and switch of legal pretexts denied fundamental constitutional due process of law.

In 1958, the US Supreme Court said that Alabama could not deny the NAACP access to the courts--based on a procedural requirement that had never been applied to white litigants—and thus could not foreclose the constitutional right of freedom of association.

Now we are back full circle again, with the Attorney General of Georgia arguing that these evasions of the law that deny due process are quite all right again in 2019. So far, as in the 1960s, the courts of Georgia have agreed.

And, as in the 1960s, that has required ignoring the written law, making up non-existent law, and substituting law that does not apply for the law that does.

The Georgia Constitution says sovereign immunity can be waived by a legislative act expressly authorizing a civil action against the state.

The Georgia RICO Act defines a criminal RICO enterprise to include “governmental entities.”

When Georgia Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell argued that he and fellow state government employees could not be held liable in a civil RICO action for stealing campaign funds, the Georgia Supreme Court said the definition of a RICO enterprise to include the government meant that the civil RICO action against Caldwell, as a state government official, was expressly authorized by statute.

Moreover, using the definition of RICO enterprise that includes the government, the statute also says that government employees can violate the act and be held liable for damages by the people they harm.

The statute says that this protects the state itself from harm, and that state agencies can be enjoined from unlawful conduct under the RICO Act.

In other words, the state does not have sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, under the law as it is written.

That is consistent with another provision of the Georgia Constitution that says the sovereign immunity of state employees may be waived under the law where they act with actual malice and actual intent to cause harm.

That corresponds to the criminal intent required under the RICO statute.

Georgia courts have ignored the language of the RICO statute and the controlling Georgia Supreme Court authority to give sovereign immunity protection to state officials who, according to the doctored state records, committed felonies. Ignoring the law written in the books, for example, Judge Gary Andrews opined that it was an “imaginative theory” that “the state itself” could be held accountable—but that was all it was, “pure imagination.” That is just as ethereal as any legal theory Georgia relied on in the 1960s to protect the status quo.

The courts have also pulled the Shuttlesworth Switch, applying mere negligence standards under the Georgia Tort Claims Act to say, for example, that state officials who knowingly falsify state financial reports to hide the theft of taxpayer money are immune for performing “financial oversight” activities.

Only one judge in the entire state of Georgia, Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller, has taken the position that state officials are not immune for criminal RICO predicate acts and that Tricoli could not be denied a hearing he was entitled to under due process of law.

Fifty years ago, the US Supreme Court had to tell the Attorney General and courts of Georgia that they actually had to follow the law. The decisions in which they did not were overturned for denial of constitutional due process.

Now the Attorney General of Georgia, Chris Carr, has done the segregationists one better. He says the First Amendment does not apply to Georgia.

Because I have persisted in arguing that Georgia state officials do not have sovereign immunity protection for committing crimes against the public, the Attorney General moved for sanctions against me—seeking an order requiring me to pay the state’s legal fees.

Why? Because I followed the legal process and filed a motion to set aside the orders in which the law was ignored and due process denied. I will tell the full story of how that happened in the next installment.  Suffice it to say, for now, that retaliating against an attorney who comes to court supported by recognized legal authority violates the Right to Petition in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

So what is the conclusion to this horror movie?

Sovereign immunity means no accountability in civil court. That leaves criminal prosecution as the only remedy. But what if it is the Attorney General who blocked the investigation in the first place, and joined the USG in denying you a hearing?

What about the Kalberman whistleblower case where the Attorney General was fined for hiding evidence?

What about the Tricoli case where Sam Olens overlooked evidence of crimes and actually obstructed a criminal investigation into the USG (and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year job for which he was not qualified)?

What about the Benedek case where the Attorney General was caught—again—concealing evidence, improperly influencing witnesses, and suborning perjury?

If the Attorney General is defending the criminals, and even committing the crimes, that means state officials can commit criminal acts with impunity if they also have sovereign immunity protection from a civil suit by Tricoli or Benedek.

To complete the thought experiment, now you have some small idea how Wright and Shuttlesworth must have felt when they were denied justice under the laws as written, and the US Constitution, in the Georgia of the 1960s.

Back then, Georgia’s legal establishment attempted to nullify the Constitution to maintain an evil system of segregation and discrimination. Today, Georgia’s mandarins seek to undermine the rule of law to protect state government officials who have committed felonies and create a safe space for criminal conspiracies against the public interest.

Can they evade Georgia law and the US Constitution to do that? Fifty years later, we are about to find out again."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(11864) "!!!''Whatever springes the State may set for those who are endeavoring to assert rights that the State confers, the assertion of Federal rights…is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.''
!!!''— ''Chief Justice Earl Warren in ''Wright v. Georgia'', 1963
What would you say if state government officials falsified the financial reports of a state college to conceal the transfer of $10 million for unknown purposes, and then colluded in secret to gang up on you to publicly accuse you of being responsible for the $10 million shortfall on the ledger sheet? Take a minute to imagine yourself in that place.

And add to that scenario you were fired from your job in the University System of Georgia (USG) and you appealed your case to the Board of Regents, but they ignored you and denied you a hearing?

Imagine the Attorney General did not conduct an investigation into the $10 million discrepancy but let the USG officials who concealed the misappropriation of funds issue a report clearing themselves—and leaving you holding the bag. Are you starting to feel like you’re living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie?

So you turn to the courts and they say: Don’t look at us. State officials have sovereign immunity protection to falsify state financial reports to conceal wherever the $10 million went and blame you for it.

You argue that state officials could not possibly be immune for criminal acts of falsifying state agency financial reports to hide the theft of taxpayer money—and holding you responsible—and that is not what the law on the books says, at all.

But the courts rule against you. In their orders, they do not mention the laws and case precedents that support your legal position that the state officials can be held accountable. The courts say it does not matter even if the state officials stole the money ''— ''because they have sovereign immunity. You cannot sue them and the Attorney General is not going to prosecute them. In fact, Sam Olens and now Chris Carr are defending the state officials who falsified the financial reports, and defending themselves for blocking any investigation of what is happening to you.

Franz Kafka could not have dreamed up a worse scenario in ''[https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Trial-novel-by-Kafka|The Trial]''. Dreyfus could not have received more unfair treatment when he was [https://www.history.com/news/what-was-the-dreyfus-affair|scapegoated] for the failure of the French government. But this is exactly what the USG, Attorney General, and Georgia courts did to [https://creativeloafing.com/content-425364-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-The-adventure-of-the-disappearing-budget-surplus|Anthony Tricoli].

Tricoli is not alone. The [https://creativeloafing.com/content-421389-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES---When-First-We-Practice-to-Deceive|same has happened] to Dezso Benedek and others in the last ten years. Notably, there are people alive in Georgia today who can remember similar treatment by a failed justice system in Georgia in a time we thought had long gone by.

Fifty years before Tricoli was denied due process in 2012, African Americans seeking redress in the courts got the same run-around, in which both Georgia law and the US Constitution were equally elusive. The US Supreme Court had to intervene.

In ''[https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/373/284/|Wright v. Georgia]'', black kids playing basketball in a public park were ordered to leave by police officers. Georgia courts upheld the police, even though they could identify no law that prevented blacks from playing basketball. Georgia defended its actions all the way to the US Supreme Court, which said no, [https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/373/284/|Georgia courts could not make up their own] law to protect the established order and create an extra-legal hierarchy.

Birmingham police ordered Fred Shuttlesworth off the sidewalk in front of Newberry’s Department store. When Shuttleworth responded by actually entering the store, police arrested him under an ordinance prohibiting anyone from blocking a public sidewalk. Alabama courts all ruled against Shuttleworth, even though it was undisputed that Shuttlesworth could not block the sidewalk—that he was not on at the time he was arrested--by himself. Birmingham and Alabama authorities defended their position all the way to the US Supreme Court by saying there was another law giving police officers authority to direct traffic.

The US Supreme Court said in 1962 that Birmingham could not swap a law that applied to traffic in the streets to Shuttlesworth standing on a sidewalk he was not blocking. The high court said this [https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/382/87/#tab-opinion-1945891|bait and switch of legal pretexts denied fundamental constitutional due process of law.]

In 1958, the US Supreme Court said that Alabama [http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1494|could not deny the NAACP access to the courts]--based on a procedural requirement that had never been applied to white litigants—and thus could not foreclose the constitutional right of freedom of association.

Now we are back full circle again, with the Attorney General of Georgia arguing that these evasions of the law that deny due process are quite all right again in 2019. So far, as in the 1960s, the courts of Georgia have agreed.

And, as in the 1960s, that has required ignoring the written law, making up non-existent law, and substituting law that does not apply for the law that does.

The Georgia Constitution [https://drive.google.com/file/d/13I3cUBmNvmACxhXp3LGGGq0kmw7OGq_5/view|says] sovereign immunity can be waived by a legislative act expressly authorizing a civil action against the state.

The Georgia RICO Act [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zQnyo2R-xortZympMjnyrPsHfnSZuYJa/view|defines ]a criminal RICO enterprise to include “governmental entities.”

When Georgia Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell argued that he and fellow state government employees could not be held liable in a civil RICO action for stealing campaign funds, the Georgia Supreme Court [https://drive.google.com/file/d/16ebC7vM3BLN2ZPAtceH9l3fPFmf0m2hv/view|said] the definition of a RICO enterprise to include the government meant that the civil RICO action against Caldwell, as a state government official, was expressly authorized by statute.

Moreover, using the definition of RICO enterprise that includes the government, the statute also [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mKdc3SdzW2aPw4LcxBDDMO9rCBh2NW1t/view|says] that government employees can violate the act and be [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PnLMzTn3Vh74XoJco8Fx9FtcJj6XHprk/view?usp=sharing|held liable] for damages by the people they harm.

The statute says that this protects the state itself from harm, and that state agencies can be enjoined from unlawful conduct under the RICO Act.

In other words, the state does not have sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, under the law as it is written.

That is consistent with another provision of the Georgia Constitution that [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dcLJ0QP_KDwPOmB7kjfq8wbDKJIBJmVN/view?usp=sharing|says] the sovereign immunity of state employees may be waived under the law where they act with actual malice and actual intent to cause harm.

That corresponds to the criminal intent required under the RICO statute.

Georgia courts have ignored the language of the RICO statute and the controlling Georgia Supreme Court authority to give sovereign immunity protection to state officials who, according to the doctored state records, committed felonies. Ignoring the law written in the books, for example, Judge Gary Andrews opined that it was an “imaginative theory” that “the state itself” could be held accountable—but that was all it was, “pure imagination.” That is just as ethereal as any legal theory Georgia relied on in the 1960s to protect the status quo.

The courts have also pulled the Shuttlesworth Switch, applying mere negligence standards under the Georgia Tort Claims Act to say, for example, that state officials who knowingly falsify state financial reports to hide the theft of taxpayer money are immune for performing “financial oversight” activities.

Only one judge in the entire state of Georgia, Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller, has taken the position that state officials are not immune for criminal RICO predicate acts and that Tricoli could not be denied a hearing he was entitled to under due process of law.

Fifty years ago, the US Supreme Court had to tell the Attorney General and courts of Georgia that they actually had to follow the law. The decisions in which they did not were overturned for denial of constitutional due process.

Now the Attorney General of Georgia, Chris Carr, has done the segregationists one better. He says [https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/187/shuttlesworth-v-birmingham|the First Amendment does not apply to Georgia].

Because I have persisted in arguing that Georgia state officials do not have sovereign immunity protection for committing crimes against the public, the Attorney General moved for sanctions against me—seeking an order requiring me to pay the state’s legal fees.

Why? Because I followed the [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-9/chapter-11/article-7/9-11-60|legal process] and filed a motion to set aside the orders in which the law was ignored and due process denied. I will tell the full story of how that happened in the next installment.  Suffice it to say, for now, that retaliating against an attorney who comes to court supported by recognized legal authority [https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/17-21_p8k0.pdf|violates the Right to Petition] in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

So what is the conclusion to this horror movie?

Sovereign immunity means no accountability in civil court. That leaves criminal prosecution as the only remedy. But what if it is the Attorney General who blocked the investigation in the first place, and joined the USG in denying you a hearing?

What about the Kalberman [https://www.ajc.com/news/stateregional-govtpolitics/judge-sanctions-georgia-ethics-chief-office/bofPfKrw8UfHzbonnCuZbN/|whistleblower case] where the Attorney General was fined for hiding evidence?

What about the Tricoli case where Sam Olens overlooked evidence of crimes and actually obstructed a criminal investigation into the USG (and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year job [https://www.11alive.com/article/article/news/local/despite-protests-ag-sam-olens-named-ksu-president/85-334829312|for which he was not qualified])?

What about the Benedek case where the Attorney General was caught—again—concealing evidence, improperly influencing witnesses, and suborning perjury?

If the Attorney General is defending the criminals, and even committing the crimes, that means state officials can commit criminal acts with impunity if they also have sovereign immunity protection from a civil suit by Tricoli or Benedek.

To complete the thought experiment, now you have some small idea how Wright and Shuttlesworth must have felt when they were denied justice under the laws as written, and the US Constitution, in the Georgia of the 1960s.

Back then, Georgia’s legal establishment attempted to nullify the Constitution to maintain an evil system of segregation and discrimination. Today, Georgia’s mandarins seek to undermine the rule of law to protect state government officials who have committed felonies and create a safe space for criminal conspiracies against the public interest.

Can they evade Georgia law and the US Constitution to do that? Fifty years later, we are about to find out again."
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  string(11190) " OTC  2019-05-04T14:42:45+00:00 OTC.jpg   Keep up the good research, there is need to know the history of such means of implementing the Federal or State Law.
The next step is to compare history with present day application of the law.  One will simply discover that old attitudes
have not changed but taken on a new enigmatic form that is just lethal and dangerous!   In response, I ask the question.
When Giants Keep On Coming, what do you do?  According to your state government: the US Constitution does not apply to Georgia—again! 17163  2019-05-04T13:51:24+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: GEORGIA'S FIFTY YEAR CYCLE tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2019-05-04T13:51:24+00:00  !!!Whatever springes the State may set for those who are endeavoring to assert rights that the State confers, the assertion of Federal rights…is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.
!!!— Chief Justice Earl Warren in Wright v. Georgia, 1963
What would you say if state government officials falsified the financial reports of a state college to conceal the transfer of $10 million for unknown purposes, and then colluded in secret to gang up on you to publicly accuse you of being responsible for the $10 million shortfall on the ledger sheet? Take a minute to imagine yourself in that place.

And add to that scenario you were fired from your job in the University System of Georgia (USG) and you appealed your case to the Board of Regents, but they ignored you and denied you a hearing?

Imagine the Attorney General did not conduct an investigation into the $10 million discrepancy but let the USG officials who concealed the misappropriation of funds issue a report clearing themselves—and leaving you holding the bag. Are you starting to feel like you’re living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie?

So you turn to the courts and they say: Don’t look at us. State officials have sovereign immunity protection to falsify state financial reports to conceal wherever the $10 million went and blame you for it.

You argue that state officials could not possibly be immune for criminal acts of falsifying state agency financial reports to hide the theft of taxpayer money—and holding you responsible—and that is not what the law on the books says, at all.

But the courts rule against you. In their orders, they do not mention the laws and case precedents that support your legal position that the state officials can be held accountable. The courts say it does not matter even if the state officials stole the money — because they have sovereign immunity. You cannot sue them and the Attorney General is not going to prosecute them. In fact, Sam Olens and now Chris Carr are defending the state officials who falsified the financial reports, and defending themselves for blocking any investigation of what is happening to you.

Franz Kafka could not have dreamed up a worse scenario in The Trial. Dreyfus could not have received more unfair treatment when he was scapegoated for the failure of the French government. But this is exactly what the USG, Attorney General, and Georgia courts did to Anthony Tricoli.

Tricoli is not alone. The same has happened to Dezso Benedek and others in the last ten years. Notably, there are people alive in Georgia today who can remember similar treatment by a failed justice system in Georgia in a time we thought had long gone by.

Fifty years before Tricoli was denied due process in 2012, African Americans seeking redress in the courts got the same run-around, in which both Georgia law and the US Constitution were equally elusive. The US Supreme Court had to intervene.

In Wright v. Georgia, black kids playing basketball in a public park were ordered to leave by police officers. Georgia courts upheld the police, even though they could identify no law that prevented blacks from playing basketball. Georgia defended its actions all the way to the US Supreme Court, which said no, Georgia courts could not make up their own law to protect the established order and create an extra-legal hierarchy.

Birmingham police ordered Fred Shuttlesworth off the sidewalk in front of Newberry’s Department store. When Shuttleworth responded by actually entering the store, police arrested him under an ordinance prohibiting anyone from blocking a public sidewalk. Alabama courts all ruled against Shuttleworth, even though it was undisputed that Shuttlesworth could not block the sidewalk—that he was not on at the time he was arrested--by himself. Birmingham and Alabama authorities defended their position all the way to the US Supreme Court by saying there was another law giving police officers authority to direct traffic.

The US Supreme Court said in 1962 that Birmingham could not swap a law that applied to traffic in the streets to Shuttlesworth standing on a sidewalk he was not blocking. The high court said this bait and switch of legal pretexts denied fundamental constitutional due process of law.

In 1958, the US Supreme Court said that Alabama could not deny the NAACP access to the courts--based on a procedural requirement that had never been applied to white litigants—and thus could not foreclose the constitutional right of freedom of association.

Now we are back full circle again, with the Attorney General of Georgia arguing that these evasions of the law that deny due process are quite all right again in 2019. So far, as in the 1960s, the courts of Georgia have agreed.

And, as in the 1960s, that has required ignoring the written law, making up non-existent law, and substituting law that does not apply for the law that does.

The Georgia Constitution says sovereign immunity can be waived by a legislative act expressly authorizing a civil action against the state.

The Georgia RICO Act defines a criminal RICO enterprise to include “governmental entities.”

When Georgia Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell argued that he and fellow state government employees could not be held liable in a civil RICO action for stealing campaign funds, the Georgia Supreme Court said the definition of a RICO enterprise to include the government meant that the civil RICO action against Caldwell, as a state government official, was expressly authorized by statute.

Moreover, using the definition of RICO enterprise that includes the government, the statute also says that government employees can violate the act and be held liable for damages by the people they harm.

The statute says that this protects the state itself from harm, and that state agencies can be enjoined from unlawful conduct under the RICO Act.

In other words, the state does not have sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, under the law as it is written.

That is consistent with another provision of the Georgia Constitution that says the sovereign immunity of state employees may be waived under the law where they act with actual malice and actual intent to cause harm.

That corresponds to the criminal intent required under the RICO statute.

Georgia courts have ignored the language of the RICO statute and the controlling Georgia Supreme Court authority to give sovereign immunity protection to state officials who, according to the doctored state records, committed felonies. Ignoring the law written in the books, for example, Judge Gary Andrews opined that it was an “imaginative theory” that “the state itself” could be held accountable—but that was all it was, “pure imagination.” That is just as ethereal as any legal theory Georgia relied on in the 1960s to protect the status quo.

The courts have also pulled the Shuttlesworth Switch, applying mere negligence standards under the Georgia Tort Claims Act to say, for example, that state officials who knowingly falsify state financial reports to hide the theft of taxpayer money are immune for performing “financial oversight” activities.

Only one judge in the entire state of Georgia, Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller, has taken the position that state officials are not immune for criminal RICO predicate acts and that Tricoli could not be denied a hearing he was entitled to under due process of law.

Fifty years ago, the US Supreme Court had to tell the Attorney General and courts of Georgia that they actually had to follow the law. The decisions in which they did not were overturned for denial of constitutional due process.

Now the Attorney General of Georgia, Chris Carr, has done the segregationists one better. He says the First Amendment does not apply to Georgia.

Because I have persisted in arguing that Georgia state officials do not have sovereign immunity protection for committing crimes against the public, the Attorney General moved for sanctions against me—seeking an order requiring me to pay the state’s legal fees.

Why? Because I followed the legal process and filed a motion to set aside the orders in which the law was ignored and due process denied. I will tell the full story of how that happened in the next installment.  Suffice it to say, for now, that retaliating against an attorney who comes to court supported by recognized legal authority violates the Right to Petition in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

So what is the conclusion to this horror movie?

Sovereign immunity means no accountability in civil court. That leaves criminal prosecution as the only remedy. But what if it is the Attorney General who blocked the investigation in the first place, and joined the USG in denying you a hearing?

What about the Kalberman whistleblower case where the Attorney General was fined for hiding evidence?

What about the Tricoli case where Sam Olens overlooked evidence of crimes and actually obstructed a criminal investigation into the USG (and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year job for which he was not qualified)?

What about the Benedek case where the Attorney General was caught—again—concealing evidence, improperly influencing witnesses, and suborning perjury?

If the Attorney General is defending the criminals, and even committing the crimes, that means state officials can commit criminal acts with impunity if they also have sovereign immunity protection from a civil suit by Tricoli or Benedek.

To complete the thought experiment, now you have some small idea how Wright and Shuttlesworth must have felt when they were denied justice under the laws as written, and the US Constitution, in the Georgia of the 1960s.

Back then, Georgia’s legal establishment attempted to nullify the Constitution to maintain an evil system of segregation and discrimination. Today, Georgia’s mandarins seek to undermine the rule of law to protect state government officials who have committed felonies and create a safe space for criminal conspiracies against the public interest.

Can they evade Georgia law and the US Constitution to do that? Fifty years later, we are about to find out again.    Detail from Wikipedia   0,0,11                                 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: GEORGIA'S FIFTY YEAR CYCLE "
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Article

Saturday May 4, 2019 09:51 am EDT
According to your state government: the US Constitution does not apply to Georgia—again! | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(81) "OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:  The adventure of the disappearing budget surplus"
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  string(57) "The sordid origins of the scapegoating of Anthony Tricoli"
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  string(9541) "!!!“I am concerned and frankly angry … reserves are down almost $4.5 million and overall Auxiliary reserves are down by $3.2 million … It appears that any funds Auxiliary Services had to make a significant contribution to our institution are gone with no explanation.”
!!!— Keith Chapman
!!!Chief Officer for Auxiliary Reserves, Georgia Perimeter College
 


It did not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that something was seriously wrong with the financial reporting at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012. It is less obvious how it was missed, or buried, by the University System of Georgia (USG) — leaving approximately $10 million unaccounted-for today — and why no one in the USG or Attorney General’s office is looking into where the money went.

The USG is the state government entity that oversees Georgia’s 26 public colleges and universities, including their budgets and finances. It used to include both Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State University until a merger helped keep a financial scandal — that affected both schools in 2012 — below the radar.

The USG has its own department of finance and team of auditors who administer $10 billion in annual spending and financial reporting — 1000 times the amount unaccounted for at GPC — and are supposed to prevent such scandals, not hide them from the public.

Here is what the USG should have known — from state records that I made public by filing them into court — about the financial scandal at GPC in 2012:

A large reserve fund was built up by former GPC President Anthony Tricoli from 2006 to 2009, $20 million at its height. Those reserves were secretly depleted starting in 2009. During the period from 2009 to 2012, GPC Vice President of Financial Affairs Ron Carruth continued to report sanguine surpluses even as he was withdrawing all the funds from the reserves — for purposes that are still not fully known, seven years later.

In 2011, for example, Carruth reported to the school’s faculty senate that revenues at GPC were running $37 million ahead of spending. At the same time, internal documents never shared outside Carruth’s office show that Carruth was asking budget director Mark Gerspacher to take $1,500,000 out of the school’s reserves to pay the bills, which would not be necessary if revenues exceeded spending.

Carruth continued to make these knowingly false reports of a rosy financial picture to the GPC administration straight through the end of April 2012, when the USG announced, out of the blue, a $16 to $25 million deficit at GPC.

In January of 2012, three months before that dire deficit announcement, Keith Chapman, the manager in charge of GPC’s reserve fund, shot off a sizzling email asking why approximately $8 million was “gone with no explanation” from the auxiliary reserves.

An even more important question is why this information was never shared with the faculty senate, the executive committee, or the president’s cabinet, consisting of the top school officials. Why was it never reported to GPC President Anthony Tricoli, as required by GPC Policy 302?

The knowing falsification of the state agency financial reports, including misrepresentations by omission, is a felony under OCGA 16-10-20.

We do know that there was a trail of more emails, orchestrated by Carruth's Assistant VP of Finance, Sheletha Champion, among members of Carruth’s staff after Chapman’s January warning bell.

In March of 2012, even as Carruth continued to report healthy budget surpluses, Champion wrote an email to USG financial oversight officials documenting a $12.8 million negative balance at GPC. After firing Tricoli in May of 2012, the USG claimed it had no prior knowledge of the GPC arrears, contrary to Champion’s email.

The USG, led by then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, held a budget hearing with GPC the same month, March of 2012, attended by both Carruth and Champion. No one mentioned $8 million gone with no explanation since January, or a $12.8 million deficit, or a $16 million deficit, or a deficit in any amount at GPC.

Two months after the budget hearing, Carruth went to Tricoli’s office that morning and admitted there was actually a small problem, maybe a million-dollar shortfall, which was exceedingly strange since it directly contradicted Carruth’s prior reports of copious surpluses.

Tricoli called Huckaby the same day, and asked for audit assistance from the USG. Huckaby sent some of the same USG finance personnel who had already received the $12.8 million deficit report from Champion the month before. The next day, these USG finance officials announced they had discovered an $8 to $16 million deficit at GPC.

The USG finance officers claimed they discovered this deficit by poring over GPC’s books overnight. Yet the figures they supposedly calculated the night of April 25 corresponded exactly to the $12.8 million deficit report Champion sent the USG over a month before.

The very next day, April 26, Wrigley falsely informed the Board of Regents that the USG had just learned of this unfortunate development (the same one the USG learned about in March and withheld from the GPC administration). Huckaby went Wrigley one better and demanded Tricoli’s immediate resignation.

Then-Attorney General Sam Olens never investigated these discrepancies, but instead ended up defending Carruth, Champion, Wrigley, and the other USG officials who concealed their knowledge of the deficit in violation of OCGA 16-10-20. Olens argued that Tricoli, instead of accepting reports from his VP of finance and USG financial officials, could have gone and looked at the accounting worksheets himself to determine that they were lying to him.

Olens also nixed a criminal investigation, called off an outside audit, allowed the USG to review itself, and took no further action — even when USG, in its final report, still could not account for $10 million by September 2012.

After shutting the lid on what happened to the money, Olens received the Charles Weltner Award for open government from the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

The USG appointed Olens to a $500,000-a-year job as president of Kennesaw State University, which had its own financial scandals, including a fraudulent USG audit used to oust the former president, Dan Papp, to make way for Olens to be appointed.

When Tricoli refused to resign back in 2012, alleging criminal fraud, Huckaby had one more trick up his sleeve. He offered Tricoli an alternate position in the USG central office if Tricoli would leave GPC quietly. Before Tricoli could respond, Huckaby announced to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Tricoli had already been transferred to the USG central office.

The day after announcing Tricoli’s new position, Huckaby submitted to the Board of Regents — without Tricoli’s knowledge — an interim president for GPC, Rob Watts, one of the USG officials who had been in regular contact (which the USG denies) with Carruth and Champion.

A day after Watts was appointed, Huckaby presented Tricoli (who still did not know he had been replaced as GPC president) with a termination letter — on the pretext that the Board of Regents did not reappoint Tricoli, when in fact Huckaby never submitted Tricoli's name to the Board of Regents for reappointment, submitting Watts' name instead. The alternate USG position Huckaby announced in the media vanished into thin air. On the very same day Tricoli was fired from two jobs at once, the USG announced a plan to conduct its own review of the financial crisis at GPC (the same review that never accounted for $10 million).

Before this after-the-fact investigation started, more negative AJC stories followed hard upon this reassignment ruse, based on information from the USG telling the AJC that Tricoli “dipped into the reserves.” Internal documents show USG officials discussing misleading the AJC. Tricoli, who had just won a national award as the best college president in America, was never able to get another job in higher education.

Huckaby, after pulling this bait-and-switch scheme supported by a phony USG report — the same MO used to ruin Papp — retired and was named Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend magazine.

Tricoli got no help from the courts, either. Judge Coursey said Tricoli lost all his contract rights when he was tricked into resigning. Coursey added that Tricoli’s claims under the RICO Act for knowing falsification of state agency finances, a felony under OCGA 16-10-20, were immunized because state officials who knowingly falsified GPC’s finances were performing their assigned “financial oversight activities.”

Interestingly, no one seems curious about what happened to that $10 million in taxpayer money. Attorney General Sam Olens never conducted a criminal investigation despite allegations and evidence of fraud. The USG concluded after its own review that there was no way to know what happened to the money. Governor Deal had no interest in an independent investigation, and Governor Kemp is thinking about it, but has not officially responded. As the fight continues on appeal, Tricoli maintains that, contrary to the ruling of Judge Dan Coursey in DeKalb Superior Court, intentional falsification of state financial reports to conceal the theft of taxpayer money does not qualify as “financial oversight,” and that state officials are not immune for their criminal conduct."
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  string(10966) "!!!''“I am concerned and frankly angry … reserves are down almost $4.5 million and overall Auxiliary reserves are down by $3.2 million … It appears that any funds Auxiliary Services had to make a significant contribution to our institution are gone with no explanation.”''
!!!— ''[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|Keith Chapman]''
!!!''Chief Officer for Auxiliary Reserves, Georgia Perimeter College''
 

{img fileId="16408" stylebox="float: right; margin-left: 25px;" desc="desc" width="300px"}
It did not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that something was seriously wrong with the financial reporting at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012. It is less obvious how it was missed, or buried, by the University System of Georgia (USG) — leaving approximately $10 million unaccounted-for today — and why no one in the USG or Attorney General’s office is looking into where the money went.

The USG is the state government entity that oversees Georgia’s 26 public colleges and universities, including their budgets and finances. It used to include both Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State University until a merger helped keep a financial scandal — that affected both schools in 2012 — below the radar.

The USG has its own department of finance and team of auditors who administer $10 billion in [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_System_of_Georgia|annual spending] and financial reporting — 1000 times the amount unaccounted for at GPC — and are supposed to prevent such scandals, not hide them from the public.

Here is what the USG should have known — from state records that I made public by filing them into court — about the financial scandal at GPC in 2012:

A large reserve fund was built up by former GPC President Anthony Tricoli from 2006 to 2009, $20 million at its height. Those reserves were secretly depleted starting in 2009. During the period from 2009 to 2012, GPC Vice President of Financial Affairs Ron Carruth continued to report sanguine surpluses even as he was withdrawing ''all the funds'' from the reserves — for purposes that are still not fully known, seven years later.

In 2011, for example, Carruth reported to the school’s faculty senate that revenues at GPC were running $37 million ahead of spending. At the same time, internal documents never shared outside Carruth’s office show that Carruth was asking budget director Mark Gerspacher to take $1,500,000 out of the school’s reserves to pay the bills, which would not be necessary [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GUNpS8R3JzjgHRWJrDePBXJwBqUDopYz/view|if revenues exceeded spending].

Carruth continued to make these knowingly false reports of a rosy financial picture to the GPC administration straight through the end of April 2012, when the USG announced, out of the blue, a $16 to $25 million deficit at GPC.

In January of 2012, three months before that dire deficit announcement, Keith Chapman, the manager in charge of GPC’s reserve fund, shot off a sizzling email asking why approximately $8 million was “gone with no explanation” from the auxiliary reserves.

An even more important question is why this information was ''never'' shared with the faculty senate, the executive committee, or the president’s cabinet, consisting of the top school officials. Why was it never reported to GPC President Anthony Tricoli, as required by [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V0x_irIzZvxEBUuErI7HqvLMJSnToolG/view|GPC Policy 302]?

The knowing falsification of the state agency financial reports, including misrepresentations by omission, is a felony under [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|OCGA 16-10-20].

We do know that there was a trail of more emails, orchestrated by Carruth's Assistant VP of Finance, Sheletha Champion, among members of Carruth’s staff after Chapman’s January warning bell.

In March of 2012, even as Carruth continued to report healthy budget surpluses, Champion wrote an email to USG financial oversight officials documenting a __''$12.8 million negative balance''__ at GPC. After firing Tricoli in May of 2012, the USG claimed it had no prior knowledge of the GPC arrears, contrary to Champion’s email.

The USG, led by then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, held a budget hearing with GPC the same month, March of 2012, attended by both Carruth and Champion. No one mentioned $8 million gone with no explanation since January, or a $12.8 million deficit, or a $16 million deficit, or a deficit in any amount at GPC.

Two months after the budget hearing, Carruth went to Tricoli’s office that morning and admitted there was actually a small problem, maybe a million-dollar shortfall, which was exceedingly strange since it directly contradicted Carruth’s prior reports of copious surpluses.

Tricoli called Huckaby the same day, and asked for audit assistance from the USG. Huckaby sent some of the same USG finance personnel who had already received the $12.8 million deficit report from Champion the month before. The next day, these USG finance officials announced they had discovered an $8 to $16 million deficit at GPC.

The USG finance officers claimed they discovered this deficit by poring over GPC’s books overnight. Yet the figures they supposedly calculated the night of April 25 corresponded exactly to the $12.8 million deficit report Champion sent the USG over a month before.

The very next day, April 26, Wrigley falsely informed the Board of Regents that the USG had just learned of this unfortunate development (the same one the USG learned about in March and withheld from the GPC administration). Huckaby went Wrigley one better and demanded Tricoli’s immediate resignation.

Then-Attorney General Sam Olens [https://www.cbs46.com/news/allegations-of-public-corruption-not-investigated-by-ga-attorney-general/article_073ff831-c3f2-5f48-98ee-ccf397eecb8d.html|never investigated] these discrepancies, but instead ended up defending Carruth, Champion, Wrigley, and the other USG officials who concealed their knowledge of the deficit in violation of OCGA 16-10-20. Olens argued that Tricoli, instead of accepting reports from his VP of finance and USG financial officials, could have gone and looked at the accounting worksheets himself to determine that they were lying to him.

Olens also nixed a criminal investigation, called off an outside audit, allowed the USG to review itself, and took no further action — even when USG, in its final report, still could not account for $10 million by September 2012.

After shutting the lid on what happened to the money, Olens received the [https://gfaf.org/events/weltner-awards/past-weltner-awards/|Charles Weltner Award] for open government from the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

The USG [https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/sam-olens-named-kennesaw-state-university-president/GjtASynzfeHYKNLj569ovN/|appointed Olens] to a $500,000-a-year job as president of Kennesaw State University, which had its own financial scandals, including a fraudulent USG audit used to oust the former president, Dan Papp, to make way for Olens to be appointed.

When Tricoli refused to resign back in 2012, alleging criminal fraud, Huckaby had one more trick up his sleeve. He offered Tricoli an alternate position in the USG central office if Tricoli would leave GPC quietly. Before Tricoli could respond, Huckaby announced to the ''Atlanta Journal Constitution ''that Tricoli had already been transferred to the USG central office.

The day after announcing Tricoli’s new position, Huckaby submitted to the Board of Regents — without Tricoli’s knowledge — an interim president for GPC, Rob Watts, one of the USG officials who had been in regular contact (which the USG denies) with Carruth and Champion.

A day after Watts was appointed, Huckaby presented Tricoli (who still did not know he had been replaced as GPC president) with a termination letter — on the pretext that the Board of Regents did not reappoint Tricoli, when in fact Huckaby never submitted Tricoli's name to the Board of Regents for reappointment, submitting Watts' name instead. The alternate USG position Huckaby announced in the media vanished into thin air. On the very same day Tricoli was fired from two jobs at once, the USG announced a plan to conduct its own review of the financial crisis at GPC (the same review that never accounted for $10 million).

Before this after-the-fact investigation started, more negative'' AJC'' stories followed hard upon this reassignment ruse, based on information from the USG telling the ''AJC'' that Tricoli “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FT6QM5DpBYGy_86mr2Xwzl-l4qVHD5xW/view|dipped into the reserves].” Internal documents show USG officials discussing misleading the ''AJC.'' Tricoli, who had just won a national award as the best college president in America, was never able to get another job in higher education.

Huckaby, after pulling this bait-and-switch scheme supported by a phony USG report — the same MO used to ruin Papp — retired and was named [https://www.georgiatrend.com/2014/12/31/georgian-of-the-year-higher-education-higher-stakes/|Georgian of the Year] by ''Georgia Trend'' magazine.

Tricoli got no help from the courts, either. Judge Coursey said Tricoli lost all his contract rights when he was tricked into resigning. Coursey added that Tricoli’s claims under the RICO Act for knowing falsification of state agency finances, a felony under OCGA 16-10-20, were immunized because state officials who knowingly falsified GPC’s finances were performing their assigned “financial oversight activities.”

Interestingly, no one seems curious about what happened to that $10 million in taxpayer money. Attorney General Sam Olens [https://www.cbs46.com/news/allegations-of-public-corruption-not-investigated-by-ga-attorney-general/article_073ff831-c3f2-5f48-98ee-ccf397eecb8d.html|never conducted a criminal investigation] despite allegations and [https://drive.google.com/file/d/12M7t1l63J5hQTFMMe95D0PJnx1lQfreW/view|evidence of fraud]. The USG concluded after its own review that there was no way to know what happened to the money. Governor Deal had [https://creativeloafing.com/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=15288&display=y|no interest] in an independent investigation, and Governor Kemp is thinking about it, but [https://creativeloafing.com/content-423650-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-Another-open-letter-to-the-Governor-2|has not officially responded]. As the fight continues on appeal, Tricoli maintains that, contrary to the ruling of Judge Dan Coursey in DeKalb Superior Court, intentional falsification of state financial reports to conceal the theft of taxpayer money does ''not'' qualify as “financial oversight,” and that state officials are ''not'' immune for their criminal conduct."
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  string(10414) " Graphic 2 Copy 2a 2  2019-04-10T17:19:49+00:00 Graphic 2 copy 2a 2.jpg   For anyone interested in a more detailed account of the fraud that occurred at GPC, here is a link to some further reading: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h4tiVGI_vJEshnHfqgCMHM6Eb_comGXb/view?usp=sharing Here is a more detailed account of the Tricoli story, showing fraud by the Board of Regents and Attorney General:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h4tiVGI_vJEshnHfqgCMHM6Eb_comGXb/view?usp=sharing  The sordid origins of the scapegoating of Anthony Tricoli 16308  2019-04-10T14:42:03+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:  The adventure of the disappearing budget surplus tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Stephen Humphreys  2019-04-10T14:42:03+00:00  !!!“I am concerned and frankly angry … reserves are down almost $4.5 million and overall Auxiliary reserves are down by $3.2 million … It appears that any funds Auxiliary Services had to make a significant contribution to our institution are gone with no explanation.”
!!!— Keith Chapman
!!!Chief Officer for Auxiliary Reserves, Georgia Perimeter College
 


It did not take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that something was seriously wrong with the financial reporting at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012. It is less obvious how it was missed, or buried, by the University System of Georgia (USG) — leaving approximately $10 million unaccounted-for today — and why no one in the USG or Attorney General’s office is looking into where the money went.

The USG is the state government entity that oversees Georgia’s 26 public colleges and universities, including their budgets and finances. It used to include both Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State University until a merger helped keep a financial scandal — that affected both schools in 2012 — below the radar.

The USG has its own department of finance and team of auditors who administer $10 billion in annual spending and financial reporting — 1000 times the amount unaccounted for at GPC — and are supposed to prevent such scandals, not hide them from the public.

Here is what the USG should have known — from state records that I made public by filing them into court — about the financial scandal at GPC in 2012:

A large reserve fund was built up by former GPC President Anthony Tricoli from 2006 to 2009, $20 million at its height. Those reserves were secretly depleted starting in 2009. During the period from 2009 to 2012, GPC Vice President of Financial Affairs Ron Carruth continued to report sanguine surpluses even as he was withdrawing all the funds from the reserves — for purposes that are still not fully known, seven years later.

In 2011, for example, Carruth reported to the school’s faculty senate that revenues at GPC were running $37 million ahead of spending. At the same time, internal documents never shared outside Carruth’s office show that Carruth was asking budget director Mark Gerspacher to take $1,500,000 out of the school’s reserves to pay the bills, which would not be necessary if revenues exceeded spending.

Carruth continued to make these knowingly false reports of a rosy financial picture to the GPC administration straight through the end of April 2012, when the USG announced, out of the blue, a $16 to $25 million deficit at GPC.

In January of 2012, three months before that dire deficit announcement, Keith Chapman, the manager in charge of GPC’s reserve fund, shot off a sizzling email asking why approximately $8 million was “gone with no explanation” from the auxiliary reserves.

An even more important question is why this information was never shared with the faculty senate, the executive committee, or the president’s cabinet, consisting of the top school officials. Why was it never reported to GPC President Anthony Tricoli, as required by GPC Policy 302?

The knowing falsification of the state agency financial reports, including misrepresentations by omission, is a felony under OCGA 16-10-20.

We do know that there was a trail of more emails, orchestrated by Carruth's Assistant VP of Finance, Sheletha Champion, among members of Carruth’s staff after Chapman’s January warning bell.

In March of 2012, even as Carruth continued to report healthy budget surpluses, Champion wrote an email to USG financial oversight officials documenting a $12.8 million negative balance at GPC. After firing Tricoli in May of 2012, the USG claimed it had no prior knowledge of the GPC arrears, contrary to Champion’s email.

The USG, led by then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, held a budget hearing with GPC the same month, March of 2012, attended by both Carruth and Champion. No one mentioned $8 million gone with no explanation since January, or a $12.8 million deficit, or a $16 million deficit, or a deficit in any amount at GPC.

Two months after the budget hearing, Carruth went to Tricoli’s office that morning and admitted there was actually a small problem, maybe a million-dollar shortfall, which was exceedingly strange since it directly contradicted Carruth’s prior reports of copious surpluses.

Tricoli called Huckaby the same day, and asked for audit assistance from the USG. Huckaby sent some of the same USG finance personnel who had already received the $12.8 million deficit report from Champion the month before. The next day, these USG finance officials announced they had discovered an $8 to $16 million deficit at GPC.

The USG finance officers claimed they discovered this deficit by poring over GPC’s books overnight. Yet the figures they supposedly calculated the night of April 25 corresponded exactly to the $12.8 million deficit report Champion sent the USG over a month before.

The very next day, April 26, Wrigley falsely informed the Board of Regents that the USG had just learned of this unfortunate development (the same one the USG learned about in March and withheld from the GPC administration). Huckaby went Wrigley one better and demanded Tricoli’s immediate resignation.

Then-Attorney General Sam Olens never investigated these discrepancies, but instead ended up defending Carruth, Champion, Wrigley, and the other USG officials who concealed their knowledge of the deficit in violation of OCGA 16-10-20. Olens argued that Tricoli, instead of accepting reports from his VP of finance and USG financial officials, could have gone and looked at the accounting worksheets himself to determine that they were lying to him.

Olens also nixed a criminal investigation, called off an outside audit, allowed the USG to review itself, and took no further action — even when USG, in its final report, still could not account for $10 million by September 2012.

After shutting the lid on what happened to the money, Olens received the Charles Weltner Award for open government from the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.

The USG appointed Olens to a $500,000-a-year job as president of Kennesaw State University, which had its own financial scandals, including a fraudulent USG audit used to oust the former president, Dan Papp, to make way for Olens to be appointed.

When Tricoli refused to resign back in 2012, alleging criminal fraud, Huckaby had one more trick up his sleeve. He offered Tricoli an alternate position in the USG central office if Tricoli would leave GPC quietly. Before Tricoli could respond, Huckaby announced to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Tricoli had already been transferred to the USG central office.

The day after announcing Tricoli’s new position, Huckaby submitted to the Board of Regents — without Tricoli’s knowledge — an interim president for GPC, Rob Watts, one of the USG officials who had been in regular contact (which the USG denies) with Carruth and Champion.

A day after Watts was appointed, Huckaby presented Tricoli (who still did not know he had been replaced as GPC president) with a termination letter — on the pretext that the Board of Regents did not reappoint Tricoli, when in fact Huckaby never submitted Tricoli's name to the Board of Regents for reappointment, submitting Watts' name instead. The alternate USG position Huckaby announced in the media vanished into thin air. On the very same day Tricoli was fired from two jobs at once, the USG announced a plan to conduct its own review of the financial crisis at GPC (the same review that never accounted for $10 million).

Before this after-the-fact investigation started, more negative AJC stories followed hard upon this reassignment ruse, based on information from the USG telling the AJC that Tricoli “dipped into the reserves.” Internal documents show USG officials discussing misleading the AJC. Tricoli, who had just won a national award as the best college president in America, was never able to get another job in higher education.

Huckaby, after pulling this bait-and-switch scheme supported by a phony USG report — the same MO used to ruin Papp — retired and was named Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend magazine.

Tricoli got no help from the courts, either. Judge Coursey said Tricoli lost all his contract rights when he was tricked into resigning. Coursey added that Tricoli’s claims under the RICO Act for knowing falsification of state agency finances, a felony under OCGA 16-10-20, were immunized because state officials who knowingly falsified GPC’s finances were performing their assigned “financial oversight activities.”

Interestingly, no one seems curious about what happened to that $10 million in taxpayer money. Attorney General Sam Olens never conducted a criminal investigation despite allegations and evidence of fraud. The USG concluded after its own review that there was no way to know what happened to the money. Governor Deal had no interest in an independent investigation, and Governor Kemp is thinking about it, but has not officially responded. As the fight continues on appeal, Tricoli maintains that, contrary to the ruling of Judge Dan Coursey in DeKalb Superior Court, intentional falsification of state financial reports to conceal the theft of taxpayer money does not qualify as “financial oversight,” and that state officials are not immune for their criminal conduct.    File   0,0,11                                 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:  The adventure of the disappearing budget surplus "
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Wednesday April 10, 2019 10:42 am EDT
The sordid origins of the scapegoating of Anthony Tricoli | more...
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They always say you should write your representatives. I have now written eight letters to the governor’s office, calling attention to the probable theft of $9 million from Georgia Perimeter College through an outside contractor in 2012, which was never investigated, as former Attorney General Sam Olens admitted.


I cannot say I ever got much in return for the expenditure of time, paper, and ink. I wrote seven letters to Governor Nathan Deal calling his attention to corruption in the University System of Georgia (USG). Impertinent wags have scoffed that he was already aware of funds overflowing from state coffers. That does not mean it should be ignored.

I wrote the first of seven letters to Governor Deal in 2014, on October 31 to be exact — the same date, better known as Halloween, that Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of the church in 1517 — but, in any case, historical parallels notwithstanding, Governor Deal never answered one of them.

Will I stand lonely by my mailbox again? I have written my first follow-up letter to Georgia’s new governor, Brian Kemp. It should have arrived, in fact, just in time for Valentine’s Day 2019.

I am asking Governor Kemp the same thing I asked Governor Deal — to use his authority as governor, under a statute the legislature saw fit to pass, to appoint an independent investigator to look into the government corruption I have called to his attention.

OCGA 45-15-18 gives the governor the authority to appoint a special attorney general to investigate crimes that have been reported, in the event that the attorney general elected to do the job cannot, or will not, investigate and prosecute.

It is a pretty good bet that current attorney general Chris Carr is not going to investigate any of these crimes any more than his predecessor, Sam Olens, did. That is because Carr is currently defending the alleged criminals in court, instead of investigating and prosecuting them, just like Olens before him.

Carr, who claims state officials who may have stolen $9 million from Georgia Perimeter College have sovereign immunity protection to do so, has gone so far as to argue that I have no First Amendment right to petition under the U.S. Constitution, to bring these claims in court without being subject to state government retaliation in the form of sanctions intended to discourage any attorney from ever insisting on the law as it is actually written in the face of this sovereign immunity juggernaut.

Carr is also stonewalling a complaint that the University System will not, in response to repeated Open Records requests dating since 2012, turn over records showing that state officials committed felonies in the handling of taxpayer money.

Most importantly, Carr’s attorney general’s office, like Olens’, has been involved up to its neck in the alleged crimes by way of evidence tampering, obstruction, influencing of witnesses, and subornation of perjury — in addition to the willful, criminal violations of the Open Records Act.

So it appears safe to say that Carr is not going to investigate the alleged crimes or documentation from state records that the USG is withholding, either, which leaves Governor Kemp free to appoint an alternative investigator.

Ironically, former AG Sam Olens is the only state official who has ever answered one of my letters. That is only because an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter asked him about my first October 31, 2014 letter, which detailed a number of alleged crimes by USG officials that Olens was defending on grounds of sovereign immunity — meaning they can’t be sued even if they committed the crimes, and even if there is evidence to prove it.

Well, I reasoned, if state officials who commit felonies cannot be sued in civil court by the individual citizens they harm in the process, because state officials have sovereign immunity protection, that is all the more reason they should be criminally investigated and prosecuted by the state if the charges bear up.

But Olens told the reporter the claims in my letter were “frivolous” because there was  any of these alleged crimes were committed and that my request for an independent investigation was just an “attention-seeking gimmick.” That was problematic because the evidence Olens denied was sitting on his desk. I sent it to him but he said he . In fact, state records show that Olens blocked criminal investigations and blocked hearings required by USG policy just before the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year job, despite concerns about his eligibility, as president of Kennesaw State University.

That was right after KSU President Dan Papp was ousted via a fraudulent “audit” issued by the USG to cover its own illegal tracks [auditors said he improperly received more than $577,000 in retirement pay.

Skulking around behind the scenes like that is one thing, but denying the existence of palpable evidence by denigrating it in the pages of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is another issue. In Georgia, making a knowingly false claim on a matter under state jurisdiction is a felony. Concealing evidence of crimes amounts, in turn, to the crime of evidence tampering, and impeding an investigation on false grounds is obstruction of justice.

Maybe Governor Kemp will appoint an independent investigator, as I have been asking since 2014. My February 11, 2019 letter to Kemp is mainly a recap. Here is a montage of the greatest hits enclosed:

 — The initial letter outlines five separate civil lawsuits based on criminal conduct by state officials that are being defended on grounds of sovereign immunity; points out AG conflicts; criminal obstruction; and requests appointment of an independent investigator. One of the cases involves an X-ray tech at Medical College of Georgia being fired, allegedly in retaliation for reporting conflicts of interest by a member of the Board of Regents. The alternative reason given for firing the state worker was he supposedly said a patient had smelly feet.

 — This letter points out that AG Olens dismissed allegations as frivolous and nonsensical in the AJC, even though it was undisputed that financial records at Georgia Perimeter College were falsified; and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. State records show that GPC VP of Finance Ron Carruth reported a $37 million surplus at the same time he was secretly drawing money from reserve funds to pay the bills.

 — This letter asking why Governor Deal has not answered the previous two letters, points out that Olens has contradicted himself by claiming the allegations in the original letter have been thoroughly investigated after first insisting that they were not investigated, and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. How can a crime be investigated and not investigated, too? We won’t know till we put that man under oath.

 — This letter provides details from emails among state officials documenting active  prepared by state officials concerning $14 million that remains unaccounted for, while the report alluded to in the emails has never been produced in response to Open Records requests; and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. If a $14 million deficit was reported to the USG in March, why did Steve Wrigley [current USG chancellor] tell the Board of Regents in May that the USG had known about it for less than a week?

 — This letter calls Governor Deal’s attention to Olens’ attempt, based on knowingly false representations to a federal judge, to get a court order barring further challenges to his obstruction of investigation into the allegations (which Olens calls “outlandish conspiracy theories”); and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. Olens told the federal judge I had defied two court orders, but Olens forgot to tell the federal judge the orders in question had been reversed and vacated. So Olens asked the federal judge to punish me for violating orders that did not exist. Lewis Carroll could have used that one in Alice in Wonderland, not to mention Franz Kafka in The Trial.

 — This letter apprises Governor Deal that we uncovered evidence showing Olens blocked a criminal investigation and a hearing required by Board of Regents policy into the reasons for concealing the fact that $14 million was missing from Georgia Perimeter College reserves in March of 2012, includes a detailed timeline showing deliberate falsifications of state agency finances, and requests appointment of an independent investigator. Instead of investigating claims of financial fraud in the USG, Olens asked the USG to do its own review of itself and alert him if they found they had committed any fraud.

 — The last letter to Deal details obstruction, evidence tampering, and First Amendment retaliation by AG Chris Carr, and requests appointment of an independent investigator. This letter recounts one of the many instances in which Carr insisted that state officials have sovereign immunity protection to commit strings of felonies with impunity, and that I must be crazy to argue otherwise, since no reasonable person would ever agree with me. This is also one of the many places where Chris Carr ignores the opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court on this very subject, in Caldwell v. State, which states the opposite of Carr’s position and agrees with me. In that case, former Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell argued that a civil RICO action could not be brought against him because he was a state official. The Georgia Supreme Court analyzed the language of the RICO statute and held that it expressly authorized a civil RICO action against a state official.

These letters provide a strong factual foundation for the ongoing fight to hold state officials accountable for committing crimes in office, while AGs Sam Olens and Chris Carr have fought to give criminals in state government sovereign immunity protection. The language of the RICO statute, expressly authorizing a lawsuit against state officials, has not changed. Neither has the decision in Caldwell v. State, which the state is now ignoring, just like the letters. After Governor Deal did not answer the first letter, back in 2014; the media has also ignored the next seven.

I still don't know if my Valentine’s letter to Governor Kemp will finally get a candid response, admitting that the USG and the AG have been working in tandem as a criminal enterprise, to protect state officials for committing felony RICO predicate acts — such as falsifying the financial reports of a state agency to conceal the theft of $9 million in taxpayer money."
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They always say you should write your representatives. I have now written eight letters to the governor’s office, calling attention to the probable theft of $9 million from Georgia Perimeter College through an outside contractor in 2012, which was [https://www.cbs46.com/news/allegations-of-public-corruption-not-investigated-by-ga-attorney-general/article_073ff831-c3f2-5f48-98ee-ccf397eecb8d.html|never investigated], as former Attorney General Sam Olens admitted.


I cannot say I ever got much in return for the expenditure of time, paper, and ink. I wrote seven letters to Governor Nathan Deal calling his attention to corruption in the University System of Georgia (USG). Impertinent wags have scoffed that he was already aware of funds overflowing from state coffers. That does not mean it should be ignored.

I wrote the first of seven letters to Governor Deal in 2014, on October 31 to be exact — the same date, better known as Halloween, that Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of the church in 1517 — but, in any case, historical parallels notwithstanding, Governor Deal never answered one of them.

Will I stand lonely by my mailbox again? I have written my [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FV3aIVT8eMr_lYCO44Zv6fjLvsePHNew/view?usp=sharing|first follow-up letter to Georgia’s new governor], Brian Kemp. It should have arrived, in fact, just in time for Valentine’s Day 2019.

I am asking Governor Kemp the same thing I asked Governor Deal — to use his authority as governor, under a statute the legislature saw fit to pass, to appoint an independent investigator to look into the government corruption I have called to his attention.

[https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-45/chapter-15/article-1/45-15-18/|OCGA 45-15-18] gives the governor the authority to appoint a special attorney general to investigate crimes that have been reported, in the event that the attorney general elected to do the job cannot, or will not, investigate and prosecute.

It is a pretty good bet that current attorney general Chris Carr is not going to investigate any of these crimes any more than his predecessor, Sam Olens, did. That is because Carr is currently defending the alleged criminals in court, instead of investigating and prosecuting them, just like Olens before him.

Carr, who claims state officials who may have stolen $9 million from Georgia Perimeter College have sovereign immunity protection to do so, has gone so far as to argue that I have no First Amendment right to petition under the U.S. Constitution, to bring these claims in court without being subject to state government retaliation in the form of sanctions intended to discourage any attorney from ever insisting on the law as it is actually written in the face of this sovereign immunity juggernaut.

Carr is also [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Kp7PKCGkVFgCxZu6-mRnhSp-VCW1B0yk/view?usp=sharing|stonewalling a complaint] that the University System will not, in response to repeated Open Records requests dating since 2012, turn over records showing that state officials committed felonies in the handling of taxpayer money.

Most importantly, Carr’s attorney general’s office, like Olens’, has been involved up to its neck in the alleged crimes by way of evidence tampering, obstruction, influencing of witnesses, and subornation of perjury — in addition to the willful, criminal violations of the Open Records Act.

So it appears safe to say that Carr is not going to investigate the alleged crimes or documentation from state records that the USG is withholding, either, which leaves Governor Kemp free to appoint an alternative investigator.

Ironically, former AG Sam Olens is the only state official who has ever answered one of my letters. That is only because an ''Atlanta Journal-Constitution ''reporter asked him about my first October 31, 2014 letter, which detailed a number of alleged crimes by USG officials that Olens was defending on grounds of sovereign immunity — meaning they can’t be sued even if they committed the crimes, and even if there is evidence to prove it.

Well, I reasoned, if state officials who commit felonies cannot be sued in civil court by the individual citizens they harm in the process, because state officials have sovereign immunity protection, that is all the more reason they should be criminally investigated and prosecuted by the state if the charges bear up.

But Olens told the reporter the claims in my letter were “frivolous” because there was {FILE( fileId="15279")}no evidence{FILE} any of these alleged crimes were committed and that my request for an independent investigation was just an “attention-seeking gimmick.” That was problematic because the evidence Olens denied was sitting on his desk. I sent it to him but he said he {FILE( fileId="15281")}never investigated it{FILE}. In fact, state records show that Olens blocked criminal investigations and blocked hearings required by USG policy just before the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year job, despite concerns about his eligibility, as president of Kennesaw State University.

That was right after KSU President Dan Papp was ousted via a fraudulent “audit” issued by the USG to cover its own illegal tracks [[auditors said he improperly received more than [https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/judge-tosses-injunction-against-olens-appointment-attorney-may-appeal/gVJJn7FPNFcYDvRwdnZtBK/|$577,000 in retirement pay].

Skulking around behind the scenes like that is one thing, but denying the existence of palpable evidence by denigrating it in the pages of the ''Atlanta Journal-Constitution'' is another issue. In Georgia, making a knowingly false claim on a matter under state jurisdiction is a [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|felony]. Concealing evidence of crimes amounts, in turn, to the crime of evidence tampering, and impeding an investigation on false grounds is obstruction of justice.

Maybe Governor Kemp will appoint an independent investigator, as I have been asking since 2014. My February 11, 2019 letter to Kemp is mainly a recap. Here is a montage of the greatest hits enclosed:

{FILE( fileId="15288" browserdisplay="y")}October 31, 2014{FILE} — The initial letter outlines five separate civil lawsuits based on criminal conduct by state officials that are being defended on grounds of sovereign immunity; points out AG conflicts; criminal obstruction; and requests appointment of an independent investigator. One of the cases involves an X-ray tech at Medical College of Georgia being fired, allegedly in retaliation for reporting conflicts of interest by a member of the Board of Regents. The alternative reason given for firing the state worker was he supposedly said a patient had smelly feet.

{FILE( fileId="15287" browserdisplay="y")}January 12, 2015{FILE} — This letter points out that AG Olens dismissed allegations as frivolous and nonsensical in the ''AJC'', even though it was undisputed that financial records at Georgia Perimeter College were falsified; and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. State records show that GPC VP of Finance Ron Carruth reported a $37 million surplus at the same time he was secretly drawing money from reserve funds to pay the bills.

{FILE( fileId="15286" browserdisplay="y")}April 14, 2015{FILE} — This letter asking why Governor Deal has not answered the previous two letters, points out that Olens has contradicted himself by claiming the allegations in the original letter have been thoroughly investigated after first insisting that they were not investigated, and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. How can a crime be investigated and not investigated, too? We won’t know till we put that man under oath.

{FILE( fileId="15285" browserdisplay="y")}March 7, 2016{FILE} — This letter provides details from emails among state officials documenting active {FILE( fileId="15289" browserdisplay="y")}concealment of a report{FILE} prepared by state officials concerning $14 million that remains unaccounted for, while the report alluded to in the emails has never been produced in response to Open Records requests; and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. If a $14 million deficit was reported to the USG in March, why did Steve Wrigley [[current USG chancellor] tell the Board of Regents in May that the USG had known about it for less than a week?

{FILE( fileId="15284" browserdisplay="y")}September 13, 2016{FILE} — This letter calls Governor Deal’s attention to Olens’ attempt, based on knowingly false representations to a federal judge, to get a court order barring further challenges to his obstruction of investigation into the allegations (which Olens calls “outlandish conspiracy theories”); and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. Olens told the federal judge I had defied two court orders, but Olens forgot to tell the federal judge the orders in question had been reversed and vacated. So Olens asked the federal judge to punish me for violating orders that did not exist. Lewis Carroll could have used that one in ''Alice in Wonderland'', not to mention Franz Kafka in ''The Trial''.

{FILE( fileId="15282" browserdisplay="y")}January 29, 2018{FILE} — This letter apprises Governor Deal that we uncovered evidence showing Olens blocked a criminal investigation and a hearing required by Board of Regents policy into the reasons for concealing the fact that $14 million was missing from Georgia Perimeter College reserves in March of 2012, includes a detailed timeline showing deliberate falsifications of state agency finances, and requests appointment of an independent investigator. Instead of investigating claims of financial fraud in the USG, Olens asked the USG to do its own review of itself and alert him if they found they had committed any fraud.

{FILE( fileId="15283" browserdisplay="y")}July 4, 2018{FILE} — The last letter to Deal details obstruction, evidence tampering, and First Amendment retaliation by AG Chris Carr, and requests appointment of an independent investigator. This letter recounts one of the many instances in which Carr insisted that state officials have sovereign immunity protection to commit strings of felonies with impunity, and that I must be crazy to argue otherwise, since no reasonable person would ever agree with me. This is also one of the many places where Chris Carr ignores the opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court on this very subject, in ''[https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/1984/41044-1.html|Caldwell v. State]'', which states the opposite of Carr’s position and agrees with me. In that case, former Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell argued that a civil RICO action could not be brought against him because he was a state official. The Georgia Supreme Court analyzed the language of the RICO statute and held that it expressly authorized a civil RICO action against a state official.

These letters provide a strong factual foundation for the ongoing fight to hold state officials accountable for committing crimes in office, while AGs Sam Olens and Chris Carr have fought to give criminals in state government sovereign immunity protection. The language of the RICO statute, expressly authorizing a lawsuit against state officials, has not changed. Neither has the decision in ''Caldwell v. State'', which the state is now ignoring, just like the letters. After Governor Deal did not answer the first letter, back in 2014; the media has also ignored the next seven.

I still don't know if my Valentine’s letter to Governor Kemp will finally get a candid response, admitting that the USG and the AG have been working in tandem as a criminal enterprise, to protect state officials for committing felony RICO predicate acts — such as falsifying the financial reports of a state agency to conceal the theft of $9 million in taxpayer money."
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  string(11257) " ##HUMPH #5 Art 2  2019-03-23T16:36:32+00:00 ##HUMPH #5 art_2.jpg   So have you heard back from Kemp? humphrey humphreys humphries Hiding facts in plain sight 15298  2019-03-20T18:36:09+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Another open letter to the Governor tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2019-03-20T18:36:09+00:00  
 


They always say you should write your representatives. I have now written eight letters to the governor’s office, calling attention to the probable theft of $9 million from Georgia Perimeter College through an outside contractor in 2012, which was never investigated, as former Attorney General Sam Olens admitted.


I cannot say I ever got much in return for the expenditure of time, paper, and ink. I wrote seven letters to Governor Nathan Deal calling his attention to corruption in the University System of Georgia (USG). Impertinent wags have scoffed that he was already aware of funds overflowing from state coffers. That does not mean it should be ignored.

I wrote the first of seven letters to Governor Deal in 2014, on October 31 to be exact — the same date, better known as Halloween, that Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of the church in 1517 — but, in any case, historical parallels notwithstanding, Governor Deal never answered one of them.

Will I stand lonely by my mailbox again? I have written my first follow-up letter to Georgia’s new governor, Brian Kemp. It should have arrived, in fact, just in time for Valentine’s Day 2019.

I am asking Governor Kemp the same thing I asked Governor Deal — to use his authority as governor, under a statute the legislature saw fit to pass, to appoint an independent investigator to look into the government corruption I have called to his attention.

OCGA 45-15-18 gives the governor the authority to appoint a special attorney general to investigate crimes that have been reported, in the event that the attorney general elected to do the job cannot, or will not, investigate and prosecute.

It is a pretty good bet that current attorney general Chris Carr is not going to investigate any of these crimes any more than his predecessor, Sam Olens, did. That is because Carr is currently defending the alleged criminals in court, instead of investigating and prosecuting them, just like Olens before him.

Carr, who claims state officials who may have stolen $9 million from Georgia Perimeter College have sovereign immunity protection to do so, has gone so far as to argue that I have no First Amendment right to petition under the U.S. Constitution, to bring these claims in court without being subject to state government retaliation in the form of sanctions intended to discourage any attorney from ever insisting on the law as it is actually written in the face of this sovereign immunity juggernaut.

Carr is also stonewalling a complaint that the University System will not, in response to repeated Open Records requests dating since 2012, turn over records showing that state officials committed felonies in the handling of taxpayer money.

Most importantly, Carr’s attorney general’s office, like Olens’, has been involved up to its neck in the alleged crimes by way of evidence tampering, obstruction, influencing of witnesses, and subornation of perjury — in addition to the willful, criminal violations of the Open Records Act.

So it appears safe to say that Carr is not going to investigate the alleged crimes or documentation from state records that the USG is withholding, either, which leaves Governor Kemp free to appoint an alternative investigator.

Ironically, former AG Sam Olens is the only state official who has ever answered one of my letters. That is only because an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter asked him about my first October 31, 2014 letter, which detailed a number of alleged crimes by USG officials that Olens was defending on grounds of sovereign immunity — meaning they can’t be sued even if they committed the crimes, and even if there is evidence to prove it.

Well, I reasoned, if state officials who commit felonies cannot be sued in civil court by the individual citizens they harm in the process, because state officials have sovereign immunity protection, that is all the more reason they should be criminally investigated and prosecuted by the state if the charges bear up.

But Olens told the reporter the claims in my letter were “frivolous” because there was  any of these alleged crimes were committed and that my request for an independent investigation was just an “attention-seeking gimmick.” That was problematic because the evidence Olens denied was sitting on his desk. I sent it to him but he said he . In fact, state records show that Olens blocked criminal investigations and blocked hearings required by USG policy just before the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year job, despite concerns about his eligibility, as president of Kennesaw State University.

That was right after KSU President Dan Papp was ousted via a fraudulent “audit” issued by the USG to cover its own illegal tracks [auditors said he improperly received more than $577,000 in retirement pay.

Skulking around behind the scenes like that is one thing, but denying the existence of palpable evidence by denigrating it in the pages of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is another issue. In Georgia, making a knowingly false claim on a matter under state jurisdiction is a felony. Concealing evidence of crimes amounts, in turn, to the crime of evidence tampering, and impeding an investigation on false grounds is obstruction of justice.

Maybe Governor Kemp will appoint an independent investigator, as I have been asking since 2014. My February 11, 2019 letter to Kemp is mainly a recap. Here is a montage of the greatest hits enclosed:

 — The initial letter outlines five separate civil lawsuits based on criminal conduct by state officials that are being defended on grounds of sovereign immunity; points out AG conflicts; criminal obstruction; and requests appointment of an independent investigator. One of the cases involves an X-ray tech at Medical College of Georgia being fired, allegedly in retaliation for reporting conflicts of interest by a member of the Board of Regents. The alternative reason given for firing the state worker was he supposedly said a patient had smelly feet.

 — This letter points out that AG Olens dismissed allegations as frivolous and nonsensical in the AJC, even though it was undisputed that financial records at Georgia Perimeter College were falsified; and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. State records show that GPC VP of Finance Ron Carruth reported a $37 million surplus at the same time he was secretly drawing money from reserve funds to pay the bills.

 — This letter asking why Governor Deal has not answered the previous two letters, points out that Olens has contradicted himself by claiming the allegations in the original letter have been thoroughly investigated after first insisting that they were not investigated, and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. How can a crime be investigated and not investigated, too? We won’t know till we put that man under oath.

 — This letter provides details from emails among state officials documenting active  prepared by state officials concerning $14 million that remains unaccounted for, while the report alluded to in the emails has never been produced in response to Open Records requests; and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. If a $14 million deficit was reported to the USG in March, why did Steve Wrigley [current USG chancellor] tell the Board of Regents in May that the USG had known about it for less than a week?

 — This letter calls Governor Deal’s attention to Olens’ attempt, based on knowingly false representations to a federal judge, to get a court order barring further challenges to his obstruction of investigation into the allegations (which Olens calls “outlandish conspiracy theories”); and requests the appointment of an independent investigator. Olens told the federal judge I had defied two court orders, but Olens forgot to tell the federal judge the orders in question had been reversed and vacated. So Olens asked the federal judge to punish me for violating orders that did not exist. Lewis Carroll could have used that one in Alice in Wonderland, not to mention Franz Kafka in The Trial.

 — This letter apprises Governor Deal that we uncovered evidence showing Olens blocked a criminal investigation and a hearing required by Board of Regents policy into the reasons for concealing the fact that $14 million was missing from Georgia Perimeter College reserves in March of 2012, includes a detailed timeline showing deliberate falsifications of state agency finances, and requests appointment of an independent investigator. Instead of investigating claims of financial fraud in the USG, Olens asked the USG to do its own review of itself and alert him if they found they had committed any fraud.

 — The last letter to Deal details obstruction, evidence tampering, and First Amendment retaliation by AG Chris Carr, and requests appointment of an independent investigator. This letter recounts one of the many instances in which Carr insisted that state officials have sovereign immunity protection to commit strings of felonies with impunity, and that I must be crazy to argue otherwise, since no reasonable person would ever agree with me. This is also one of the many places where Chris Carr ignores the opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court on this very subject, in Caldwell v. State, which states the opposite of Carr’s position and agrees with me. In that case, former Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell argued that a civil RICO action could not be brought against him because he was a state official. The Georgia Supreme Court analyzed the language of the RICO statute and held that it expressly authorized a civil RICO action against a state official.

These letters provide a strong factual foundation for the ongoing fight to hold state officials accountable for committing crimes in office, while AGs Sam Olens and Chris Carr have fought to give criminals in state government sovereign immunity protection. The language of the RICO statute, expressly authorizing a lawsuit against state officials, has not changed. Neither has the decision in Caldwell v. State, which the state is now ignoring, just like the letters. After Governor Deal did not answer the first letter, back in 2014; the media has also ignored the next seven.

I still don't know if my Valentine’s letter to Governor Kemp will finally get a candid response, admitting that the USG and the AG have been working in tandem as a criminal enterprise, to protect state officials for committing felony RICO predicate acts — such as falsifying the financial reports of a state agency to conceal the theft of $9 million in taxpayer money.    CL STAFF   0,0,11    humphrey humphreys humphries                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Another open letter to the Governor "
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Wednesday March 20, 2019 02:36 pm EDT
Hiding facts in plain sight | more...
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  string(10194) "“Since the only alleged contact and interaction between Davis and Standifer occurred during the traffic stop … the sexual assault “arose from the performance of Standifer’s official duties as a patrol officer.”

— Judge Debra Bernes, Georgia Court of Appeals


The Me Too Movement is not about to touch state government employees in Georgia, where, under the current state of the law state officials are safe from lawsuits for sexual harassment and abuse, even rape.


Yes, you may have been thinking all of America is having a #MeToo moment with a movement that is bringing down those who have abused their positions of power to terrorize the opposite sex (and those of the same sex, in some cases). In the last couple of years, the movement seemed to be reaching into every domain — corporate America, Hollywood, Fox News, the federal government, and even into the impregnable bastion of the U.S. Supreme Court that sets the rules. 

Unbeknownst to most Georgians, however, the state has spent decades bolstering immunity to claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault against state officials. We are about to see if that wall of protection is going to break, or if Georgia can once again withstand the tides of public opinion that, in the rest of the country, are moving progressively forward.

The king can do no wrong

When I was first faced with the prospect of suing the state, it was because former University of Georgia President Michael Adams had enlisted Georgia’s then-attorney general in an effort to destroy Professor Dezso Benedek, Adams’ most vocal critic on the UGA faculty. The attack on the professor failed miserably when I was able to prove in an evidentiary hearing that Adams and the attorney general had fabricated false charges against the professor, attempted to manufacture fake evidence, and put witnesses on the stand to give perjured testimony.

As bad as this sounds, it was not legally obvious at the time how to hold these officials with powerful positions in state government accountable for their abuse of that power.

I learned that it was not going to be easy to surmount the protective wall the state of Georgia had been building for itself since the early 1990s, largely in the domain of sexual harassment, at the same time Anita Hill was being vilified by a Senate committee for making sexual harassment claims against Clarence Thomas. There was going to be a little problem with a doctrine from the days of divine right kings, sovereign immunity, that is making a comeback in Georgia.

This idea that the king can do no wrong is preventing state officials from being held accountable even for heinous wrongdoing in Georgia today — from sexual assault to theft of taxpayer money.

In the beginning, there was sexual molestation immunity

That wall of sovereign immunity protecting the state from claims of sexual abuse has been built brick by brick and remains in place today, even as #MeToo gains ground everywhere else. The leading sovereign immunity case — meaning the one most often quoted by the Attorney General and the courts, Davis v Standifer — held that a state trooper could not be sued for sexually molesting a female motorist during a traffic stop. That case is the legal cornerstone of sovereign immunity for sexual abuse, harassment, and many other wrongdoings in Georgia.

The main issue in the Standifer case was whether the trooper was acting within the scope of his official duties as a state employee. One might imagine allegations of a state trooper abusing the power relation during a traffic stop to put his hand up the dress of a female motorist and touch her private parts fell outside the scope of the trooper’s official duties. After all, Officer Standifer was not employed by the state as a gynecologist.

The Georgia Court of Appeals reasoned otherwise, that the trooper was on duty, in uniform, and that performing traffic stops is what state troopers do. Therefore, he was immune from suit. Case closed.

Are we to assume, by that reasoning, the state trooper would have been acting in the course of performing his official duties, and therefore immune from any lawsuit, if his actions had been even more extreme? As long as a state trooper is wearing a badge, does it serve as a shield of sovereign immunity?

No king can be held accountable in a court of law

Sovereign immunity does not just mean that you can’t win your case. It means you cannot get in the courthouse door. In my case, you don’t get the court hearing used to protect Professor Benedek from the tyranny of the bureaucracy. Even if you have the cold, hard evidence to prove your case, you never get to present it to a jury. 

Where did this sovereign-immunity bar to justice come from? It comes from long-ago sources like the writings of Lord Coke in 1608. But in 1991, Georgia had a simpler doctrine: the state’s immunity was waived where the state had liability insurance to cover the claim. This eliminated the threat from large lawsuits draining the treasury, but led to manifest injustice where the state had no insurance coverage.

In 1991, Georgia changed its constitution to do away with the provision that sovereign immunity was waived where the state had insurance coverage. The constitution was rewritten to say that the state enjoyed sovereign immunity unless a statute enacted by the legislature waived the protection by authorizing a lawsuit against the state.

Around the same time the Georgia Constitution was amended, Georgia passed a law waiving sovereign immunity to provide an avenue for bringing tort claims against the state — by people like Davis, the female motorist who was allegedly stopped and sexually molested. But the Georgia Tort Claims Act (GTCA) contained some limitations and exceptions to the waiver of sovereign immunity. When it comes to claims of sexual abuse, the Georgia judiciary quickly used those exceptions to swallow the rule and bar any claims against the state.

Expanding sovereign immunity for rape

Most Georgians would be surprised to learn that a state official cannot be sued under state law for sexual molestation, rape, or a determined campaign of sexual harassment. That is the law on the books in Georgia in 2019.

The state trooper on-duty sexual molestation case was decided in 2005 — before the founding of #MeToo, but certainly not back in the dark ages, either.

But this sovereign immunity protection for sexual peccadillos doesn’t stop with a little hand up the skirt. In Santamorena v. Georgia Military College, the Georgia courts used the same course-of-official-duties rationale to hold that a college and its dean could not be sued for the rape of a female college student in 1999.

Here the judiciary added an extra twist of legal reasoning, that the GTCA says state officials enjoy sovereign immunity from claims for assault. The judges then debated whether rape was immunized because it is impossible to rape a woman without committing the lesser included offense of assaulting her. (That assault exception logic was later extended to immunize state officials for the murder of a prison inmate, Southerland v. Georgia Dept. of Corrections).

It does not seem to strike Georgia jurists as ironic that they are using the course-of-official-duties rationale to protect state employees who are arguably doing the opposite of what their official duties require. They are immunized to endanger instead of protect the public.

Rendering the Georgia Constitution meaningless in sexual harassment cases

Even in more medieval times, one loophole in the sovereign immunity protection of the king’s officers was that acts done with actual malice and actual intent to harm were not protected. That exception to sovereign immunity was included in the rewrite of the Georgia Constitution in 1991.

When it comes to sexual harassment, the Georgia Supreme Court quickly wrote that protection for citizens out of existence. In Ridley v Johns, the justices held that actual malice and intent to harm described in the constitution did not figure into the GTCA. The consequences for women became serious when the high court granted immunity to a state office supervisor alleged to have conducted a concerted campaign of sexual harassment against a female subordinate for over a year — and threatened to kill her dog and stuff it in her mailbox when she reported him.

He could not be sued because he was immune. That case was decided in 2001, a decade after the Anita Hill hearings.

The trend set by a series of similar decisions is clear. The Georgia judiciary has turned the GTCA, a law meant to allow redress against the state, into an ingenious tool to bar certain unwanted claims such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, if not a heavy blunt instrument to beat down any Georgia citizen challenging the power of the state. It became equally clear that some ingenious lawyer was going to have to devise a way to circumvent this perverse logic.

Felonies are not official duties under the RICO statute

That is why, when I sued the state for UGA trying to destroy Dezso Benedek with knowingly false charges, in violation of criminal statutes for evidence tampering and perjury, I did not sue under the toothless GTCA.

Instead, I brought the first-ever claims against the state under the RICO statute, which expressly authorizes lawsuits for damages and injunctive relief for criminal acts committed through state “governmental entities” by state employees — and for acts committed with malice and intent to harm Georgia citizens — with criminal intent, that is — just like the Georgia Constitution says.

Guess what? The state of Georgia has entered a new phase, in which immunity for sexual harassment won’t be the only fringe benefit for state officials. The state establishment is now striving to expand the doctrine to lay claim to sovereign immunity even for state officials who abuse their positions of public trust to commit a string of related felonies — whether falsifying state records with impunity, or stealing taxpayer money without accountability."
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— Judge Debra Bernes, Georgia Court of Appeals

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The Me Too Movement is not about to touch state government employees in Georgia, where, under the current state of the law state officials are safe from lawsuits for sexual harassment and abuse, even rape.


Yes, you may have been thinking all of America is having a #MeToo moment with a movement that is bringing down those who have abused their positions of power to terrorize the opposite sex (and those of the same sex, in some cases). In the last couple of years, the movement seemed to be reaching into every domain — corporate America, Hollywood, Fox News, the federal government, and even into the impregnable bastion of the U.S. Supreme Court that sets the rules. 

Unbeknownst to most Georgians, however, the state has spent decades bolstering immunity to claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault against state officials. We are about to see if that wall of protection is going to break, or if Georgia can once again withstand the tides of public opinion that, in the rest of the country, are moving progressively forward.

__The king can do no wrong__

When I was first faced with the prospect of suing the state, it was because former University of Georgia President Michael Adams had enlisted Georgia’s then-attorney general in an effort to destroy Professor Dezso Benedek, Adams’ most vocal critic on the UGA faculty. The attack on the professor failed miserably when I was able to prove in an evidentiary hearing that Adams and the attorney general had fabricated false charges against the professor, attempted to manufacture fake evidence, and put witnesses on the stand to give perjured testimony.

As bad as this sounds, it was not legally obvious at the time how to hold these officials with powerful positions in state government accountable for their abuse of that power.

I learned that it was not going to be easy to surmount the protective wall the state of Georgia had been building for itself since the early 1990s, largely in the domain of sexual harassment, at the same time Anita Hill was being vilified by a Senate committee for making sexual harassment claims against Clarence Thomas. There was going to be a little problem with a doctrine from the days of divine right kings, [http://gwmac.com/dirty-dozen-georgia-sovereign-immunity-cases/|sovereign immunity], that is making a comeback in Georgia.

This idea that the king can do no wrong is preventing state officials from being held accountable even for heinous wrongdoing in Georgia today — from sexual assault to theft of taxpayer money.

__In the beginning, there was sexual molestation immunity__

That wall of sovereign immunity protecting the state from claims of sexual abuse has been built brick by brick and remains in place today, even as #MeToo gains ground everywhere else. The leading sovereign immunity case — meaning the one most often quoted by the Attorney General and the courts, ''Davis v Standifer'' — held that a state trooper could not be sued for sexually molesting a female motorist during a traffic stop. That case is the legal cornerstone of sovereign immunity for sexual abuse, harassment, and many other wrongdoings in Georgia.

The main issue in the ''Standifer'' case was whether the trooper was acting within the scope of his official duties as a state employee. One might imagine allegations of a state trooper abusing the power relation during a traffic stop to put his hand up the dress of a female motorist and touch her private parts fell outside the scope of the trooper’s official duties. After all, Officer Standifer was not employed by the state as a gynecologist.

The Georgia Court of Appeals reasoned otherwise, that the trooper was on duty, in uniform, and that performing traffic stops is what state troopers do. Therefore, he was immune from suit. Case closed.

Are we to assume, by that reasoning, the state trooper would have been acting in the course of performing his official duties, and therefore immune from any lawsuit, if his actions had been even more extreme? As long as a state trooper is wearing a badge, does it serve as a shield of sovereign immunity?

__No king can be held accountable in a court of law__

Sovereign immunity does not just mean that you can’t win your case. It means you cannot get in the courthouse door. In my case, you don’t get the court hearing used to protect Professor Benedek from the tyranny of the bureaucracy. Even if you have the cold, hard evidence to prove your case, you never get to present it to a jury. 

Where did this sovereign-immunity bar to justice come from? It comes from long-ago sources like the writings of Lord Coke in 1608. But in 1991, Georgia had a simpler doctrine: the state’s immunity was waived where the state had liability insurance to cover the claim. This eliminated the threat from large lawsuits draining the treasury, but led to manifest injustice where the state had no insurance coverage.

In 1991, Georgia changed its constitution to do away with the provision that sovereign immunity was waived where the state had insurance coverage. The constitution was rewritten to say that the state enjoyed sovereign immunity unless a statute enacted by the legislature waived the protection by authorizing a lawsuit against the state.

Around the same time the Georgia Constitution was amended, Georgia passed a law waiving sovereign immunity to provide an avenue for bringing tort claims against the state — by people like Davis, the female motorist who was allegedly stopped and sexually molested. But the Georgia Tort Claims Act (GTCA) contained some limitations and exceptions to the waiver of sovereign immunity. When it comes to claims of sexual abuse, the Georgia judiciary quickly used those exceptions to swallow the rule and bar any claims against the state.

__Expanding sovereign immunity for rape__

Most Georgians would be surprised to learn that a state official cannot be sued under state law for sexual molestation, rape, or a determined campaign of sexual harassment. That is the law on the books in Georgia in 2019.

The state trooper on-duty sexual molestation case was decided in 2005 — before the founding of #MeToo, but certainly not back in the dark ages, either.

But this sovereign immunity protection for sexual peccadillos doesn’t stop with a little hand up the skirt. In ''Santamorena v. Georgia Military College'', the Georgia courts used the same course-of-official-duties rationale to hold that a college and its dean could not be sued for the rape of a female college student in 1999.

Here the judiciary added an extra twist of legal reasoning, that the GTCA says state officials enjoy sovereign immunity from claims for assault. The judges then debated whether rape was immunized because it is impossible to rape a woman without committing the lesser included offense of assaulting her. (That assault exception logic was later extended to immunize state officials for the murder of a prison inmate, ''Southerland v. Georgia Dept. of Corrections'').

It does not seem to strike Georgia jurists as ironic that they are using the course-of-official-duties rationale to protect state employees who are arguably doing the opposite of what their official duties require. They are immunized to endanger instead of protect the public.

__Rendering the Georgia Constitution meaningless in sexual harassment cases__

Even in more medieval times, one loophole in the sovereign immunity protection of the king’s officers was that acts done with actual malice and actual intent to harm were not protected. That exception to sovereign immunity was included in the rewrite of the Georgia Constitution in 1991.

When it comes to sexual harassment, the Georgia Supreme Court quickly wrote that protection for citizens out of existence. In ''Ridley v Johns'', the justices held that actual malice and intent to harm described in the constitution did not figure into the GTCA. The consequences for women became serious when the high court granted immunity to a state office supervisor alleged to have conducted a concerted campaign of sexual harassment against a female subordinate for over a year — and threatened to kill her dog and stuff it in her mailbox when she reported him.

He could not be sued because he was immune. That case was decided in 2001, a decade after the Anita Hill hearings.

The trend set by a series of similar decisions is clear. The Georgia judiciary has turned the GTCA, a law meant to allow redress against the state, into an ingenious tool to bar certain unwanted claims such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, if not a heavy blunt instrument to beat down any Georgia citizen challenging the power of the state. It became equally clear that some ingenious lawyer was going to have to devise a way to circumvent this perverse logic.

__Felonies are not official duties under the RICO statute__

That is why, when I sued the state for UGA trying to destroy Dezso Benedek with knowingly false charges, in violation of criminal statutes for evidence tampering and perjury, I did not sue under the toothless GTCA.

Instead, I brought the first-ever claims against the state under the RICO statute, which expressly authorizes lawsuits for damages and injunctive relief for criminal acts committed through state “governmental entities” by state employees — and for acts committed with malice and intent to harm Georgia citizens — with criminal intent, that is — just like the Georgia Constitution says.

Guess what? The state of Georgia has entered a new phase, in which immunity for sexual harassment won’t be the only fringe benefit for state officials. The state establishment is now striving to expand the doctrine to lay claim to sovereign immunity even for state officials who abuse their positions of public trust to commit a string of related felonies — whether falsifying state records with impunity, or stealing taxpayer money without accountability."
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  string(11455) " SI 2 Copy 2  2019-03-04T17:52:10+00:00 SI 2 copy 2.jpg   This is stunning...almost incredible (if not for the info source).
The very idea that it would fly in any appeals court is outlandish.
Worse, the extrapolation of this allowance (as hinted in the latter part of the article) is an open door to police murder ! This would be incredible if not for the info source.
The very idea that this would fly in any appeals court IS incredible.
Worse, as suggested in the latter part of the article, is that it's an open door to police murder. Were it not for the source this would be unbelievable.
That idea that an appellate court judge would allow this is beyond the pale.
Worse, as the author hints in the later part of the article, it virtually invites that someone, somewhere, sometime will get away with murder. humphrey humphreys humphries Sovereign immunity offers impunity for state officials 14409  2019-03-04T16:53:22+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Georgia’s Me Neither Moment jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2019-03-04T16:53:22+00:00  “Since the only alleged contact and interaction between Davis and Standifer occurred during the traffic stop … the sexual assault “arose from the performance of Standifer’s official duties as a patrol officer.”

— Judge Debra Bernes, Georgia Court of Appeals


The Me Too Movement is not about to touch state government employees in Georgia, where, under the current state of the law state officials are safe from lawsuits for sexual harassment and abuse, even rape.


Yes, you may have been thinking all of America is having a #MeToo moment with a movement that is bringing down those who have abused their positions of power to terrorize the opposite sex (and those of the same sex, in some cases). In the last couple of years, the movement seemed to be reaching into every domain — corporate America, Hollywood, Fox News, the federal government, and even into the impregnable bastion of the U.S. Supreme Court that sets the rules. 

Unbeknownst to most Georgians, however, the state has spent decades bolstering immunity to claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault against state officials. We are about to see if that wall of protection is going to break, or if Georgia can once again withstand the tides of public opinion that, in the rest of the country, are moving progressively forward.

The king can do no wrong

When I was first faced with the prospect of suing the state, it was because former University of Georgia President Michael Adams had enlisted Georgia’s then-attorney general in an effort to destroy Professor Dezso Benedek, Adams’ most vocal critic on the UGA faculty. The attack on the professor failed miserably when I was able to prove in an evidentiary hearing that Adams and the attorney general had fabricated false charges against the professor, attempted to manufacture fake evidence, and put witnesses on the stand to give perjured testimony.

As bad as this sounds, it was not legally obvious at the time how to hold these officials with powerful positions in state government accountable for their abuse of that power.

I learned that it was not going to be easy to surmount the protective wall the state of Georgia had been building for itself since the early 1990s, largely in the domain of sexual harassment, at the same time Anita Hill was being vilified by a Senate committee for making sexual harassment claims against Clarence Thomas. There was going to be a little problem with a doctrine from the days of divine right kings, sovereign immunity, that is making a comeback in Georgia.

This idea that the king can do no wrong is preventing state officials from being held accountable even for heinous wrongdoing in Georgia today — from sexual assault to theft of taxpayer money.

In the beginning, there was sexual molestation immunity

That wall of sovereign immunity protecting the state from claims of sexual abuse has been built brick by brick and remains in place today, even as #MeToo gains ground everywhere else. The leading sovereign immunity case — meaning the one most often quoted by the Attorney General and the courts, Davis v Standifer — held that a state trooper could not be sued for sexually molesting a female motorist during a traffic stop. That case is the legal cornerstone of sovereign immunity for sexual abuse, harassment, and many other wrongdoings in Georgia.

The main issue in the Standifer case was whether the trooper was acting within the scope of his official duties as a state employee. One might imagine allegations of a state trooper abusing the power relation during a traffic stop to put his hand up the dress of a female motorist and touch her private parts fell outside the scope of the trooper’s official duties. After all, Officer Standifer was not employed by the state as a gynecologist.

The Georgia Court of Appeals reasoned otherwise, that the trooper was on duty, in uniform, and that performing traffic stops is what state troopers do. Therefore, he was immune from suit. Case closed.

Are we to assume, by that reasoning, the state trooper would have been acting in the course of performing his official duties, and therefore immune from any lawsuit, if his actions had been even more extreme? As long as a state trooper is wearing a badge, does it serve as a shield of sovereign immunity?

No king can be held accountable in a court of law

Sovereign immunity does not just mean that you can’t win your case. It means you cannot get in the courthouse door. In my case, you don’t get the court hearing used to protect Professor Benedek from the tyranny of the bureaucracy. Even if you have the cold, hard evidence to prove your case, you never get to present it to a jury. 

Where did this sovereign-immunity bar to justice come from? It comes from long-ago sources like the writings of Lord Coke in 1608. But in 1991, Georgia had a simpler doctrine: the state’s immunity was waived where the state had liability insurance to cover the claim. This eliminated the threat from large lawsuits draining the treasury, but led to manifest injustice where the state had no insurance coverage.

In 1991, Georgia changed its constitution to do away with the provision that sovereign immunity was waived where the state had insurance coverage. The constitution was rewritten to say that the state enjoyed sovereign immunity unless a statute enacted by the legislature waived the protection by authorizing a lawsuit against the state.

Around the same time the Georgia Constitution was amended, Georgia passed a law waiving sovereign immunity to provide an avenue for bringing tort claims against the state — by people like Davis, the female motorist who was allegedly stopped and sexually molested. But the Georgia Tort Claims Act (GTCA) contained some limitations and exceptions to the waiver of sovereign immunity. When it comes to claims of sexual abuse, the Georgia judiciary quickly used those exceptions to swallow the rule and bar any claims against the state.

Expanding sovereign immunity for rape

Most Georgians would be surprised to learn that a state official cannot be sued under state law for sexual molestation, rape, or a determined campaign of sexual harassment. That is the law on the books in Georgia in 2019.

The state trooper on-duty sexual molestation case was decided in 2005 — before the founding of #MeToo, but certainly not back in the dark ages, either.

But this sovereign immunity protection for sexual peccadillos doesn’t stop with a little hand up the skirt. In Santamorena v. Georgia Military College, the Georgia courts used the same course-of-official-duties rationale to hold that a college and its dean could not be sued for the rape of a female college student in 1999.

Here the judiciary added an extra twist of legal reasoning, that the GTCA says state officials enjoy sovereign immunity from claims for assault. The judges then debated whether rape was immunized because it is impossible to rape a woman without committing the lesser included offense of assaulting her. (That assault exception logic was later extended to immunize state officials for the murder of a prison inmate, Southerland v. Georgia Dept. of Corrections).

It does not seem to strike Georgia jurists as ironic that they are using the course-of-official-duties rationale to protect state employees who are arguably doing the opposite of what their official duties require. They are immunized to endanger instead of protect the public.

Rendering the Georgia Constitution meaningless in sexual harassment cases

Even in more medieval times, one loophole in the sovereign immunity protection of the king’s officers was that acts done with actual malice and actual intent to harm were not protected. That exception to sovereign immunity was included in the rewrite of the Georgia Constitution in 1991.

When it comes to sexual harassment, the Georgia Supreme Court quickly wrote that protection for citizens out of existence. In Ridley v Johns, the justices held that actual malice and intent to harm described in the constitution did not figure into the GTCA. The consequences for women became serious when the high court granted immunity to a state office supervisor alleged to have conducted a concerted campaign of sexual harassment against a female subordinate for over a year — and threatened to kill her dog and stuff it in her mailbox when she reported him.

He could not be sued because he was immune. That case was decided in 2001, a decade after the Anita Hill hearings.

The trend set by a series of similar decisions is clear. The Georgia judiciary has turned the GTCA, a law meant to allow redress against the state, into an ingenious tool to bar certain unwanted claims such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, if not a heavy blunt instrument to beat down any Georgia citizen challenging the power of the state. It became equally clear that some ingenious lawyer was going to have to devise a way to circumvent this perverse logic.

Felonies are not official duties under the RICO statute

That is why, when I sued the state for UGA trying to destroy Dezso Benedek with knowingly false charges, in violation of criminal statutes for evidence tampering and perjury, I did not sue under the toothless GTCA.

Instead, I brought the first-ever claims against the state under the RICO statute, which expressly authorizes lawsuits for damages and injunctive relief for criminal acts committed through state “governmental entities” by state employees — and for acts committed with malice and intent to harm Georgia citizens — with criminal intent, that is — just like the Georgia Constitution says.

Guess what? The state of Georgia has entered a new phase, in which immunity for sexual harassment won’t be the only fringe benefit for state officials. The state establishment is now striving to expand the doctrine to lay claim to sovereign immunity even for state officials who abuse their positions of public trust to commit a string of related felonies — whether falsifying state records with impunity, or stealing taxpayer money without accountability.    Detail from Wikipedia   0,0,11    humphrey humphreys humphries                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Georgia’s Me Neither Moment "
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Article

Monday March 4, 2019 11:53 am EST
Sovereign immunity offers impunity for state officials | more...
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Most of us, excluding John Barron, agree that lying is wrong. And almost everyone would agree it is a bad thing for Georgia state officials to tell lies about a Georgia citizen to destroy his life and career. That sounds more like something that would happen in Stalin or Putin’s world than in America. 

I made a very costly decision 10 years ago, as an attorney, that I would not be a party to that kind of lie, told by the government, in the cause of injustice. In particular, I said to myself that it could not be the job of Georgia’s attorney general — and there have been more than one since then — to knowingly make false charges while hiding state records that prove the charges are fake and calling witnesses to the stand to give perjured testimony about manufactured evidence.

I’m often asked how I got started suing a wide range of state government officials — from the chairman of the Georgia Board of Regents to the attorney general of Georgia. 

Last month in CL, I told how I defended a professor at the University of Georgia who was a vocal critic of former UGA president Michael Adams. Adams enlisted the AG to revoke the tenure of Professor Dezso Benedek. That attempt to destroy Benedek’s career crashed and burned, with the University System of Georgia’s board of regents paying Adams to go away, instead.

There is a long and interesting story of how I got to that point, but for today, let me skip straight to the lying. And there are many lies to choose from in this saga of the failed tenure revocation. You have the AG caught red-handed trying to hide UGA records that proved the charges brought against Benedek were false. You have Adams and the AG denying the existence of other documents which I later found. You have those documents that “didn’t exist” having Adams’ signature on them.

For now, let me focus on my favorite Keystone Kops caper that has it all — evidence tampering, identity fraud, perjury, violations of federal student privacy law and the Georgia Open Records Act — and much more. 

The main false attack launched on Professor Benedek in 2009, for reasons not understood even today, was that his award-winning study abroad program in Budapest, attended by hundreds of UGA students, was not legitimate. Specifically, the AG of Georgia charged Benedek with falsifying the transfer-credit transcripts from the host university, Eötvös Loránd University, or “ELTE” for short.

Months before this charge was even brought against Benedek, the Adams administration wrote to ELTE inquiring about the legitimacy of the transcripts. ELTE responded that they were indeed authentic ELTE transcripts. But that was not helpful to the Adams’ administration’s intention to revoke Professor Benedek’s tenure, which was the goal of this clandestine operation.

Dissatisfied with not getting the response the Adams administration wanted, UGA dean Noel Fallows basically called Dr. Boros, the responding ELTE official, a liar. Then Fallows had Provost Arnett Mace contact the head of ELTE directly. The rector of ELTE provided the same response as Boros, telling Mace that the transfer-credit transcripts were authentic — and adding that he did not understand why UGA was questioning the excellent study abroad program.

At the hearing called by Adams to revoke Professor Benedek’s tenure, I asked Provost Mace exactly what prompted him to be so suspicious of the nondescript transfer-credit forms from ELTE. I showed him a copy of one, with the seal of ELTE, the oldest and most prestigious university in Hungary, emblazoned across the top.

Mace responded that the version Fallows showed him did not show the seal of the university. In the copy Fallows showed to Mace, the official seal had been whited out. Sometimes misrepresentation occurs by omission.

Fallows had been sending the transcripts out, trying to get someone to say they were fake. Unable to get such a response, Fallows made a few more runs at ELTE, signing in to computer databases using the real names and Social Security numbers of UGA students, sending fake correspondence along with the transcripts to ELTE through third parties, as though the students were applying for grad school and needed their transcripts confirmed. This is all documented on paper, in the state’s own records that I introduced at the tenure revocation hearing.

Provost Mace noted that it was unfortunate that Fallows was sending out these transcripts, including the names and Social Security numbers of UGA students, without their knowledge or permission. That violates federal student privacy law. Oops! 

Meanwhile, those third-party intermediaries were advised by Fallows, in writing, to make sure the UGA students never found out “under any circumstances” about the fake correspondence being sent out in their names.

One third party sent out a fake letter to ELTE saying UGA needed to know the status of the transcript so that the university would know “how to deal with the student,” who was identified in the correspondence by name and Social Security number.

No matter how hard they tried, Adams and Fallows could not get a different answer from ELTE. Nor would anyone else say the ELTE transcripts were not authentic. Not very promising for Adams’ dictatorial demand that Benedek’s tenure be revoked.

How did this failed attempt to get dirt on Benedek turn into a charge of academic fraud against him, even after ELTE confirmed its transcripts were authentic? First, the Adams administration and the AG tried to hide any evidence of the transcripts being legitimate. And until I revealed I knew the evidence existed, I got to watch state officials lie a lot. I knew they were lying. But they didn’t know I knew.

In fact, I obtained that correspondence with ELTE as part of what we would have once called a counter-intelligence operation when I was working in Washington, D.C. I then took the letters in my possession, that supposedly came from UGA students, and showed them to the students whose names were on them. The UGA students had no knowledge of the letters, nor had they even been applying to graduate school. Oops again!

So the real UGA students (as opposed to a dean pretending to be a UGA student) did a funny thing. They made open records requests to UGA asking for correspondence being sent out in their names concerning the transcripts.

What was the response from UGA to this inquiry authorized by state law, to which a state agency must, by law, respond honestly and produce the requested records?

The UGA response said, “No responsive documents exist.” That was enough to make a KGB assassin laugh, since I was holding the nonexistent documents in my hand. The official UGA response to the students who made the open records inquiry continued, “Please see Dean Fallows, who would like to speak to you about this.”

Imagine being a UGA student around age 19 and being asked to go see the dean about letters sent out in your name, that UGA denies exist, so you could be “dealt with.” Tell the truth — would you freak out?

All of my documentation was sent to the Georgia Board of Regents, which oversees the entire University System, but they did not see anything wrong with any of it.

As for Professor Benedek, there was nothing left for him to do but sue the state officials who tried to frame him. On his behalf, I did something that had never been done before: I sued the state under the RICO statute for criminal racketeering acts. All the hijinks I’ve outlined above meet the definition under criminal statutes for evidence tampering, identity fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud, knowing falsification of state agency reports, perjury, and the apparent specialty of the then-Georgia attorney general — subornation of perjury — not to mention willful and therefore criminal violations of the Georgia Open Records Act.

For 10 years I have been trying to pierce the defense argued by that attorney general: that Georgia state officials have sovereign immunity protection for committing these documented felonies. 

For 10 years, I have been pursuing Professor Benedek’s case and other government corruption cases that have come to light. And in every court, state defendants have refused to answer discovery. The AG and University System continue to stonewall open records requests. Deposition notices and subpoenas are quashed without so much as a legal reason.

For 10 years, I have been gathering the rest of the evidence, along with the documentation I have already collected of all this lying, to present it to a jury.

In fact, I was on the phone trying to schedule a deposition when the senior assistant attorney general told me, before running to the courts to seek an order barring lawful discovery, “Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.”

I’m the one with the documentation from state records, the one who has been trying to show the truth to a jury, for 10 years now. But every time I get discouraged by the phony obstacles thrown in my path, I flip on the recording system and listen to it over and over again:

“Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.”

Funny how motivating it can be to know the truth. -CL-"
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  string(9642) "{DIV( type="blockquote")}“Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.” — Georgia Senior Assistant Attorney General Mac Sitton{DIV}

Most of us, excluding John Barron, agree that lying is wrong. And almost everyone would agree it is a bad thing for Georgia state officials to tell lies about a Georgia citizen to destroy his life and career. That sounds more like something that would happen in Stalin or Putin’s world than in America. 

I made a very costly decision 10 years ago, as an attorney, that I would not be a party to that kind of lie, told by the government, in the cause of injustice. In particular, I said to myself that it could not be the job of Georgia’s attorney general — and there have been more than one since then — to knowingly make false charges while hiding state records that prove the charges are fake and calling witnesses to the stand to give perjured testimony about manufactured evidence.

I’m often asked how I got started suing a wide range of state government officials — from the chairman of the Georgia Board of Regents to the attorney general of Georgia. 

Last month in ''CL'', I told how I defended a professor at the University of Georgia who was a vocal critic of former UGA president Michael Adams. Adams enlisted the AG to revoke the tenure of Professor Dezso Benedek. That attempt to destroy Benedek’s career crashed and burned, with the University System of Georgia’s board of regents paying Adams to go away, instead.

There is a long and interesting story of how I got to that point, but for today, let me skip straight to the lying. And there are many lies to choose from in this saga of the failed tenure revocation. You have the AG caught red-handed trying to hide UGA records that proved the charges brought against Benedek were false. You have Adams and the AG denying the existence of other documents which I later found. You have those documents that “didn’t exist” having Adams’ signature on them.

For now, let me focus on my favorite Keystone Kops caper that has it all — evidence tampering, identity fraud, perjury, violations of federal student privacy law and the Georgia Open Records Act — and much more. 

The main false attack launched on Professor Benedek in 2009, for reasons not understood even today, was that his award-winning study abroad program in Budapest, attended by hundreds of UGA students, was not legitimate. Specifically, the AG of Georgia charged Benedek with falsifying the transfer-credit transcripts from the host university, Eötvös Loránd University, or “ELTE” for short.

Months before this charge was even brought against Benedek, the Adams administration wrote to ELTE inquiring about the legitimacy of the transcripts. ELTE [https://creativeloafing.com/dl13476|responded] that they were indeed authentic ELTE transcripts. But that was not helpful to the Adams’ administration’s intention to revoke Professor Benedek’s tenure, which was the goal of this clandestine operation.

Dissatisfied with not getting the response the Adams administration wanted, UGA dean Noel Fallows basically called Dr. Boros, the responding ELTE official, a [https://creativeloafing.com/dl13471|liar]. Then Fallows had Provost Arnett Mace contact the head of ELTE directly. The rector of ELTE provided the same response as Boros, telling Mace that the transfer-credit transcripts were authentic — and adding that he did not understand why UGA was questioning the excellent study abroad program.

At the hearing called by Adams to revoke Professor Benedek’s tenure, I asked Provost Mace exactly what prompted him to be so suspicious of the nondescript transfer-credit forms from ELTE. I showed him a copy of one, with the seal of ELTE, the oldest and most prestigious university in Hungary, emblazoned across the top.

Mace responded that the version Fallows showed him did not show the seal of the university. In the copy Fallows showed to Mace, the official seal had been whited out. Sometimes misrepresentation occurs by omission.

Fallows had been sending the transcripts out, trying to get someone to say they were fake. Unable to get such a response, Fallows made a few more runs at ELTE, signing in to computer databases using the real names and Social Security numbers of UGA students, sending [https://creativeloafing.com/dl13473|fake correspondence] along with the transcripts to ELTE through third parties, as though the students were applying for grad school and needed their transcripts confirmed. This is all documented on paper, in the state’s own records that I introduced at the tenure revocation hearing.

Provost Mace noted that it was unfortunate that Fallows was sending out these transcripts, including the names and Social Security numbers of UGA students, without their knowledge or permission. That violates federal student privacy law. Oops! 

Meanwhile, those third-party intermediaries were advised by Fallows, [https://creativeloafing.com/dl13474|in writing], to make sure the UGA students never found out “under any circumstances” about the fake correspondence being sent out in their names.

One third party sent out a fake letter to ELTE saying UGA needed to know the status of the transcript so that the university would know “how to deal with the student,” who was identified in the correspondence by name and Social Security number.

No matter how hard they tried, Adams and Fallows could not get a different answer from ELTE. Nor would anyone else say the ELTE transcripts were not authentic. Not very promising for Adams’ dictatorial demand that Benedek’s tenure be revoked.

How did this failed attempt to get dirt on Benedek turn into a charge of academic fraud against him, even after ELTE confirmed its transcripts were authentic? First, the Adams administration and the AG tried to hide any evidence of the transcripts being legitimate. And until I revealed I knew the evidence existed, I got to watch state officials lie a lot. I knew they were lying. But they didn’t know I knew.

In fact, I obtained that correspondence with ELTE as part of what we would have once called a counter-intelligence operation when I was working in Washington, D.C. I then took the letters in my possession, that supposedly came from UGA students, and showed them to the students whose names were on them. The UGA students had no knowledge of the letters, nor had they even been applying to graduate school. Oops again!

So the real UGA students (as opposed to a dean pretending to be a UGA student) did a funny thing. They made open records requests to UGA asking for correspondence being sent out in their names concerning the transcripts.

What was the response from UGA to this inquiry authorized by state law, to which a state agency must, by law, respond honestly and produce the requested records?

The UGA response said, “No responsive documents exist.” That was enough to make a KGB assassin laugh, since I was holding the nonexistent documents in my hand. The official UGA response to the students who made the open records inquiry continued, “Please see Dean Fallows, who would like to speak to you about this.”

Imagine being a UGA student around age 19 and being asked to go see the dean about letters sent out in your name, that UGA denies exist, so you could be “dealt with.” Tell the truth — would you freak out?

All of my documentation was sent to the Georgia Board of Regents, which oversees the entire University System, but they did not see anything wrong with any of it.

As for Professor Benedek, there was nothing left for him to do but sue the state officials who tried to frame him. On his behalf, I did something that had never been done before: I sued the state under the RICO statute for criminal racketeering acts. All the hijinks I’ve outlined above meet the definition under criminal statutes for evidence tampering, identity fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud, knowing falsification of state agency reports, perjury, and the apparent specialty of the then-Georgia attorney general — subornation of perjury — not to mention willful and therefore criminal violations of the Georgia Open Records Act.

For 10 years I have been trying to pierce the defense argued by that attorney general: that Georgia state officials have sovereign immunity protection for committing these documented felonies. 

For 10 years, I have been pursuing Professor Benedek’s case and other government corruption cases that have come to light. And in every court, state defendants have refused to answer discovery. The AG and University System continue to stonewall open records requests. Deposition notices and subpoenas are quashed without so much as a legal reason.

For 10 years, I have been gathering the rest of the evidence, along with the documentation I have already collected of all this lying, to present it to a jury.

In fact, I was on the phone trying to schedule a deposition when the senior assistant attorney general told me, before running to the courts to seek an [https://creativeloafing.com/dl13475|order barring lawful discovery], “Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.”

I’m the one with the documentation from state records, the one who has been trying to show the truth to a jury, for 10 years now. But every time I get discouraged by the phony obstacles thrown in my path, I flip on the recording system and listen to it over and over again:

“Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.”

Funny how motivating it can be to know the truth. __-CL-__"
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  string(13586) " HUMPHREYS 2236 Cropped 2 Stephen Humpreys 2019-01-18T22:30:45+00:00 HUMPHREYS_2236_cropped 2.jpg   This story of lies, corruption and deceit by USG "leaders" is disgusting.  Unfortunately, it is an all too familiar story with regard to the type of antics played out by the those heading the USG.  What Wrigley, Huckaby, Fuchko (and others) did to hide the facts and cover-up the truth from being known in the cases of Georgia Perimeter College, Macon State University, Kennesaw State University, Fort Valley State University, Valdosta State University, College of Coastal Georgia, Savannah State University, Albany State University, etc. are equal or more shocking and are a travesty.  Take a deeper look into how those institutions Presidents were removed from 2012 to the present date.  The state's residents and members of the BOR were played a fool by these three people who the Board of Regents trusted to tell them the truth.  Unfortunately "truth" was the first casualty in each of these cases.

The USG and Attorney General's Office fought hard, very hard, to keep the GPC case from ever getting to a jury trial.  If this case had received a hearing in front of a jury, it would have changed the way the State of Georgia runs the business of higher education.  It is very sad that the Board of Regents was duped into believing the lies of the USG leadership back in 2012.  The USG broke many of their own policies in order to keep the truth being known by the BOR.  All the BOR has to do is research the number of changes to USG policies regarding presidential contracts and college/university finance management were made in late 2012 and early 2013.  Two months before the finger pointing by the USG began at GPC's leader (me) they met with me in an official Budget Hearing and officially indicated that everything with GPC's budget was in good shape; then eight weeks later they set me up as the fall guy.  That was all B.S.  It was a highly unethical trick played on the BOR by the USG's Head of Ethics.   Perhaps the newer Board members will look into corruption at the System Office.  It's too bad I never got my meeting with the BOR (as required by policy at that time), or that I never got my day in court.  I can only imagine if I had, how much better off the USG would be today as an organization.

Perhaps the next article Stephen Humphreys writes, he can share with you how the USG broke RICO laws of fraud and corruption.  It will never be too late for the BOR to right a wrong that's it has done unknowingly to its 200+ GPC employees, state residents, institutions, or the 10,000 students it lost in the takeover of GPC by Georgia State University.  Call me in BOR, I'd love to talk with you and answer any of your questions.  Trust me, you would be shocked at what the facts really are, and what exhibits/evidence we've collected to demonstrate and prove the truth.  I believe the GPC issue could serve as bellwether case for all others to follow.

Lastly, I would fully expect those persons in positions of power and control of the USG today will try to brush off the statements made here are frivolous and untrue........believe me, they are not. Dear Editors of Creative Loafing, please ask Attorney Stephen Humphrey’s to write about the debacle that turned into the GPC takeover by Georgia State University.  This was a travesty which resulted in 200+ staff, faculty, and administrators losing their jobs, and over 10,000 students to be displaced by the actions of a corrupt USG Chancellor and Vice Chancellor who lied to the BOR.  All of this was hidden by a corrupt Attorney General.  Their was no outlandish conspiracy here, just good ‘ol corruption in state government which was hidden by the man we elected to protect the state’s residents from such corruption! humphrey humphreys humphries Evidence tampering, identity fraud, and violations of federal student privacy law 12690  2019-02-11T17:57:00+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES - When First We Practice to Deceive jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2019-02-11T17:57:00+00:00  

Most of us, excluding John Barron, agree that lying is wrong. And almost everyone would agree it is a bad thing for Georgia state officials to tell lies about a Georgia citizen to destroy his life and career. That sounds more like something that would happen in Stalin or Putin’s world than in America. 

I made a very costly decision 10 years ago, as an attorney, that I would not be a party to that kind of lie, told by the government, in the cause of injustice. In particular, I said to myself that it could not be the job of Georgia’s attorney general — and there have been more than one since then — to knowingly make false charges while hiding state records that prove the charges are fake and calling witnesses to the stand to give perjured testimony about manufactured evidence.

I’m often asked how I got started suing a wide range of state government officials — from the chairman of the Georgia Board of Regents to the attorney general of Georgia. 

Last month in CL, I told how I defended a professor at the University of Georgia who was a vocal critic of former UGA president Michael Adams. Adams enlisted the AG to revoke the tenure of Professor Dezso Benedek. That attempt to destroy Benedek’s career crashed and burned, with the University System of Georgia’s board of regents paying Adams to go away, instead.

There is a long and interesting story of how I got to that point, but for today, let me skip straight to the lying. And there are many lies to choose from in this saga of the failed tenure revocation. You have the AG caught red-handed trying to hide UGA records that proved the charges brought against Benedek were false. You have Adams and the AG denying the existence of other documents which I later found. You have those documents that “didn’t exist” having Adams’ signature on them.

For now, let me focus on my favorite Keystone Kops caper that has it all — evidence tampering, identity fraud, perjury, violations of federal student privacy law and the Georgia Open Records Act — and much more. 

The main false attack launched on Professor Benedek in 2009, for reasons not understood even today, was that his award-winning study abroad program in Budapest, attended by hundreds of UGA students, was not legitimate. Specifically, the AG of Georgia charged Benedek with falsifying the transfer-credit transcripts from the host university, Eötvös Loránd University, or “ELTE” for short.

Months before this charge was even brought against Benedek, the Adams administration wrote to ELTE inquiring about the legitimacy of the transcripts. ELTE responded that they were indeed authentic ELTE transcripts. But that was not helpful to the Adams’ administration’s intention to revoke Professor Benedek’s tenure, which was the goal of this clandestine operation.

Dissatisfied with not getting the response the Adams administration wanted, UGA dean Noel Fallows basically called Dr. Boros, the responding ELTE official, a liar. Then Fallows had Provost Arnett Mace contact the head of ELTE directly. The rector of ELTE provided the same response as Boros, telling Mace that the transfer-credit transcripts were authentic — and adding that he did not understand why UGA was questioning the excellent study abroad program.

At the hearing called by Adams to revoke Professor Benedek’s tenure, I asked Provost Mace exactly what prompted him to be so suspicious of the nondescript transfer-credit forms from ELTE. I showed him a copy of one, with the seal of ELTE, the oldest and most prestigious university in Hungary, emblazoned across the top.

Mace responded that the version Fallows showed him did not show the seal of the university. In the copy Fallows showed to Mace, the official seal had been whited out. Sometimes misrepresentation occurs by omission.

Fallows had been sending the transcripts out, trying to get someone to say they were fake. Unable to get such a response, Fallows made a few more runs at ELTE, signing in to computer databases using the real names and Social Security numbers of UGA students, sending fake correspondence along with the transcripts to ELTE through third parties, as though the students were applying for grad school and needed their transcripts confirmed. This is all documented on paper, in the state’s own records that I introduced at the tenure revocation hearing.

Provost Mace noted that it was unfortunate that Fallows was sending out these transcripts, including the names and Social Security numbers of UGA students, without their knowledge or permission. That violates federal student privacy law. Oops! 

Meanwhile, those third-party intermediaries were advised by Fallows, in writing, to make sure the UGA students never found out “under any circumstances” about the fake correspondence being sent out in their names.

One third party sent out a fake letter to ELTE saying UGA needed to know the status of the transcript so that the university would know “how to deal with the student,” who was identified in the correspondence by name and Social Security number.

No matter how hard they tried, Adams and Fallows could not get a different answer from ELTE. Nor would anyone else say the ELTE transcripts were not authentic. Not very promising for Adams’ dictatorial demand that Benedek’s tenure be revoked.

How did this failed attempt to get dirt on Benedek turn into a charge of academic fraud against him, even after ELTE confirmed its transcripts were authentic? First, the Adams administration and the AG tried to hide any evidence of the transcripts being legitimate. And until I revealed I knew the evidence existed, I got to watch state officials lie a lot. I knew they were lying. But they didn’t know I knew.

In fact, I obtained that correspondence with ELTE as part of what we would have once called a counter-intelligence operation when I was working in Washington, D.C. I then took the letters in my possession, that supposedly came from UGA students, and showed them to the students whose names were on them. The UGA students had no knowledge of the letters, nor had they even been applying to graduate school. Oops again!

So the real UGA students (as opposed to a dean pretending to be a UGA student) did a funny thing. They made open records requests to UGA asking for correspondence being sent out in their names concerning the transcripts.

What was the response from UGA to this inquiry authorized by state law, to which a state agency must, by law, respond honestly and produce the requested records?

The UGA response said, “No responsive documents exist.” That was enough to make a KGB assassin laugh, since I was holding the nonexistent documents in my hand. The official UGA response to the students who made the open records inquiry continued, “Please see Dean Fallows, who would like to speak to you about this.”

Imagine being a UGA student around age 19 and being asked to go see the dean about letters sent out in your name, that UGA denies exist, so you could be “dealt with.” Tell the truth — would you freak out?

All of my documentation was sent to the Georgia Board of Regents, which oversees the entire University System, but they did not see anything wrong with any of it.

As for Professor Benedek, there was nothing left for him to do but sue the state officials who tried to frame him. On his behalf, I did something that had never been done before: I sued the state under the RICO statute for criminal racketeering acts. All the hijinks I’ve outlined above meet the definition under criminal statutes for evidence tampering, identity fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud, knowing falsification of state agency reports, perjury, and the apparent specialty of the then-Georgia attorney general — subornation of perjury — not to mention willful and therefore criminal violations of the Georgia Open Records Act.

For 10 years I have been trying to pierce the defense argued by that attorney general: that Georgia state officials have sovereign immunity protection for committing these documented felonies. 

For 10 years, I have been pursuing Professor Benedek’s case and other government corruption cases that have come to light. And in every court, state defendants have refused to answer discovery. The AG and University System continue to stonewall open records requests. Deposition notices and subpoenas are quashed without so much as a legal reason.

For 10 years, I have been gathering the rest of the evidence, along with the documentation I have already collected of all this lying, to present it to a jury.

In fact, I was on the phone trying to schedule a deposition when the senior assistant attorney general told me, before running to the courts to seek an order barring lawful discovery, “Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.”

I’m the one with the documentation from state records, the one who has been trying to show the truth to a jury, for 10 years now. But every time I get discouraged by the phony obstacles thrown in my path, I flip on the recording system and listen to it over and over again:

“Your cases are crap because you’re a liar.”

Funny how motivating it can be to know the truth. -CL-     Stephen Humphreys  0,0,11    humphrey humphreys humphries                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES - When First We Practice to Deceive "
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Monday February 11, 2019 12:57 pm EST
Evidence tampering, identity fraud, and violations of federal student privacy law | more...
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