Freshwater: Hearing and Federal Court news

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There was action today in both the administrative hearing on John Freshwater’s termination and in the federal court hearing the civil suit against Freshwater brought by the Dennis family. I’ll briefly summarize both here–time constraints and other commitments will not allow me to write 5,000 well-chosen words tonight.

More below the fold

Federal Court doings

Recall that the Dennis family successfully asked the federal court for an order to compel Freshwater and his attorney, R. Kelly Hamilton, to comply with the requirements of discovery in the federal case. The judge ordered the defendants to comply by April 19, 2010. Apparently Freshwater and Hamilton were dilatory in complying with the order, so the family went back to federal court on May 7 to request sanctions against Freshwater and Hamilton for their discovery violations. The sanctions requested were (a) attorney fees and costs associated with the part of the discovery process in which the boys were non-compliant, and (b) a declaration by the Court that any material not rendered up by Freshwater in discovery be subject to evidentiary inferences as being supportive of the family’s Establishment Clause case:

Plaintiffs ask the Court to enter an inference that all unproduced materials from Freshwater’s classroom were religious items, with no secular purpose, displayed by Freshwater on his classroom walls, windows, cupboards, and book shelves during the 2007-08 school year in contravention of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. These items, which are detailed supra, include the Ten Commandments book covers, the President Bush poster, the postings on the cupboards, books such as Refuting Evolution, Evolution of a Creationist, The Real Meaning of the Zodiac, and Icons of Evolution, and a Lies in the Textbooks videotape. Plaintiffs further request that the Court enter an evidentiary inference that the 15 Freshwater affidavits, based on Freshwater’s failure to produce the billing records, were not prepared or executed in May 2008, as Freshwater contends, but at some later date.

The billing records referred to were claimed by Hamilton to have been lost when a water pipe in his office (or according to another source, in his kitchen) burst and flooded his laptop computer. He said he subsequently threw the computer away. An ex-cop, he has apparently never heard of backups or data recovery services.

The Court held a hearing on the Plaintiffs’ request for sanctions on May 26. At that hearing two new attorneys retained by the insurance company on Freshwater’s behalf appeared, but Hamilton did not. He claimed, via the two new attorneys, to have two flat tires. (And in other news, when he was in third grade the dog ate Hamilton’s homework.) In the Court order that came out of that hearing, Judge Frost wrote

Attorneys Findley and McIntosh appeared before this Court at the 9:00 a.m. hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Sanctions. Counsel represented to the Court that Attorney Hamilton had contacted them and informed them that he had two flat tires and would be late to the hearing. The hearing lasted nearly one and one half hours. Hamilton failed to appear at the hearing.

In summary, Attorney Hamilton represents to this Court that he was unable to comply with an order from it to provide relevant documents properly requested in discovery because his computer was destroyed by water when a pipe broke at his office and he threw it away. Next, Hamilton was ordered to turn over his billing records for anything relevant to the drafting or preparation of the affidavits. Hamilton insists that he complied with this order by attaching the affidavits to the back of Employee Exhibit 16, but the evidence before the Court wholly contradicts him. Then Hamilton, again the victim of a notable lack of luck, failed to appear at the hearing to explain himself because he suffered not one but two flat tires on the drive to the courthouse.

Talk about a pissed off judge!

In the end the Court granted the request for attorney fees and costs to be charged to Hamilton and Freshwater but held the evidentiary inference in abeyance, with a warning that failure to comply with the order to compel would likely trigger it.

Puppy play break

We are required to play with at least four individual toys and give a tummy rub before she goes in her crate for the night and old dad can go back to the computer.

Administrative hearing doings

As noted, the administrative hearing resumed today and is scheduled to run for five consecutive business days, through June 8. The referee assured me today that the hearing would indeed end on or before June 8. I did not press him to specify the year.

It was a tough day today. The building in which the hearing is now being held, the MV District central office, does not have central air conditioning and the window air conditioner in the hearing room is too loud for the court reporter to hear witnesses, so it’s turned off. The room is therefore hot and stuffy. We did take frequent breaks, since the board’s attorney, David Millstone, is coming off a bout with pneumonia. Things moved so slowly and there was so little new material in the first half of the day that the Columbus Dispatch reporter left at the lunch break.

Three witnesses testified for Freshwater, First was Michael Molnar, an elementary school principal in the Beechwood, Ohio, schools, apparently called as an expert witness on being a school principal, though he isn’t particularly experienced (8 years as an elementary principal) or especially credentialed beyond the basics (Bachelor’s in elementary ed, Master’s in administration). Then there was Dr. Patrick Johnston, an osteopath and pediatrician, anti-abortion candidate for public office, Tea Bagger, and former host of “Right Remedy,” a right-wing talk radio show in Ohio. Freshwater was on his show on April 25, 2009. Finally there was Ian Watson, who was President of the Mt. Vernon Board of Education when the Freshwater affair broke out. I’m going to severely condense the testimony here.

Michael Molnar Direct

Hamilton’s direct examination of Molnar was mainly directed at establishing that the Mt. Vernon school administration’s handling of the Freshwater business was inept and unprofessional. He testified about how he would investigate allegations like those brought to the superintendent by Zachary Dennis’ parents in December, 2007. He said that the pictures of Zachary’s arm that he saw probably warranted reporting to Children’s Services under Ohio’s mandatory reporting law.

Asked what he deemed “insubordination’ to be, he said a teacher’s failure to comply with a lawful order.

Asked what a “religious display” is, he replied “A display of religious material that tries to proselytize.” He went on to say that it involved religious discussion that was intended to convert or convince someone of religious beliefs. This is consistent with Hamilton’s efforts throughout to portray passive displays of putative religious items are not violative of the First Amendment Establishment Clause, and that it requires some action on the teacher’s part to give them the character of an impermissible religious “display.” (See my comment above on evidentiary inferences for recent motivation for Hamilton in this respect.) Molnar testified that in and of itself, a Bible does not constitute a “religious display,” nor does a Koran or Torah, which, he said, are not inherently religious. He said that part of what determines if something is a “religious display” is the purpose of the display.

Throughout his examination of Molnar Hamilton worked to make the point that one could have multiple nominally religious items in a classroom, but if each had some potential secular purpose, even though the aggregation of the items gives the impression of a religious display, it is not since there is a secular purpose for each item. Thus, for example, Hamilton argued that the 10 commandments book covers on the door of the classroom had the secular purpose of blocking the view into the classroom for security purposes post-9/11. In his testimony later Ian Watson referred to the “coincidence” that all those items happened to be Christian in nature.

Michael Molnar Cross

David Millstone, the Board’s attorney, asked about when a Bible would be a religious display. Molnar said it depended on the context and purpose. Millstone asked if it is OK to display the 10 Commandments. Molnar replied that he thought it is not permitted. Asked about Bible verses, Molnar returned to his “context and purpose” mantra.

There was some point/counterpoint between direct examination, cross examination, and redirect examination that was of interest. In direct, Hamilton asked about discrimination if one teacher was permitted to have a Bible on the desk and another was not, does that indicate discrimination. Molnar testified that it was discriminatory. In cross, Millstone asked if one teacher had a Bible as part of a religious display and another had it just as a Bible on the desk, is disciplining the first but not the second discriminatory? Molnar replied it was not. Then in redirect Hamilton walked through Lori Miller’s religious materials on her desk–Bible, devotional books, Bible verse on a rock.

Millstone asked Molnar was his authority was for the “lawful” qualifier in his definition of insubordination as refusal to obey a lawful order. Molnar replied “basic knowledge.” Asked whether it was advisable to comply and then file a grievance, Molnar equivocated.

Millstone asked if would be insubordination if someone publicly announced that he is not going to do what a supervisor told him to do. Molnar replied “It could be.”

Molnar redirect

As noted, there was some point/counterpoint regarding the difference, or lack thereof, between Freshwater’s religious stuff and Lori Miller’s religious stuff.

Hamilton focused mostly on trying to establish that if each nominally religious item has a plausible secular purpose, the aggregation does not constitute a religious display.

Hamilton asked Molnar if the 10 Commandments posters were inherently religious. Molnar replied they were not, since there was some additional material about ‘good thinking’ on them.

We once again heard that ‘purpose’ is important in making judgments about displays. In both Hamilton’s and Molnar’s comments, it was clear that ‘purpose’ means ‘what I say I intend by this.’ That is, the teacher’s claim of a secular purpose trumps anything else.

That pretty much did it for Molnar.

Patrick Johnston Direct

Johnston, as noted above, is an osteopath, pediatrician, and all-around right-wing loon in Zanesville, Ohio, south of here. He is very sure of himself (he wouldn’t recognize the sentiment of a plaque on my former internist’s desk that said “M.D. does not stand for Minor Deity”).

Also as noted above, Freshwater was on his show on April 25, 2009. That was the show where Freshwater described using Lego blocks to illustrate the impossibility of chance formation of something or other, and in which Freshwater and Johnston agreed that the Second Law of Thermodynamics makes evolution impossible. Just two guys shooting the bull about that of which they’re both abysmally ignorant. Freshwater later under oath couldn’t remember using Lego blocks in class until the tape of the radio show was played for him.

In the midst of his talking about that Johnston commented that evolution means that “order comes from disorder,” and that’s impossible, but the “evolutionists” have a rebuttal, millions of tries in millions of years. The man is pig ignorant.

A good part of Johnston’s testimony was directed at the pictures of Zachary’s arm and alternative diagnoses one might make. They ranged from burn to dermographia, an immune system mediated skin reaction to a scrape, to poison ivy. He repeatedly said that if it were a second degree burn, as a previous expert witness had testified it could be, the child would have required physician’s care and pain management. He faulted the parents for not seeking medical attention if the history was true, and implied or stated several times that the parents were misrepresenting what happened.

Johnston cross

In cross Millstone asked if Johnston knew what a BD10A is. A Tesla coil, Johnston replied. Asked if he know the voltage or frequency it generated, he didn’t, He couldn’t recall if it was a high voltage device. Asked about the significance of a specifically radio frequency voltage being applied to human skin, Johnston didn’t know anything about it.

Johnston redirect

Hamilton asked if the voltage and frequency of the device was relevant to his diagnosis. Johnston replied that they were not, and that if the depicted marks were electrical burns the child would have pulled away and would have required pain management. There some remarks about Tasers and how people react when being Tased.

Asked again about whether the device generating an RF signal bore on his diagnosis. Johnston replied that “voltage and frequency are something we learned as undergrads and then forgot.”

He conceded the pictures could show a first degree burn, but that they’re worthless by themselves without a verified history. He again expressed his dubiety about parents who would take pictures of the injury but not seek medical attention for it. He was determined to cast doubt on the veracity of the Dennis’ account. He said that in his practice he had “run across parents who wanted to sue somebody.”

Johnston recross

Johnston agreed that one could get a severe sunburn without realizing it at the time. However, he claimed that the injury shown in the pictures, if due to an electrical event, would have caused severe pain immediately. That once again shows his ignorance of RF burns.

Ian Watson Direct

Finally we came to Ian Watson, former President of the Board of Education. Watson’s testimony was fenced around with restrictions and often interrupted by objections, since both statutory protection of parts of the operation of boards of education and attorney-client privilege limited the questions he could answer. So it was slow going and we didn’t even finish direct examination so Watson will testify again tomorrow.

Watson brought materials that had been subpoenaed–his calendar for Dec 2007 through early 2008, some newspaper articles, and other documents, a stack about 2 inches thick. We took a long break while that material was copied and Hamilton then spent an hour going through it while we all sat around.

Mostly in direct Hamilton focused on the period around the time Freshwater went public, in April 2008. He had quotes from an interview Watson gave WorldNutDaily (!) saying that it wasn’t just about a Bible on a desk, but the Bible was part of a larger “tapestry.” So we had to explore what “tapestry” meant there. Then there was the question of just when it was determined that Freshwater was insubordinate. I never did figure out the answer to that one.

There were some strange sidetracks. For example, Hamilton asked if Watson had brought any documents from his “black binder.” Watson didn’t know what he was talking about. Hamilton asked, “Did you have a black binder with Freshwater materials at the bank [where Watson formerly worked]?” Nope, no such binder. And that topic was dropped.

Asked, Watson testified that he knew Steve Dennis before the Freshwater affair blew up. Watson was head of the trust department at a bank, and occasionally his department used Dennis as a stock broker. He did not know Jenifer Dennis prior to the Freshwater affair. Watson testified that he referred Dennis to Superintendent Short to talk about what was going on.

In the period of late March 2008 and early April 2008 Watson had perhaps half a dozen meetings with Steve Dennis at his (Watson’s) office regarding the Freshwater affair. At that time, he said,Watson still hoped the situation could be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Then after Freshwater did his act on the public square on April 16, that became less likely.

Hamilton asked if when new Board member Jodi Goetzman came on the Board she told the Board she had information on the use of the Tesla coil in the middle school. Watson didn’t recall that.

We spent some time on a scene where Watson went to Middle School Principal Bill White’s office to see the Tesla coil. Elle Button, a middle school science teacher, brought a Tesla coil to White’s office and gave them a short lesson in what it was and what it was used for. Watson asked her if she’d use it on him, and she declined and left the office. Watson then used the Tesla coil to mark his own forearm, a straight line. He said after a while a mark was visible, and that it lasted for 10 to 15 days. He said it was not one of his brightest ideas to do so.

Asked why he did the exercise in White’s office, Watson said that if he used it on himself and it didn’t leave a mark it would support Freshwater’s account.

Asked if it was appropriate for a Bord Member to be independently investigating, Watson replied it was not, and repeated his “not my best idea” line.

Asked, Watson said that he had not heard that Zachary’s arm was held down.

Asked, Watson said he didn’t know whether Superintendent Short should have reported the incident to Children’s Services.

Hamilton asked if he was disappointed that Freshwater went public. Watson replied that in his work experience if he had a work issue he “didn’t call the press and go to the public square.” He said he was disappointed in Freshwater.

Watson testified that he had heard that Freshwater didn’t orchestrate the public square demonstration, and that he though perhaps Jeff Cline had done so, though he didn’t know. (Cline is a local minion of “Coach” Dave Daubenmire.)

Hamilton asked Watson to define “insubordination.” Watson said it is “when they are in direct opposition to what their supervisors have asked or instructed them to have done.”

How did Freshwater’s behavior rank on an insubordination scale. Watson replied fairly high, above the midline between low and high.

Hamilton asked if a teacher could have a Bible sitting “silently” on his desk. Watson replied that his personal opinion was that was not particularly an issue.

Hamilton asked if Watson had contacted the ACLU about the matter. He replied that he had called the Ohio office of the ACLU and talked with someone whose name he didn’t remember. Asked what ACLU’s position was, Watson said they told him–paraphrasing, he said–that a child having a Bible in school was not an issue if it was used only during non-class time, that a teacher having one was ‘tenuous,” a grey area, and that having one in the context of other religious materials was not permitted. Asked, Watson said that his vote on the resolution to terminate would not change if he hadn’t heard ACLU’s views.

Thus ended a long and hot day (and I kept this to just over 3,000 words!). I will be at the hearing tomorrow and Friday (if I can get some sleep sometime) but nothing will be written up until sometime over the weekend. Alumni at the college where I taught are back this weekend, and I will be otherwise occupied.

33 Comments

Brilliant stuff as always. Thanks. I know this seems like it’s taking a lot of your time, but lots of us appreciate it.

We are required to play with at least four individual toys and give a tummy rub before she goes in her crate for the night and old dad can go back to the computer.

Perfectly acceptable reason for keeping them brief, but please do continue, your missives are appreciated.

Otto J. Mäkelä said:

We are required to play with at least four individual toys and give a tummy rub before she goes in her crate for the night and old dad can go back to the computer.

Perfectly acceptable reason for keeping them brief, but please do continue, your missives are appreciated.

Actually, it sounds like the old “The dog ate my homework time” excuse :-)

Now we are getting somewhere. Now we have a judge who will not put up with any crap from this dimwit. Now we will have fees billed to him when he is responsible for delays. Now we will follow rules of evidence. I just bet that mysterious packages retrieved from dumpsters will not be allowed either. Now we will see if his defense is simply incompetent or merely dishonest, sInce those seem to be the only two possibilities (although not mutually exclusive).

I would suggest that they have all parties involved followed and videotaped, (assuming that that is not illegal), in order to see who really has a flat tire and whose computer is really broken and whose dog ate what. Can the judge invoke summary judgement in the event of any more shinanigans? Are they going to claim prejudice when they lose after pissing the judge of repeatedly?

Dick, Do you have the sense that this is about to wrap-up? The Federal judge seems to have run dry on patience, and the administrative hearing has reduced to Hamilton grasping at straws.

The legal strategy here looks like it is to provoke the judge in to finding them in contempt of court, then screaming about persecution because Freshwater had a Bible on his desk. At least, that’s the way this seems to be heading, intentionally or not.

I would have asked him to produce the towing and tire repair/replacement bill.

Though I guess challenging excuses by attorneys isn’t really cricket or something.

The affidavit billing info getting lost on a swamped laptop is also very strange. Most attorneys I know take billing very very seriously.

“The referee assured me today that the hearing would indeed end on or before June 8. I did not press him to specify the year.”

That’s LOL hilarious!! But, sad as well. Way too much of the district’s time and resources have been devoted to this montebank’s lies.

Throughout his examination of Molnar Hamilton worked to make the point that one could have multiple nominally religious items in a classroom, but if each had some potential secular purpose, even though the aggregation of the items gives the impression of a religious display, it is not since there is a secular purpose for each item.

So his argument is, and I think this paraphrase is fair, that you can sneak in an unlimited amount religious material as long as you make up a blatant whopper claiming a “another use” for religious item. Despite the fact that the “other use” would be better served by something else.

Hamilton argued that the 10 commandments book covers on the door of the classroom had the secular purpose of blocking the view into the classroom for security purposes post-9/11.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Amazing.

One of those very commandments is “you shall not bear false witness…”.

All the lying and sneaking he is doing to put the Ten Commandments up in an inappropriate place is actually in contravention of the commandments themselves.

Whatever this bizarre post-modern cult of right wing politics,, blatant dishonesty, hate, and personal narcissism is, it sure isn’t traditional Christianity.

The federal case is looking like a train wreck. Hamilton seems to have a very hard time showing up for court dates or complying with the judges instructions. It looks like he is in over his head as a lawyer. Summary judgement or default coming up?

Also Hamilton is having a long sequence of bad luck. A water pipe burst in his office and flooded and destroyed his laptop. Then two flat tires. Hmmmm, perhaps his Deity is mad at him for some reason. We will know for sure if he or his property get hit by lightning bolts or something similar.

utidjian said: I would have asked him to produce the towing and tire repair/replacement bill.

Why bother? As the judge said, 90 minutes went by and he still hadn’t showed up. There’s cabs. There’s your law partners. There’s your office secretary. He could’ve had one of the district lawyers pick him up while the other stayed in court. Or any number of other ways to get there.

The fact that he didn’t show up after 90 minutes is fairly clear evidence that he had no intention of showing up.

What I find amusing is that the excuse of two flat tires is not the most ludicrous part of his side’s testimony on the day. There’s actually something even more ludicrous, more insulting of the court’s intelligence:

In his testimony later Ian Watson referred to the “coincidence” that all those items happened to be Christian in nature.

Seriously guys, do you expect ANYONE to buy that?

As a good Christian, Hamilton won’t lie about his misfortunes. Only conclusion: God doesn’t want him to succeed. (Or maybe, He’s got a bet running, again…)

eric said: The fact that he didn’t show up after 90 minutes is fairly clear evidence that he had no intention of showing up.

Anybody know how close he is to a charge of Contempt Of Court?

Paul Burnett said:

eric said: The fact that he didn’t show up after 90 minutes is fairly clear evidence that he had no intention of showing up.

Anybody know how close he is to a charge of Contempt Of Court?

Probably about one trial…

(So far as I know, judeges usually do that sort of thing to the lawyers after the proceedings have finished…but IANAL.)

–W. H. Heydt Old Used Programmer

John Freshwater has indicated, in media interviews, that one part of what he wants from the school board is payment of Kelly Hamilton’s expenses. How can he ask for that if Hamilton’s billing records have been lost?

This is at least the second time that this federal judge has strongly insinuated that Kelly Hamilton is a liar (the first being when Hamilton claimed not to have represented Freshwater in the federal case). Is that how federal judges typically treat counsel?

How is Freshwater holding up? He strikes me as a very simple minded guy who has been manipulated by men who are no brighter than he is but who have stronger personalities. He’s lost nearly everything as a result. That sort of thing can create resentments, which might explain his reckless comments about the student whose arm he burnt.

utidjian said:

I would have asked him to produce the towing and tire repair/replacement bill.

Though I guess challenging excuses by attorneys isn’t really cricket or something.

The affidavit billing info getting lost on a swamped laptop is also very strange. Most attorneys I know take billing very very seriously.

Someone could provide the local IRS office with Hamilton’s claim that he lost his billing information; they might want to look at his accounting system and tax returns.

Gary Hurd said:

Dick, Do you have the sense that this is about to wrap-up? The Federal judge seems to have run dry on patience, and the administrative hearing has reduced to Hamilton grasping at straws.

Unless there’s a settlement the first federal suit, the Dennises vs. Freshwater, will go to trial starting July 26. Freshwater will be represented by two new lawyers retained by the insurance company, and Hamilton will not be involved at all in his defense inside the courtroom. He may, of course, advise Freshwater outside the courtroom.

The administrative hearing almost certainly will wind up next week, and then the lawyers have 30 days to provide the referee with their written summary of their case. The referee then has on the order of 30 days to produce his recommendation. That’s the timetable the referee outlined to a reporter today.

Recall also that Freshwater has a pending federal suit against the Dennises, the district, several named administrators, and 16 unnamed John and Jane Does. I don’t know where that suit is, but it’s in very early stages.

eric said:

There’s actually something even more ludicrous, more insulting of the court’s intelligence:

In his testimony later Ian Watson referred to the “coincidence” that all those items happened to be Christian in nature.

Seriously guys, do you expect ANYONE to buy that?

Watson was called as a hostile witness by Hamilton, and Watson’s remark about the coincidence was ironic, or at least sarcastic–it was hard to tell because Watson is a soft-spoken man. Bear in mint that Watson was President of the Board that voted to terminate Freshwater.

RBH said:

Unless there’s a settlement the first federal suit, the Dennises vs. Freshwater, will go to trial starting July 26. Freshwater will be represented by two new lawyers retained by the insurance company, and Hamilton will not be involved at all in his defense inside the courtroom. He may, of course, advise Freshwater outside the courtroom.

Good god, this entire clown show has been so freakin’ ludicrous.

Is there any possibility that Freshwater’s new lawyers could use a defense that, in effect, says Freshwater was not properly represented?

utidjian said: The affidavit billing info getting lost on a swamped laptop is also very strange. Most attorneys I know take billing very very seriously.

They take it seriously because they have a legal duty to do so. The judge chastised Hamilton on that ground, and Hamilton’s failure in that duty was part of what pissed the judge off so much.

Just watched the final episode (ever) of Law & Order, which I’d recorded last week. In a last “ripped from the headlines” moment, they had a Freshwater character. This person of interest had been canned for zapping a student with a Tesla coil. And he admitted to being very religious – no apologies for that. The bit was very brief, but the character was presented in a rather positive light, the suggestion being that he was a victim of an overblown report and an incompetent system.

And in another pop culture reference: Hamilton seems to be the Tonya Harding of the legal profession. (“The lace on my skate broke!”) Let’s just hope he’s not plotting to have someone knee-capped.

Thanks for the ongoing report. I look forward to each chapter.

The best part of Patrick Johnston’s testimony was when he was referencing pain management for the burn, he indicated that a narcotic would be in order.

Darn, if only I had known that when I had 2nd degree burns from a nasty sunburn. Gosh darn! All I got from my parents were vinegar rubs, wet cold towels and lotion.

Does this mean my parents were negligent?????????

(All tongue in cheek, of course!).

RBH said:

eric said:

There’s actually something even more ludicrous, more insulting of the court’s intelligence:

In his testimony later Ian Watson referred to the “coincidence” that all those items happened to be Christian in nature.

Seriously guys, do you expect ANYONE to buy that?

Watson was called as a hostile witness by Hamilton, and Watson’s remark about the coincidence was ironic, or at least sarcastic–it was hard to tell because Watson is a soft-spoken man. Bear in mint that Watson was President of the Board that voted to terminate Freshwater.

Knowing Mr. Watson as an acquaintance, I can assure you that’s his sarcasm coming out. He in no way believes that all of these items being Christian in nature is a coincidence. He was pointing out the lunacy in the defense trying to make all the overtly religious items into secular items.

RBH said: Watson was called as a hostile witness by Hamilton, and Watson’s remark about the coincidence was ironic, or at least sarcastic–it was hard to tell because Watson is a soft-spoken man. Bear in mint that Watson was President of the Board that voted to terminate Freshwater.

Ah, thanks for the clarification. That makes a lot more sense.

Eric

harold said: One of those very commandments is “you shall not bear false witness…”.

All the lying and sneaking he is doing to put the Ten Commandments up in an inappropriate place is actually in contravention of the commandments themselves.

Another of them forbids idolatry. Such as the worship of the ten commandments. It’s like Roy Moore putting up a huge stone idol under false pretenses when the idol itself says not to worship idols or do things under false pretenses.

Definitely a Coen Brothers film.

Isn’t it weird how Creationists are always asking us to believe these “just so” stories, that it’s all just a coincidence?

We know from Intelligent Design theory that such occurrences can not be coincidences. They have to be (not so) Intelligently Designed.

Thanks for keep up on this!

I’m rather floored that Patrick Johnston would be called as an “expert witness.” I guess the Freshwater team couldn’t find anybody else.

Patrick is much closer to Freshwater than a simple radio show. Both were frequent protesters together on Saturday mornings at Capital Care in Columbus. (Since CapCare moved to a larger facility back from the road; hence, much less street visibility and public attention, they haven’t hung around so much.)

I’ve taken hundreds of pictures of Minutemen United-sponsored protests at CapCare and other venues. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of Patrick and Freshwater together, but they certainly stood the line together. Patrick usually brought some of his kids with him and staked out the drive. Sometimes his wife Elizabeth showed up,too. Freshwater tended to stay near the corner of N. High and E. Weber. I have pictures of Freshwater “sidewalk counseling” at CapCare on my blog and plenty of pictures of Patrick. Unfortunatley, most of my pictures were taken with film and I haven’t gotten around to scanning them.

I don’t know if Patrick ever officially “joined” the Minutemen, but he’s been very much involved with them. I saw him this past winter at an event where he wore a Minutemen baseball cap (blue beanies for blue meanies.) He was very much involved with the takeover of Columbus City Hall Plaza by Flip Benham, Rusty Thomas, and Operation Save America (local sponsor Minutemen United) a few years ago, which included the burning of the Koran, a fetal funeral with Frank Pavone, and the picketing and bullhorning of several “unchristian” establishments. I’ve interviewed him extensively.

Due to other work I’ve been unable to write much lately about our local theocrats, but I keep an eye on them. If anyone wants to know more about Patrick, Freshwater, Dave Daubenmire and the Minutemen and other Central Ohio theocrats, please drop by Theoconia: http://theoconia.blogspot.com

I forgot to add that it’s my understanding that John Freshwater and Patrick Johnston were also co-protesters at the weekly harassment at the Fox Hole strip club which went on for years, which has it’s own very interesting history, including at accusatioh of “attempted murder” and a big fat lawsuit.

“Teabagger”? Real classy terminology there, Richard.

Jude said:

“Teabagger”? Real classy terminology there, Richard.

Wow, a huge post on a multi-year lawsuit, and RBH uses a word once to describe a witness, not even the accused/defense, and you fixate on it.

I can’t imagine a better example of concern trolling.

Jude said:

“Teabagger”? Real classy terminology there, Richard.

Since “teabagger” was the term that movement used to characterize itself when it began, I have no reservations whatsoever about using it for them.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on June 3, 2010 1:11 AM.

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