JAMES MADISON QUOTE - 1822

"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

SCOTTSBORO WEATHER

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Friendly City May Not Be So Friendly - How Friendly is Scottsboro if You Are Poor?

Scottsboro Police Department sleeve patch, "The Friendly City." Maybe if you have money and support the political figureheads skullduggery the City is very friendly to you or your Klickish-Klanish-Klutch.

The Iron Bowl - Alabama Auburn; Thanksgiving a time to enjoy family, friends and good food. 

Across our land, and specifically in Scottsboro Alabama, some attempt to cover-up the truth and hide the realities of tyrants who care for only themselves and their select group of people in their Klickish-Klanish-Klutches. You would think after all this time, the murder of a sheriff, the attempted lynching's of the innocent, continuous discrimination, terrorist threats, and the list goes on - folks in our Friendly City of Scottsboro would learn the lessons of their history. Unfortunately those who attempt to RULE the land, instead of govern for all of the people, have not learned their lessons of history.

Recent Stories about our City and County.
I. POOR PEOPLE IN SCOTTSBORO HAVE NO RIGHT TO WATER, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE PAID FOR IT?

(Photo by G. Morgan

We should be very thankful for living in a land governed by corporate snakes and hypocrites instead of caring, Christian people (maximum sarcasm intended). I would like to think the opposite, but unfortunately recent events in our fair City of Scottsboro, Alabama have shown otherwise.

Some poor folks have to worry about their water being cut off Monday morning, once again, because the criminal land lord will not pay the bill, once again. The Water Board chooses to punish the poor tenants who have actually paid their water bill to the property owner. This reoccurring ridiculousness has been reoccurring for months on end.

Everyone has been contacted from the Water Board, the City Council, the Health Department, the State, the police – no effect. When I went to the Water Board I plead to their Christianity, “please, consider the poor, disabled the children; please don’t punish the poor innocent folks because of this landlords wrongful behavior.” What do these so called Christians do, turn the water off once again. Business before that which is needed for survival – WATER.


Is our nation becoming a land where the rich and influential have rights, the poor and less influential are trampled on by corporate government and the so called Christians with their puppet political figureheads. This ain't the church folk I was raised with, what has happened to moral values? Were they replaced with corporate political values of greed?

Links on this blog about the water issues  
WATER

II. Court Referral and Community Corrections - Corporate Courts and Profiteering Off of the Poor.

(Photo by G. Morgan)

Medicine and Courts - play a very important part in assuring substance abusers are reintegrated and become an important part of our communities free from the stranglehold of addiction. Unfortunately the formation of some programs have been abused. Within this article I will discuss this abuse as it relates to the Jackson County Court Referral and Community Corrections System.

Links on this blog about our corporate courts and their abuse by profiteers. 

III. Political Corruption, Sexual Harrassment, Misappropriation and The Cover-Up

(photo by G. Morgan)
I have submitted requests to inspect public documents related to the recent Sexual Harassment Surveillance Scandal carried forth by the Mayor of Scottsboro against employees of the City of Scottsboro. Some of the requests have been denied or the records wrongfully destroyed. 

Further documents and results of findings are available but will not be listed at this time due to ongoing inquiries and investigations.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks and Asking for Your Prayers - More on Court Referral and Community Corrections - Organized Crime

New York State Drug Court graphic - Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting and commentary.

Medicine and Courts - play a very important part in assuring substance abusers are reintegrated and become an important part of our communities free from the stranglehold of addiction. Unfortunately the formation of some programs have been abused. Within this article I will discuss this abuse as it relates to the Jackson County Court Referral and Community Corrections System. But before I discuss a local problem which I have been following and documenting for some period of time, I list this link from the National Institutes of Health regarding - "Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal Justice System - 7 Treatment Issues in Pretrial and Diversion Settings" Diversion and Treatment is discussed, professional medical treatment; not an excuse to enrich non-profit corporations. 


UPDATED, Dec. 29, 2015 local story - "The Family" and legitimized Organized Criminal Activity Supported by the Judiciary

I ask all for your prayers for those who will not be with their family and friends this holiday season. I also ask for your prayers for those who are abusing people and behave like lecherous criminals under the guise of law, they need help on a different level than justice may provide.

A non-profit, governmental  bastard organization of our courts. 
This abomination of so called government is a legalized criminal enterprise in Jackson County Alabama, in my opinion, and a former high ranking law enforcement official. It was not intended to be this way when the program was conceived. Now it is a scheme for those who pack their wallets with others addiction, pain and suffering. In the case of "The Family" Executive Director, Property Owner, Director son and wife who also work and are employed in this massive conflict of interest non-profit bastard government organization, part of the Jackson County Courts System reveals per IRS forms 990 non-profit entity filings the 501c3 entity pays the three family members, "The Family," approximately 60% + of the reported $372,000 income in one form or fashion.


Why in the hades, if you (Court Referral) think your clients/defendants have problems, take action and interview your client and refer to a health care inpatient facility, instead of jailing them???

Over Thanksgiving there was a young woman sitting in the Jackson County Jail who has made mistakes in her life, she was on probation for substance abuse, she attended classes, she attempted to do all that was asked of her. She was arrested for reporting for her urine test Monday when her color was called.

Upon review of the public records at the Jackson County Courthouse this is what I discovered about this young woman who I have followed intensively during her journey into the abyss of Court Referral and Community Correction's money making schemes.

 Her probation was revoked by Judge Donald Word on October 29, 2015. She could not afford the mounting charges, which her revocation motions continuously state -"Delinquency" although there is only three weeks of so called delinquency of payments to the non-profit court referral. Jackson County imprisons folks for debts owed to a Non-Profit Organization representing the courts of which the Court Referral claims, via their attorney, they are not accountable for a review of their records, "...they are just like the First Baptist Church."  But this is not all.

The person whose probation was revoked had been sick, she was taking over the counter medication to stop her coughing and flu. This was revealed to Court Referral, but it did not matter. In Alabama, since our governor disapproved of Medicaid, she cannot afford medical treatment. It was reported, via the several motions filed in District Court, (which has to be urine testing) it was discovered she had alcohol in her system. Court Referral did not mention once any concern or attempt to ascertain what was going on with her, was she sick, was she having problems? Nor did they attempt to counsel her, or contact her, which is standardized practice requirements to find out what was wrong. The client told them what she was taking for her cold and flu. By their own actions and statements, their motives are financial, not people oriented or a people/community concern. My allegations are demonstrated in their court filings.

Meeting all requirements of the color code system and her counseling attendance at the so called faux out patient counseling, the deceitful staff at Community Corrections/Court Referral stated in a motion that on a specific date she tested positive for Methadone. It was discovered the testing for Methadone was performed at the Family Crisis Center and the client was never notified of the test result to allow a retest. This was not discovered until she was arrested due to her probation revocation. This resulted in a review in her court record which demonstrated wrongful actions on the part of the local Court Referral and Prosecutors Office. The methadone claim was false. It was also stated she did not show up for a drug testing date, when a review was conducted, her color for the date stated she missed was not called

Interviews and inquiries of clients, families, previous employees and law enforcement reveal  many allegations of false missed dates, suspected false diluted urine and positive tests without an opportunity to challenge the screening test and probable chain of custody violations; these failures of protocol occur frequently. Drug Testing Management Program (DTMP) laboratories do not meet standards of operation for a laboratory that performs drug tests under the National Laboratory Standards Program as stipulated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. There are no certified laboratories in Alabama that meet standards of the above organizations (more below).

Update Dec 31, 2015 - It has also been discovered that there is at least one incidence of the Jackson County Courts interfering with treatment of a U.S. Army Veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, and substance abuse. Substance abuse is common among veterans suffering from PTSD. It has been reported to me that a Veteran of the Iraqi war was pulled out of treatment at the VA Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for substance abuse and PTSD. Arrested by the Jackson County Sheriffs Department per order from the District Court Judge, this veteran has not been tried, is out on a felony bond and under house arrest for failing to report to Court Referral and Community Corrections.It was further related to me that this defendant is to be placed into treatment at Pearson Hall, a short term treatment facility. It is not equipped or licensed to handle serious medical and psychiatric issues associated with PTSD and Substance Abuse. 

UPDATE - Dec 31, 2015 - Drug Court was held today in the "House of Cleckler," owner of the Drug Testing Management Program, DTPM, a non-certified testing facility that does not meet the state nor federal lab requirements for certification ( But that doesn't matter to our judiciary as long as the cash flows.); Director of the Family Life Counseling non-profit, and building owner; board member of the Jackson County Community Corrections Inc., along with his clinical director, other words they award contracts to themselves and profit from their non-profit associations. Previously I had not spoken of the Drug Court, until a non-convicted veteran was abused and Judge Graham decided to hold his Court on Private property owned by Cleckler, part of The Family" and associates crime syndicate - in mine and others, including retired law enforcement's opinion

Update Dec. 31, 2015 - Denial of Medical Treatment - "My loved one has been sitting in county jail since September 11, 2013 waiting toxicology report. On work release with community corrections. Waiting release of jail medical records so I can take him to dr to get his medicine. Jail will not give him meds since he is on work release. Been with out meds since June."

A review of Community Corrections policy revealed the Community Corrections personnel violate their own policies in several areas, specifically conflicts of interest and drug testing protocol. Reference Jackson County Punishment and Corrections Inc., effective date 10-1-2000 and revised 06-01-2015.and Jackson County Community Punishments and Corrections Inc. Personnel Guidelines (no date indicated). 

It has been discovered the Jackson County Court System in conjunction with Court Referral and Community Corrections jails clients and defendants for their inability to pay costs even though they have claimed in local media they do not do so. Link: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_fc50b5fc-9f92-11e5-a391-17bc9e9e15e8.html
The story had comments which have been removed and was open for public viewing, that has changed since the story was published. There is an attempt to hide the truth from the community at large regarding our local courts and this bastard corporate non-profit, non-accountable, organization called Court Referral and Community Corrections.

"The Family and Associates" - Conflicts and greed based court referrals and corrections.  
The Director of Court Referral owns the property where Court Referral/Community Corrections resides, IRS documents indicate he pays himself approximately $85,000 per annum for the lease of the property to the court referral non-profit. That is not counting his lucrative salary and the salary of his relatives employed there. The third picture, Family Life Counseling and the Drug Testing Program Management (DTPM) service executives are also the directors of the Corrections and Court Referral organization, the same folks are, in part, the same folks who would vote on contracts for counseling and drug testing services as board members of the non-profit. 

Municipalities and Counties utilizes the DTPM company for drug testing. The DTPM lab does not meet State of Alabama nor Federal Standards for employee drug testing,  Code of Alabama 25-8-335, but yet local courts accept DTPM  tests in a court of law. 

More on the so called War on Drugs and the local Court Referral mismanagement: . http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/Jackson%20County%20Community%20Corrections%20and%20Court%20Referral

THE BOTTOM LINE
The War on Drugs is a Failure https://news.vice.com/article/americas-top-cops-just-called-the-war-on-drugs-a-tremendous-failure  organized crime corporate entities established by the state and supported by local judiciaries facilitate criminal activity in corporate created bastard non-profit court entities. Meanwhile, substance abusers do not receive the crucial, qualified medical help they need.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jackson County Commission Regular Meeting - Revised County Budget, November 23, 2015




                                              AGENDA
Commissioners Ledwell and Guffey were absent.

Jackson County Commission Revised Budget as of Nov. 23, 2015
Click on image for an expanded view.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session - Porter and Woods Cove Road Construction Problems, Access Blocked to Hospital from Porter Road November 23, 2015

Scottsboro City Hall, 316 South Broad Street, Scottsboro, Alabama (photo by G. Morgan)

AGENDA



Approximately 15 people showed up at the Scottsboro City Council to express their displeasure with the road project. Video and picture compilation about the Porter and Woods Cove Road construction project. A concerned citizen's expression.



City Council Video

Friday, November 20, 2015

TVA Board of Directors Meeting Highlights, Bowling Green, Kentucky - November 20, 2015

TVA Power Fist - Fair Use for non-profit news reporting.

UPDATE: November 25, 2015 "TVA racks up $6 billion shortfall in its employee pension fund"
From the Chattanooga Times Free Press
"The Tennessee Valley Authority lost $762 million in its pension fund investments in fiscal 2015, leaving the federal agency with a record high $6 billion shortfall in its employee retirement system.
TVA's pension plan, which provides benefits to 23,700 retirees and also includes nearly 10,000 active TVA employees, reported assets of $6.8 billion as of Sept. 30, or only 53 percent of the $12.8 billion that actuaries estimate the plan needs to provide all of the future benefits promised to TVA workers and retirees."  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2015/nov/24/tvpensiplunderfunded-6-billion/337317/

    Then, there is the nuclear decommissioning fund, never hear about it as it is underfunded by at least 100%. Only a government corporation would continue to exist with its pack of liars at the helm. TVA's debt continues to rise and as the article explains, its' pension program is underfunded and mismanaged.
    The $5 billion plus which the rate payers must pay should go against the TVA's debt, so should its interest payments on the debt. That would place the true debt picture at $60 billion dollars which the rate payers are on the hook to pay.

NATIONAL HEADLINES - TVA SLASHES SOLAR INCENTIVES

Highlights of the November 20, 2015 TVA Board of Directors Meeting. Unfortunately I was not able to video all of the online streaming portion of the Executives presentation because of a Certificate Problem originating from the TVA or the streaming contractor. The video is not currently available on the TVA web site. 

TVA PRESS RELEASE
TVA Operational, Financial Performance Highlighted at Quarterly Board Meeting 

Board Meeting Documents


Listening Session citizen comments about the curtailment of solar power availability, jobs and assistance from the TVA. 



TVA Safety Report by CEO Bill Johnson and Financial Presentation;, including in lieu of tax statements by John Thomas CFO; debt continues to increase.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Local Delegation Visits Washington, DC - Photo's and Comments, Support of Current TVA Chair Joe Ritch

Photo by Dr. David Campbell at West Wing of the White House, Washington, DC - Face Book photo Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting. 

November 17, 2015 - From Dr, Campbell's Face Book page: Q& A : Garry - "Can you tell us about your visit, or at least the important points please?" Dr. Campbell - "Request to the Obama Administration to reappoint Joe Ritch of Huntsville to the TVA Board of Directors, Gary. Mr. Ritch presently serves as chair of the TVA board and was extremely important in bringing Google to Jackson County. As I suspect you know, this is a Presidential appointment which must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate." 

Dr. David Campbell is the President of  Northeast Alabama Community College and the Chairperson of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority. 

TVA Chair - Joe Ritch, Photo by TVA, Tennessee Valley Authority, 
Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting. 

Chair Joe Ritch is an attorney at the Sirote & Permutt law firm in Huntsville, Ala., where he has worked since 1982. Ritch also serves as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Base Realignment and Closures Committee, and is a board member for Axiometrics Inc. and the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation. He is formerly a trustee with the University of Alabama system and is now a trustee emeritus. He also serves as a member of the Ohio State University School of Engineering external advisory committee. His term as Chair expires when his term as director expires May 18, 2016. - See more at: https://www.tva.com/About-TVA/Our-Leadership/Board-of-Directors

Other Photos from Face Book regarding the Washington Visit.
Delegation visit with Senator Sessions; from left to right - Mayor of Scottsboro Melton Potter; Jackson County Commission Chairperson Matthew Hodges; Director of Scottsboro Water Sewer & Gas Board Roy Light; Jackson County Economic Development Authority CEO Dus Rogers; Senator Jeff Sessions (R) Alabama; unknown to the right of Senator Sessions.
Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting. Face Book Photo by Rick Roden, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce,

 Photo by Rick Roden, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Delegation discusses  issues with Senator Richard Shelby, (R) Alabama.
 Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting.

Each organization paid for their representative's trip to Washington, DC. Jackson County Alabama County Commission, City of Scottsboro Mayor, Jackson County Economic Development Authority, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Scottsboro Water Sewer & Gas Board. Mr. Rudder Williams of the Scottsboro Airport Advisory Board and EDA Board Member paid for his own trip. I was not able to contact the Scottsboro Electric Power Board for comment as there is no online listing for their General Manager or Customer Service Representative.

Thanks to all who provided pictures and comments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Meeting - Citizen Comments about Mayors Surveillance Action Pointed at City Employees After Duty and During Lunch

Does a public official, such as a city Mayor, have the right to surveill an employee at their home after duty hours or while on a lunch break?  The answer is NO, unless a crime has been committed, then surveillance activity should be turned over to law enforcement.

November 16, 2015 Scottsboro, Alabama - Surveillance of City
Employees issue, comments by Garry Morgan on surveillance of city employees as ordered by the Scottsboro Mayor.



The following records have been requested from the City of Scottsboro related to the Mayors surveillance of employees. Click on image for an expanded view.

City Council Agenda

VIDEO of Full Council Meeting

Monday, November 16, 2015

Jackson County Commission November 16, 2015 New Court House Hours Announced

 Jackson County Courthouse South Side (photo by G. Morgan)
North and South Entrances at the Court House to Re-Open to A 5 day week  after the Thanksgiving Holiday. Hours 8:00AM till 4:30PM Mon. thru Fri. beginning on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.

The Jackson County Legislative Delegation provided $635,500.00 for the Jackson County Commission out of current Discretionary Funds for the county to use as they see fit. The money will be utilized for the Court Clerks, Courthouse Security, and to pay employees for the full 40 hour week. This years commission general fund income was slightly over $7 million. Next year it has been stated that the general fund revenue will be under $7 million because of a reduction in TVA in lieu of taxes.

AGENDA

VIDEO

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Meeting Regular Session November 9, 2015 - Stories About Political and Battered Wives

First the Scottsboro City Council Report

Scottsboro City Hall photo by G. Morgan

AGENDA

VIDEO



STORIES ABOUT BATTERED WIVES, POLITICAL WIVES AND OTHER TRUE STORIES
This true story starts out by saying, in its byline,  "You shouldn't care about political wives." Hmm, troubling I think, but it is a story of concern involving political officials and their wives. It brings to question, just how much will a political wife take before they shoot their husband? More about that in a moment. First the story Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner - Ms Weiner stated, “I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him... But I do very strongly believe that is between us and our marriage.”  This article says we should forget the political wife - should we?  http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114110/huma-abedin-ignore-political-wives

The stories of President Bill Clinton, Senator David Vitter, Senator Larry Craig, Governor Eliot Spitzer; Governor Mark Sanford;  http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114104/video-history-sad-plight-political-wife

"Silda Wall Spitzer became an icon of humiliated political wives everywhere after this 2008 press conference, in which her thousand-yard stare did little to endorse Spitzer as a human,"



THIS WIFE SAID NO MORE, SHE SHOT THE MAYOR, HER HUSBAND.  "Levette Crespo was released from police custody hours after fatally shooting her husband, Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo Sr., during a family fight at their home..."  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/bell-gardens-calif-mayor-shot-article-1.1958703

Why Women Stay: Understanding The Battered Wife Why is it that many woman don’t leave their abusive partners? Once the reasons they don’t are understood, it becomes clear why battered women so often react with shame and confusion when asked to explain their behavior and why it is so inappropriate to conclude that if they were up against real abuse they would leave. Actually, the opposite is true. Let me explain.  http://annveilleux.com/articles/why-women-stay-understanding-the-battered-wife/

The psychology and physiology of the cheating man: 1) Give me more, sensation seeker; 2) Risk Taker; 3) Power Hungry Egotist, invincible; 4) Hormonal, "second child hood."  http://www.newsweek.com/cheating-mans-brain-83569


May God Bless those who live in an abusive relationship, Sweet Jesus, please give them the courage to get away from the horror that exists in their lives. Amen

I you are an abused or battered spouse contact Crisis Services of North Alabama, there is help -        1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24 hours a day, 7days a week  http://www.csna.org/#!__hope-place/vstc156=cs-drop-down

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jackson County Commission Meeting, Regular Session - B.B.Comer Bridge Issue

B.B. Comer Bridge under construction. Fair Use Rights for non-profit news reporting; M.H Lynch Family photo from the CBF Face Book site. 

B.B. Comer Bridge issue was agenda item #9 - The issue died due to a lack of a motion being brought forward. Video interviews with Comer Bridge Foundation President Charles Holderfield and Board member Clyde Broadway regarding their thoughts on the county commissions decision, after the commission video below.

AGENDA
Click on image for an expanded view.

COMMISSION MEETING VIDEO



COMER BRIDGE FOUNDATION, CBF, VIDEO - MR. HOLDERFIELD, MR. BROADWAY

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Scottsboro City Council Meeting Work Session, Lodging Tax Issue November 2, 2015 Mayors Race Begins with This Issue

Or, a tax to support the facilitation of the business of Tourism?

 In Alabama we call it a lodging tax,  Two citizens spoke on this issue. After the meeting I asked Chamber of Commerce CEO Rick Roden what did he think about the Mayors proposal, Mr. Roden's reply: "I hope they [city council] do their research and homework before they make a decision." He was referring to the Mayor's suggestion that Scottsboro should create an Event's Coordinator position from the Lodging Tax increase. The City of Scottsboro had an Events Coordinator prior to Mayor Potter's tenure. He terminated the position when he took office. Now he wants it back, primarily because a city council member was going to suggest this issue but, he did not get the opportunity, the current Mayor "beat him to the draw" on the issue. 

It has been reported that Brent Miller will run for Mayor in the upcoming election; apparently Mr. Miller was going to suggest that the Events Coordinator position be reinstated to the city council and Mayor. 

AGENDA

VIDEO

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Requirement of Private Investigators - Code of Alabama 34-25B-1 thru 34-25B--29 Mayor of Scottsboro Improper Investigation of City Employees - US EEOC Info


SCOTTSBORO MAYOR ADMITS TO UTILIZING UNLICENSED INVESTIGATOR IN OTHER SURVEILLANCE CASES
How many employees is the mayor conducting surveillance on after duty hours?

UPDATE - November 10, 2015 - Statement From the Mayor of Scottsboro
After receiving an allegation by a City employee relating to conduct of another City employee in March 2015, I made the decision to obtain the services of a private investigation firm to investigate the merits of the allegation in order to minimize disruption among the staff and to assure impartiality. The investigative firm had performed similar work for the City previously.  The cost of the investigator was $782.72.

The employee was suspended without pay based on the findings of the investigation.  The employee did not appeal the discipline or otherwise file a grievance concerning the disciplinary action.

Later, however, an attorney for the employee sought to have the disciplinary measures removed from the employee’s file and to have the employee’s pay reinstated for the period of the suspension. Upon advice of counsel, I agreed to this request.  Attorneys’ fees were paid in the amount of $2500 to the employee’s attorney. No other payment was made to or on behalf of the employee. I was advised that this resolution of a matter that appeared likely to result in expensive and time-consuming litigation was in the best interests of the City. I subsequently advised members of the council about it.  

It is the Mayor’s responsibility to run the day to day operations of the city.  The council’s role is to pass the budget and provide money for those day to day operations.  The city council receives monthly financial statements. The money for the attorneys’ fees was paid out of the 2014-15 budget the council approved under the professional fees line item. The amount of the referenced payments was within the approved budget and I was advised to approve the payment by the City Attorney in accordance with prior practice of the City.  

Throughout this matter, I have followed advice of counsel representing the City of Scottsboro and I agree that the resolution of this matter as outlined above was in the best interests of the City of Scottsboro and the employee involved.  There are no pending personnel matters with the employee. In accordance with our general practice with respect to personnel matters, I have made no other comment or statement about this matter and have no additional plans to do so.  
Image of statement, click on image for an expanded view.
COMMENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
From: Patrick Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 11:04 AM
To: Steve Kennamer
Subject: Statement 


The Mayor has made a written statement this week regarding certain issues in the city. Copies of the statement have been provided to us and the media. I have reviewed the statement individually with each Councilman. My view is and that of the consensus of the Council members is the information contained in the statement is true and correct.


Patrick Stewart
City Council President
SUMMARY
Unfortunately both parties do not address the fact the Mayor hired a member of the Scottsboro Personnel Board who is an unlicensed investigator to do the surveillance. The Mayor states that this investigator has been utilized previously. There seems to be a dismissal of fact that there is a clear conflict of interest with the investigator being an appointed official of Scottsboro, a Scottsboro Personnel Board member hired to perform surveillance on more than one Scottsboro Employee as an unlicensed investigator. I have been informed that there will probably be an extensive legal action from another employee who has been subjected to the invasion of privacy and harassment due to the negligent surveillance as ordered by Mayor Potter. The motives for the surveillance are listed below - retaliation for denial of sexual advances, jealousy = sexual harassment, hostile work environment, attempt to cover up sexual harassment by requiring the employee to sign a waiver of rights.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT - DISCRIMINATION 

NOTE - I ENCOURAGE ANY EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY THE CITY OF SCOTTSBORO TO EITHER SEEK LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LICENSED ATTORNEY, PARTICULARLY AN ATTORNEY WHO SPECIALIZES IN DISCRIMINATION LAW, AND/OR FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE UNITED STATES EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION. FILING A CHARGE OF DISCRIMINATION MAY BE FOUND AT THIS LINK: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

Any employee or officer who is aware of a violation of law or the intentional covering up of criminal activity, where they are afraid of retaliation by officials in Scottsboro are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Office of the State of Alabama - contact link : http://www.ago.state.al.us/Page-Contact-Us

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - RELATED RUMORS
There are all sorts of rumors and statements circulating in the city and city hall regarding abuse of spouses and other hideous acts. Folks, if this is political vindictiveness it serves no purpose and is shameful, if there is truth, then officials who have knowledge must come forward. If you are afraid regarding your job there are other avenues, one is listed above and here regarding the Attorney Generals Office. Investigations Division phone number 334-242-7345

UPDATE - MOTIVE FOR SURVEILLANCE- Sexual Harassment Cover-up: November 19, 2015 - After several interviews a motive for the Mayors actions are revealed - the covering up of SEXUAL HARASSMENT on the part of  the Mayor and other male employees of the City of Scottsboro, specifically pointed at one or more female employees. 

The Mayors specific actions have created a hostile work environment for all employees which has resulted in (my opinion as a retired Equal Opportunity Management Specialist within Department of Defense) unfair personnel actions carried forth against male employees where the mayor in his jealousy has suspected an affair with female employees during off duty time. Actions have been carried forth to counsel in the forms of threats to employees not to discuss such matters.

 Inquiries and investigations have revealed there was no misconduct during any period of time on the part of city employees where the employees were surveilled during off duty hours. I interviewed Mayor Potter on or about September 14th  and ask the question if the suspension and or demotion of city employees was related to sexual misconduct on city property or if there had been a hostile workplace situation created by an employee that had faced adverse personnel action. The Mayors reply to me was no to both questions. The city attorney was called into his office and the mayor was advised not to answer further questions.

Reports, statements, have been received that senior male employees, a Department Head or others, have made photographs of the breasts of one or more female employee(s) and circulated them around in city hall with the Mayor's knowledge. There are reports, with specific dates and times, where the Mayor of Scottsboro has facilitated sexually explicit rumors about female employees of the City of Scottsboro as a retaliatory action.

The recent surveillance of Scottsboro Employees appears to be retaliation directly related to sexual harassment because the Mayor's sexual advances were denied by one or more female employee(s). 

He hired an unlicensed private investigator and conspired with associates and political allies to cover up his and other male employees harassment of female employees The Mayor, because he was outraged that the female employee denied his sexual advances, carried forth adverse personnel actions toward city personnel.

Interviews have revealed (1) the Mayors wife has came to City Hall and confronted female employees about alleged sexual affairs. This has created a hostile work environment for employees of the City of Scottsboro. Employees of the City of Scottsboro have stated that the Mayor has had affairs with employees he previously supervised establishing a pattern of sexual harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment.

Interviews have revealed (2) a trend of sexual harassment by specific male employees of the City of Scottsboro. This conduct has been encouraged and facilitated by the Mayor of Scottsboro.

It is disturbing that employees must fear for their jobs and are afraid to file complaints with the appropriate authorities regarding discriminatory actions and other possible violations of law centered around political officials.


INFORMATION FROM THE EEOC

Sex Discrimination & Work Situations

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Sex Discrimination Harassment

It is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's sex. Harassment can include "sexual harassment" or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Constructive Discharge/Forced To Resign

Discriminatory practices under the laws EEOC enforces also include constructive discharge or forcing an employee to resign by making the work environment so intolerable a reasonable person would not be able to stay.

  • VALIDITY OF WAIVERS 
    1. "...an employer cannot lawfully limit your right to testify, assist, or participate in an investigation, hearing, or proceeding conducted by the EEOC or prevent you from filing a charge of discrimination with the agency.  An employer also cannot lawfully require you to return the money or benefits it gave you in exchange for waving your rights if you do file a charge."  http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_severance-agreements.html#III

    STALKING and /or HARASSMENT
    ALLEGATIONS
    UPDATE November 6, 2015 - It has been reported that police reports have been filed. There are victims and suspects regarding alleged criminal activity and the mayors improper investigation. A new question - Did the mayor use his position to facilitate a criminal act?

    There is a motive as to why this conduct occurred. Whether the investigation will proceed to include involvement of those who have participated in this harassment and cause of mental anguish/threats is yet to be determined. There must be a conclusion for the benefit of the citizenry, not a benefit for a politician whose ego has overcame their better judgment; the politician has asked others to participate in his scheme; he hired a private investigator who was not licensed. 

    Code of Ala. § 13A-6-90.1. Stalking in the second degree. (2012)
     (a) A person who, acting with an improper purpose, intentionally and repeatedly follows, harasses, telephones, or initiates communication, verbally, electronically, or otherwise, with another person, any member of the other person's immediate family, or any third party with whom the other person is acquainted, and causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of the other person, or causes such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened, and the perpetrator was previously informed to cease that conduct is guilty of the crime of stalking in the second degree.
    (b) The crime of stalking in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

    Code of Ala. § 13A-6-92. Definitions. (1994)
    As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

    (a) Course of conduct. A pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time which evidences a continuity of purpose.

    (b) Credible threat. A threat, expressed or implied, made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a family member and to cause reasonable mental anxiety, anguish, or fear.

    (c) Harasses. Engages in an intentional course of conduct directed at a specified person which alarms or annoys that person, or interferes with the freedom of movement of that person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress. Constitutionally protected conduct is not included within the definition of this term.


    CITY OF SCOTTSBORO FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS REVEALED IN A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST INVOLVING THE HIRING OF AN INVESTIGATOR, IN THIS CASE A NON-LICENSED PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR



    PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS MUST BE LICENSED
    It is required by the Code of Alabama 34-25B-1 thru 34-25B--29,  that all Private Investigators, PI, be licensed by the State of Alabama Private Investigators Licensing Board. The requirements and definitions are very specific. The bottom line is simple, if you perform duties of a PI you are required to be licensed. All persons in the State of Alabama who are licensed per the state licensing board are listed in the below link. If their name is not on the linked roster and they have been performing duties as a PI since the passage of the law or are currently in business as a PI they are in violation of the Code of Alabama. Violation is a crime, it is a class A Misdemeanor as stated in the referenced law. 

    Why is this important? The Mayor of the  City of Scottsboro hired a Private Investigator who advertises on Face Book but is not listed on the roster of licensed PI's found at  http://www.apib.alabama.gov/roster/Roster10.19.15.pdf Inquiry to City Hall revealed that the investigator hired did pay a business license fee with the City of Scottsboro as Investigative Services. That is not sufficient under the laws of the state to qualify as a PI. The Alabama PI Board was contacted and there are no indications that the party hired by the Mayor was or is licensed or has a license in the making.

    This PI was allegedly told by the Mayor to follow, document and/or photograph the activity of certain public employees. The non-licensed PI, according to the above roster, was paid with public money in two installments by checks written on the City of Scottsboro via the First National Bank. These two payments equaled nearly $800.00.  

    The Mayor, having the power to terminate and carry forth personnel actions against the investigated employees, suspended and//or demoted the employees. 

    One of the employees suspended didn't appreciate the actions of the Mayor and apparently threatened legal action if there was not a reinstatement of pay and restitution for legal services fees accrued. The City of Scottsboro issued or ordered to be issued through its legal representatives $4200.00 to be paid as restitution to one employee. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, the other employee involved in the improper investigation has not received restitution and appears to have been discriminated against.

    I have been informed by a public official that the entire City Council of Scottsboro and the Mayor are fully aware of these facts, with maybe the exception that PI's in Alabama must be credentialed and licensed and that those performing investigations without proper credentials are in violation of the Code of Alabama as described above and below. However, the representative at the Alabama Private Investigators Licensing Board informed me that all local and county entities in Alabama have been informed of the requirements that PI's be licensed.

    Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter (photo by G. Morgan)

    I have interviewed the Mayor and 6 others in these matters. The mayor denied relative questions or refused to answer such questions on advice from legal counsel. I have seen the checks issued to the Mayor's investigator and the check issued to the employee for back pay and or legal services. I have also seen email(s) relating to this incidence which would be classified as public documents due to the city council and mayor each receiving the email(s). Due to sensitive family considerations involved I will not go into details of any email document. 

                      FACE BOOK AD PAGE OF MAYOR'S INVESTIGATOR
    UPDATE Nov. 5, 2015: This Face Book site has been removed by site owner. (copies of the page exist) 

    Section 34-25B-2
    Definitions.
    As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
    (1) FELONY. A criminal offense that is defined and punishable under the laws of this state, or an offense committed outside the State of Alabama, which if committed in this state, would constitute a felony under Alabama law; a crime in any other state or a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony; or an offense in any other state, territory, or country punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
    (2) PRIVATE INVESTIGATION. The compensated act of any individual or company engaging in the business of obtaining or furnishing information with reference to any of the following:
    a. A crime committed or threatened against the United States or any state or territory of the United States.
    b. The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, including, but not limited to, the credibility of a person giving testimony in a criminal or civil proceeding, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputations, or character of any person.
    c. The location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property.
    d. The cause or responsibility for fires, losses, accidents, damages, or injuries to persons or to property.
    (3) PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. a. A person who, for compensation, performs one or more of the private investigation services defined and regulated by this chapter.
    b. A person who, for consideration, advertises as providing or performing private investigation. The term does not include an informant who, on a one time or limited basis, as a result of a unique expertise, ability, or vocation, and who provides information or services while under the direction and control of a licensee of the board, that would otherwise be included in the definition of private investigation.
    c. A person who is engaged in private investigation as defined herein and who is licensed in accordance with this chapter.
    (Act 2013-306, p. 1021, §2.)
    Section 34-25B-10

    Practice of private investigation without a license; location of records.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to act as a private investigator without first obtaining a license from the board. For prosecution purposes, a violation of this chapter is classified as a Class A misdemeanor.
    (b) Each person licensed in accordance with this chapter shall designate to the board a physical address where his or her records are to be kept.
    (Act 2013-306, p. 1021, §10.)
    Here are the exceptions as described above
    Section 34-25B-24

    Exceptions.

    This chapter does not apply to the following:
    (1) An employee of any business or entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation when that employee is performing duties related to his or her employment.
    (2) An investigation of the internal affairs of a private business entity investigating a current or prospective employee.
    (3) An employee of any business or entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation when that employee is working under a contract for his or her services that his or her employer signed with a third party.
    (4) Any person or professional, including without limitation an attorney providing legal services, who is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation, but who in conjunction with his or her business or profession may occasionally perform private investigation services.
    (5) Any business or entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation.
    (6) A consumer reporting agency as defined by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
    (7) Any certified public accountant authorized to engage in the practice of public accountancy in this state or any entity licensed or otherwise permitted to engage in the practice of public accountancy in this state or the affiliated entities thereof.
    (8)a. An attorney-at-law in good standing and licensed to practice law;
    b. An employee of a single attorney or single law firm who is acting within the employee's scope of employment for the attorney or law firm; or
    c. A consultant, accident reconstructionist, or forensic scientist when the person is retained by an attorney, insurance company representative, or appointed by a court to serve as an expert witness or to investigate, or to make tests, conduct experiments, draw conclusions, render opinions or make diagnoses, where those services require the use of training or experience in a technical, scientific, or social science field.
    (9) Any individual engaged in any of the following:
    a. Computer or digital forensic services.
    b. The acquisition, review, or analysis of digital or computer-based information in order to obtain or furnish information for evidentiary or other purposes or to provide expert testimony before any court, board, officer, or investigating committee.
    c. Network or system vulnerability testing, including network scans and risk assessment and analysis of computers connected to a network.
    (Act 2013-306, p. 1021, §24.)

    What was or is the involvement of at least one member of the Scottsboro Personnel Board in the improper investigations and actions of the Mayor?

    The use of City Funds to pay for secret investigations, secret settlements ( Which some maintain are ethics violations since the City Council did not approve the settlement.), routed thru secretive routes utilizing secret attorneys creates many problems and appears to be unacceptable conduct in our system of laws; for the citizens of Scottsboro this tramples accountable, open government. Maybe some public officials should be considering a resignation.

    UPDATE: NOVEMBER 7, 2015 - Check for Employees Legal Fees, $2500.00, this was not approved by the City Council. There is another check which apparently is back payments to an employee, $1700.00 as a result of a improper suspension. All of these transactions conducted in secret to apparently cover-up what appears to be questionable conduct of the Mayor. 

    Open Government and Secrecy
    There is a bottom line in this and other issues involving OPEN GOVERNMENT and secret activities of political officials. The City of Scottsboro carries out the people's business, that is the purpose of our government. It is this writers thoughts that there are an excessive amount of SECRET settlements that have occurred in the City of Scottsboro regarding legal actions involving public employees and public officials. These SECRET settlements are not indicative of supporting the peoples business nor the concept of OPEN GOVERNMENT, but does support the negligent and wrongful actions of public officials. If we are to be a society where government is a tool of the citizens to carry forth our business under the law, secret activity of our government's elected and appointed officials cannot and should not be tolerated. Particularly when that activity is illegal and involves what appears to be the discriminatory actions of a public official.

    Jackson County Commission Work Session November 2, 2015



    Agenda item 3 - Jackson County Commission to request documents from Jackson County Corrections and Court Referral based on the accountability document contained at ADOC CCP Minimum Standards (.doc)  http://www.doc.state.al.us/CommCorrections.aspx

                                                   AGENDA