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Updating about events in Alachua City, Florida.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 12:51 PM
Original message
Updating about events in Alachua City, Florida.
I am posting it in the DFA forum because the tragedy of it is probably only felt by people who know and have met Charlie Grapski and who have been following this story of a city in North Florida. And it is a tragedy that has been unfolding for a long time.

I am by nature a very cautious person. I would not do things the way Charlie did, but guess what...he got results. He won a court case. He is, as Jake Fuller called him in a cartoon about him...Clovis Watson's "gadfly".

Now he is in and out of consciousness in the hospital, suspected head injury, bruises, and now fasting. He will be taken back to jail if he starts eating. The summary and latest is in this article.

High Spring Herald update

It is long and involved.

Here is the last good thing that happened.

More vindication for the Alachua voting activist...Charlie Grapski

State: Watson breaking law by also being police officer

ALACHUA - As both a city law enforcement officer and the Alachua city manager, Clovis Watson Jr. is illegally holding two offices, according to opinions written by the Attorney General.

That now leads to questions about the validity of arrests that Watson has made since 2002, including the well-known arrest of Charlie Grapski on charges that were later thrown out of court.

Questions also are raised about the fact that the city puts extra, "special risk" money into Watson's retirement fund, treating him as a police officer. Watson has even been given a second title, called "police commissioner."

Attorney General Charlie Crist, soon to be governor, wrote in a document on dual office holding that law enforcement officers cannot also hold another office in a municipality.

Charlie's charge of felony wiretapping is covered in this post. It tells about "Operation Red", with a video of Charlie explaining it.

Operation Red

Operation Red intends on converting Alachua County, one of the two Democratic Counties in Florida, to a Republican majority through the use of funds coming from corporate developers and big-box stores and the attempt to influence the African American voters to switch to the Republican Party.

He got some positive attention from the Gainesville Sun. The article summed up very well what had been going on in that city.

Running elections out of city hall

It took Judge Buck Curtin almost no time at all on Thursday to dismiss the felony wiretapping charge against Charlie Grapski and short-circuit a trial that would have been a mockery of justice.

It's clear that Watson was infuriated and personally offended by Grapski's allegation that improprieties had occurred in the election. What's not clear is why State Attorney Bill Cervone even bothered to bring this turkey to trial. It should embarrass Cervone that a judge so quickly threw the case out of court. It is difficult to argue with a straight face that Grapski was guilty of covert taping when his recording device was in plain sight during his meeting with Watson, a public official.

A suit has been filed alleging election improprieties. Perhaps that litigation will ultimately vindicate the city or show that Grapski had good reason to worry about the integrity of the election. Either way, here's some advice for Alachua city officials: Stop running the election out of city hall.

Alachua is growing up and its citizens shouldn't have to wonder whether their elections are being conducted in a professional manner. Alachua ought to do what Gainesville did a long time ago; contract with the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections to run its municipal elections."

He should never have ended up in the hospital, in and out of consciousness. He should not have bruises on his body. He should not have a head injury. No matter what one thinks of the tactics, this is not deserved.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-22-07 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. More info from MLW and HEP
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-01-07 04:09 PM
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2. Update
Charlie's bail was lowered, publicity helped, they knew people were watching. He is out now, and updates are often in the comments at HEP /

Mostly in the comments.

The whole city knew we were watching. Alachua is saga waiting to unfold. There are people there who acted corruptly.

Also updates at High Springs Herald
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-07 10:25 PM
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3. Charlie came to DFAfest in San Diego last year
I spent some time with him. It was an amazing story he told. Just incredible. I introe'd him to Howard and Jim. In typical New England fashion, they were dubious. But that story was pretty wack, you must admit. And it was ALL TRUE!
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