Freshwater: The paranoia grows

| 52 Comments

A new story is making the rounds now, to the effect that R. Kelly Hamilton, Freshwater’s attorney, has been in contact with the anonymous source of the black bag in the parking lot. That source, it is said, is willing to testify in the hearing but not in public because of fears for his/her safety. So Hamilton has asked the referee to hear testimony from that person with the hearing closed to spectators and press and the referee is considering whether to do so.

As I noted earlier, this has gone past strange and is well into bizarro territory. Does the anonymous source fear that the Evil Atheist Conspiracy is going to take revenge on him/her? Are there mobs of evolutionists with torches and pitchforks waiting outside the walls of the hearing room? Not hardly, not in this county. The one slight justification I can see is if the anonymous source is a school employee and fears being fired for removing the black bag and its contents from the school without authorization (assuming it actually came from the school and not Freshwater’s garage, which is not established). But as far as I know the hearing referee has no power to grant immunity from prosecution for theft, so taking the testimony in private won’t solve that problem for him/her.

Bear in mind that this is the same R. Kelly Hamilton who brought pressure to make the names of the Dennis family public after a federal court had granted them anonymity to protect them, particularly Zachary, from reprisals. And note that the Dennis family finally felt it necessary to move away from this community because their children were being subjected to harassment from other students and school staff – teachers and at least one coach. So why is Hamilton so hot to protect an adult’s anonymity now?

After the B.S. story Don Matolyak offered to justify taking an armed escort with him to retrieve the black bag while deciding he didn’t need the cops, I am of the opinion that this is just more of the smokescreen and is intended to amp up the drama casting John Freshwater as the poor persecuted Christian man in heathen Knox County, Ohio. It’s designed solely to bring more pressure on the Board of Education to settle on Freshwater’s terms. But Hamilton, Matolyak, and Freshwater appear to be becoming so enamored of their delusional fantasies of persecution that I fear for their ever more tenuous grasp on reality.

52 Comments

This guy has been an idiot forever. He is doing his best to stay in the spotlight as long as he can, focusing all the attention possible onto his “persecution. This is what the evangelicals do. They throw themselves in the path of a bus and scream “persecution” when they get hit. there are laws!

My whole family is barely on speaking terms with me for “Turning” my nephew into an atheist. Yet, they can buy Bibles and other paraphernalia fir my son? It’s one against twenty and who do they think is being persecuted.

This absurd case is obviously a job for Mulder and Scully. If this isn’t an X-file, I don’t know what could be.

Blessed Atheist Bible Study @ http://blessedatheist.com/

Is there a police investigation into this yet? Investigating Freshwater’s phone logs, maybe even his voice mail? If we are to believe the Freshwater camp, they know someone who provided them with document wanted in at least two legal procedings. Does the law take any interest in this beyond taking down a police report at this time. I’ll be ROFL if the witness the new Freshwater friendly board member.

AFAIK there’s no police investigation, since (again, AFAIK) no one has filed a complaint. The police report on the black bag was a “found property” report, not a criminal complaint.

In order to say something positive about Knox County, I want to point out that Knox Woods State Nature Preserve

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/location[…]Default.aspx

is a wonderful place for a springtime stroll.

Dan said:

In order to say something positive about Knox County, I want to point out that Knox Woods State Nature Preserve

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/location[…]Default.aspx

is a wonderful place for a springtime stroll.

Yes it is, as is the Kokosing Gap Trail.

Well, this get more fun by the day. The police do not need a complaint to open a criminal investigation. There is apparently stolen material that they have in custody. Either it was not stolen from the school, in which case someone filed a false police report, or it was stolen from the school.

If it was not stolen from the school, if somebody were to swear that it was “hidden exculpatory” evidence from the school, they will be perjured. If it was not stolen from the school, it was in uncontrolled possession and is not worth shit.

It would be my guess that if anyone pressed the issue, one or more of Freshwater’s pals will be in very big trouble. (I figure there is no need to mention Freshwater himself, as he is already in serious trouble).

{I did a kind of fun vehicle hit and run investigation this morning. I hadn’t played PI for years. The only real goal was to make sure the owner of the parked car (a neighbor kid) could get his insurance money. Sadly, the people who crashed into his parked car freaked out and abandoned their car a few blocks away scene. It turned out that the car was under lien to a repo outfit, and the driver might have had warrants. More people join the homeless}.

Does Ohio have any sort of open records laws? These hearings are certainly a matter of public interest, and Freshwater is definitely a public figure now, so is it even possible to close a hearing to the public? And even if it’s closed, can you do any sort of freedom of information request to get transcripts?

So, to sum up everything we’ve learned from this proceeding, this kind of arbitration is easily abused by attention whores and should be done away with.

What are your thoughts on why the board is having a special meeting Wednesday night with regard to Freshwater proceedings?

Why Ralph what do you think it is for? Just listen to Freshwater when he spoke to the board.…

Ralph said:

What are your thoughts on why the board is having a special meeting Wednesday night with regard to Freshwater proceedings?

I don’t know yet. I’ve got queries out, but no one is talking so far.

So, to sum up everything we’ve learned from this proceeding, this kind of arbitration is easily abused by attention whores and should be done away with.

Or reformed, and the referees given better training.

Ralph said:

What are your thoughts on why the board is having a special meeting Wednesday night with regard to Freshwater proceedings?

The possibility comes to mind that they may be looking for some way to dismiss this whole thing out of hand–but who knows? Some people apparently suffer fools gladly.

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

akajst said:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

Maybe the bag of exculpatory evidence was placed there by the Illuminati. Since Freshwater himself didn’t show up, the pantheist-socialists couldn’t all hop out of the black helicopter and take him away for enhanced interrogation.

Gary Hurd said:

Well, this get more fun by the day. The police do not need a complaint to open a criminal investigation. There is apparently stolen material that they have in custody. Either it was not stolen from the school, in which case someone filed a false police report, or it was stolen from the school.

Yeah, but really, what kind of “stolen material” is it?

In all likelihood, it’s just residual junk left behind when Freshwater cleaned out his classroom. Someone just found his “supplemental materials”, spare emergency backup Bible and a couple of stopwatches on a back shelf and tossed them in a box.

The police, who have actually examined the “evidence”, probably already know this, and are in no hurry to waste their time investigating the “theft” of $50 worth of abandoned crap from a school closet.

akajst:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

Truth or a lie? Do you have any documentation or proof of that statement? Or did you just Make It Up?

Acceptable proof would be police reports and investigations, for example.

One thing I and everyone has found dealing with fundie xian cultists: they lie a lot and make death threats like some people say hello. At Dover, the fundie school board perjured themselves right and left in the depositions and on the witness stand. The federal judge got so many death threats he ended up being guarded by federal marshalls.

We all get death threats a lot from the wacko xians. On a busy day, PZ Myers can get up to a hundred. 100 death threats/day.

I used to file mine with the FBI. Death threats are felonies and they can and will investigate them. The feds actually once arrested two, who turned out to be total losers. These days I don’t much bother unless whoever seems to be far out crazy or really serious.

One thing to keep in mind. According to Millstone and the school board, nothing was stolen that they know of. They are apparently not missing any boxes of documents or other objects.

holycow quoting MTVernonnews:

Anything else that may appear has not been in the board’s possession.”

Previously, Freshwater stated he had taken things from the classroom to Trinity Assembly to copy, then returned them to the classroom.

“Strangely, materials that are apparently missing are things he [Freshwater] took to the church,” Millstone said. “We [the school board and Millstone] have never seen them.” mountvernonnews.com

One thing is for sure. There are major discrepancies and mysteries between what Freshwater et al. are saying and what Millstone and the school board are saying. The only way to get at the truth would be a full investigation by the appropriate authorities and professionals.

raven said:

The only way to get at the truth would be a full investigation by the appropriate authorities and professionals.

I’d be interested to know what the proper authority is for investigating scams perpetrated upon the general public by politico-religionist ninnies.

I’d be interested to know what the proper authority is for investigating scams perpetrated upon the general public by politico-religionist ninnies.

Depends on what laws are being broken and which legal entity has jurisdiction.

The FBI has jurisdiction over federal laws and anything to do with interstate commerce or movement. They investigate death threats because these commonly use interstate means of communication i.e. the mail, telephone, and internet. If fact, there is a federal internet anti-stalking law and the FBI has a cybercrimes unit.

Offhand, since thefts and burglary are local property crimes, the local police would have jurisdiction. Filing a false police report would be local.

Perjury and obstruction of justice are felonies but it depends on whether they are done in federal or state courts.

Threats and death threats would be local and federal depending on the exact threats and the means by which they are delivered and for what purpose.

IANAL YMMV

Hi Richard, Thanks as always for the info. I have a question for you (or any Ohio lawyers out there). Assuming that Freshwater loses the hearing and all the related appeals, does the school board have any recourse to recover the expenses incurred in this fiasco from Freshwater, Hamilton or others in the Freshwater camp? Obviously Freshwater is entitled to due process etc but he and his crew have made a mockery of the appeals process and now seem to be intent on running up the bill just to pressure a settlement. I doubt the intent of the Ohio legislature was to craft an appeals process that would bankrupt a county Board of Education that was trying to fire an insubordinate, religious wacko who was undermining the very subject he was hired to teach while physically and emotionally harming students in his care.

raven said: One thing to keep in mind. According to Millstone and the school board, nothing was stolen that they know of. They are apparently not missing any boxes of documents or other objects.

That’s what’s so wierd about this development. They appear to be protecting the anonymity of someone who didn’t do anything anyone would want to retaliate for in the first place.

A couple possibilities come to mind. One - the whole incident is manufactured. The “black bag” materials came from Freshwater and revealing the person’s identity would make this obvious. But if so, agreeing to meet with the referee makes absolutely no sense - that would blow their scheme just as much as a public reveal would. Two - they really did steal stuff from the school, and for some reason the school hasn’t caught on yet. Three - the person is a school employee who doesn’t want to be known publicly as someone who supports Freshwater. Four - the person is simply disturbed.

I’d favor the referee meeting with the person at least so they can rule out #s 1 and 4.

akajst said:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

People who have testified for the board have also received phone calls, letters in the mail etc. So have people who have spoken at board meetings, in support of the board, and who have written letters to the editor in the local newspaper.

I don’t think any theft is related to this case. (I do think there are police reports)

I wouldn’t want my name out there either! “Yes I am the one who mailed anonymous letters to the superintendent and Mr Freshwater and I am the one who put a black bag in a garbage bag, dumped it at a park and called Mr Freshwater to pick it up.” Who would want to claim these silly acts?

Posts like this tends to make me personally extremely sad, I’m sure it is really cleache to say if we are able to all just simply get along, but how much more of this are all of us gonna put up with?

CMB said:

Hi Richard, Thanks as always for the info. I have a question for you (or any Ohio lawyers out there). Assuming that Freshwater loses the hearing and all the related appeals, does the school board have any recourse to recover the expenses incurred in this fiasco from Freshwater, Hamilton or others in the Freshwater camp? Obviously Freshwater is entitled to due process etc but he and his crew have made a mockery of the appeals process and now seem to be intent on running up the bill just to pressure a settlement. I doubt the intent of the Ohio legislature was to craft an appeals process that would bankrupt a county Board of Education that was trying to fire an insubordinate, religious wacko who was undermining the very subject he was hired to teach while physically and emotionally harming students in his care.

I’m not an Ohio attorney, but its very doubtful that the B.O.E.’s costs can be recovered. Abuse of civil service protection by incompetant teachers is not uncommon-I just read that it costs about $500,000 to fire an L.A. County teacher.

CMB asked: …does the school board have any recourse to recover the expenses incurred in this fiasco from Freshwater, Hamilton or others in the Freshwater camp?

Specifically include Don Matolyak and “Coach” Dave Daubenmire in that list of “others.” They have been enablers and fecal agitators since this whole thing got started.

RBH,

The following is from the request, by Kelly Hamilton, to close the hearing (dated January 19, 2010):

“Presently, it is my desire to close the hearing to the public and by this letter request to do the same. Currently there is someone or more than one person who has information that they anonymously want to inject. As discussed during our conference on January 15, 2010, the anonymous person is looking for a reaction and has likely received a measure of information from the news media or other sources from within the hearing. Strategically it has been decided the anonymous source will more likely appear if they do not know the results of their submission. The greatest likelihood for identifying the anonymous source is to isolate the boundaries or variables by limiting their access to further information.”

The request of January 19 may be the basis of the rumor. Hamilton makes no mention of protecting the identity of the tipster.

akajst said:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

Freshwater branded a child, and his followers threatened the life of that child to discourage him from testifying. Said child and his family had to move because of the threats. Freshwater doesn’t deserve protection. Let his sick cult defend him, they’re perfectly willing to murder little boys on his behalf.

phantomreader42 said:

akajst said:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

Freshwater branded a child, and his followers threatened the life of that child to discourage him from testifying. Said child and his family had to move because of the threats. Freshwater doesn’t deserve protection. Let his sick cult defend him, they’re perfectly willing to murder little boys on his behalf.

If the Dennis family really received death threats there would be police reports and there would have been news coverage.

mountvernon1805 said:

RBH,

The following is from the request, by Kelly Hamilton, to close the hearing (dated January 19, 2010):

“Presently, it is my desire to close the hearing to the public and by this letter request to do the same. Currently there is someone or more than one person who has information that they anonymously want to inject. As discussed during our conference on January 15, 2010, the anonymous person is looking for a reaction and has likely received a measure of information from the news media or other sources from within the hearing. Strategically it has been decided the anonymous source will more likely appear if they do not know the results of their submission. The greatest likelihood for identifying the anonymous source is to isolate the boundaries or variables by limiting their access to further information.”

The request of January 19 may be the basis of the rumor. Hamilton makes no mention of protecting the identity of the tipster.

That sounds like so much bullshit to me.

And let’s leave off on the ‘death threats’ verbiage. With no documentation there’s nothing to discuss.

akajst said:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

I’m not RBH, but I’m wondering where akajst got his/her information. What has been stolen from Freshwater? Did he file a police report? What is the difference between “theft” and “burglary”? What does the “etc [corrected]” entail? And how does akajst know all this?

Freshwater does not deserve theft or threats or “etc”, whatever that may be. But neither does anyone deserve to be lifted to martyrdom on the basis of vague claims.

The Referee should have the Freshwater’s side turn over a document detailing exactly what the “source” is willing testify to in private and allow the school district to review it. Then decide if there is any reason to have this person appear in private a session.

If Freshwater’s people won’t do this, then there is no reason to continue with a private session.

I would have thought that, since there are public funds involved in the hearing (paying the Board’s lawyer at the very least) and that this hearing is a matter of public interest, any hearing sessions should be public.

Whistleblower laws ought to protect anyone who might be in fear of retaliation from the school district.

If the fear is from person or persons on the other side…well maybe they can apply to one of the churches for sanctuary…

I don’t think this alleged tipster or witness or mover of boxes from schools to parks has any right to be anonymous or testify in secret.

Our whole system of justice is based on being able to face your accusers and defend yourself. It is all done in the open with the public invited to watch it if they want and a transcript made.

Of course there are exceptions. Crimes involving children can be closed to protect the kid’s identity. Witnesses can be put into the Witness Protection Program and sent to Oregon or Colorado if they are in danger of being murdered by the ones they testify against.

Not seeing that any of that holds here. Freshwater is just a fired teacher and a member of the xian minority of only 76% of the population. I get a bit tired of xians who make up three quarters of the population and own almost all elected positions from dogcatcher on up claiming to be a persecuted minority.

BTW, for those wondering why their comment is sometimes held for moderation, something in the comment is triggering the comment spam filter. I get to them as soon as I can.

akajst said:

phantomreader42 said:

akajst said:

RBH in case you didn’t know Freshwater has been the target of theft, threats, burglary ect. since this case has started.

Freshwater branded a child, and his followers threatened the life of that child to discourage him from testifying. Said child and his family had to move because of the threats. Freshwater doesn’t deserve protection. Let his sick cult defend him, they’re perfectly willing to murder little boys on his behalf.

If the Dennis family really received death threats there would be police reports and there would have been news coverage.

So, to be clear, you’re asserting that the man who broke multiple laws, stole tax money, and abused children is a victim of persecution without offering a shred of evidence to support this claim, but you dispute the documented intimidation of the actual victim by Freshwater’s fellow cultists.

I have submitted the following Letter to the Editor to the Mount Vernon News in lieu of the MTV School Board meeting in Executive Session today. Not sure it will make it in or not but thought it might be of interest to some.

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction…so seems the Freshwater saga. The flavor of this never ending story has taken on the bizarre nature of an X-files episode with the discovery of a mysterious black bag after 1 1/2 yrs containing evidence that supposedly will exhonerate the teacher. The evidence drop location was provided to a minister by “deep throat”. Fearing danger the minister takes an armed person rather than the police to the location. The evidence discovered was tampered with for 2 days before reported to the authorities. Now “deep throat” will come forward but Freshwater’s atty is arguing that they must remain anonymous and not be subject to public testimony.

Are we to believe that the mystery informant should be afforded anonymity when it was Mr. Hamilton that adamately argued against the anonymity of the children involved in this case? Shouldn’t the adults be held to the same rules/standard given to the children?

The role of our school board members must be to ignore the manipulative tactics of a legal process and keep our district focused on the completion of the truth finding in this case. Their actions must be transparent. There can be no “secret deals”. The taxpayer must know the truth in this case, after all, the public will be footing the bill and will be the ones who decide whether to fund the schools with our votes in the future.

If this case is secretly settled behind closed doors it will be another example of adult manipulation of fairness and justice. Ask yourself, what are the children learning????

Dan said:

What is the difference between “theft” and “burglary”?

I wondered myself, so I looked it up. Burglary is basically defined as “breaking and entering” a property with the intent to commit theft, or possibly another crime.

The exact definition of burglary varies by state. For example, a bicycle in my open garage was taken. In California, that is burglary. In some other state, the fact that the door was open means it would not be burglary.

The “theft” incident I heard about with Freshwater was at his Christmas tree lot. It is my understanding that he left a vehicle there with the window slightly rolled down for dropping payment for a tree when the lot was unattended. Apparently the back window was broken out and the money was stolen. Most likely a crime of opportunity which had nothing at all to do with the current court situation.

“Strategically it has been decided the anonymous source will more likely appear if they do not know the results of their submission. “

Sounds like the anonymous source is the Great Pumpkin.

mountvernon1805 said:

RBH,

The following is from the request, by Kelly Hamilton, to close the hearing (dated January 19, 2010):

“…Strategically it has been decided the anonymous source will more likely appear if they do not know the results of their submission. …”

You’ve just got to scratch your head over this use of the passive voice.

And then there’s the adjective “strategically” that just floats out in front, full of sound and fury, modifying nothing.

Then, of course, there’s the passive “it has been decided.” By whom? Hamilton? Baloney.

From RBH, October 2008: “It’s expected that it will go on for 7 or 8 days, split between early October and late October.”

I think he meant, “…7 or 8 years, split between reality and the Twilight Zone.”

Does anyone else think this all sounds like a Christopher Guest mockumentary?

or Bleak House.

MPW said:

Does anyone else think this all sounds like a Christopher Guest mockumentary?

I was just re-watching Nova’s “Judgment Day: ID on Trial” last night and I was struck at how much Buckingham and Bonsell act just like Christopher Guest mockumentary subjects. It’s so painfully depressing that it would ever only be funny if it were fiction. In the cases of Dover and Mt. Vernon, it would almost be funny if it didn’t drive a divisive and sometimes violent wedge between neighbors, family, and friends. But it’s all about the wedge, isn’t it?

seabiscuit said:

I have submitted the following Letter to the Editor to the Mount Vernon News in lieu of the MTV School Board meeting in Executive Session today. Not sure it will make it in or not but thought it might be of interest to some.

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction…so seems the Freshwater saga. The flavor of this never ending story has taken on the bizarre nature of an X-files episode with the discovery of a mysterious black bag after 1 1/2 yrs containing evidence that supposedly will exhonerate the teacher. The evidence drop location was provided to a minister by “deep throat”. Fearing danger the minister takes an armed person rather than the police to the location. The evidence discovered was tampered with for 2 days before reported to the authorities. Now “deep throat” will come forward but Freshwater’s atty is arguing that they must remain anonymous and not be subject to public testimony.

Are we to believe that the mystery informant should be afforded anonymity when it was Mr. Hamilton that adamately argued against the anonymity of the children involved in this case? Shouldn’t the adults be held to the same rules/standard given to the children?

The role of our school board members must be to ignore the manipulative tactics of a legal process and keep our district focused on the completion of the truth finding in this case. Their actions must be transparent. There can be no “secret deals”. The taxpayer must know the truth in this case, after all, the public will be footing the bill and will be the ones who decide whether to fund the schools with our votes in the future.

If this case is secretly settled behind closed doors it will be another example of adult manipulation of fairness and justice. Ask yourself, what are the children learning????

Hi Seabiscuit,

Nicely done! Your letter appears in today’s edition of the Mount Vernon News.

I can’t wait to see the responses from the Freshwater camp. I am sure that they will be rational and well crafted! Or maybe not.

Does this ever get over with? It’s vying with As The World Turns for the longest running soap opera ever!

veritas36 said:

Does this ever get over with? It’s vying with As The World Turns for the longest running soap opera ever!

Obviously you haven’t been following tSCOG vs. just about everybody. *That* farce has been going on for 7 years now. (If you’re not familiar with it, check out groklaw.net.)

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on February 22, 2010 6:35 PM.

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