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OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: The adventure of the disappearing budget surplus

The sordid origins of the scapegoating of Anthony Tricoli

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Photo credit: File

“I am concerned and frankly angry … reserves are down almost $4.5 million and overall Auxiliary reserves are down by $3.2 million … It appears that any funds Auxiliary Services had to make a significant contribution to our institution are gone with no explanation.”

Keith Chapman

Chief Officer for Auxiliary Reserves, Georgia Perimeter College

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interestingly, no one seems curious about what happened to that $10 million in taxpayer money. Attorney General Sam Olens never conducted a criminal investigation despite allegations and evidence of fraud. The USG concluded after its own review that there was no way to know what happened to the money. Governor Deal had no interest in an independent investigation, and Governor Kemp is thinking about it, but has not officially responded. As the fight continues on appeal, Tricoli maintains that, contrary to the ruling of Judge Dan Coursey in DeKalb Superior Court, intentional falsification of state financial reports to conceal the theft of taxpayer money does not qualify as “financial oversight,” and that state officials are not immune for their criminal conduct.



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They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Martin Luther
#27 of 95 Theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,
October 31, 1517

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions. A number of queries have rolled in from prior Outlandish Conspiracy Theories (OCT) columns, and answering them will, I believe, help your understanding of the assault on independent government responsive to the public that is going on in Georgia, if we take a minute to absorb some lessons before moving on to more disturbing intrigues.
Here is one I get a lot:

Q: Why is this CL series called Outlandish Conspiracy Theories? Isn’t that suggesting these tales of government corruption are not credible, not to be believed?

A: First, I agree, none of this long-running saga, a battle with state government that has gone on for 10 years now, is believable. None of it is credible. When I first defended UGA professor Dezso Benedek and caught the attorney general of Georgia red-handed attempting to hide evidence, I could not believe it either.

But, sure enough, one of the attorney general’s witnesses admitted the attorney general showed her an email clearing Benedek of the charges a week before the hearing, to discuss how to testify on that point — but the attorney general illegally withheld this exculpatory email from Benedek’s defense counsel. I really had an OMG moment right there in the UGA Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom (a place so dear to the heart of many of my legal colleagues and classmates).

And some law students who were there for their edification really got an education in subornation of perjury. Who ever thought it would come from the attorney general? Not me!
The problem is, it is all true — all the lies and corruption — as outrageous as that seems. A series of attorneys general has, for lack of a legal argument, attacked my credibility. But I always tell people: Don’t take my word for it. Look at the documents, mostly from the state’s own records. There is a lot of truth hiding in plain sight because the arrogant crooks who abuse the powers of their office really don’t expect anyone to ever look. It’s almost that simple — to the practiced eye (which means, of course, not really). The hidden scandals are not that brilliantly camouflaged, though, if I can find them out.

You have to understand I got my training trying to sort out the facts in places like Cuba and Iraq, where they were much more ingeniously disguised than anything the Georgia GOP good ole boys and girls ever devised. The key to it all — whether discerning truth through a Southern drawl or the mumbled Spanish of Holguín province — is like reading the Rosetta Stone.

If you know one thing that is true, if you know for sure what one thing means, all the rest of the lies and puffery fall clattering away, and the reality takes shape from there. I don’t mind giving away a secret or two, because few can replicate them, anyway. Brian Kemp, after all, is no Fidel Castro, which I am sure he would naively take as a compliment.

So the truth is there to be divined. Many people don’t want to believe it, anyway. A Fox I-team reporter, who has done some good and important work, said he would have to see some documentation before he gave any credence to my tales of corruption and conspiracy. So I sent him a couple hundred pages of annotated state records and never heard from him again.
But back to the question. You thought I forgot it. When it comes to exposing corruption, the normal is byzantine and circuitous.

Back before he was caught like a rat in a trap (friendly judges keep letting him out), former Attorney General Sam Olens used to try to mock the RICO actions I brought against corrupt state government officials. In addition to concocting the argument that they had sovereign immunity to commit felonies, Olens tried out some one-liners and sound bytes (he couldn’t cite any cases to support his arguments, after all).

One of my favorites was when Olens admitted his office never investigated any of the crimes I pointed out in state government. So I asked the governor to appoint an independent investigator (remember what I told you? Don’t take my word for any of this). Six years and two governors later, no resident of the mansion on West Paces Ferry has ever responded to 11 separate requests to appoint an independent investigator.

But in lieu of the governor, Sam Olens did respond to the first request to get to the truth. Olens called my request for an independent investigation one of “Humphreys’ attention-seeking gimmicks.” I’m sorry, I still can’t help laughing when I hear that!

One of the sound bytes the Olens brain trust conceived was to call my RICO complaints, against state government agencies and officials, “outlandish conspiracy theories.” Olens said it. His spokesperson repeated it. Assistant attorneys general even recited the phrase in radio interviews. They may have even tested it in a focus group, for all I know, but they reiterated it more than a Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t seem strictly kosher for an attorney general, even if it’s technically legal.

I say it’s not fair game because, remember, Olens admitted the attorney general’s office never investigated any of the allegations he was ridiculing.

And that’s an example of what I mean by putting two-and-two together. No one ever writes out a contract, “We hereby enter a conspiracy to commit a crime,” the way Trump tried to stonewall in the Russia and Ukraine investigations. Criminal or counterintelligence investigation — it’s all the same. Just look for what doesn’t add up.

But not to sound mysterious or sinister, Olens, to coin a cliché, was merely trying to suggest in his subtle way that I might wear a tin-foil hat to bed at night, or double as the Mad Hatter by day, or maybe I accused Ted Cruz’ father of assassinating JFK. That is what you do when you are the attorney general of Georgia, the top law enforcement official in the state, and you are defending the criminals.

Well, you know what they used to say back in 1517, as soon as the coin clinks in the money chest …

Nowadays, the OCT sound byte has the bite of irony, since Olens’ poor replacement, the literally lawless Chris Carr, cannot even answer the documented allegations of criminal fraud and obstruction in state government that I make on a regular basis. In fact, Carr has not been able to fashion a substantive answer to a RICO pleading for more than three years now. See, for example, The Phantom Case from Kennesaw State.

So now we use “Outlandish Conspiracy Theories” with an ironic, slightly sardonic twist — sort of like twisting the knife in Attorney General Chris Carr, who can no longer respond to our documented dead-to-rights allegations of fraud on the federal government and money laundering in the University System of Georgia (USG).

Former Attorney General Sam Olens also launched a few smear campaigns and intimidation tactics, but it took nice guy Chris Carr to really get down in the ditch to fight dirty. I say that not because he is some dreaded Leon Spinks disguised as a choir boy, but mainly because he really undermined the law to try to defend the status quo of the people who placed him in a position of authority. I don’t say a position of power, because he has none, really. And part of his problem is he doesn’t really even know what the law is. That’s not a qualification any more in Southern Trumplandia.

I will tell you more about the attorney general smear tactics, retaliation, and intimidation campaigns at a later date. Would you like to hear about it next week?

::::

Q: I have seen you abbreviating Outlandish Conspiracy Theories as OCT, for short. Does that acronym have any hidden meaning?

A: O-C-T, of course, are the initials of Outlandish Conspiracy Theories, a mouthful that can also take up a lot of space when writing it out. So, yes, OCT for short.
But since you are looking for some hidden meaning or Freudian slip, let me try some numerology on you. OCT is also an abbreviation for October, and that reflects a very important data point in this epic struggle.

On October 31, 2009, I wrote the letter to the Board of Regents on behalf of my client, Professor Dezso Benedek, exposing corruption at UGA — not 95 theses, but 25 pages worth, which was plenty, but not nearly enough, because I did not know yet what I was missing. At any rate, that October 2009 missive is what incurred the wrath of then-UGA President Michael Adams, and caused him to scream in the halls of the Board of Regents offices — to ask if anyone could rid him of this meddling professor.

Next thing you knew, I was in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, proving that the attorney general of Georgia was bringing knowingly false tenure revocation charges based on manufactured evidence. Needless to say, no one’s tenure got revoked that day. But Adams and the attorney general said sovereign immunity allowed them to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and commit a string of other felonies to retaliate against Benedek, so here we are, still, 10 years later, litigating that very pertinent question.

The attorney general, needless to say again, is on the side of the bad guys. Who can explain it? It probably has something to do with something about something clinking in the chest, or something like that. Though it’s funny how, around here, the head racketeers love to make a big deal out of being such devout Christians.

On October 31, 2014, I wrote my first letter asking Governor Deal to appoint an independent investigator. As I mentioned: never answered, seven letters total. Brian Kemp is lagging behind — Kemp has only ignored four letters requesting him to appoint an independent investigator.

Also on October 31, in 2016 this time, I filed the RICO action for extortion and bribery, Richards v. Olens, that later, with the passing of years, became the fabled Phantom Case at Kennesaw State.

If you notice an historical pattern in the dates, you must have realized by now that October 31 is not just Halloween. From a more religious perspective, it is the eve of All Saints Day, the last day of October, and that is the reason why it is the date on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door. Some days I think I know how he felt, to bang on the door and make someone in a funny hat very unhappy. And there are days I could use a little indulgence, and would love to be released from purgatory myself.

Luther said his dramatic action was an invitation to debate. Just like I invite Chris Carr or any Georgia Supreme Court Justice to cite one statute, case precedent, or constitutional provision that supports immunity for state officials who commit a cold-blooded crime (not a tort of negligence), contrary to all the legal authority they judiciously ignore that states otherwise.

I’ll admit Martin Luther is one of my heroes, though I also have to admit he kind of lost his shit later in life. In his defense, that was only after the Reformation set people on one another with pruning hooks and scythes all over Europe. For my part, I’ll try to remain a lifelong responsible citizen.

And people often ask me, in that vein: Don’t you fear you are going to let loose a whirlwind? Some people think I am attacking UGA, of which I am a proud graduate, or that I am going to ruin its national reputation (to my own detriment).

Funny how they blame me for giving the school a black eye. They don’t blame Mike Adams, who ran the University like a racketeering enterprise. In fact, that is where I got the idea to bring the first civil RICO actions ever leveled against state government entities. So that’s historical.

My thought is that the best thing for Georgia’s reputation is to clean the place up. Don’t claim there is nothing not to be proud of — when we all know that is a lie just swept under the rug to fester with the dust mites.

Well, I promised to answer several questions, but I see with my loquaciousness and observational asides, we are already out of time, so I am going to have to stop at two questions today. See you next week with another installment of OCT. We’ll have another Q&A again sometime soon. In the meantime, feel free to send in your interrogatories. Unlike the state government officials who are defendants in my RICO cases, I will actually try to answer them. I’m not immune. —CL—"
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''They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.''

__Martin Luther__
__#27 of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-five_Theses|95 Theses] nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,__
__October 31, 1517__

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions. A number of queries have rolled in from prior Outlandish Conspiracy Theories (OCT) columns, and answering them will, I believe, help your understanding of the assault on independent government responsive to the public that is going on in Georgia, if we take a minute to absorb some lessons before moving on to more disturbing intrigues.
Here is one I get a lot:

__Q: Why is this ''CL'' series called ''Outlandish Conspiracy Theories''? Isn’t that suggesting these tales of government corruption are not credible, not to be believed?__

__A:__ First, I agree, none of this long-running saga, a battle with state government that has gone on for 10 years now, is believable. None of it is credible. When I first defended UGA professor Dezso Benedek and caught the attorney general of Georgia red-handed attempting to [https://creativeloafing.com/content-421389-outlandish-conspiracy-theories---when-first-we-practice-to|hide evidence], I could not believe it either.

But, sure enough, one of the attorney general’s witnesses admitted the attorney general [http://www.globetc.org/documents/gatewoodtorpedo.pdf|showed her an email clearing Benedek of the charges a week before the hearing], to discuss how to testify on that point — but the attorney general illegally withheld this exculpatory email from Benedek’s defense counsel. I really had an OMG moment right there in the UGA Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom (a place so dear to the heart of many of my legal colleagues and [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StLNJOf9Zc&feature=emb_title|classmates]).

And some law students who were there for their edification really got an education in [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-4/16-10-72/|subornation of perjury]. Who ever thought it would come from the attorney general? Not me!
The problem is, it is all true — all the lies and corruption — as outrageous as that seems. A series of attorneys general has, for lack of a legal argument, attacked my credibility. But I always tell people: Don’t take my word for it. Look at the documents, mostly from the state’s own records. There is a lot of truth hiding in plain sight because the arrogant crooks who abuse the powers of their office really don’t expect anyone to ever look. It’s almost that simple — to the practiced eye (which means, of course, not really). The hidden scandals are not that brilliantly camouflaged, though, if I can find them out.

You have to understand I got my training trying to sort out the facts in places like Cuba and Iraq, where they were much more ingeniously disguised than anything the Georgia GOP good ole boys and girls ever devised. The key to it all — whether discerning truth through a Southern drawl or the mumbled Spanish of Holguín province — is like reading the Rosetta Stone.

If you know one thing that is true, if you know for sure what one thing means, all the rest of the lies and puffery fall clattering away, and the reality takes shape from there. I don’t mind giving away a secret or two, because few can replicate them, anyway. Brian Kemp, after all, is no Fidel Castro, which I am sure he would naively take as a compliment.

So the truth is there to be divined. Many people don’t want to believe it, anyway. A Fox I-team reporter, who has done some good and important work, said he would have to see some documentation before he gave any credence to my tales of corruption and conspiracy. So I sent him a couple hundred pages of annotated state records and never heard from him again.
But back to the question. You thought I forgot it. When it comes to exposing corruption, the normal is byzantine and circuitous.

Back before he was caught like a rat in a trap (friendly judges keep letting him out), former Attorney General Sam Olens used to try to mock the RICO actions I brought against corrupt state government officials. In addition to concocting the argument that they had sovereign [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|immunity to commit felonies], Olens tried out some one-liners and sound bytes (he couldn’t cite any cases to support his arguments, after all).

One of my favorites was when Olens admitted his office never investigated any of the crimes I pointed out in state government. So I asked the governor to appoint an [https://creativeloafing.com/content-423650-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-another-open-letter-to-the|independent investigator] (remember what I told you? Don’t take my word for any of this). Six years and two governors later, no resident of the mansion on West Paces Ferry has ever responded to 11 separate [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4OP-AqsBJToxcEYU70td-PrsNiOnBsi/view?usp=sharing|requests to appoint] an independent investigator.

But in lieu of the governor, Sam Olens did respond to the first request to get to the truth. Olens called my request for an independent investigation one of “Humphreys’ [https://tinyurl.com/y97mt9um|attention-seeking gimmicks].” I’m sorry, I still can’t help laughing when I hear that!

One of the sound bytes the Olens brain trust conceived was to call my RICO complaints, against state government agencies and officials, “outlandish conspiracy theories.” Olens said it. His spokesperson repeated it. Assistant attorneys general even recited the phrase in [http://wabe.org/post/judge-hears-rico-complaint-brought-ex-perimeter-college-president|radio interviews]. They may have even tested it in a focus group, for all I know, but they reiterated it more than a Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t seem strictly kosher for an attorney general, even if it’s technically legal.

I say it’s not fair game because, remember, Olens admitted [https://www.cbs46.com/news/allegations-of-public-corruption-not-investigated-by-ga-attorney-general/article_073ff831-c3f2-5f48-98ee-ccf397eecb8d.html|the attorney general’s office never investigated] any of the allegations he was ridiculing.

And that’s an example of what I mean by putting two-and-two together. No one ever writes out a contract, “We hereby enter a conspiracy to commit a crime,” the way Trump tried to [https://creativeloafing.com/content-428359-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-what-goes-around-comes-from-down|stonewall] in the Russia and Ukraine investigations. Criminal or counterintelligence investigation — it’s all the same. Just look for what doesn’t add up.

But not to sound mysterious or sinister, Olens, to coin a cliché, was merely trying to suggest in his subtle way that I might wear a tin-foil hat to bed at night, or double as the Mad Hatter by day, or maybe I accused Ted Cruz’ father of assassinating JFK. That is what you do when you are the attorney general of Georgia, the top law enforcement official in the state, and you are defending the criminals.

Well, you know what they used to say back in 1517, as soon as the coin clinks in the money chest …

Nowadays, the OCT sound byte has the bite of irony, since Olens’ poor replacement, the literally lawless Chris Carr, cannot even answer the documented allegations of criminal fraud and obstruction in state government that I make on a regular basis. In fact, Carr has not been able to fashion a substantive answer to a RICO pleading for more than three years now. See, for example, [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470581-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-timeline-of-the-phantom-case-at|The Phantom Case from Kennesaw State].

So now we use “Outlandish Conspiracy Theories” with an ironic, slightly sardonic twist — sort of like twisting the knife in Attorney General Chris Carr, who can no longer respond to our documented dead-to-rights allegations of fraud on the federal government and money laundering in the University System of Georgia (USG).

Former Attorney General Sam Olens also launched a few smear campaigns and intimidation tactics, but it took nice guy Chris Carr to really get down in the ditch to fight dirty. I say that not because he is some dreaded [https://hannibalboxing.com/when-neon-leon-met-the-greatest-a-look-back-forty-years-later/|Leon Spinks] disguised as a choir boy, but mainly because he really undermined the law to try to defend the status quo of the people who placed him in a position of authority. I don’t say a position of power, because he has none, really. And part of his problem is he doesn’t really even know what the law is. That’s not a qualification any more in [https://creativeloafing.com/content-428359-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-what-goes-around-comes-from-down|Southern Trumplandia].

I will tell you more about the attorney general smear tactics, retaliation, and intimidation campaigns at a later date. Would you like to hear about it next week?

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__Q: I have seen you abbreviating Outlandish Conspiracy Theories as OCT, for short. Does that acronym have any hidden meaning?__

__A:__ O-C-T, of course, are the initials of Outlandish Conspiracy Theories, a mouthful that can also take up a lot of space when writing it out. So, yes, OCT for short.
But since you are looking for some hidden meaning or Freudian slip, let me try some numerology on you. OCT is also an abbreviation for October, and that reflects a very important data point in this epic struggle.

On October 31, 2009, I wrote the [http://www.globetc.org/documents/davis10.31.09.pdf|letter to the Board of Regents] on behalf of my client, Professor Dezso Benedek, exposing corruption at UGA — not 95 theses, but 25 pages worth, which was plenty, but not nearly enough, because I did not know yet what I was missing. At any rate, that October 2009 missive is what incurred the wrath of then-UGA President Michael Adams, and caused him to scream in the halls of the Board of Regents offices — to ask if anyone could rid him of this meddling professor.

Next thing you knew, I was in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, proving that the attorney general of Georgia was bringing knowingly false tenure revocation charges based on manufactured evidence. Needless to say, no one’s tenure got revoked that day. But Adams and the attorney general said [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|sovereign immunity] allowed them to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and commit a string of other felonies to retaliate against Benedek, so here we are, still, 10 years later, litigating that very pertinent question.

The attorney general, needless to say again, is on the side of the bad guys. Who can explain it? It probably has something to do with something about something clinking in the chest, or something like that. Though it’s funny how, around here, the head racketeers love to make a big deal out of being such devout Christians.

On October 31, 2014, I wrote my first letter asking Governor Deal to appoint an independent investigator. As I mentioned: never answered, seven letters total. Brian Kemp is lagging behind — Kemp has only ignored four letters requesting him to appoint an independent investigator.

Also on October 31, in 2016 this time, I filed the RICO action for extortion and bribery, ''Richards v. Olens'', that later, with the passing of years, became the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470581-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-timeline-of-the-phantom-case-at|fabled] Phantom Case at Kennesaw State.

If you notice an historical pattern in the dates, you must have realized by now that October 31 is not just Halloween. From a more religious perspective, it is the eve of All Saints Day, the last day of October, and that is the reason why it is the date on which [https://www.biography.com/religious-figure/martin-luther|Martin Luther] nailed his [https://www.luther.de/en/95thesen.html|95 Theses] to the church door. Some days I think I know how he felt, to bang on the door and make someone in a funny hat very unhappy. And there are days I could use a little indulgence, and would love to be released from purgatory myself.

Luther said his dramatic action was an invitation to debate. Just like I invite Chris Carr or any [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ez5Ae9tHg_BnmVl8KA1KOQnqNhYqOoRL/view|Georgia Supreme Court Justice] to cite one statute, case precedent, or constitutional provision that supports immunity for state officials who commit a cold-blooded crime (not a tort of negligence), contrary to all the legal authority they judiciously ignore that states otherwise.

I’ll admit Martin Luther is one of my heroes, though I also have to admit he kind of lost his shit [https://www.luther.de/en/tintenfass.html|later in life]. In his defense, that was only after the [https://www.britannica.com/event/Reformation|Reformation] set people on one another with pruning hooks and scythes all over Europe. For my part, I’ll try to remain a lifelong responsible citizen.

And people often ask me, in that vein: Don’t you fear you are going to let loose a whirlwind? Some people think I am attacking UGA, of which I am a [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StLNJOf9Zc&feature=emb_title|proud graduate], or that I am going to ruin its national reputation (to my own detriment).

Funny how they blame me for giving the school a black eye. They don’t blame Mike Adams, who ran the University like a [https://creativeloafing.com/content-419541-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-imagine-holding-georgia-s-government|racketeering enterprise]. In fact, that is where I got the idea to bring the first civil RICO actions ever leveled against state government entities. So that’s historical.

My thought is that the best thing for Georgia’s reputation is to clean the place up. Don’t claim there is nothing ''not'' to be proud of — when we all know that is a lie just swept under the rug to fester with the dust mites.

Well, I promised to answer several questions, but I see with my loquaciousness and observational asides, we are already out of time, so I am going to have to stop at two questions today. See you next week with another installment of [https://creativeloafing.com/content-430618-outlandish-conspiracy-theories|OCT]. We’ll have another Q&A again sometime soon. In the meantime, feel free to send in your interrogatories. Unlike the state government officials who are defendants in my RICO cases, I will actually try to answer them. I’m not immune. __—CL—__"
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  string(13427) " OCT 66102 Luther95theses Wikimediacommons.1200w.tn  2020-06-18T18:13:09+00:00 OCT_66102-luther95theses-wikimediacommons.1200w.tn.jpg    conspiracytheories  31655  2020-06-18T17:51:10+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: The October Surprise is not what Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr had in mind jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-06-18T17:51:10+00:00  
They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Martin Luther
#27 of 95 Theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,
October 31, 1517

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions. A number of queries have rolled in from prior Outlandish Conspiracy Theories (OCT) columns, and answering them will, I believe, help your understanding of the assault on independent government responsive to the public that is going on in Georgia, if we take a minute to absorb some lessons before moving on to more disturbing intrigues.
Here is one I get a lot:

Q: Why is this CL series called Outlandish Conspiracy Theories? Isn’t that suggesting these tales of government corruption are not credible, not to be believed?

A: First, I agree, none of this long-running saga, a battle with state government that has gone on for 10 years now, is believable. None of it is credible. When I first defended UGA professor Dezso Benedek and caught the attorney general of Georgia red-handed attempting to hide evidence, I could not believe it either.

But, sure enough, one of the attorney general’s witnesses admitted the attorney general showed her an email clearing Benedek of the charges a week before the hearing, to discuss how to testify on that point — but the attorney general illegally withheld this exculpatory email from Benedek’s defense counsel. I really had an OMG moment right there in the UGA Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom (a place so dear to the heart of many of my legal colleagues and classmates).

And some law students who were there for their edification really got an education in subornation of perjury. Who ever thought it would come from the attorney general? Not me!
The problem is, it is all true — all the lies and corruption — as outrageous as that seems. A series of attorneys general has, for lack of a legal argument, attacked my credibility. But I always tell people: Don’t take my word for it. Look at the documents, mostly from the state’s own records. There is a lot of truth hiding in plain sight because the arrogant crooks who abuse the powers of their office really don’t expect anyone to ever look. It’s almost that simple — to the practiced eye (which means, of course, not really). The hidden scandals are not that brilliantly camouflaged, though, if I can find them out.

You have to understand I got my training trying to sort out the facts in places like Cuba and Iraq, where they were much more ingeniously disguised than anything the Georgia GOP good ole boys and girls ever devised. The key to it all — whether discerning truth through a Southern drawl or the mumbled Spanish of Holguín province — is like reading the Rosetta Stone.

If you know one thing that is true, if you know for sure what one thing means, all the rest of the lies and puffery fall clattering away, and the reality takes shape from there. I don’t mind giving away a secret or two, because few can replicate them, anyway. Brian Kemp, after all, is no Fidel Castro, which I am sure he would naively take as a compliment.

So the truth is there to be divined. Many people don’t want to believe it, anyway. A Fox I-team reporter, who has done some good and important work, said he would have to see some documentation before he gave any credence to my tales of corruption and conspiracy. So I sent him a couple hundred pages of annotated state records and never heard from him again.
But back to the question. You thought I forgot it. When it comes to exposing corruption, the normal is byzantine and circuitous.

Back before he was caught like a rat in a trap (friendly judges keep letting him out), former Attorney General Sam Olens used to try to mock the RICO actions I brought against corrupt state government officials. In addition to concocting the argument that they had sovereign immunity to commit felonies, Olens tried out some one-liners and sound bytes (he couldn’t cite any cases to support his arguments, after all).

One of my favorites was when Olens admitted his office never investigated any of the crimes I pointed out in state government. So I asked the governor to appoint an independent investigator (remember what I told you? Don’t take my word for any of this). Six years and two governors later, no resident of the mansion on West Paces Ferry has ever responded to 11 separate requests to appoint an independent investigator.

But in lieu of the governor, Sam Olens did respond to the first request to get to the truth. Olens called my request for an independent investigation one of “Humphreys’ attention-seeking gimmicks.” I’m sorry, I still can’t help laughing when I hear that!

One of the sound bytes the Olens brain trust conceived was to call my RICO complaints, against state government agencies and officials, “outlandish conspiracy theories.” Olens said it. His spokesperson repeated it. Assistant attorneys general even recited the phrase in radio interviews. They may have even tested it in a focus group, for all I know, but they reiterated it more than a Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t seem strictly kosher for an attorney general, even if it’s technically legal.

I say it’s not fair game because, remember, Olens admitted the attorney general’s office never investigated any of the allegations he was ridiculing.

And that’s an example of what I mean by putting two-and-two together. No one ever writes out a contract, “We hereby enter a conspiracy to commit a crime,” the way Trump tried to stonewall in the Russia and Ukraine investigations. Criminal or counterintelligence investigation — it’s all the same. Just look for what doesn’t add up.

But not to sound mysterious or sinister, Olens, to coin a cliché, was merely trying to suggest in his subtle way that I might wear a tin-foil hat to bed at night, or double as the Mad Hatter by day, or maybe I accused Ted Cruz’ father of assassinating JFK. That is what you do when you are the attorney general of Georgia, the top law enforcement official in the state, and you are defending the criminals.

Well, you know what they used to say back in 1517, as soon as the coin clinks in the money chest …

Nowadays, the OCT sound byte has the bite of irony, since Olens’ poor replacement, the literally lawless Chris Carr, cannot even answer the documented allegations of criminal fraud and obstruction in state government that I make on a regular basis. In fact, Carr has not been able to fashion a substantive answer to a RICO pleading for more than three years now. See, for example, The Phantom Case from Kennesaw State.

So now we use “Outlandish Conspiracy Theories” with an ironic, slightly sardonic twist — sort of like twisting the knife in Attorney General Chris Carr, who can no longer respond to our documented dead-to-rights allegations of fraud on the federal government and money laundering in the University System of Georgia (USG).

Former Attorney General Sam Olens also launched a few smear campaigns and intimidation tactics, but it took nice guy Chris Carr to really get down in the ditch to fight dirty. I say that not because he is some dreaded Leon Spinks disguised as a choir boy, but mainly because he really undermined the law to try to defend the status quo of the people who placed him in a position of authority. I don’t say a position of power, because he has none, really. And part of his problem is he doesn’t really even know what the law is. That’s not a qualification any more in Southern Trumplandia.

I will tell you more about the attorney general smear tactics, retaliation, and intimidation campaigns at a later date. Would you like to hear about it next week?

::::

Q: I have seen you abbreviating Outlandish Conspiracy Theories as OCT, for short. Does that acronym have any hidden meaning?

A: O-C-T, of course, are the initials of Outlandish Conspiracy Theories, a mouthful that can also take up a lot of space when writing it out. So, yes, OCT for short.
But since you are looking for some hidden meaning or Freudian slip, let me try some numerology on you. OCT is also an abbreviation for October, and that reflects a very important data point in this epic struggle.

On October 31, 2009, I wrote the letter to the Board of Regents on behalf of my client, Professor Dezso Benedek, exposing corruption at UGA — not 95 theses, but 25 pages worth, which was plenty, but not nearly enough, because I did not know yet what I was missing. At any rate, that October 2009 missive is what incurred the wrath of then-UGA President Michael Adams, and caused him to scream in the halls of the Board of Regents offices — to ask if anyone could rid him of this meddling professor.

Next thing you knew, I was in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, proving that the attorney general of Georgia was bringing knowingly false tenure revocation charges based on manufactured evidence. Needless to say, no one’s tenure got revoked that day. But Adams and the attorney general said sovereign immunity allowed them to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and commit a string of other felonies to retaliate against Benedek, so here we are, still, 10 years later, litigating that very pertinent question.

The attorney general, needless to say again, is on the side of the bad guys. Who can explain it? It probably has something to do with something about something clinking in the chest, or something like that. Though it’s funny how, around here, the head racketeers love to make a big deal out of being such devout Christians.

On October 31, 2014, I wrote my first letter asking Governor Deal to appoint an independent investigator. As I mentioned: never answered, seven letters total. Brian Kemp is lagging behind — Kemp has only ignored four letters requesting him to appoint an independent investigator.

Also on October 31, in 2016 this time, I filed the RICO action for extortion and bribery, Richards v. Olens, that later, with the passing of years, became the fabled Phantom Case at Kennesaw State.

If you notice an historical pattern in the dates, you must have realized by now that October 31 is not just Halloween. From a more religious perspective, it is the eve of All Saints Day, the last day of October, and that is the reason why it is the date on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door. Some days I think I know how he felt, to bang on the door and make someone in a funny hat very unhappy. And there are days I could use a little indulgence, and would love to be released from purgatory myself.

Luther said his dramatic action was an invitation to debate. Just like I invite Chris Carr or any Georgia Supreme Court Justice to cite one statute, case precedent, or constitutional provision that supports immunity for state officials who commit a cold-blooded crime (not a tort of negligence), contrary to all the legal authority they judiciously ignore that states otherwise.

I’ll admit Martin Luther is one of my heroes, though I also have to admit he kind of lost his shit later in life. In his defense, that was only after the Reformation set people on one another with pruning hooks and scythes all over Europe. For my part, I’ll try to remain a lifelong responsible citizen.

And people often ask me, in that vein: Don’t you fear you are going to let loose a whirlwind? Some people think I am attacking UGA, of which I am a proud graduate, or that I am going to ruin its national reputation (to my own detriment).

Funny how they blame me for giving the school a black eye. They don’t blame Mike Adams, who ran the University like a racketeering enterprise. In fact, that is where I got the idea to bring the first civil RICO actions ever leveled against state government entities. So that’s historical.

My thought is that the best thing for Georgia’s reputation is to clean the place up. Don’t claim there is nothing not to be proud of — when we all know that is a lie just swept under the rug to fester with the dust mites.

Well, I promised to answer several questions, but I see with my loquaciousness and observational asides, we are already out of time, so I am going to have to stop at two questions today. See you next week with another installment of OCT. We’ll have another Q&A again sometime soon. In the meantime, feel free to send in your interrogatories. Unlike the state government officials who are defendants in my RICO cases, I will actually try to answer them. I’m not immune. —CL—    Wikimedia Commons Detail of Ferdinand Pauwels' "Martin Luther's 95 Theses".  0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: The October Surprise is not what Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr had in mind "
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News, Outlandish Conspiracy Theories

Thursday June 18, 2020 01:51 pm EDT


They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Martin Luther

  1. 27 of 95 Theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,

October 31, 1517

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions....

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  string(10181) "“(Tricoli’s attorney) has accused the attorney general’s office of engaging in criminal conspiracy... that this wasn’t a matter of some misaccounting or someone screwing up as far as the audit procedure was concerned.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday May 13, 2020 05:47 pm EDT
Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County | more...

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''(a) Any superior court may … enjoin violations of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);
(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) by any agency of the state OCGA § 16-14-6''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

''Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future ''Outlandish Conspiracy Theories'' columns, online weekly, more or less.''"
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  string(14319) " Phantom Mask Rose Copy  2020-05-02T03:38:43+00:00 Phantom_mask_rose copy.jpg     Bribery, fraud, and extortion never contested 30939  2020-05-01T04:07:00+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Timeline of the phantom case at Kennesaw State University jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-05-01T04:07:00+00:00   

''(a) Any superior court may … enjoin violations of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);
(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) by any agency of the state OCGA § 16-14-6''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviving the rule of King George II

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

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

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

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

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

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals

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

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

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

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

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

But not Dezso Benedek.

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

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

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

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

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

The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State financial oversight by embezzlers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One judge was brave enough to read the law

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

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

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

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

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

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

The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals

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

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

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

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

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

From $10 million fraud to a billion

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

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

Civil versus criminal RICO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

''Reviving the rule of King George II''

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

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

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

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

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

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

''Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals''

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

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

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

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

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

But not Dezso Benedek.

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

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

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

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

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

''The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

''State financial oversight by embezzlers''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

''Civil versus criminal RICO''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

''The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviving the rule of King George II

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

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

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

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

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

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals

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

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

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

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

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

But not Dezso Benedek.

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

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

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

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

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

The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State financial oversight by embezzlers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One judge was brave enough to read the law

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

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

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

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

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

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

The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals

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

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

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

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

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

From $10 million fraud to a billion

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

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

Civil versus criminal RICO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. —CL—    The Trustees of the Goodwood Collection / Bridgeman Images IN THE NAME OF THE STATE: King "George II" (oil on canvas), Hudson, Thomas (1701-79)  0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Counterfeiting sovereign immunity "
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Outlandish Conspiracy Theories

Friday April 17, 2020 06:23 pm EDT
Those who know the past are doomed to take advantage of it | more...
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  string(9216) "“Who needs Confederate monuments?
We’ve got the Georgia Supreme Court.”
— Fulton County Daily Report op-ed headline
 
 

Georgians just got a rare dose of awareness of who their Georgia Supreme Court justices actually are. The highest court in the state is in the headlines because of a more brazen than usual court-packing plan to call off a scheduled election and allow Governor Brian Kemp to appoint Justice Keith Blackwell’s successor.

Blackwell is resigning in November, but tendered his resignation six months ahead of time. Blackwell will keep working till November — when his pension vests. But Kemp is already in the process of appointing a new justice to the “vacancy.”

The attorney for would-be candidate John Barrow, who planned to run in the election scheduled for this May, before Barrow was turned away by state election officials on Kemp’s orders, likened this gambit to the shenanigans of a banana republic.

The fact is that, while the Georgia Constitution calls for Supreme Court justices to be elected, the reality since the days of Sonny Perdue has been that the justices resign in midterm so that the governor can appoint someone to the liking of the party currently in control of the machinery of government.

Seven of the current justices, counting Blackwell, were appointed by Governors Perdue and Deal. Only one of the current justices first got on the Supreme Court by being elected. One spot that was vacant due to a midterm retirement, has just been filled by Governor Kemp. Blackwell is angling to give Kemp two picks.

Why is it so important to keep this decision — who should be the next Georgia Supreme Court justice — out of the hands of the voting public? Spoiler alert: It has not led to the independence of the executive and judicial branches required by the Georgia Constitution.

One main thrust of the Georgia Supreme Court in its current Federalist Society, Republican-only composition has been steadily expanding sovereign immunity protection.

Sovereign immunity increases the power and eliminates the accountability of the state by placing state officials above and beyond the law. Sovereign immunity traditionally means state officials cannot be sued to hold them accountable for wrongful, negligent acts.

The cadre currently in power is trying to expand that protection to unconstitutional, and even criminal, acts.

This expansion of state power has been created largely by judicial activism — that means with little regard for the actual existing, current law on the books.

Here are some examples in the last decade of what the appointed court has done:

Citizens for a Sustainable Coast v. DNR, 2014

When an environmental group tried to force the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop bypassing the required permitting process for coastal development, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred such an injunction against a state agency.

Think of the implications of that grant of sovereign immunity: A state agency cannot be required to follow the very law the agency was created to administer and enforce. That is a paradox worthy of Zeno.

The Supreme Court ignored language in the statute creating the DNR that provided for injunctive relief. That is more than judicial activism. It is intellectual dishonesty, and the people of Georgia are not the beneficiaries.

The Sustainable Coast decision also did away with an existing precedent that state officials who were acting illegally, or outside their authority, were not acting on behalf of the state and therefore were not protected by sovereign immunity. It was necessary to eliminate that distinction in order to take the next step of protecting state officials for abusing their power to commit crimes.

There were many more strange twists of logic in this and all the cases mentioned below, but they will have to wait for another day, or we will never get to the next case.

Lathrop v. Deal, 2017

Saying no one can make a state agency perform its duties sounds pretty awful, but the Georgia Supreme Court went even further to stop a constitutional challenge to a law making doctors criminally liable for abortions. To reach this result, the Georgia Supreme Court reduced itself to relying on Confederate law for the absurd proposition that state laws enacted by the legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional without the legislature's express permission.

Of course, this ruling violates basic constitutional rules laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court — including that laws enacted by the Confederacy have no force and effect.

The court also turned a basic legal proposition on its head. We are taught in first-year law school that, as laws are rewritten by the legislature, the latest version controls. The Georgia Supreme Court said no, the earlier Confederate law controls our reading of the laws subsequently enacted in the U.S. of A. That’s a perverse extreme of a doctrine — one that has taken over our Supreme Court — called originalism, but that will also have to wait till another day for a full explanation of this curious logic.

Tricoli v. Watts, 2016-2020

The Tricoli case arose from falsifications of University System of Georgia (USG) financials, in which the state admits that two separate sets of books were kept, to hide 10 million dollars’ worth of fraud. The Georgia Supreme Court violated the state’s procedural statutes, in violation of constitutional due process, to let an appeals court opinion stand — that it was “pure imagination” to think anyone at the state level could be held accountable for cooking the books to steal millions of dollars.

This decision was used to put a stop to a range of RICO cases against state officials for using their state government positions to commit crimes against the pubic, starting with Benedek v. Adams.  Imagine that: The state is insisting its officials have sovereign immunity protection to commit RICO felonies, including evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, bribery, and extortion — acting like racketeers, in other words.

Despite the state’s ardent attempts to shut down the Tricoli case, further investigation showed that the USG and the Georgia attorney general were hiding over a billion dollars in fraud on the federal government. The attorney general has now gone for a year without responding to these documented allegations, first filed in April of 2019, thus admitting them as true.

To top that, the Georgia attorney general has gone for more than three years without responding to the allegations in Richards v. Olens, that the USG appointed the former attorney general as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU) after Olens obstructed criminal investigation of the aforementioned billion-dollar USG fraud on the federal government.

Georgia’s new attorney general, Chris Carr, has similarly admitted that the USG used extortion to hide its own financial fraud and oust former KSU president Dan Papp to make way for Olens. Carr has even admitted that Olens knew about the crimes committed against Dr. Papp while Olens was waiting in line for Papp’s job. I told you these cases would each require their own in-depth account in future columns.

Imagine that: A succession of attorneys general have gone from calling the RICO cases “outlandish conspiracy theories” to complete silence, failing to respond to official court pleadings.

These RICO cases challenging sovereign immunity for felony misrepresentations, theft of taxpayer funds, fraud on the federal government, extortion, bribery, and obstruction, are presently pending before the high court. That is the same Supreme Court that already held in 1984 that state officials are not immune for criminal acts in a civil RICO action — but in all the conservative judicial activism, that controlling precedent has been ignored, and I could not find a Confederate precedent.

That is also the same Supreme Court they want to keep Democrat John Barrow off so Governor Kemp can appoint the next Supreme Court justice.

Interestingly enough, the whole sovereign immunity expansion movement has its roots in the defense of sexual assault and sexual harassment by state officials. One of the initiatives Governor Kemp is promoting is stronger action against sexual harassment in state government.

You’d think they’d start by walking back the law created to give sovereign immunity to state troopers for sexually molesting female motorists during a traffic stop, or to a college dean for the rape of a college student, or to a state office supervisor for a year-long campaign of sexual harassment against a female subordinate, and for threatening to kill her dog and stuff it in her mailbox when she reported him. All of these state officials went scot-free under the current conservative judicial activist interpretation.

That is the legacy of impunity, for wrongs ranging from abusing power to committing felonies, impunity arising from the Supreme Court’s expansion of sovereign immunity in Georgia. So why don’t the people of Georgia get a vote? — CL —"
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  string(11187) "::“Who needs Confederate monuments?::
::We’ve got the Georgia Supreme Court.”::
::— ''Fulton County Daily Report'' [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AljO4hInQPwzfLdVKVhaFq868Dy3z8Uu/view?usp=sharing|op-ed] headline::
:: ::
 

Georgians just got a rare dose of awareness of who their Georgia Supreme Court justices actually are. The highest court in the state is in the headlines because of a more brazen than usual [https://www.ajc.com/news/stateregional-govtpolitics/barrow-beskin-ask-judge-revive-election-for-georgia-supreme-court/dfSmnA53nfLt9eQqQ1uvOJ/|court-packing plan] to call off a scheduled election and allow Governor Brian Kemp to appoint Justice Keith Blackwell’s successor.

Blackwell is resigning in November, but tendered his resignation [https://www.mdjonline.com/news/georgia-supreme-court-to-hear-appeal-of-canceled-election/article_275911b8-6d0c-11ea-ab1e-37a6556bb2b2.html|six months] ahead of time. Blackwell will keep working till November — when his pension vests. But Kemp is already in the process of appointing a new justice to the “vacancy.”

The attorney for would-be candidate John Barrow, who planned to run in the election scheduled for this May, before Barrow was turned away by state election officials on Kemp’s orders, likened this gambit to the shenanigans of a [https://www.ajc.com/news/local/opinion-not-virus-but-still-sickening-supreme-good-boy-itis/RQlaj0LmPoM0dWFhnhtCUM/?fbclid=IwAR1vvudmD1Ng7p1ce_wE-2k7Q8RLz9p3ey14GKA8Bapn4FwbUcDYSpn6scE|banana republic].

The fact is that, while the Georgia Constitution calls for Supreme Court justices to be elected, the reality since the days of Sonny Perdue has been that the justices resign in midterm so that the governor can appoint someone to the liking of the party currently in control of the machinery of government.

Seven of the current justices, counting Blackwell, were appointed by Governors Perdue and Deal. Only one of the current justices first got on the Supreme Court by being elected. One spot that was vacant due to a midterm retirement, has just been filled by Governor Kemp. Blackwell is angling to give Kemp two picks.

Why is it so important to keep this decision — who should be the next Georgia Supreme Court justice — out of the hands of the voting public? Spoiler alert: It has not led to the independence of the executive and judicial branches required by the Georgia Constitution.

One main thrust of the Georgia Supreme Court in its current [https://www.americanprogress.org/press/statement/2020/03/05/481277/statement-role-federalist-society-leonard-leo-vetting-trumps-judicial-nominees-must-investigated-caps-maggie-jo-buchanan-says/|Federalist Society], Republican-only composition has been steadily expanding sovereign immunity protection.

Sovereign immunity increases the power and eliminates the accountability of the state by placing state officials above and beyond the law. Sovereign immunity traditionally means state officials cannot be sued to hold them accountable for wrongful, negligent acts.

The cadre currently in power is trying to expand that protection to unconstitutional, and even criminal, acts.

This expansion of state power has been created largely by judicial activism — that means with little regard for the actual existing, current law on the books.

Here are some examples in the last decade of what the appointed court has done:

__[https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/2014/s13g0602.html|Citizens for a Sustainable Coast v. DNR]'', ''2014__

When an environmental group tried to force the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop bypassing the required permitting process for coastal development, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred such an injunction against a state agency.

Think of the implications of that grant of sovereign immunity: A state agency cannot be required to follow the very law the agency was created to administer and enforce. That is a paradox worthy of [https://www.iep.utm.edu/zeno-par/|Zeno].

The Supreme Court ignored language in the statute creating the DNR that provided for injunctive relief. That is more than judicial activism. It is intellectual dishonesty, and the people of Georgia are not the beneficiaries.

The Sustainable Coast decision also did away with an existing precedent that state officials who were acting illegally, or outside their authority, were not acting on behalf of the state and therefore were not protected by sovereign immunity. It was necessary to eliminate that distinction in order to take the next step of protecting state officials for abusing their power to commit crimes.

There were many more strange twists of logic in this and all the cases mentioned below, but they will have to wait for another day, or we will never get to the next case.

__[https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/2017/s17a0196.html|Lathrop v. Deal], 2017__

Saying no one can make a state agency perform its duties sounds pretty awful, but the Georgia Supreme Court went even further to stop a constitutional challenge to a law making doctors criminally liable for abortions. To reach this result, the Georgia Supreme Court reduced itself to [http://insideradvantage.com/2017/07/10/the-ga-supreme-courts-monument-to-confederate-law/|relying on Confederate law] for the absurd proposition that state laws enacted by the legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional without the legislature's express permission.

Of course, this ruling violates basic constitutional rules laid down by the [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/596e5ddbe4b05561da5a5b3e|U.S. Supreme Court] — including that laws enacted by the Confederacy have no force and effect.

The court also turned a basic legal proposition on its head. We are taught in first-year law school that, as laws are rewritten by the legislature, the latest version controls. The Georgia Supreme Court said no, the earlier Confederate law controls our reading of the laws subsequently enacted in the U.S. of A. That’s a perverse extreme of a doctrine — one that has taken over our Supreme Court — called originalism, but that will also have to wait till another day for a full explanation of this curious logic.

__[https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1730669.html|Tricoli v. Watts], 2016-2020__

The Tricoli case arose from falsifications of University System of Georgia (USG) financials, in which the state admits that two separate sets of books were kept, to hide [https://creativeloafing.com/content-425364-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-The-adventure-of-the-disappearing-budget-surplus|10 million dollars’ worth of fraud]. The Georgia Supreme Court violated the state’s procedural statutes, in [https://creativeloafing.com/content-426489-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-GEORGIA-S-FIFTY-YEAR-CYCLE|violation of constitutional due process], to let an appeals court opinion stand — that it was “pure imagination” to think anyone at the state level could be held accountable for cooking the books to steal millions of dollars.

This decision was used to put a stop to a range of RICO cases against state officials for using their state government positions to commit crimes against the pubic, starting with [https://creativeloafing.com/content-421389-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES---When-First-We-Practice-to-Deceive|Benedek v. Adams].  Imagine that: The state is insisting its officials have sovereign immunity protection to commit RICO felonies, including evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, bribery, and extortion — acting like racketeers, in other words.

Despite the state’s ardent attempts to shut down the Tricoli case, further investigation showed that the USG and the Georgia attorney general were hiding over a billion dollars in [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-dE_mK2vhmquoK-uDQsHkHFriJmzUp_D/view|fraud on the federal government]. The attorney general has now gone for a year without responding to these documented allegations, first filed in April of 2019, thus admitting them as true.

To top that, the Georgia attorney general has gone for more than three years without responding to the allegations in Richards v. Olens, that the USG appointed the former attorney general as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU) after Olens obstructed criminal investigation of the aforementioned billion-dollar USG fraud on the federal government.

Georgia’s new attorney general, Chris Carr, has similarly admitted that the USG used extortion to hide its own financial fraud and oust former KSU president Dan Papp to make way for Olens. Carr has even admitted that Olens knew about the crimes committed against Dr. Papp while Olens was waiting in line for Papp’s job. I told you these cases would each require their own in-depth account in future columns.

Imagine that: A succession of attorneys general have gone from calling the RICO cases “outlandish conspiracy theories” to complete silence, failing to respond to official court pleadings.

These RICO cases challenging sovereign immunity for felony misrepresentations, theft of taxpayer funds, fraud on the federal government, extortion, bribery, and obstruction, are presently pending before the high court. That is the same Supreme Court that already [https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/1984/41044-1.html|held in 1984] that state officials are not immune for criminal acts in a civil RICO action — but in all the conservative judicial activism, that controlling precedent has been ignored, and I could not find a Confederate precedent.

That is also the same Supreme Court they want to keep Democrat John Barrow off so Governor Kemp can appoint the next Supreme Court justice.

Interestingly enough, the whole sovereign immunity expansion movement has its roots in the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-422482-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-georgia-s-me-neither|defense of sexual assault] and sexual harassment by state officials. One of the initiatives Governor Kemp is promoting is stronger action against sexual harassment in state government.

You’d think they’d start by walking back the law created to give sovereign immunity to state troopers for [https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1327673.html|sexually molesting female motorists] during a traffic stop, or to a college dean for the [https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1084897.html|rape of a college student], or to a state office supervisor for a year-long campaign of sexual [https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/2001/s01g0053-1.html|harassment against a female subordinate], and for threatening to kill her dog and stuff it in her mailbox when she reported him. All of these state officials went scot-free under the current conservative judicial activist interpretation.

That is the legacy of impunity, for wrongs ranging from abusing power to committing felonies, impunity arising from the Supreme Court’s expansion of sovereign immunity in Georgia. So why don’t the people of Georgia get a vote? __— CL —__"
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  string(12749) " Gavel  2020-03-31T16:33:32+00:00 gavel.png   1.  GOVERNOR BRIAN P. KEMP DENIED MEETING REQUESTS FROM UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA 
     WITNESSES; 
★ USG Witnesses Meeting Request to Gov. Kemp 23 Feb 2020 – NO RESPONSE; Distributed Nationwide by Alumni Association Network Nationwide  
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BeDGyGahR6zoJfGhe4pDWJUdJ5WIGOD_/view?usp=sharing

2. GOVERNOR BRIAN P. KEMP SUBMITTED NO RESPONSE TO FIVE REQUESTS TO APPOINT SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR BY USG WITNESS #2, STEPHEN HUMPHREYS, ATHENS ATTORNEY: 
★ Governor Kemp 4th RICO Letter 13 July 2019 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4OP-AqsBJToxcEYU70td-PrsNiOnBsi/view?usp=sharing	

3. GOVERNOR KEMP EXEMPTED THE BOARD OF REGENTS FROM MANDATORY BUDGET HEARINGS HELD BY SPEAKER DAVID RALSTON; ★ APNEWS - By JEFF AMY 10 September 2019
Georgia universities, exempt from Kemp cuts, seek more money  
https://apnews.com/9a57a29474394389b9185e071ef7aeac         

4. GOVERNOR KEMP VETOED SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY BILL 311 on 10 MAY 2019 
https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2019/05/13/gov-kemp-vetoes-sovereign-immunity-bill.html Author's update: On May 14, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court--or what was left of it--voted against John Barrow and said the Governor can appoint Blackwell's replacement. All but three of Georgi's Supreme Court Justices recused because of the connection to their colleague, Justice Blackwell. The three remaining justices led three appointed Superior Court judges in holding that the provision of the law concerning resignations, and when they are effective, outweighs the provision of the Georgia Constitution that calls for justices to be elected by the voters. The three remaining justices included Justices Nahmias, who wrote the opinion, and who is Blackwell's strong ally on the court. The other two were Chief Justice Melton, who typically sides with Nahmias and Blackwell, and Justice Sarah Warren, who hails from the office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General argued the case before the Supreme Court, defending the. position that the Governor, not the voters, get to pick the next justice. It is consistent with my take in the article above for the court to hold that a minor technical provision on when a justice's resignation is effective trumps the mandate in the Georgia Constitution that voters should elect the justices. Of course, the originalists on the court worked the common law definition of a resignation into their rationale. So, once again, notions unearthed from ancient legal history in the 1600s overshadow the law as it is written in today's Georgia Constitution.
https://www.ajc.com/news/local/georgia-supreme-court-kemp-can-appoint-justice-blackwell-successor/UrF91MCmfGkELsbhSO8jfK/?utm_source=Copy+of+Copy+of+Start+Your+Engines+-+GaPundit+for+May+15%2C+2020&utm_campaign=GaPundit+Todd+Rehm+Georgia+Politics+04202015&utm_medium=email  'Justices resign in midterm so that the governor can appoint someone to the liking of the party currently in control of the machinery of government' 30300  2020-04-10T14:57:00+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:The paradox of conservative judicial activism tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris STEPHEN HUMPHREYS Stephen Humphreys 2020-04-10T14:57:00+00:00  “Who needs Confederate monuments?
We’ve got the Georgia Supreme Court.”
— Fulton County Daily Report op-ed headline
 
 

Georgians just got a rare dose of awareness of who their Georgia Supreme Court justices actually are. The highest court in the state is in the headlines because of a more brazen than usual court-packing plan to call off a scheduled election and allow Governor Brian Kemp to appoint Justice Keith Blackwell’s successor.

Blackwell is resigning in November, but tendered his resignation six months ahead of time. Blackwell will keep working till November — when his pension vests. But Kemp is already in the process of appointing a new justice to the “vacancy.”

The attorney for would-be candidate John Barrow, who planned to run in the election scheduled for this May, before Barrow was turned away by state election officials on Kemp’s orders, likened this gambit to the shenanigans of a banana republic.

The fact is that, while the Georgia Constitution calls for Supreme Court justices to be elected, the reality since the days of Sonny Perdue has been that the justices resign in midterm so that the governor can appoint someone to the liking of the party currently in control of the machinery of government.

Seven of the current justices, counting Blackwell, were appointed by Governors Perdue and Deal. Only one of the current justices first got on the Supreme Court by being elected. One spot that was vacant due to a midterm retirement, has just been filled by Governor Kemp. Blackwell is angling to give Kemp two picks.

Why is it so important to keep this decision — who should be the next Georgia Supreme Court justice — out of the hands of the voting public? Spoiler alert: It has not led to the independence of the executive and judicial branches required by the Georgia Constitution.

One main thrust of the Georgia Supreme Court in its current Federalist Society, Republican-only composition has been steadily expanding sovereign immunity protection.

Sovereign immunity increases the power and eliminates the accountability of the state by placing state officials above and beyond the law. Sovereign immunity traditionally means state officials cannot be sued to hold them accountable for wrongful, negligent acts.

The cadre currently in power is trying to expand that protection to unconstitutional, and even criminal, acts.

This expansion of state power has been created largely by judicial activism — that means with little regard for the actual existing, current law on the books.

Here are some examples in the last decade of what the appointed court has done:

Citizens for a Sustainable Coast v. DNR, 2014

When an environmental group tried to force the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to stop bypassing the required permitting process for coastal development, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred such an injunction against a state agency.

Think of the implications of that grant of sovereign immunity: A state agency cannot be required to follow the very law the agency was created to administer and enforce. That is a paradox worthy of Zeno.

The Supreme Court ignored language in the statute creating the DNR that provided for injunctive relief. That is more than judicial activism. It is intellectual dishonesty, and the people of Georgia are not the beneficiaries.

The Sustainable Coast decision also did away with an existing precedent that state officials who were acting illegally, or outside their authority, were not acting on behalf of the state and therefore were not protected by sovereign immunity. It was necessary to eliminate that distinction in order to take the next step of protecting state officials for abusing their power to commit crimes.

There were many more strange twists of logic in this and all the cases mentioned below, but they will have to wait for another day, or we will never get to the next case.

Lathrop v. Deal, 2017

Saying no one can make a state agency perform its duties sounds pretty awful, but the Georgia Supreme Court went even further to stop a constitutional challenge to a law making doctors criminally liable for abortions. To reach this result, the Georgia Supreme Court reduced itself to relying on Confederate law for the absurd proposition that state laws enacted by the legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional without the legislature's express permission.

Of course, this ruling violates basic constitutional rules laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court — including that laws enacted by the Confederacy have no force and effect.

The court also turned a basic legal proposition on its head. We are taught in first-year law school that, as laws are rewritten by the legislature, the latest version controls. The Georgia Supreme Court said no, the earlier Confederate law controls our reading of the laws subsequently enacted in the U.S. of A. That’s a perverse extreme of a doctrine — one that has taken over our Supreme Court — called originalism, but that will also have to wait till another day for a full explanation of this curious logic.

Tricoli v. Watts, 2016-2020

The Tricoli case arose from falsifications of University System of Georgia (USG) financials, in which the state admits that two separate sets of books were kept, to hide 10 million dollars’ worth of fraud. The Georgia Supreme Court violated the state’s procedural statutes, in violation of constitutional due process, to let an appeals court opinion stand — that it was “pure imagination” to think anyone at the state level could be held accountable for cooking the books to steal millions of dollars.

This decision was used to put a stop to a range of RICO cases against state officials for using their state government positions to commit crimes against the pubic, starting with Benedek v. Adams.  Imagine that: The state is insisting its officials have sovereign immunity protection to commit RICO felonies, including evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, bribery, and extortion — acting like racketeers, in other words.

Despite the state’s ardent attempts to shut down the Tricoli case, further investigation showed that the USG and the Georgia attorney general were hiding over a billion dollars in fraud on the federal government. The attorney general has now gone for a year without responding to these documented allegations, first filed in April of 2019, thus admitting them as true.

To top that, the Georgia attorney general has gone for more than three years without responding to the allegations in Richards v. Olens, that the USG appointed the former attorney general as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU) after Olens obstructed criminal investigation of the aforementioned billion-dollar USG fraud on the federal government.

Georgia’s new attorney general, Chris Carr, has similarly admitted that the USG used extortion to hide its own financial fraud and oust former KSU president Dan Papp to make way for Olens. Carr has even admitted that Olens knew about the crimes committed against Dr. Papp while Olens was waiting in line for Papp’s job. I told you these cases would each require their own in-depth account in future columns.

Imagine that: A succession of attorneys general have gone from calling the RICO cases “outlandish conspiracy theories” to complete silence, failing to respond to official court pleadings.

These RICO cases challenging sovereign immunity for felony misrepresentations, theft of taxpayer funds, fraud on the federal government, extortion, bribery, and obstruction, are presently pending before the high court. That is the same Supreme Court that already held in 1984 that state officials are not immune for criminal acts in a civil RICO action — but in all the conservative judicial activism, that controlling precedent has been ignored, and I could not find a Confederate precedent.

That is also the same Supreme Court they want to keep Democrat John Barrow off so Governor Kemp can appoint the next Supreme Court justice.

Interestingly enough, the whole sovereign immunity expansion movement has its roots in the defense of sexual assault and sexual harassment by state officials. One of the initiatives Governor Kemp is promoting is stronger action against sexual harassment in state government.

You’d think they’d start by walking back the law created to give sovereign immunity to state troopers for sexually molesting female motorists during a traffic stop, or to a college dean for the rape of a college student, or to a state office supervisor for a year-long campaign of sexual harassment against a female subordinate, and for threatening to kill her dog and stuff it in her mailbox when she reported him. All of these state officials went scot-free under the current conservative judicial activist interpretation.

That is the legacy of impunity, for wrongs ranging from abusing power to committing felonies, impunity arising from the Supreme Court’s expansion of sovereign immunity in Georgia. So why don’t the people of Georgia get a vote? — CL —       0,0,2 keith.blackwell@creativeloafing.com (itemId:470504 trackerid:9), Office of the Attorney General of Georgia (itemId:470508 trackerid:1)  cl-issue-april-2020                              OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:The paradox of conservative judicial activism "
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Friday April 10, 2020 10:57 am EDT
'Justices resign in midterm so that the governor can appoint someone to the liking of the party currently in control of the machinery of government' | more...
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       0,0,11  Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Serving Sam Olens, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Georgia’s Me Neither Moment, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: What goes around comes from down south, Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Imagine Holding Georgia’s Government Accountable, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Reconstruction of the fables, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: GEORGIA'S FIFTY YEAR CYCLE, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES:  The adventure of the disappearing budget surplus, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Another open letter to the Governor, OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES - When First We Practice to Deceive  "stephen humphreys" "steve humphreys" humphries humphrey conspiracy outlandish                             Outlandish Conspiracy Theories "
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Outlandish Conspiracy Theories

Wednesday January 1, 2020 06:02 pm EST
Junkyard kings, bootleggers ... and suits belly up to the bar | more...
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  string(14128) "!!!“Maybe these maps and legends have been misunderstood.”
!!!— Michael Stipe
 

Pretty much no sentient Georgian in recent years, with the possible exception of Howard Finster, could routinely recapture the vision from this former debtors’ colony — and see through the mind’s eye what transpired to make American history out of this state’s original sins: greed and corruption.

In fact, Georgia political corruption, deep-rooted since colonial days, provided the source material for some of the original landmark opinions of the United State Supreme Court, as the new jurists staked out the law of the land for the young republic in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Take the 1810 decision in Fletcher v. Peck. It nominally stands for the bland proposition that contracts will be honored (if that sounds quaintly obvious today, try enforcing a one-sided letter of intent with the Kremlin).

But the roots of the decision are much more venal and complex — or, rather, corrupt, since the contracts in question were obtained by criminal means — and the court did not consider the issues of unconscionability, or contracts for an illegal purpose. But there I go again, letting the law get in the way of a good story.

The specific question before the court was whether contracts for resale to bona fide purchasers could be rescinded by an act of the legislature. Georgia did, however, provide the serious motive for trying to upend this cornerstone of commercial law.

The lawsuit arose from an Act of 1795, in which then-Governor George Matthews and certain members of the Georgia legislature took bribes to enact a sale of most of the Yazoo lands that now comprise Alabama and Mississippi, aptly christened “Bourbon County,” to a secret society of land speculators. The corrupt Georgia government officials sold thousands of square miles, 35 million acres — for $500,000, or less than two cents an acre — to the politically-connected companies that bribed the legislators.

In response to the public outcry at this open and obvious corruption, a whole new wave of representatives were elected in 1796. The would-be reformers passed another act rescinding the act of bribery and corruption, invalidating the ill-gotten title to those immense tracts of land.

But the new legislators did not stop at passing a new act to replace the old, tainted law.

As only UGA Law of Legislative Government Professor R. Perry Sentell, Jr. could recount, in one of my favorite law school classes: Outraged Georgians gathered at the statehouse grounds of the then-capital of Georgia, Louisville, and set up a giant magnifying glass, catching “Holy Fire from Heaven,” and concentrated it on the text of the now-disfavored statute to bring about the “Repeal by Incineration” of the “Bourbon County Act” by which the Yazoo land fraud was perpetrated.

Now that is what you would have to call a true expression of disgust. One wonders if Georgia can muster similar outrage for corruption by state officials in the Empire State of the South today.

By the time of the incineration, however, many parcels in present-day Alabama and Mississippi had already been resold — at immense profit to the land speculators — and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Fletcher v. Peck that the Georgia legislature could not rescind those contracts.

So the holding, that contracts are inviolable, was not as noble as it sounds, and the state of Georgia was literally born awash in corruption, and baptized our new nation in it.

The other important principle established by this decision, validating the sanctity of contract (while ignoring the criminal origins), was that the U.S. Supreme Court firmly established its authority to invalidate state laws. Hold that thought for when we fast forward back to 2019.

In another foreshadowing of greater foreboding, Fletcher v. Peck also hinted that Indians might not hold title to their own lands. Legal title magically resided, instead, in the government of the transplanted former European immigrants. And sure enough, Georgia was as bad as its word, reneging on a series of compacts and treaties — which were not as inviolable as the sale of lands contracted by way of bribery — to drive out the Creeks and Cherokees.

So, yet another early US Supreme Court decision — again arising out of Georgia, in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia — led directly to the Trail of Tears. In that case, the Cherokees tried to use the palefaces’ own court system to get an injunction against an enactment of the Georgia legislature stripping the Cherokees of their ancestral lands.

As we can tell from real estate development in North Georgia today, the Cherokees effectively lost, in 1831, because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case on jurisdictional grounds. As Chief Justice John Marshall said at the time, the dependent Indian “wards” were in no position to dispute their white male Georgia “guardians.”

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed direction on the question of Indian autonomy in Worcester v. Georgia. In that case, Georgia authorities sought to prosecute white settlers living in Indian territory — now Gwinnett County, which some still say remains uncivilized — in violation of a statute that barred non-Indians from living there to escape the authority of the state government. In the Worcester case, the Supreme Court held that Georgia could not intermeddle in the affairs between the United States and a sovereign Indian nation. This contradicted the dependent-ward outcome of Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, but President Andrew Jackson ignored the high court’s ruling and ordered the removal of the Cherokees, anyway.

Of course, this ultimate result, treating the Indians as dependents, constituted more sinister foreshadowing of the later road to Jim Crow white supremacy and the doctrine of separate but equal.

Most relevant to political battles raging today is the case of Chisolm v. Georgia, in which the new state in the newly-minted nation said it did not have to pay its debt from colonial bonds. Georgia relied on a doctrine near and dear to King George the Third’s heart: sovereign immunity.

Sovereign immunity is based on the old chestnut that the king can do no wrong (Rex non potest peccare), for which jurists calling themselves conservatives today search for authority all the way back to Lord Coke in 1608, in the time of divine right kings, and the writings of Sir William Blackstone in the 1760s, right before the American Revolution.

The king can do no wrong, translated into the shorthand of the modern vernacular, means no one can sue the state of Georgia for any reason. Because the state of Georgia says so.

Of course, that notion of divine right royalty was (until recently?) squarely rejected by the new American nation — and some argue the new U.S. Constitution also rejected the English common law doctrine of sovereign immunity along with the prohibition on royal titles.

Legal philosophy aside, the state of Georgia was addressing a more practical problem in 1792, at the inception of the American republic, only three years after the new U.S. Constitution went into effect, in 1789.

Not so ironically, the former debtors’ colony was trying to avoid its debts. Like other colonies, it had purchased goods on credit and issued bonds to pay for the war against the British.

An estate executor to one of the bondholders who lived in South Carolina was trying to collect on the IOU. Georgia maintained it did not have to pay, and it could not be sued on the debt (which, don’t forget, is essentially a contract to repay a loan, as in Fletcher v. Peck). Georgia, in fact, actually refused to appear before the court where the case was filed. (Do not doubt that you will find many of these past acts of our forefathers prophetic, as they are repeating themselves today, in ways that will have to wait for future installments of CL to explain, unless you, too, have the vision of a Howard Finster).

Some might say that this was not a principled position for the state of Georgia to take, that it could just not pay — without even having to show up in court or say the check is in the mail.

The U.S. Supreme Court said, however, in a 4-1 decision, at the time of the inception of the republic, that sovereign immunity was strictly for the birds. Georgia, in effect, had to pay its debts. Neither King George nor his laws from across the pond could protect Georgia’s founding fathers, rascals that they were, any longer.

State governments, including Georgia’s, were so offended at the notion they could be sued by any mere, paltry individual, even a landless one, that they pushed for the Eleventh Amendment to protect states from being sued in federal court. So Georgia’s lawlessness led to the first Constitutional amendment after the Bill of Rights. Arguably, the country headed back in the wrong direction — towards kinglike authority with no accountability.

And Georgia is still very busy today, trying to resurrect sovereign immunity from the common law of divine right kings. In recent years, Georgia courts have treated sovereign immunity as an immutable precept handed down in an unbroken line from the mists of prehistory. But that is a myth, as Georgia itself has treated sovereign immunity, the doctrine that prevents a citizen from seeking civil redress in the courts against the state, most wantonly.

As recently as 1990, for example, the Georgia Constitution said that whether a citizen could sue the state depended on whether Georgia had taken out liability insurance to cover the claim. In 1991, the Georgia legislature rescued the sacred relic, sovereign immunity, from this ignoble fate, at the hands of actuaries, by saying the state and state officials enjoy sovereign immunity protection unless a law passed by the legislature expressly waives the protection bound over from the 1700s.

That is where the law stands today, and what follows is what the Georgia courts have done in the last five years to expand sovereign immunity beyond anything ever envisioned even by King George and his ministers.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that sovereign immunity prevents an injunction from being issued against state agencies to require them to follow the laws the agencies are supposed to enforce. In Citizens for a Sustainable Coast v. Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, environmentalists complained that the state agency in question was handing out beachfront development permits in violation of the law governing that process.

But the Georgia Supreme Court said the agency did not have to answer to either the citizens or the law — based on the justices’ own distortion of the English common law. The ruling — widely recognized as absurd, though no one dares tell the imperial court — holds that the state agency cannot be sued, but that state officials (it would have read king’s ministers, on a 16th-century parchment) can be sued in their individual capacities, because that was the law in medieval England.

Needless to say, this is the one — and only — part of the recent sovereign immunity expansion that other elements of state government have resisted. Only because individual state employees do not want to be sued, in place of the state, in any action on assumpsit.

The Georgia Supreme Court went on from there, accepting arguments by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (who never actually practiced law) that bills passed by the legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional, in another opinion inviting ridicule in Lathrop v. Deal. For this novel proposition, Georgia’s Supreme Court justices roamed all the way back to Blackstone and Coke, but ultimately relied on Georgia’s Confederate Constitution of 1861 as the original inception of the idea that laws enacted by the state legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional.

Then you get to my cases, in which I have been trying to hold state government officials liable for abusing their powers — to commit criminal acts in office, harming both the State and individual victims. These victims include Daniel Papp, Denise Caldon, Dezso Benedek, Todd Brandenburg (who had the bad luck to report a state ethics violation by a member of the Board of Regents), and Anthony Tricoli — all of whom have been victims of documented criminal fraud by officials of the University System of Georgia.


In Tricoli v. Watts, the Georgia Court of Appeals, after denying Tricoli notice and an opportunity to even be heard and argue his case, held that state officials enjoy sovereign immunity to commit crimes, notwithstanding any law that says otherwise. That includes a pattern of related felonies prohibited by the Georgia RICO Act. In Tricoli’s case, that series of related felonies included knowing falsifications of state agency financial reports, concealment of theft of $10 million in taxpayer dollars, fraud in accreditation, fraud in state audits, and resulting fraud on the US government with respect to federal grants.

All these counterintuitive judicial opinions go to the roots of our democracy, and also to current events, in which it is very much an open question whether not only the State and its Ministers, but also the President and his Cabinet, may be held accountable to answer in a court of law for civil actions, subpoenas, and even criminal prosecution.

Unlike the law enacting the Yazoo land fraud, court opinions cannot be repealed. Rather, they are reversed and vacated by an appellate court, if not overruled legislatively. I hope to be there to help set up the giant lens and affix its beam on the text of the legal opinions — on the solemn occasion of the Reversal and Vacation by Incineration of the sovereign immunity screeds in Sustainable Coast, Lathrop v. Deal, and Tricoli v. Watts.

Then we can leave Georgia’s new, expanded, and invincible version of sovereign impunity where it belongs, in the drifting thoughts of Lord Coke in 1608, in the dreamland of myths."
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  string(17124) "!!!::''“Maybe these [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Zc8RAY7zo|__maps and legends__] have been misunderstood.”''::
!!!::— Michael Stipe::
 

Pretty much no sentient Georgian in recent years, with the possible exception of [https://americanart.si.edu/artist/howard-finster-1543|Howard Finster], could routinely recapture the vision from this former debtors’ colony — and see through the mind’s eye what transpired to make American history out of this state’s original sins: greed and corruption.

In fact, Georgia political corruption, deep-rooted since colonial days, provided the source material for some of the original landmark opinions of the United State Supreme Court, as the new jurists staked out the law of the land for the young republic in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Take the 1810 decision in ''[https://www.oyez.org/cases/1789-1850/10us87|Fletcher v. Peck]''. It nominally stands for the bland proposition that contracts will be honored (if that sounds quaintly obvious today, try enforcing a one-sided letter of intent with the Kremlin).

But the roots of the decision are much more venal and complex — or, rather, corrupt, since the contracts in question were obtained by criminal means — and the court did not consider the issues of unconscionability, or contracts for an illegal purpose. But there I go again, letting the law get in the way of a good story.

The specific question before the court was whether contracts for resale to bona fide purchasers [https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/capitalism/landmark_fletcher.html|could be rescinded] by an act of the legislature. Georgia did, however, provide the serious motive for trying to upend this cornerstone of commercial law.

The lawsuit arose from an Act of 1795, in which then-Governor George Matthews and certain members of the Georgia legislature [https://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/topics/history/article/revolution-early-republic-1776-1800/yazoo-land-fraud|took bribes to enact a sale] of most of the Yazoo lands that now comprise Alabama and Mississippi, aptly christened “Bourbon County,” to a secret society of land speculators. The corrupt Georgia government officials sold thousands of square miles, 35 million acres — for $500,000, or less than two cents an acre — to the politically-connected companies that bribed the legislators.

In response to the public outcry at this open and obvious corruption, a whole new wave of representatives were elected in 1796. The would-be reformers passed another act rescinding the act of bribery and corruption, invalidating the ill-gotten title to those immense tracts of land.

But the new legislators did not stop at passing a new act to replace the old, tainted law.

As only UGA Law of Legislative Government Professor R. Perry Sentell, Jr. could recount, in one of my favorite law school classes: Outraged Georgians gathered at the statehouse grounds of the then-capital of Georgia, Louisville, and set up a giant magnifying glass, catching “Holy Fire from Heaven,” and concentrated it on the text of the now-disfavored statute to bring about the “[http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/The_Pine_Barrens_Speculation_and_Yazoo_Land_Fraud|Repeal by Incineration]” of the “Bourbon County Act” by which the Yazoo land fraud was perpetrated.

Now that is what you would have to call a true expression of disgust. One wonders if Georgia can muster similar outrage for corruption by state officials in the [https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Georgia-called-the-Empire-State-of-the-South|Empire State of the South] today.

By the time of the incineration, however, many parcels in present-day Alabama and Mississippi had already been resold — at immense profit to the land speculators — and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in ''Fletcher v. Peck'''' ''that the Georgia legislature could not rescind those contracts.

So the holding, that contracts are inviolable, was not as noble as it sounds, and the state of Georgia was literally born awash in corruption, and baptized our new nation in it.

The other important principle established by this decision, validating the sanctity of contract (while ignoring the criminal origins), was that the U.S. Supreme Court firmly established its authority to invalidate state laws. Hold that thought for when we fast forward back to 2019.

In another foreshadowing of greater foreboding, Fletcher v. Peck also hinted that Indians might not hold title to their own lands. Legal title magically resided, instead, in the government of the transplanted former European immigrants. And sure enough, Georgia was as bad as its word, reneging on a series of compacts and treaties — which were not as inviolable as the sale of lands contracted by way of bribery — to drive out the Creeks and Cherokees.

So, yet another early US Supreme Court decision — again arising out of Georgia, in ''[https://www.fjc.gov/history/timeline/cherokee-nation-v.-georgia|Cherokee Nation v. Georgia]'' — led directly to the [https://cherokee.org/About-The-Nation/History/Trail-of-Tears/A-Brief-History-of-the-Trail-of-Tears|Trail of Tears]. In that case, the Cherokees tried to use the palefaces’ own court system to get an injunction against an enactment of the Georgia legislature stripping the Cherokees of their ancestral lands.

As we can tell from real estate development in North Georgia today, the Cherokees effectively lost, in 1831, because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case on jurisdictional grounds. As [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_Nation_v._Georgia|Chief Justice John Marshall said at the time], the dependent Indian “wards” were in no position to dispute their white male Georgia “guardians.”

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed direction on the question of Indian autonomy in ''[https://www.oyez.org/cases/1789-1850/31us515|Worcester v. Georgia]''. In that case, Georgia authorities sought to prosecute white settlers living in Indian territory — now Gwinnett County, which some still say remains uncivilized — in violation of a statute that barred non-Indians from living there to escape the authority of the state government. In the ''Worcester'' case, the Supreme Court held that Georgia could not intermeddle in the affairs between the United States and a sovereign Indian nation. This contradicted the dependent-ward outcome of ''Cherokee Nation v. Georgia'', but President Andrew Jackson ignored the high court’s ruling and ordered the removal of the Cherokees, anyway.

Of course, this ultimate result, treating the Indians as dependents, constituted more sinister foreshadowing of the later road to [http://newsreel.org/video/the-rise-and-fall-of-jim-crow|Jim Crow] white supremacy and the doctrine of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plessy_v._Ferguson|separate but equal].

Most relevant to political battles raging today is the case of ''[https://www.oyez.org/cases/1789-1850/2us419|Chisolm v. Georgia]'', in which the new state in the newly-minted nation said it did not have to pay its debt from colonial bonds. Georgia relied on a doctrine near and dear to King George the Third’s heart: [https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/sovereign_immunity|sovereign immunity].

Sovereign immunity is based on the old chestnut that the king can do no wrong (''Rex non potest peccare''), for which jurists calling themselves conservatives today [https://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2013&context=lalrev|search for authority] all the way back to Lord Coke in 1608, in the time of divine right kings, and the writings of [https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/william_blackstone_381938|Sir William Blackstone] in the 1760s, right before the American Revolution.

The king can do no wrong, translated into the shorthand of the modern vernacular, means no one can sue the state of Georgia for any reason. Because the state of Georgia says so.

Of course, that notion of divine right royalty was ([https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/30/donald-trump-evangelicals-god-1294578|until recently]?) squarely rejected by the new American nation — and some argue the new U.S. Constitution also [https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1685&context=faculty_scholarship|rejected] the English common law doctrine of sovereign immunity along with the prohibition on [https://www.heraldica.org/topics/usa/usnob.htm|royal titles].

Legal philosophy aside, the state of Georgia was addressing a more practical problem in 1792, at the inception of the American republic, only three years after the new U.S. Constitution went into effect, in 1789.

Not so ironically, the former debtors’ colony was trying to avoid its debts. Like other colonies, it had purchased goods on credit and issued bonds to pay for the war against the British.

An estate executor to one of the bondholders who lived in South Carolina was trying to collect on the IOU. Georgia maintained it did not have to pay, and it could not be sued on the debt (which, don’t forget, is essentially a contract to repay a loan, as in ''Fletcher v. Peck''). Georgia, in fact, actually [https://www.britannica.com/event/Chisholm-v-Georgia|refused to appear] before the court where the case was filed. (Do not doubt that you will find many of these past acts of our forefathers prophetic, as they are repeating themselves today, in ways that will have to wait for future installments of ''[https://creativeloafing.com/HomePage|CL]'' to explain, unless you, too, have the vision of a Howard Finster).

Some might say that this was not a principled position for the state of Georgia to take, that it could just not pay — without even having to show up in court or say the check is in the mail.

The U.S. Supreme Court said, however, in a [https://www.britannica.com/event/Chisholm-v-Georgia|4-1 decision], at the time of the inception of the republic, that sovereign immunity was strictly for the birds. Georgia, in effect, had to pay its debts. Neither King George nor his laws from across the pond could protect Georgia’s founding fathers, rascals that they were, any longer.

State governments, including Georgia’s, were so offended at the notion they could be sued by any mere, paltry individual, even a landless one, that they pushed for the [https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-xi|Eleventh Amendment] to protect states from being sued in federal court. So Georgia’s lawlessness led to the first Constitutional amendment after the Bill of Rights. Arguably, the country headed back in the wrong direction — towards kinglike authority with no accountability.

And Georgia is still very busy today, trying to resurrect sovereign immunity from the common law of divine right kings. In recent years, Georgia courts have treated sovereign immunity as an immutable precept handed down in an unbroken line from the mists of prehistory. But that is a myth, as Georgia itself has treated sovereign immunity, the doctrine that prevents a citizen from seeking civil redress in the courts against the state, most wantonly.

As recently as 1990, for example, the Georgia Constitution said that whether a citizen could sue the state depended on whether Georgia had taken out liability insurance to cover the claim. In 1991, the Georgia legislature rescued the sacred relic, sovereign immunity, from this ignoble fate, at the hands of actuaries, by saying the state and state officials enjoy sovereign immunity protection unless a law passed by the legislature expressly waives the protection bound over from the 1700s.

That is where the law stands today, and what follows is what the Georgia courts have done in the last five years to expand sovereign immunity beyond anything ever envisioned even by King George and his ministers.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that sovereign immunity prevents an injunction from being issued against state agencies to require them to follow the laws the agencies are supposed to enforce. In ''[https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-supreme-court/1658382.html|Citizens for a Sustainable Coast v. Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources]'', environmentalists complained that the state agency in question was handing out beachfront development permits in violation of the law governing that process.

But the Georgia Supreme Court said the agency did not have to answer to either the citizens or the law — based on the justices’ own distortion of the English common law. The ruling — widely recognized as absurd, though no one dares tell the imperial court — holds that the state agency cannot be sued, but that state officials (it would have read king’s ministers, on a 16th-century parchment) ''can'' be sued in their individual capacities, because that was the law in medieval England.

Needless to say, this is the one — and only — part of the recent sovereign immunity expansion that other elements of state government have [https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2019/05/15/legislation-waiving-sovereign-immunity-again-nixed-by-governors-veto-pen/|resisted]. Only because individual state employees do not want to be sued, in place of the state, in any action on assumpsit.

The Georgia Supreme Court went on from there, accepting [https://www.ajc.com/news/local/state-contends-its-laws-are-immune-court-challenges/awczOs3lh7m11AJcGIpE2H/|arguments by Georgia Attorney General] Chris Carr (who never actually practiced law) that bills passed by the legislature [https://www.gmanet.com/Advice-Knowledge/Legal-Database/2015-2017/Lathrop-v-Deal.aspx?feed=f4e1d80f-0459-41e1-baff-4694c4945b84|cannot be challenged] as unconstitutional, in another opinion inviting ridicule in ''[https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-supreme-court/1864799.html|Lathrop v. Deal]''. For this novel proposition, Georgia’s Supreme Court justices roamed all the way back to Blackstone and Coke, but ultimately relied on Georgia’s [http://insideradvantage.com/2017/07/10/the-ga-supreme-courts-monument-to-confederate-law/|Confederate Constitution of 1861] as the original inception of the idea that laws enacted by the state legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional.

Then you get to my cases, in which I have been trying to hold state government officials liable for abusing their powers — to commit criminal acts in office, harming both the State and individual victims. These victims include Daniel Papp, [https://creativeloafing.com/content-423650-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-Another-open-letter-to-the-Governor-2|Denise Caldon], [https://creativeloafing.com/content-421389-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES---When-First-We-Practice-to-Deceive|Dezso Benedek], Todd Brandenburg (who had the bad luck to report a state ethics violation by a member of the Board of Regents), and [https://creativeloafing.com/content-425364-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-The-adventure-of-the-disappearing-budget-surplus|Anthony Tricoli] — all of whom have been victims of documented criminal fraud by officials of the University System of Georgia.


In ''[https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-court-of-appeals/1730669.html|Tricoli v. Watts],'' the Georgia Court of Appeals, after denying Tricoli notice and an opportunity to even be heard and argue his case, held that state officials enjoy sovereign immunity to commit crimes, notwithstanding any law that [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zQnyo2R-xortZympMjnyrPsHfnSZuYJa/view?usp=sharing|says otherwise]. That includes a pattern of related felonies prohibited by the Georgia RICO Act. In Tricoli’s case, that series of related felonies included knowing falsifications of state agency financial reports, concealment of theft of $10 million in taxpayer dollars, fraud in accreditation, fraud in state audits, and resulting [https://drive.google.com/file/d/13KflAmaxl-tGv2lTvFnE-n9o4Lsrh8hu/view?usp=sharing|fraud on the US government] with respect to federal grants.

All these counterintuitive judicial opinions go to the roots of our democracy, and also to current events, in which it is very much an open question whether not only the State and its Ministers, but also the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-428359-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-What-goes-around-comes-from-down-south-2|President] and his Cabinet, may be held accountable to answer in a court of law for civil actions, subpoenas, and even criminal prosecution.

Unlike the law enacting the Yazoo land fraud, court opinions cannot be repealed. Rather, they are reversed and vacated by an appellate court, if not overruled legislatively. I hope to be there to help set up the giant lens and affix its beam on the text of the legal opinions — on the solemn occasion of the Reversal and Vacation by Incineration of the sovereign immunity screeds in ''Sustainable Coast, Lathrop v. Deal'', and ''Tricoli v. Watts.''

Then we can leave Georgia’s new, expanded, and invincible version of sovereign impunity where it belongs, in the drifting thoughts of Lord Coke in 1608, in the dreamland of myths."
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  string(14720) " EDIT Yazoo Georgia Controversy Copy 3  2019-07-08T20:45:57+00:00 EDIT Yazoo-Georgia_Controversy copy 3.jpg     Historical myths and urban legends get new lease in Georgia 2019 20190  2019-07-08T20:43:57+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Reconstruction of the fables tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris STEPHEN HUMPHREYS Stephen Humphreys 2019-07-08T20:43:57+00:00  !!!“Maybe these maps and legends have been misunderstood.”
!!!— Michael Stipe
 

Pretty much no sentient Georgian in recent years, with the possible exception of Howard Finster, could routinely recapture the vision from this former debtors’ colony — and see through the mind’s eye what transpired to make American history out of this state’s original sins: greed and corruption.

In fact, Georgia political corruption, deep-rooted since colonial days, provided the source material for some of the original landmark opinions of the United State Supreme Court, as the new jurists staked out the law of the land for the young republic in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Take the 1810 decision in Fletcher v. Peck. It nominally stands for the bland proposition that contracts will be honored (if that sounds quaintly obvious today, try enforcing a one-sided letter of intent with the Kremlin).

But the roots of the decision are much more venal and complex — or, rather, corrupt, since the contracts in question were obtained by criminal means — and the court did not consider the issues of unconscionability, or contracts for an illegal purpose. But there I go again, letting the law get in the way of a good story.

The specific question before the court was whether contracts for resale to bona fide purchasers could be rescinded by an act of the legislature. Georgia did, however, provide the serious motive for trying to upend this cornerstone of commercial law.

The lawsuit arose from an Act of 1795, in which then-Governor George Matthews and certain members of the Georgia legislature took bribes to enact a sale of most of the Yazoo lands that now comprise Alabama and Mississippi, aptly christened “Bourbon County,” to a secret society of land speculators. The corrupt Georgia government officials sold thousands of square miles, 35 million acres — for $500,000, or less than two cents an acre — to the politically-connected companies that bribed the legislators.

In response to the public outcry at this open and obvious corruption, a whole new wave of representatives were elected in 1796. The would-be reformers passed another act rescinding the act of bribery and corruption, invalidating the ill-gotten title to those immense tracts of land.

But the new legislators did not stop at passing a new act to replace the old, tainted law.

As only UGA Law of Legislative Government Professor R. Perry Sentell, Jr. could recount, in one of my favorite law school classes: Outraged Georgians gathered at the statehouse grounds of the then-capital of Georgia, Louisville, and set up a giant magnifying glass, catching “Holy Fire from Heaven,” and concentrated it on the text of the now-disfavored statute to bring about the “Repeal by Incineration” of the “Bourbon County Act” by which the Yazoo land fraud was perpetrated.

Now that is what you would have to call a true expression of disgust. One wonders if Georgia can muster similar outrage for corruption by state officials in the Empire State of the South today.

By the time of the incineration, however, many parcels in present-day Alabama and Mississippi had already been resold — at immense profit to the land speculators — and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Fletcher v. Peck that the Georgia legislature could not rescind those contracts.

So the holding, that contracts are inviolable, was not as noble as it sounds, and the state of Georgia was literally born awash in corruption, and baptized our new nation in it.

The other important principle established by this decision, validating the sanctity of contract (while ignoring the criminal origins), was that the U.S. Supreme Court firmly established its authority to invalidate state laws. Hold that thought for when we fast forward back to 2019.

In another foreshadowing of greater foreboding, Fletcher v. Peck also hinted that Indians might not hold title to their own lands. Legal title magically resided, instead, in the government of the transplanted former European immigrants. And sure enough, Georgia was as bad as its word, reneging on a series of compacts and treaties — which were not as inviolable as the sale of lands contracted by way of bribery — to drive out the Creeks and Cherokees.

So, yet another early US Supreme Court decision — again arising out of Georgia, in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia — led directly to the Trail of Tears. In that case, the Cherokees tried to use the palefaces’ own court system to get an injunction against an enactment of the Georgia legislature stripping the Cherokees of their ancestral lands.

As we can tell from real estate development in North Georgia today, the Cherokees effectively lost, in 1831, because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case on jurisdictional grounds. As Chief Justice John Marshall said at the time, the dependent Indian “wards” were in no position to dispute their white male Georgia “guardians.”

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed direction on the question of Indian autonomy in Worcester v. Georgia. In that case, Georgia authorities sought to prosecute white settlers living in Indian territory — now Gwinnett County, which some still say remains uncivilized — in violation of a statute that barred non-Indians from living there to escape the authority of the state government. In the Worcester case, the Supreme Court held that Georgia could not intermeddle in the affairs between the United States and a sovereign Indian nation. This contradicted the dependent-ward outcome of Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, but President Andrew Jackson ignored the high court’s ruling and ordered the removal of the Cherokees, anyway.

Of course, this ultimate result, treating the Indians as dependents, constituted more sinister foreshadowing of the later road to Jim Crow white supremacy and the doctrine of separate but equal.

Most relevant to political battles raging today is the case of Chisolm v. Georgia, in which the new state in the newly-minted nation said it did not have to pay its debt from colonial bonds. Georgia relied on a doctrine near and dear to King George the Third’s heart: sovereign immunity.

Sovereign immunity is based on the old chestnut that the king can do no wrong (Rex non potest peccare), for which jurists calling themselves conservatives today search for authority all the way back to Lord Coke in 1608, in the time of divine right kings, and the writings of Sir William Blackstone in the 1760s, right before the American Revolution.

The king can do no wrong, translated into the shorthand of the modern vernacular, means no one can sue the state of Georgia for any reason. Because the state of Georgia says so.

Of course, that notion of divine right royalty was (until recently?) squarely rejected by the new American nation — and some argue the new U.S. Constitution also rejected the English common law doctrine of sovereign immunity along with the prohibition on royal titles.

Legal philosophy aside, the state of Georgia was addressing a more practical problem in 1792, at the inception of the American republic, only three years after the new U.S. Constitution went into effect, in 1789.

Not so ironically, the former debtors’ colony was trying to avoid its debts. Like other colonies, it had purchased goods on credit and issued bonds to pay for the war against the British.

An estate executor to one of the bondholders who lived in South Carolina was trying to collect on the IOU. Georgia maintained it did not have to pay, and it could not be sued on the debt (which, don’t forget, is essentially a contract to repay a loan, as in Fletcher v. Peck). Georgia, in fact, actually refused to appear before the court where the case was filed. (Do not doubt that you will find many of these past acts of our forefathers prophetic, as they are repeating themselves today, in ways that will have to wait for future installments of CL to explain, unless you, too, have the vision of a Howard Finster).

Some might say that this was not a principled position for the state of Georgia to take, that it could just not pay — without even having to show up in court or say the check is in the mail.

The U.S. Supreme Court said, however, in a 4-1 decision, at the time of the inception of the republic, that sovereign immunity was strictly for the birds. Georgia, in effect, had to pay its debts. Neither King George nor his laws from across the pond could protect Georgia’s founding fathers, rascals that they were, any longer.

State governments, including Georgia’s, were so offended at the notion they could be sued by any mere, paltry individual, even a landless one, that they pushed for the Eleventh Amendment to protect states from being sued in federal court. So Georgia’s lawlessness led to the first Constitutional amendment after the Bill of Rights. Arguably, the country headed back in the wrong direction — towards kinglike authority with no accountability.

And Georgia is still very busy today, trying to resurrect sovereign immunity from the common law of divine right kings. In recent years, Georgia courts have treated sovereign immunity as an immutable precept handed down in an unbroken line from the mists of prehistory. But that is a myth, as Georgia itself has treated sovereign immunity, the doctrine that prevents a citizen from seeking civil redress in the courts against the state, most wantonly.

As recently as 1990, for example, the Georgia Constitution said that whether a citizen could sue the state depended on whether Georgia had taken out liability insurance to cover the claim. In 1991, the Georgia legislature rescued the sacred relic, sovereign immunity, from this ignoble fate, at the hands of actuaries, by saying the state and state officials enjoy sovereign immunity protection unless a law passed by the legislature expressly waives the protection bound over from the 1700s.

That is where the law stands today, and what follows is what the Georgia courts have done in the last five years to expand sovereign immunity beyond anything ever envisioned even by King George and his ministers.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that sovereign immunity prevents an injunction from being issued against state agencies to require them to follow the laws the agencies are supposed to enforce. In Citizens for a Sustainable Coast v. Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, environmentalists complained that the state agency in question was handing out beachfront development permits in violation of the law governing that process.

But the Georgia Supreme Court said the agency did not have to answer to either the citizens or the law — based on the justices’ own distortion of the English common law. The ruling — widely recognized as absurd, though no one dares tell the imperial court — holds that the state agency cannot be sued, but that state officials (it would have read king’s ministers, on a 16th-century parchment) can be sued in their individual capacities, because that was the law in medieval England.

Needless to say, this is the one — and only — part of the recent sovereign immunity expansion that other elements of state government have resisted. Only because individual state employees do not want to be sued, in place of the state, in any action on assumpsit.

The Georgia Supreme Court went on from there, accepting arguments by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (who never actually practiced law) that bills passed by the legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional, in another opinion inviting ridicule in Lathrop v. Deal. For this novel proposition, Georgia’s Supreme Court justices roamed all the way back to Blackstone and Coke, but ultimately relied on Georgia’s Confederate Constitution of 1861 as the original inception of the idea that laws enacted by the state legislature cannot be challenged as unconstitutional.

Then you get to my cases, in which I have been trying to hold state government officials liable for abusing their powers — to commit criminal acts in office, harming both the State and individual victims. These victims include Daniel Papp, Denise Caldon, Dezso Benedek, Todd Brandenburg (who had the bad luck to report a state ethics violation by a member of the Board of Regents), and Anthony Tricoli — all of whom have been victims of documented criminal fraud by officials of the University System of Georgia.


In Tricoli v. Watts, the Georgia Court of Appeals, after denying Tricoli notice and an opportunity to even be heard and argue his case, held that state officials enjoy sovereign immunity to commit crimes, notwithstanding any law that says otherwise. That includes a pattern of related felonies prohibited by the Georgia RICO Act. In Tricoli’s case, that series of related felonies included knowing falsifications of state agency financial reports, concealment of theft of $10 million in taxpayer dollars, fraud in accreditation, fraud in state audits, and resulting fraud on the US government with respect to federal grants.

All these counterintuitive judicial opinions go to the roots of our democracy, and also to current events, in which it is very much an open question whether not only the State and its Ministers, but also the President and his Cabinet, may be held accountable to answer in a court of law for civil actions, subpoenas, and even criminal prosecution.

Unlike the law enacting the Yazoo land fraud, court opinions cannot be repealed. Rather, they are reversed and vacated by an appellate court, if not overruled legislatively. I hope to be there to help set up the giant lens and affix its beam on the text of the legal opinions — on the solemn occasion of the Reversal and Vacation by Incineration of the sovereign immunity screeds in Sustainable Coast, Lathrop v. Deal, and Tricoli v. Watts.

Then we can leave Georgia’s new, expanded, and invincible version of sovereign impunity where it belongs, in the drifting thoughts of Lord Coke in 1608, in the dreamland of myths.    Allen Johnson, (1915). Union and Democracy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company., Public Domain   0,0,2                                 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Reconstruction of the fables "
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News, Outlandish Conspiracy Theories

Monday July 8, 2019 04:43 pm EDT
Historical myths and urban legends get new lease in Georgia 2019 | more...
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  string(12561) "!!!!....Now the new big story is that Trump made a lot of money and buys everything for cash, he doesn’t need banks. But where did he get all of that cash? Could it be Russia? No, I built a great business and don’t need banks, but if I did they would be there ...and DeutscheBank....
!!!!— @realDonaldTrump
!!!!8:20 a.m., 20 May 2019


Do you find yourself overwhelmed and upset by the everyday onslaught of troubling news from the nation’s capital — from Jared and Ivanka’s suspicious security clearances to Deutsche Bank compliance officers being fired for reporting financial transactions between the Trump Foundation and Russia? 

Are you tired of the rush of outrageous controversies — about whether the President of the United States can be held accountable under the law — coming out of Washington every day? Maybe you are not aware that the idea of an executive who is above the law has been under development right here in Georgia for at least a decade. Or that much of the fatiguing news that is coming straight from the states — like bills criminalizing abortion in Alabama and Georgia — is explicitly directed at a Washington audience? 

There are more compelling comparisons, and heretofore unseen connections, between the political struggles going on at the state and federal levels than you imagined before. Just take the headline developments of one day in your life, like May 20, 2019:

Subpoenas are only for some people.

Subpoenas were in the news May 20, with Donald Trump fighting calls for his tax returns and Deutsche Bank records, accompanied by news that Deutsche Bank compliance officers were fired after arguing suspicious transactions, including transfers from Jared Kushner to Russians, should be reported to FINCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) as possible money laundering. Trump was also fighting a congressional subpoena to the Mazars accounting firm that did Trump’s tax returns, but a federal judge ruled on May 20 that Trump's legal position was ridiculous.

A federal judge also ruled that there was no legal basis for the White House to block the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn. Nonetheless, McGahn, was defying another congressional subpoena at the White House’s direction. By the time you read this column, there will doubtless be more examples of the Trump administration defying any oversight. 

But defying subpoenas, and also open records requests, is old hat to the state of Georgia. In 2018, when I wanted to question University System of Georgia (USG) officials under oath about their emails discussing millions of taxpayer dollars and federal funds “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), the Georgia senior assistant attorney general, Mac Sitton, tried to get subpoenaed witnesses informally excused by emailing the court. As if a subpoena did not constitute compulsory process, but rather some sort of social media ephemera, like SnapChat.

In the end, all that online bullying by the AG was unnecessary, because DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey quashed the subpoenas for no reason — at least no reason recognized by the law. “I would rather not hear the evidence” does not count. And that is basically what this administration is saying in Washington: Subpoenas are optional for the people we are defending.

You do not have to have any reason at all. You can even make up a false reason. Then Georgia attorney general Chris Carr misrepresented to Judge Coursey that USG witnesses were not familiar with their own emails in which they discussed financial fraud at GPC.

You don’t even have to appear

Normally, privileges or other objections to providing evidence must be examined question by question. So, for example, McGahn would have to appear and make any specific objection he had to answering a particular question. Instead, he simply did not show up. 

But Fulton County Judge Susan Edlein beat McGahn to the punch in 2015 when she refused to answer any questions in mandamus proceedings about her ties to a defendant in the case over which she was presiding, former Attorney General Sam Olens. A succession of judges made the case go away by stating they could not discern what claim could possibly be raised when Edlein lied to the court in which the mandamus action was filed about protecting Olens by, for example, illegally barring amendments to the complaint against him.

Compliance with mandatory statutes is also voluntary

That brings us to another D.C./Georgia similarity, because Georgia law is clear that a complaint can be amended all the way up until the time of trial, and there is nothing a judge can do to stop it. Judge Edlein tried it anyway — twice, in fact.

And Steve Mnuchin and William Barr have used the same vein of statutory interpretation to say they do not have to follow the law requiring them to produce Trump’s tax returns. Just disregard what the statute says, and that’s the end of it. 

Georgia is way out ahead on that front, already on the record for ignoring, as an example, the statute that requires at least 30 days’ notice and a hearing before a judge can decide to toss out your case without allowing you to have a trial and present your evidence to a jury. That is exactly the law the Georgia courts ignored in 2016 to dismiss Anthony Tricoli’s case against state officials who falsified, concealed, and misrepresented state agency financial records to hide a $16 million shortage of funds at GPC.

The main reason for all this executive freedom is blanket immunity

Since executive privilege no longer applied after McGahn gave 30 hours of testimony to the Special Counsel, the White House went for a bolder stroke: Executive officials are immune. That is really an end-of-story proposition. It means “No response necessary,” no documents or appearances, nothing.

Immunity means that McGahn could not be called to testify before Congress even if there was evidence of a crime. Even if there was a conflict between McGahn’s testimony under oath and Trump’s tweets — which, in fact, there is.

Once again, Georgia is way ahead of the game. Georgia has been arguing since 2013 that Georgia state officials enjoy sovereign immunity to commit crimes with impunity. That includes perjury, bribery, evidence tampering, wire fraud, and extortion. It includes falsifying state agency financial records to conceal the theft of taxpayer money. It even includes fraud against the federal government!

Georgia has taken that position ever since I first filed civil RICO actions against state officials for committing felonies in office — lawsuits expressly authorized by the Georgia RICO Act. But we have already established that the Georgia government does not have to follow any statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature.

Look at all the other great things sovereign immunity can do in Georgia:

*Immunity prevents state agencies from being enjoined to follow the laws they are supposed to enforce (see, again, statutes optional).
*The RICO statute says you can enjoin a state agency, but the Georgia Court of Appeals said in Tricoli v. Watts that the statute does not mean what it said in OCGA 16-14-6(a & b).
*Most of all, immunity means never having to be subpoenaed. It also means that state officials cannot be put on trial, for example, for falsifying agency records to hide financial fraud involving millions of taxpayer dollars.
*Lastly, the courts have gone so far as to say that Georgia state officials, including judges, are also immune to the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That is why Georgia does not have to fool with its own silly statutes when it finds them inconvenient.
+ 
The Constitution does not apply at all

Another neat trick Georgia accomplished, aside from dispensing with due process of law, is to say that illegal statutes cannot be reviewed for compliance with the Constitution — unless it is the Confederate Constitution of 1861. 

Is the constitutionality of Georgia’s new six-week law criminalizing abortion debatable? Not to worry. Georgia has already covered that, because sovereign immunity, since 2017, prevents you from challenging a state statute as unconstitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court decided that the first time Georgia passed a law to put doctors in prison for therapeutic abortions. Just to do Alabama one better, since Alabama lawmakers gave a pass for rape and incest, Georgia relies on Confederate Law to make laws criminalizing abortion inviolable. Georgia relied on the aforementioned Confederate Constitution as the deciding factor in opining that such statutes cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. And do not doubt there was a national connection when the Georgia Supreme Court justices were auditioning to replace Scalia.

Government retaliation against political enemies is fine

All this is to say, it is quite a pain to government officials when government corruption is exposed. Trump wants to investigate those pesky investigators who found out he lied about the Trump Tower meeting and the negotiations during the election campaign — in which Putin was interfering — with Putin’s government to build Trump Tower Moscow. According to Trump, Mueller and his henchmen committed treason and deserve long jail sentences.

And Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr also argued that the First Amendment does not apply in Georgia — when it comes to retaliating against anyone who wants to point out any corruption in state government.

You get to review your own conduct!

One of the neat things about immunity is the absence of any independent oversight.

You read in the news on May 20 that the people at Deutsche Bank — who fired the compliance officers who wanted to report payments to Russians to FINCEN — reviewed their own decisions about the potential money laundering.

Not to be outdone, the USG got to review itself when GPC turned up $16 million short, and $10 million was never found, even after the USG’s chief audit officer performed a self-review, not a full audit, of himself. And that was fine with Attorney General Sam Olens who saw no reason to investigate further since he did not see any criminality.

You don’t have to follow your own rules.

Just as Deutsche bank ignored its own financial compliance rules, USG did not follow any of its rules when it blamed Tricoli for the missing $16 million and reviewed itself. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) did not follow its own requirements or procedures, either, when it accepted the USG’s self-review in place of the independent audit required for SACS compliance.

So what if the result is fraud against the federal government, which makes accreditation a condition of receiving financial assistance from the US government, right down the student loan money pouring into USG coffers. Seventy percent of GPC students received federal financial aid at the time the $16 million deficit was discovered.

Lying to the people is OK if you serve in the government

Trump called McGahn a liar about Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller and obstruct the Russia investigation. Then Trump told McGahn not to appear before the Judiciary Committee to sort out who was lying. Trump lied about Trump Tower Moscow, and told Don Jr. to lie and say the meeting with Veselnitskaya was about adoptions. 

Georgia actually has a better law than the feds. Under the Georgia statute, you don’t have to be under oath to commit a crime by falsifying state records or misrepresenting any issue under state jurisdiction. Well, not to worry, the AG is ignoring that. The AG said in 2012 if GPC’s then-CBO Ron Carruth was lying about GPC finances to the school’s president and the rest of the administration, that was their problem. In other words, the AG took the option to not recognize the statute making those lies a crime, OCGA 16-10-20.

In Georgia, the powers that be are breaking down the rule of law to save the hides of state government officials like Sheletha Champion and Steve Wrigley, who concealed and misrepresented the financial condition of GPC. Granted, so far, they have gotten a better deal than General Flynn, and certainly better than Michael Cohen.

But look at Jeff Sessions. He got away with misrepresenting his meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Who in Georgia is going to be able to top that?"
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!!!!— [https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1130433208250769410|@realDonaldTrump]
!!!!8:20 a.m., 20 May 2019


Do you find yourself overwhelmed and upset by the everyday onslaught of troubling news from the nation’s capital — from Jared and Ivanka’s suspicious [http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/jared-and-ivankas-security-clearance-scandal-what-we-know.html|security clearances] to Deutsche Bank compliance officers being [https://www.businessinsider.com/jared-kushner-russia-2016-money-transfer-deutsche-bank-2019-5|fired for reporting financial transactions] between the Trump Foundation and Russia? 

Are you tired of the rush of outrageous controversies — about whether the President of the United States can be held accountable under the law — coming out of Washington every day? Maybe you are not aware that the idea of an executive who is above the law has been under development right here in Georgia for at least a decade. Or that much of the fatiguing news that is coming straight from the states — like [https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/05/alabama-georgia-abortion-bills/589504/|bills criminalizing abortion] in Alabama and Georgia — is explicitly directed at a Washington audience? 

There are more compelling comparisons, and heretofore unseen connections, between the political struggles going on at the state and federal levels than you imagined before. Just take the headline developments of one day in your life, like May 20, 2019:

Subpoenas are only for some people.

Subpoenas were in the news May 20, with Donald Trump [http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/mnuchin-refuses-to-comply-with-trump-tax-return-subpoena.html|fighting calls for his tax returns] and Deutsche Bank records, accompanied by news that Deutsche Bank compliance officers were fired after arguing suspicious transactions, including transfers from Jared Kushner to Russians, should be reported to [https://www.fincen.gov/about/mission|FINCEN] (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) as possible money laundering. Trump was also fighting a [https://www.npr.org/2019/05/20/725126001/white-house-says-its-blocking-don-mcgahn-from-testifying-in-congress|congressional subpoena] to the Mazars accounting firm that did Trump’s tax returns, but a [https://www.lawfareblog.com/court-will-not-block-oversight-committee-subpoena-mazars|federal judge ruled] on May 20 that Trump's legal position was ridiculous.

A federal judge also ruled that there was [https://www.npr.org/2019/05/20/725126001/white-house-says-its-blocking-don-mcgahn-from-testifying-in-congress|no legal basis] for the White House to block the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn. Nonetheless, McGahn, was defying another congressional subpoena at the [https://thehill.com/homenews/house/444624-white-house-denies-subpoena-for-mcgahn-to-testify|White House’s direction]. By the time you read this column, there will doubtless be [https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/15/white-house-says-house-judiciary-cant-investigate-trump-obstruction/3681538002/|more examples] of the Trump administration defying any oversight. 

But defying subpoenas, and also open records requests, is old hat to the state of Georgia. In 2018, when I wanted to question University System of Georgia (USG) officials [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view?usp=sharing|under oath about their emails] discussing millions of taxpayer dollars and federal funds “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), the Georgia senior assistant attorney general, Mac Sitton, tried to get subpoenaed witnesses [https://drive.google.com/file/d/141NT4j4QTXqdghCqXuuTw7R_f_RcuUCS/view?usp=sharing|informally excused] by emailing the court. As if a subpoena did not constitute compulsory process, but rather some sort of social media ephemera, like SnapChat.

In the end, all that online bullying by the AG was unnecessary, because DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey quashed the subpoenas for no reason — at least no reason recognized by the law. “I would rather not hear the evidence” [https://drive.google.com/file/d/132p_IyYk0CYHCwgeF7Zgpx4mq584w73i/view?usp=sharing|does not count]. And that is basically what this administration is saying in Washington: Subpoenas are optional for the people we are defending.

You do not have to have any reason at all. You can even make up a false reason. Then Georgia attorney general Chris Carr misrepresented to Judge Coursey that USG witnesses were not familiar with their own emails in which they discussed financial fraud at GPC.

__You don’t even have to appear__

Normally, privileges or other objections to providing evidence must be examined question by question. So, for example, McGahn would have to appear and make any specific objection he had to answering a particular question. Instead, he simply [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/20/us/politics/mcgahn-trump-congress.html|did not show up]. 

But Fulton County Judge Susan Edlein beat McGahn to the punch in 2015 when she refused to answer any questions in mandamus proceedings about her ties to a defendant in the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-421389-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES---When-First-We-Practice-to-Deceive|case] over which she was presiding, former Attorney General Sam Olens. A succession of judges made the case go away by stating they could not discern what claim could possibly be raised when Edlein lied to the court in which the mandamus action was filed about protecting Olens by, for example, illegally barring amendments to the complaint against him.

__Compliance with mandatory statutes is also voluntary__

That brings us to another D.C./Georgia similarity, because Georgia law is clear that a complaint can be amended all the way up until the time of trial, and there is [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-9/chapter-11/article-3/9-11-15/|nothing] a judge can do to stop it. Judge Edlein tried it anyway — twice, in fact.

And Steve Mnuchin and William Barr have used the same vein of statutory interpretation to say they [https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-the-law-that-requires-steven-mnuchin-to-turn-over-trumps-taxes-or-lose-his-office-and-go-to-prison|do not have to follow the law] requiring them to produce Trump’s tax returns. Just disregard what the statute says, and that’s the end of it. 

Georgia is way out ahead on that front, already on the record for ignoring, as an example, the [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-9/chapter-11/article-7/9-11-56|statute] that requires at least 30 days’ notice and a hearing before a judge can decide to toss out your case without allowing you to have a trial and present your evidence to a jury. That is exactly the law the Georgia courts ignored in 2016 to dismiss Anthony Tricoli’s case against state officials who falsified, concealed, and misrepresented state agency financial records to hide a $16 million shortage of funds at GPC.

__The main reason for all this executive freedom is blanket immunity__

Since executive privilege no longer applied after McGahn gave 30 hours of testimony to the Special Counsel, the White House went for a bolder stroke: Executive officials are immune. That is really an end-of-story proposition. It means “No response necessary,” no documents or appearances, nothing.

Immunity means that McGahn could not be called to testify before Congress even if there was evidence of a crime. Even if there was a conflict between McGahn’s testimony under oath and Trump’s tweets — which, in fact, there is.

Once again, Georgia is way ahead of the game. Georgia has been arguing since 2013 that Georgia state officials enjoy sovereign immunity to commit crimes with impunity. That includes perjury, bribery, evidence tampering, wire fraud, and extortion. It includes falsifying state agency financial records to conceal the theft of taxpayer money. It even includes fraud against the federal government!

Georgia has taken that position ever since I first filed civil RICO actions against state officials for committing felonies in office — lawsuits expressly authorized by the Georgia RICO Act. But we have already established that the Georgia government does not have to follow any statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature.

Look at all the other great things sovereign immunity can do in Georgia:

*Immunity prevents state agencies [https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ga-supreme-court/1658382.html|from being enjoined] to follow the laws they are supposed to enforce (see, again, statutes optional).
*The RICO statute says you can enjoin a state agency, but the Georgia Court of Appeals said in Tricoli v. Watts that the statute does not mean what it said in [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-14/16-14-6/|OCGA 16-14-6(a & b)].
*Most of all, immunity means never having to be subpoenaed. It also means that state officials cannot be put on trial, for example, for falsifying agency records to hide financial fraud involving millions of taxpayer dollars.
*Lastly, the courts have gone so far as to say that Georgia state officials, including judges, are also immune to the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That is why Georgia does not have to fool with its own silly statutes when it finds them [http://https://creativeloafing.com/content-426489-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-GEORGIA-S-FIFTY-YEAR-CYCLE|inconvenient].
+ 
__The Constitution does not apply at all__

Another neat trick Georgia accomplished, aside from dispensing with due process of law, is to say that illegal statutes cannot be reviewed for compliance with the Constitution — unless it is the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Constitutional_Convention_of_1861|Confederate Constitution] of 1861. 

Is the constitutionality of Georgia’s new six-week law criminalizing abortion debatable? Not to worry. Georgia has already covered that, because sovereign immunity, since 2017, prevents you from challenging a state statute as unconstitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court decided that the first time Georgia passed a law to [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/596e5ddbe4b05561da5a5b3e|put doctors in prison] for therapeutic abortions. Just to do Alabama one better, since Alabama lawmakers gave a pass for rape and incest, Georgia relies on Confederate Law to make laws criminalizing abortion [http://insideradvantage.com/2017/07/10/the-ga-supreme-courts-monument-to-confederate-law/|inviolable]. Georgia relied on the aforementioned Confederate Constitution as the deciding factor in opining that such statutes cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. And do not doubt there was a national connection when the Georgia Supreme Court justices were [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AljO4hInQPwzfLdVKVhaFq868Dy3z8Uu/view?usp=sharing|auditioning] to replace Scalia.

__Government retaliation against political enemies is fine__

All this is to say, it is quite a pain to government officials when government corruption is exposed. Trump wants to investigate those pesky investigators who found out he lied about the Trump Tower meeting and the negotiations during the election campaign — in which Putin was interfering — with Putin’s government to build Trump Tower Moscow. According to Trump, Mueller and his henchmen [https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-calls-2016-campaign-spying-treason-warns-of-long-jail-sentences|committed treason] and deserve long jail sentences.

And Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr also argued that the First Amendment does not apply in Georgia — when it comes to retaliating against anyone who wants to point out any corruption in state government.

__You get to review your own conduct!__

One of the neat things about immunity is the absence of any independent oversight.

You read in the news on May 20 that the people at Deutsche Bank — who fired the compliance officers who wanted to report payments to Russians to FINCEN — reviewed their own decisions about the potential money laundering.

Not to be outdone, the USG got to review itself when GPC turned up $16 million short, and $10 million was never found, even after the USG’s chief audit officer performed a self-review, not a full audit, of himself. And that was fine with Attorney General Sam Olens who saw no reason to investigate further since he did not see any criminality.

__You don’t have to follow your own rules.__

Just as Deutsche bank ignored its own financial compliance rules, USG did not follow any of its rules when it blamed Tricoli for the missing $16 million and reviewed itself. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) did not follow its own requirements or procedures, either, when it accepted the USG’s self-review in place of the independent audit required for SACS compliance.

So what if the result is fraud against the federal government, which makes accreditation a condition of receiving financial assistance from the US government, right down the student loan money pouring into USG coffers. Seventy percent of GPC students received federal financial aid at the time the $16 million deficit was discovered.

__Lying to the people is OK if you serve in the government__

Trump called McGahn a liar about Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller and obstruct the Russia investigation. Then Trump told McGahn not to appear before the Judiciary Committee to sort out who was lying. Trump lied about Trump Tower Moscow, and told Don Jr. [https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/jun/07/president-trumps-lawyers/was-initial-trump-statement-ny-times-accurate-lawy/|to lie] and say the meeting with Veselnitskaya was about adoptions. 

Georgia actually has a better law than the feds. Under the Georgia statute, you [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|don’t have to be under oath] to commit a crime by falsifying state records or misrepresenting any issue under state jurisdiction. Well, not to worry, the AG is ignoring that. The AG said in 2012 if GPC’s then-CBO Ron Carruth was lying about GPC finances to the school’s president and the rest of the administration, that was their problem. In other words, the AG took the option to [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q7q07YHq5F-JcpFVkUMxMXeIFewgllnJ/view?usp=sharing|not recognize the statute] making those lies a crime, OCGA 16-10-20.

In Georgia, the powers that be are breaking down the rule of law to save the hides of state government officials like Sheletha Champion and Steve Wrigley, who concealed and misrepresented the financial condition of GPC. Granted, so far, they have gotten a better deal than General Flynn, and certainly better than Michael Cohen.

But look at Jeff Sessions. He got away with misrepresenting his meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Who in Georgia is going to be able to top that?"
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  string(13033) " ##OCT June Capitol  2019-06-05T18:43:02+00:00 ##OCT June capitol.jpg     The news you are tired of hearing from Washington is not even reported in Georgia 18512  2019-06-05T17:40:18+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: What goes around comes from down south tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris Stephen Humphreys   2019-06-05T17:40:18+00:00  !!!!....Now the new big story is that Trump made a lot of money and buys everything for cash, he doesn’t need banks. But where did he get all of that cash? Could it be Russia? No, I built a great business and don’t need banks, but if I did they would be there ...and DeutscheBank....
!!!!— @realDonaldTrump
!!!!8:20 a.m., 20 May 2019


Do you find yourself overwhelmed and upset by the everyday onslaught of troubling news from the nation’s capital — from Jared and Ivanka’s suspicious security clearances to Deutsche Bank compliance officers being fired for reporting financial transactions between the Trump Foundation and Russia? 

Are you tired of the rush of outrageous controversies — about whether the President of the United States can be held accountable under the law — coming out of Washington every day? Maybe you are not aware that the idea of an executive who is above the law has been under development right here in Georgia for at least a decade. Or that much of the fatiguing news that is coming straight from the states — like bills criminalizing abortion in Alabama and Georgia — is explicitly directed at a Washington audience? 

There are more compelling comparisons, and heretofore unseen connections, between the political struggles going on at the state and federal levels than you imagined before. Just take the headline developments of one day in your life, like May 20, 2019:

Subpoenas are only for some people.

Subpoenas were in the news May 20, with Donald Trump fighting calls for his tax returns and Deutsche Bank records, accompanied by news that Deutsche Bank compliance officers were fired after arguing suspicious transactions, including transfers from Jared Kushner to Russians, should be reported to FINCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) as possible money laundering. Trump was also fighting a congressional subpoena to the Mazars accounting firm that did Trump’s tax returns, but a federal judge ruled on May 20 that Trump's legal position was ridiculous.

A federal judge also ruled that there was no legal basis for the White House to block the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn. Nonetheless, McGahn, was defying another congressional subpoena at the White House’s direction. By the time you read this column, there will doubtless be more examples of the Trump administration defying any oversight. 

But defying subpoenas, and also open records requests, is old hat to the state of Georgia. In 2018, when I wanted to question University System of Georgia (USG) officials under oath about their emails discussing millions of taxpayer dollars and federal funds “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), the Georgia senior assistant attorney general, Mac Sitton, tried to get subpoenaed witnesses informally excused by emailing the court. As if a subpoena did not constitute compulsory process, but rather some sort of social media ephemera, like SnapChat.

In the end, all that online bullying by the AG was unnecessary, because DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey quashed the subpoenas for no reason — at least no reason recognized by the law. “I would rather not hear the evidence” does not count. And that is basically what this administration is saying in Washington: Subpoenas are optional for the people we are defending.

You do not have to have any reason at all. You can even make up a false reason. Then Georgia attorney general Chris Carr misrepresented to Judge Coursey that USG witnesses were not familiar with their own emails in which they discussed financial fraud at GPC.

You don’t even have to appear

Normally, privileges or other objections to providing evidence must be examined question by question. So, for example, McGahn would have to appear and make any specific objection he had to answering a particular question. Instead, he simply did not show up. 

But Fulton County Judge Susan Edlein beat McGahn to the punch in 2015 when she refused to answer any questions in mandamus proceedings about her ties to a defendant in the case over which she was presiding, former Attorney General Sam Olens. A succession of judges made the case go away by stating they could not discern what claim could possibly be raised when Edlein lied to the court in which the mandamus action was filed about protecting Olens by, for example, illegally barring amendments to the complaint against him.

Compliance with mandatory statutes is also voluntary

That brings us to another D.C./Georgia similarity, because Georgia law is clear that a complaint can be amended all the way up until the time of trial, and there is nothing a judge can do to stop it. Judge Edlein tried it anyway — twice, in fact.

And Steve Mnuchin and William Barr have used the same vein of statutory interpretation to say they do not have to follow the law requiring them to produce Trump’s tax returns. Just disregard what the statute says, and that’s the end of it. 

Georgia is way out ahead on that front, already on the record for ignoring, as an example, the statute that requires at least 30 days’ notice and a hearing before a judge can decide to toss out your case without allowing you to have a trial and present your evidence to a jury. That is exactly the law the Georgia courts ignored in 2016 to dismiss Anthony Tricoli’s case against state officials who falsified, concealed, and misrepresented state agency financial records to hide a $16 million shortage of funds at GPC.

The main reason for all this executive freedom is blanket immunity

Since executive privilege no longer applied after McGahn gave 30 hours of testimony to the Special Counsel, the White House went for a bolder stroke: Executive officials are immune. That is really an end-of-story proposition. It means “No response necessary,” no documents or appearances, nothing.

Immunity means that McGahn could not be called to testify before Congress even if there was evidence of a crime. Even if there was a conflict between McGahn’s testimony under oath and Trump’s tweets — which, in fact, there is.

Once again, Georgia is way ahead of the game. Georgia has been arguing since 2013 that Georgia state officials enjoy sovereign immunity to commit crimes with impunity. That includes perjury, bribery, evidence tampering, wire fraud, and extortion. It includes falsifying state agency financial records to conceal the theft of taxpayer money. It even includes fraud against the federal government!

Georgia has taken that position ever since I first filed civil RICO actions against state officials for committing felonies in office — lawsuits expressly authorized by the Georgia RICO Act. But we have already established that the Georgia government does not have to follow any statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature.

Look at all the other great things sovereign immunity can do in Georgia:

*Immunity prevents state agencies from being enjoined to follow the laws they are supposed to enforce (see, again, statutes optional).
*The RICO statute says you can enjoin a state agency, but the Georgia Court of Appeals said in Tricoli v. Watts that the statute does not mean what it said in OCGA 16-14-6(a & b).
*Most of all, immunity means never having to be subpoenaed. It also means that state officials cannot be put on trial, for example, for falsifying agency records to hide financial fraud involving millions of taxpayer dollars.
*Lastly, the courts have gone so far as to say that Georgia state officials, including judges, are also immune to the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That is why Georgia does not have to fool with its own silly statutes when it finds them inconvenient.
+ 
The Constitution does not apply at all

Another neat trick Georgia accomplished, aside from dispensing with due process of law, is to say that illegal statutes cannot be reviewed for compliance with the Constitution — unless it is the Confederate Constitution of 1861. 

Is the constitutionality of Georgia’s new six-week law criminalizing abortion debatable? Not to worry. Georgia has already covered that, because sovereign immunity, since 2017, prevents you from challenging a state statute as unconstitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court decided that the first time Georgia passed a law to put doctors in prison for therapeutic abortions. Just to do Alabama one better, since Alabama lawmakers gave a pass for rape and incest, Georgia relies on Confederate Law to make laws criminalizing abortion inviolable. Georgia relied on the aforementioned Confederate Constitution as the deciding factor in opining that such statutes cannot be challenged as unconstitutional. And do not doubt there was a national connection when the Georgia Supreme Court justices were auditioning to replace Scalia.

Government retaliation against political enemies is fine

All this is to say, it is quite a pain to government officials when government corruption is exposed. Trump wants to investigate those pesky investigators who found out he lied about the Trump Tower meeting and the negotiations during the election campaign — in which Putin was interfering — with Putin’s government to build Trump Tower Moscow. According to Trump, Mueller and his henchmen committed treason and deserve long jail sentences.

And Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr also argued that the First Amendment does not apply in Georgia — when it comes to retaliating against anyone who wants to point out any corruption in state government.

You get to review your own conduct!

One of the neat things about immunity is the absence of any independent oversight.

You read in the news on May 20 that the people at Deutsche Bank — who fired the compliance officers who wanted to report payments to Russians to FINCEN — reviewed their own decisions about the potential money laundering.

Not to be outdone, the USG got to review itself when GPC turned up $16 million short, and $10 million was never found, even after the USG’s chief audit officer performed a self-review, not a full audit, of himself. And that was fine with Attorney General Sam Olens who saw no reason to investigate further since he did not see any criminality.

You don’t have to follow your own rules.

Just as Deutsche bank ignored its own financial compliance rules, USG did not follow any of its rules when it blamed Tricoli for the missing $16 million and reviewed itself. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) did not follow its own requirements or procedures, either, when it accepted the USG’s self-review in place of the independent audit required for SACS compliance.

So what if the result is fraud against the federal government, which makes accreditation a condition of receiving financial assistance from the US government, right down the student loan money pouring into USG coffers. Seventy percent of GPC students received federal financial aid at the time the $16 million deficit was discovered.

Lying to the people is OK if you serve in the government

Trump called McGahn a liar about Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller and obstruct the Russia investigation. Then Trump told McGahn not to appear before the Judiciary Committee to sort out who was lying. Trump lied about Trump Tower Moscow, and told Don Jr. to lie and say the meeting with Veselnitskaya was about adoptions. 

Georgia actually has a better law than the feds. Under the Georgia statute, you don’t have to be under oath to commit a crime by falsifying state records or misrepresenting any issue under state jurisdiction. Well, not to worry, the AG is ignoring that. The AG said in 2012 if GPC’s then-CBO Ron Carruth was lying about GPC finances to the school’s president and the rest of the administration, that was their problem. In other words, the AG took the option to not recognize the statute making those lies a crime, OCGA 16-10-20.

In Georgia, the powers that be are breaking down the rule of law to save the hides of state government officials like Sheletha Champion and Steve Wrigley, who concealed and misrepresented the financial condition of GPC. Granted, so far, they have gotten a better deal than General Flynn, and certainly better than Michael Cohen.

But look at Jeff Sessions. He got away with misrepresenting his meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak. Who in Georgia is going to be able to top that?    Pixabay   0,0,2                                 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: What goes around comes from down south "
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Outlandish Conspiracy Theories " ["chit_category"]=> string(11) "88" }

Homepage, News, Outlandish Conspiracy Theories

Wednesday June 5, 2019 01:40 pm EDT
The news you are tired of hearing from Washington is not even reported in Georgia | more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(58) "OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: GEORGIA'S FIFTY YEAR CYCLE"
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  string(90) "According to your state government: the US Constitution does not apply to Georgia—again!"
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  string(90) "According to your state government: the US Constitution does not apply to Georgia—again!"
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  string(10326) "!!!Whatever springes the State may set for those who are endeavoring to assert rights that the State confers, the assertion of Federal rights…is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.
!!!— Chief Justice Earl Warren in Wright v. Georgia, 1963
What would you say if state government officials falsified the financial reports of a state college to conceal the transfer of $10 million for unknown purposes, and then colluded in secret to gang up on you to publicly accuse you of being responsible for the $10 million shortfall on the ledger sheet? Take a minute to imagine yourself in that place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what is the conclusion to this horror movie?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what is the conclusion to this horror movie?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what is the conclusion to this horror movie?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday May 4, 2019 09:51 am EDT
According to your state government: the US Constitution does not apply to Georgia—again! | more...
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They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Martin Luther
#27 of 95 Theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,
October 31, 1517

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions. A number of queries have rolled in from prior Outlandish Conspiracy Theories (OCT) columns, and answering them will, I believe, help your understanding of the assault on independent government responsive to the public that is going on in Georgia, if we take a minute to absorb some lessons before moving on to more disturbing intrigues.
Here is one I get a lot:

Q: Why is this CL series called Outlandish Conspiracy Theories? Isn’t that suggesting these tales of government corruption are not credible, not to be believed?

A: First, I agree, none of this long-running saga, a battle with state government that has gone on for 10 years now, is believable. None of it is credible. When I first defended UGA professor Dezso Benedek and caught the attorney general of Georgia red-handed attempting to hide evidence, I could not believe it either.

But, sure enough, one of the attorney general’s witnesses admitted the attorney general showed her an email clearing Benedek of the charges a week before the hearing, to discuss how to testify on that point — but the attorney general illegally withheld this exculpatory email from Benedek’s defense counsel. I really had an OMG moment right there in the UGA Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom (a place so dear to the heart of many of my legal colleagues and classmates).

And some law students who were there for their edification really got an education in subornation of perjury. Who ever thought it would come from the attorney general? Not me!
The problem is, it is all true — all the lies and corruption — as outrageous as that seems. A series of attorneys general has, for lack of a legal argument, attacked my credibility. But I always tell people: Don’t take my word for it. Look at the documents, mostly from the state’s own records. There is a lot of truth hiding in plain sight because the arrogant crooks who abuse the powers of their office really don’t expect anyone to ever look. It’s almost that simple — to the practiced eye (which means, of course, not really). The hidden scandals are not that brilliantly camouflaged, though, if I can find them out.

You have to understand I got my training trying to sort out the facts in places like Cuba and Iraq, where they were much more ingeniously disguised than anything the Georgia GOP good ole boys and girls ever devised. The key to it all — whether discerning truth through a Southern drawl or the mumbled Spanish of Holguín province — is like reading the Rosetta Stone.

If you know one thing that is true, if you know for sure what one thing means, all the rest of the lies and puffery fall clattering away, and the reality takes shape from there. I don’t mind giving away a secret or two, because few can replicate them, anyway. Brian Kemp, after all, is no Fidel Castro, which I am sure he would naively take as a compliment.

So the truth is there to be divined. Many people don’t want to believe it, anyway. A Fox I-team reporter, who has done some good and important work, said he would have to see some documentation before he gave any credence to my tales of corruption and conspiracy. So I sent him a couple hundred pages of annotated state records and never heard from him again.
But back to the question. You thought I forgot it. When it comes to exposing corruption, the normal is byzantine and circuitous.

Back before he was caught like a rat in a trap (friendly judges keep letting him out), former Attorney General Sam Olens used to try to mock the RICO actions I brought against corrupt state government officials. In addition to concocting the argument that they had sovereign immunity to commit felonies, Olens tried out some one-liners and sound bytes (he couldn’t cite any cases to support his arguments, after all).

One of my favorites was when Olens admitted his office never investigated any of the crimes I pointed out in state government. So I asked the governor to appoint an independent investigator (remember what I told you? Don’t take my word for any of this). Six years and two governors later, no resident of the mansion on West Paces Ferry has ever responded to 11 separate requests to appoint an independent investigator.

But in lieu of the governor, Sam Olens did respond to the first request to get to the truth. Olens called my request for an independent investigation one of “Humphreys’ attention-seeking gimmicks.” I’m sorry, I still can’t help laughing when I hear that!

One of the sound bytes the Olens brain trust conceived was to call my RICO complaints, against state government agencies and officials, “outlandish conspiracy theories.” Olens said it. His spokesperson repeated it. Assistant attorneys general even recited the phrase in radio interviews. They may have even tested it in a focus group, for all I know, but they reiterated it more than a Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t seem strictly kosher for an attorney general, even if it’s technically legal.

I say it’s not fair game because, remember, Olens admitted the attorney general’s office never investigated any of the allegations he was ridiculing.

And that’s an example of what I mean by putting two-and-two together. No one ever writes out a contract, “We hereby enter a conspiracy to commit a crime,” the way Trump tried to stonewall in the Russia and Ukraine investigations. Criminal or counterintelligence investigation — it’s all the same. Just look for what doesn’t add up.

But not to sound mysterious or sinister, Olens, to coin a cliché, was merely trying to suggest in his subtle way that I might wear a tin-foil hat to bed at night, or double as the Mad Hatter by day, or maybe I accused Ted Cruz’ father of assassinating JFK. That is what you do when you are the attorney general of Georgia, the top law enforcement official in the state, and you are defending the criminals.

Well, you know what they used to say back in 1517, as soon as the coin clinks in the money chest …

Nowadays, the OCT sound byte has the bite of irony, since Olens’ poor replacement, the literally lawless Chris Carr, cannot even answer the documented allegations of criminal fraud and obstruction in state government that I make on a regular basis. In fact, Carr has not been able to fashion a substantive answer to a RICO pleading for more than three years now. See, for example, The Phantom Case from Kennesaw State.

So now we use “Outlandish Conspiracy Theories” with an ironic, slightly sardonic twist — sort of like twisting the knife in Attorney General Chris Carr, who can no longer respond to our documented dead-to-rights allegations of fraud on the federal government and money laundering in the University System of Georgia (USG).

Former Attorney General Sam Olens also launched a few smear campaigns and intimidation tactics, but it took nice guy Chris Carr to really get down in the ditch to fight dirty. I say that not because he is some dreaded Leon Spinks disguised as a choir boy, but mainly because he really undermined the law to try to defend the status quo of the people who placed him in a position of authority. I don’t say a position of power, because he has none, really. And part of his problem is he doesn’t really even know what the law is. That’s not a qualification any more in Southern Trumplandia.

I will tell you more about the attorney general smear tactics, retaliation, and intimidation campaigns at a later date. Would you like to hear about it next week?

::::

Q: I have seen you abbreviating Outlandish Conspiracy Theories as OCT, for short. Does that acronym have any hidden meaning?

A: O-C-T, of course, are the initials of Outlandish Conspiracy Theories, a mouthful that can also take up a lot of space when writing it out. So, yes, OCT for short.
But since you are looking for some hidden meaning or Freudian slip, let me try some numerology on you. OCT is also an abbreviation for October, and that reflects a very important data point in this epic struggle.

On October 31, 2009, I wrote the letter to the Board of Regents on behalf of my client, Professor Dezso Benedek, exposing corruption at UGA — not 95 theses, but 25 pages worth, which was plenty, but not nearly enough, because I did not know yet what I was missing. At any rate, that October 2009 missive is what incurred the wrath of then-UGA President Michael Adams, and caused him to scream in the halls of the Board of Regents offices — to ask if anyone could rid him of this meddling professor.

Next thing you knew, I was in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, proving that the attorney general of Georgia was bringing knowingly false tenure revocation charges based on manufactured evidence. Needless to say, no one’s tenure got revoked that day. But Adams and the attorney general said sovereign immunity allowed them to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and commit a string of other felonies to retaliate against Benedek, so here we are, still, 10 years later, litigating that very pertinent question.

The attorney general, needless to say again, is on the side of the bad guys. Who can explain it? It probably has something to do with something about something clinking in the chest, or something like that. Though it’s funny how, around here, the head racketeers love to make a big deal out of being such devout Christians.

On October 31, 2014, I wrote my first letter asking Governor Deal to appoint an independent investigator. As I mentioned: never answered, seven letters total. Brian Kemp is lagging behind — Kemp has only ignored four letters requesting him to appoint an independent investigator.

Also on October 31, in 2016 this time, I filed the RICO action for extortion and bribery, Richards v. Olens, that later, with the passing of years, became the fabled Phantom Case at Kennesaw State.

If you notice an historical pattern in the dates, you must have realized by now that October 31 is not just Halloween. From a more religious perspective, it is the eve of All Saints Day, the last day of October, and that is the reason why it is the date on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door. Some days I think I know how he felt, to bang on the door and make someone in a funny hat very unhappy. And there are days I could use a little indulgence, and would love to be released from purgatory myself.

Luther said his dramatic action was an invitation to debate. Just like I invite Chris Carr or any Georgia Supreme Court Justice to cite one statute, case precedent, or constitutional provision that supports immunity for state officials who commit a cold-blooded crime (not a tort of negligence), contrary to all the legal authority they judiciously ignore that states otherwise.

I’ll admit Martin Luther is one of my heroes, though I also have to admit he kind of lost his shit later in life. In his defense, that was only after the Reformation set people on one another with pruning hooks and scythes all over Europe. For my part, I’ll try to remain a lifelong responsible citizen.

And people often ask me, in that vein: Don’t you fear you are going to let loose a whirlwind? Some people think I am attacking UGA, of which I am a proud graduate, or that I am going to ruin its national reputation (to my own detriment).

Funny how they blame me for giving the school a black eye. They don’t blame Mike Adams, who ran the University like a racketeering enterprise. In fact, that is where I got the idea to bring the first civil RICO actions ever leveled against state government entities. So that’s historical.

My thought is that the best thing for Georgia’s reputation is to clean the place up. Don’t claim there is nothing not to be proud of — when we all know that is a lie just swept under the rug to fester with the dust mites.

Well, I promised to answer several questions, but I see with my loquaciousness and observational asides, we are already out of time, so I am going to have to stop at two questions today. See you next week with another installment of OCT. We’ll have another Q&A again sometime soon. In the meantime, feel free to send in your interrogatories. Unlike the state government officials who are defendants in my RICO cases, I will actually try to answer them. I’m not immune. —CL—"
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''They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.''

__Martin Luther__
__#27 of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-five_Theses|95 Theses] nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,__
__October 31, 1517__

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions. A number of queries have rolled in from prior Outlandish Conspiracy Theories (OCT) columns, and answering them will, I believe, help your understanding of the assault on independent government responsive to the public that is going on in Georgia, if we take a minute to absorb some lessons before moving on to more disturbing intrigues.
Here is one I get a lot:

__Q: Why is this ''CL'' series called ''Outlandish Conspiracy Theories''? Isn’t that suggesting these tales of government corruption are not credible, not to be believed?__

__A:__ First, I agree, none of this long-running saga, a battle with state government that has gone on for 10 years now, is believable. None of it is credible. When I first defended UGA professor Dezso Benedek and caught the attorney general of Georgia red-handed attempting to [https://creativeloafing.com/content-421389-outlandish-conspiracy-theories---when-first-we-practice-to|hide evidence], I could not believe it either.

But, sure enough, one of the attorney general’s witnesses admitted the attorney general [http://www.globetc.org/documents/gatewoodtorpedo.pdf|showed her an email clearing Benedek of the charges a week before the hearing], to discuss how to testify on that point — but the attorney general illegally withheld this exculpatory email from Benedek’s defense counsel. I really had an OMG moment right there in the UGA Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom (a place so dear to the heart of many of my legal colleagues and [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StLNJOf9Zc&feature=emb_title|classmates]).

And some law students who were there for their edification really got an education in [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-4/16-10-72/|subornation of perjury]. Who ever thought it would come from the attorney general? Not me!
The problem is, it is all true — all the lies and corruption — as outrageous as that seems. A series of attorneys general has, for lack of a legal argument, attacked my credibility. But I always tell people: Don’t take my word for it. Look at the documents, mostly from the state’s own records. There is a lot of truth hiding in plain sight because the arrogant crooks who abuse the powers of their office really don’t expect anyone to ever look. It’s almost that simple — to the practiced eye (which means, of course, not really). The hidden scandals are not that brilliantly camouflaged, though, if I can find them out.

You have to understand I got my training trying to sort out the facts in places like Cuba and Iraq, where they were much more ingeniously disguised than anything the Georgia GOP good ole boys and girls ever devised. The key to it all — whether discerning truth through a Southern drawl or the mumbled Spanish of Holguín province — is like reading the Rosetta Stone.

If you know one thing that is true, if you know for sure what one thing means, all the rest of the lies and puffery fall clattering away, and the reality takes shape from there. I don’t mind giving away a secret or two, because few can replicate them, anyway. Brian Kemp, after all, is no Fidel Castro, which I am sure he would naively take as a compliment.

So the truth is there to be divined. Many people don’t want to believe it, anyway. A Fox I-team reporter, who has done some good and important work, said he would have to see some documentation before he gave any credence to my tales of corruption and conspiracy. So I sent him a couple hundred pages of annotated state records and never heard from him again.
But back to the question. You thought I forgot it. When it comes to exposing corruption, the normal is byzantine and circuitous.

Back before he was caught like a rat in a trap (friendly judges keep letting him out), former Attorney General Sam Olens used to try to mock the RICO actions I brought against corrupt state government officials. In addition to concocting the argument that they had sovereign [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|immunity to commit felonies], Olens tried out some one-liners and sound bytes (he couldn’t cite any cases to support his arguments, after all).

One of my favorites was when Olens admitted his office never investigated any of the crimes I pointed out in state government. So I asked the governor to appoint an [https://creativeloafing.com/content-423650-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-another-open-letter-to-the|independent investigator] (remember what I told you? Don’t take my word for any of this). Six years and two governors later, no resident of the mansion on West Paces Ferry has ever responded to 11 separate [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4OP-AqsBJToxcEYU70td-PrsNiOnBsi/view?usp=sharing|requests to appoint] an independent investigator.

But in lieu of the governor, Sam Olens did respond to the first request to get to the truth. Olens called my request for an independent investigation one of “Humphreys’ [https://tinyurl.com/y97mt9um|attention-seeking gimmicks].” I’m sorry, I still can’t help laughing when I hear that!

One of the sound bytes the Olens brain trust conceived was to call my RICO complaints, against state government agencies and officials, “outlandish conspiracy theories.” Olens said it. His spokesperson repeated it. Assistant attorneys general even recited the phrase in [http://wabe.org/post/judge-hears-rico-complaint-brought-ex-perimeter-college-president|radio interviews]. They may have even tested it in a focus group, for all I know, but they reiterated it more than a Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t seem strictly kosher for an attorney general, even if it’s technically legal.

I say it’s not fair game because, remember, Olens admitted [https://www.cbs46.com/news/allegations-of-public-corruption-not-investigated-by-ga-attorney-general/article_073ff831-c3f2-5f48-98ee-ccf397eecb8d.html|the attorney general’s office never investigated] any of the allegations he was ridiculing.

And that’s an example of what I mean by putting two-and-two together. No one ever writes out a contract, “We hereby enter a conspiracy to commit a crime,” the way Trump tried to [https://creativeloafing.com/content-428359-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-what-goes-around-comes-from-down|stonewall] in the Russia and Ukraine investigations. Criminal or counterintelligence investigation — it’s all the same. Just look for what doesn’t add up.

But not to sound mysterious or sinister, Olens, to coin a cliché, was merely trying to suggest in his subtle way that I might wear a tin-foil hat to bed at night, or double as the Mad Hatter by day, or maybe I accused Ted Cruz’ father of assassinating JFK. That is what you do when you are the attorney general of Georgia, the top law enforcement official in the state, and you are defending the criminals.

Well, you know what they used to say back in 1517, as soon as the coin clinks in the money chest …

Nowadays, the OCT sound byte has the bite of irony, since Olens’ poor replacement, the literally lawless Chris Carr, cannot even answer the documented allegations of criminal fraud and obstruction in state government that I make on a regular basis. In fact, Carr has not been able to fashion a substantive answer to a RICO pleading for more than three years now. See, for example, [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470581-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-timeline-of-the-phantom-case-at|The Phantom Case from Kennesaw State].

So now we use “Outlandish Conspiracy Theories” with an ironic, slightly sardonic twist — sort of like twisting the knife in Attorney General Chris Carr, who can no longer respond to our documented dead-to-rights allegations of fraud on the federal government and money laundering in the University System of Georgia (USG).

Former Attorney General Sam Olens also launched a few smear campaigns and intimidation tactics, but it took nice guy Chris Carr to really get down in the ditch to fight dirty. I say that not because he is some dreaded [https://hannibalboxing.com/when-neon-leon-met-the-greatest-a-look-back-forty-years-later/|Leon Spinks] disguised as a choir boy, but mainly because he really undermined the law to try to defend the status quo of the people who placed him in a position of authority. I don’t say a position of power, because he has none, really. And part of his problem is he doesn’t really even know what the law is. That’s not a qualification any more in [https://creativeloafing.com/content-428359-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-what-goes-around-comes-from-down|Southern Trumplandia].

I will tell you more about the attorney general smear tactics, retaliation, and intimidation campaigns at a later date. Would you like to hear about it next week?

::{img fileId="31656" imalign="center" desc="19th-century painting by Julius Hübner depicting Luther's posting of the Theses before a crowd." responsive="y"}::

__Q: I have seen you abbreviating Outlandish Conspiracy Theories as OCT, for short. Does that acronym have any hidden meaning?__

__A:__ O-C-T, of course, are the initials of Outlandish Conspiracy Theories, a mouthful that can also take up a lot of space when writing it out. So, yes, OCT for short.
But since you are looking for some hidden meaning or Freudian slip, let me try some numerology on you. OCT is also an abbreviation for October, and that reflects a very important data point in this epic struggle.

On October 31, 2009, I wrote the [http://www.globetc.org/documents/davis10.31.09.pdf|letter to the Board of Regents] on behalf of my client, Professor Dezso Benedek, exposing corruption at UGA — not 95 theses, but 25 pages worth, which was plenty, but not nearly enough, because I did not know yet what I was missing. At any rate, that October 2009 missive is what incurred the wrath of then-UGA President Michael Adams, and caused him to scream in the halls of the Board of Regents offices — to ask if anyone could rid him of this meddling professor.

Next thing you knew, I was in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, proving that the attorney general of Georgia was bringing knowingly false tenure revocation charges based on manufactured evidence. Needless to say, no one’s tenure got revoked that day. But Adams and the attorney general said [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|sovereign immunity] allowed them to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and commit a string of other felonies to retaliate against Benedek, so here we are, still, 10 years later, litigating that very pertinent question.

The attorney general, needless to say again, is on the side of the bad guys. Who can explain it? It probably has something to do with something about something clinking in the chest, or something like that. Though it’s funny how, around here, the head racketeers love to make a big deal out of being such devout Christians.

On October 31, 2014, I wrote my first letter asking Governor Deal to appoint an independent investigator. As I mentioned: never answered, seven letters total. Brian Kemp is lagging behind — Kemp has only ignored four letters requesting him to appoint an independent investigator.

Also on October 31, in 2016 this time, I filed the RICO action for extortion and bribery, ''Richards v. Olens'', that later, with the passing of years, became the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470581-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-timeline-of-the-phantom-case-at|fabled] Phantom Case at Kennesaw State.

If you notice an historical pattern in the dates, you must have realized by now that October 31 is not just Halloween. From a more religious perspective, it is the eve of All Saints Day, the last day of October, and that is the reason why it is the date on which [https://www.biography.com/religious-figure/martin-luther|Martin Luther] nailed his [https://www.luther.de/en/95thesen.html|95 Theses] to the church door. Some days I think I know how he felt, to bang on the door and make someone in a funny hat very unhappy. And there are days I could use a little indulgence, and would love to be released from purgatory myself.

Luther said his dramatic action was an invitation to debate. Just like I invite Chris Carr or any [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ez5Ae9tHg_BnmVl8KA1KOQnqNhYqOoRL/view|Georgia Supreme Court Justice] to cite one statute, case precedent, or constitutional provision that supports immunity for state officials who commit a cold-blooded crime (not a tort of negligence), contrary to all the legal authority they judiciously ignore that states otherwise.

I’ll admit Martin Luther is one of my heroes, though I also have to admit he kind of lost his shit [https://www.luther.de/en/tintenfass.html|later in life]. In his defense, that was only after the [https://www.britannica.com/event/Reformation|Reformation] set people on one another with pruning hooks and scythes all over Europe. For my part, I’ll try to remain a lifelong responsible citizen.

And people often ask me, in that vein: Don’t you fear you are going to let loose a whirlwind? Some people think I am attacking UGA, of which I am a [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StLNJOf9Zc&feature=emb_title|proud graduate], or that I am going to ruin its national reputation (to my own detriment).

Funny how they blame me for giving the school a black eye. They don’t blame Mike Adams, who ran the University like a [https://creativeloafing.com/content-419541-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-imagine-holding-georgia-s-government|racketeering enterprise]. In fact, that is where I got the idea to bring the first civil RICO actions ever leveled against state government entities. So that’s historical.

My thought is that the best thing for Georgia’s reputation is to clean the place up. Don’t claim there is nothing ''not'' to be proud of — when we all know that is a lie just swept under the rug to fester with the dust mites.

Well, I promised to answer several questions, but I see with my loquaciousness and observational asides, we are already out of time, so I am going to have to stop at two questions today. See you next week with another installment of [https://creativeloafing.com/content-430618-outlandish-conspiracy-theories|OCT]. We’ll have another Q&A again sometime soon. In the meantime, feel free to send in your interrogatories. Unlike the state government officials who are defendants in my RICO cases, I will actually try to answer them. I’m not immune. __—CL—__"
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  string(13427) " OCT 66102 Luther95theses Wikimediacommons.1200w.tn  2020-06-18T18:13:09+00:00 OCT_66102-luther95theses-wikimediacommons.1200w.tn.jpg    conspiracytheories  31655  2020-06-18T17:51:10+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: The October Surprise is not what Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr had in mind jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-06-18T17:51:10+00:00  
They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Martin Luther
#27 of 95 Theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,
October 31, 1517

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions. A number of queries have rolled in from prior Outlandish Conspiracy Theories (OCT) columns, and answering them will, I believe, help your understanding of the assault on independent government responsive to the public that is going on in Georgia, if we take a minute to absorb some lessons before moving on to more disturbing intrigues.
Here is one I get a lot:

Q: Why is this CL series called Outlandish Conspiracy Theories? Isn’t that suggesting these tales of government corruption are not credible, not to be believed?

A: First, I agree, none of this long-running saga, a battle with state government that has gone on for 10 years now, is believable. None of it is credible. When I first defended UGA professor Dezso Benedek and caught the attorney general of Georgia red-handed attempting to hide evidence, I could not believe it either.

But, sure enough, one of the attorney general’s witnesses admitted the attorney general showed her an email clearing Benedek of the charges a week before the hearing, to discuss how to testify on that point — but the attorney general illegally withheld this exculpatory email from Benedek’s defense counsel. I really had an OMG moment right there in the UGA Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom (a place so dear to the heart of many of my legal colleagues and classmates).

And some law students who were there for their edification really got an education in subornation of perjury. Who ever thought it would come from the attorney general? Not me!
The problem is, it is all true — all the lies and corruption — as outrageous as that seems. A series of attorneys general has, for lack of a legal argument, attacked my credibility. But I always tell people: Don’t take my word for it. Look at the documents, mostly from the state’s own records. There is a lot of truth hiding in plain sight because the arrogant crooks who abuse the powers of their office really don’t expect anyone to ever look. It’s almost that simple — to the practiced eye (which means, of course, not really). The hidden scandals are not that brilliantly camouflaged, though, if I can find them out.

You have to understand I got my training trying to sort out the facts in places like Cuba and Iraq, where they were much more ingeniously disguised than anything the Georgia GOP good ole boys and girls ever devised. The key to it all — whether discerning truth through a Southern drawl or the mumbled Spanish of Holguín province — is like reading the Rosetta Stone.

If you know one thing that is true, if you know for sure what one thing means, all the rest of the lies and puffery fall clattering away, and the reality takes shape from there. I don’t mind giving away a secret or two, because few can replicate them, anyway. Brian Kemp, after all, is no Fidel Castro, which I am sure he would naively take as a compliment.

So the truth is there to be divined. Many people don’t want to believe it, anyway. A Fox I-team reporter, who has done some good and important work, said he would have to see some documentation before he gave any credence to my tales of corruption and conspiracy. So I sent him a couple hundred pages of annotated state records and never heard from him again.
But back to the question. You thought I forgot it. When it comes to exposing corruption, the normal is byzantine and circuitous.

Back before he was caught like a rat in a trap (friendly judges keep letting him out), former Attorney General Sam Olens used to try to mock the RICO actions I brought against corrupt state government officials. In addition to concocting the argument that they had sovereign immunity to commit felonies, Olens tried out some one-liners and sound bytes (he couldn’t cite any cases to support his arguments, after all).

One of my favorites was when Olens admitted his office never investigated any of the crimes I pointed out in state government. So I asked the governor to appoint an independent investigator (remember what I told you? Don’t take my word for any of this). Six years and two governors later, no resident of the mansion on West Paces Ferry has ever responded to 11 separate requests to appoint an independent investigator.

But in lieu of the governor, Sam Olens did respond to the first request to get to the truth. Olens called my request for an independent investigation one of “Humphreys’ attention-seeking gimmicks.” I’m sorry, I still can’t help laughing when I hear that!

One of the sound bytes the Olens brain trust conceived was to call my RICO complaints, against state government agencies and officials, “outlandish conspiracy theories.” Olens said it. His spokesperson repeated it. Assistant attorneys general even recited the phrase in radio interviews. They may have even tested it in a focus group, for all I know, but they reiterated it more than a Willie Horton ad, which doesn’t seem strictly kosher for an attorney general, even if it’s technically legal.

I say it’s not fair game because, remember, Olens admitted the attorney general’s office never investigated any of the allegations he was ridiculing.

And that’s an example of what I mean by putting two-and-two together. No one ever writes out a contract, “We hereby enter a conspiracy to commit a crime,” the way Trump tried to stonewall in the Russia and Ukraine investigations. Criminal or counterintelligence investigation — it’s all the same. Just look for what doesn’t add up.

But not to sound mysterious or sinister, Olens, to coin a cliché, was merely trying to suggest in his subtle way that I might wear a tin-foil hat to bed at night, or double as the Mad Hatter by day, or maybe I accused Ted Cruz’ father of assassinating JFK. That is what you do when you are the attorney general of Georgia, the top law enforcement official in the state, and you are defending the criminals.

Well, you know what they used to say back in 1517, as soon as the coin clinks in the money chest …

Nowadays, the OCT sound byte has the bite of irony, since Olens’ poor replacement, the literally lawless Chris Carr, cannot even answer the documented allegations of criminal fraud and obstruction in state government that I make on a regular basis. In fact, Carr has not been able to fashion a substantive answer to a RICO pleading for more than three years now. See, for example, The Phantom Case from Kennesaw State.

So now we use “Outlandish Conspiracy Theories” with an ironic, slightly sardonic twist — sort of like twisting the knife in Attorney General Chris Carr, who can no longer respond to our documented dead-to-rights allegations of fraud on the federal government and money laundering in the University System of Georgia (USG).

Former Attorney General Sam Olens also launched a few smear campaigns and intimidation tactics, but it took nice guy Chris Carr to really get down in the ditch to fight dirty. I say that not because he is some dreaded Leon Spinks disguised as a choir boy, but mainly because he really undermined the law to try to defend the status quo of the people who placed him in a position of authority. I don’t say a position of power, because he has none, really. And part of his problem is he doesn’t really even know what the law is. That’s not a qualification any more in Southern Trumplandia.

I will tell you more about the attorney general smear tactics, retaliation, and intimidation campaigns at a later date. Would you like to hear about it next week?

::::

Q: I have seen you abbreviating Outlandish Conspiracy Theories as OCT, for short. Does that acronym have any hidden meaning?

A: O-C-T, of course, are the initials of Outlandish Conspiracy Theories, a mouthful that can also take up a lot of space when writing it out. So, yes, OCT for short.
But since you are looking for some hidden meaning or Freudian slip, let me try some numerology on you. OCT is also an abbreviation for October, and that reflects a very important data point in this epic struggle.

On October 31, 2009, I wrote the letter to the Board of Regents on behalf of my client, Professor Dezso Benedek, exposing corruption at UGA — not 95 theses, but 25 pages worth, which was plenty, but not nearly enough, because I did not know yet what I was missing. At any rate, that October 2009 missive is what incurred the wrath of then-UGA President Michael Adams, and caused him to scream in the halls of the Board of Regents offices — to ask if anyone could rid him of this meddling professor.

Next thing you knew, I was in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, proving that the attorney general of Georgia was bringing knowingly false tenure revocation charges based on manufactured evidence. Needless to say, no one’s tenure got revoked that day. But Adams and the attorney general said sovereign immunity allowed them to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and commit a string of other felonies to retaliate against Benedek, so here we are, still, 10 years later, litigating that very pertinent question.

The attorney general, needless to say again, is on the side of the bad guys. Who can explain it? It probably has something to do with something about something clinking in the chest, or something like that. Though it’s funny how, around here, the head racketeers love to make a big deal out of being such devout Christians.

On October 31, 2014, I wrote my first letter asking Governor Deal to appoint an independent investigator. As I mentioned: never answered, seven letters total. Brian Kemp is lagging behind — Kemp has only ignored four letters requesting him to appoint an independent investigator.

Also on October 31, in 2016 this time, I filed the RICO action for extortion and bribery, Richards v. Olens, that later, with the passing of years, became the fabled Phantom Case at Kennesaw State.

If you notice an historical pattern in the dates, you must have realized by now that October 31 is not just Halloween. From a more religious perspective, it is the eve of All Saints Day, the last day of October, and that is the reason why it is the date on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door. Some days I think I know how he felt, to bang on the door and make someone in a funny hat very unhappy. And there are days I could use a little indulgence, and would love to be released from purgatory myself.

Luther said his dramatic action was an invitation to debate. Just like I invite Chris Carr or any Georgia Supreme Court Justice to cite one statute, case precedent, or constitutional provision that supports immunity for state officials who commit a cold-blooded crime (not a tort of negligence), contrary to all the legal authority they judiciously ignore that states otherwise.

I’ll admit Martin Luther is one of my heroes, though I also have to admit he kind of lost his shit later in life. In his defense, that was only after the Reformation set people on one another with pruning hooks and scythes all over Europe. For my part, I’ll try to remain a lifelong responsible citizen.

And people often ask me, in that vein: Don’t you fear you are going to let loose a whirlwind? Some people think I am attacking UGA, of which I am a proud graduate, or that I am going to ruin its national reputation (to my own detriment).

Funny how they blame me for giving the school a black eye. They don’t blame Mike Adams, who ran the University like a racketeering enterprise. In fact, that is where I got the idea to bring the first civil RICO actions ever leveled against state government entities. So that’s historical.

My thought is that the best thing for Georgia’s reputation is to clean the place up. Don’t claim there is nothing not to be proud of — when we all know that is a lie just swept under the rug to fester with the dust mites.

Well, I promised to answer several questions, but I see with my loquaciousness and observational asides, we are already out of time, so I am going to have to stop at two questions today. See you next week with another installment of OCT. We’ll have another Q&A again sometime soon. In the meantime, feel free to send in your interrogatories. Unlike the state government officials who are defendants in my RICO cases, I will actually try to answer them. I’m not immune. —CL—    Wikimedia Commons Detail of Ferdinand Pauwels' "Martin Luther's 95 Theses".  0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: The October Surprise is not what Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr had in mind "
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Article

Thursday June 18, 2020 01:51 pm EDT


They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.

Martin Luther

  1. 27 of 95 Theses nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church,

October 31, 1517

Before I get too far ahead in my dramatic story-telling — what my grandmother would call blood and thunder — let’s stop for a minute and take some questions....

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  string(10181) "“(Tricoli’s attorney) has accused the attorney general’s office of engaging in criminal conspiracy... that this wasn’t a matter of some misaccounting or someone screwing up as far as the audit procedure was concerned.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another extraordinarily unusual thing happened, though, in connection with the mass recusal. The case of the uncontested billion-dollar fraud, Tricoli v. Watts, actually got some media attention, despite the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley’s longstanding contention that fraud on the federal government and obstruction by the attorney general (who should be prosecuting the crimes) does not offer any hook to interest the average reader.

That racketeering scheme in state government only caught the attention of five Georgia Supreme Court justices, and Tricoli is filing a further motion to recuse three more, based on the developing state of information.

The unaccustomed media attention came in the form of a Fulton County Daily Report article with a promising headline — about all those justices recusing in a mass exodus from this state barge filled with the bilge of corruption — but the Daily Report left out a lot of the ramifications — such as the prior participation of the disqualified justices. Anthony Tricoli, the one whose life and career was destroyed, took the opportunity to write a letter to the editor to fill in some of the blanks.

The Daily Report declined to publish the letter as a little too controversial, though we offered to supply documentation on any point the publication considered debatable. Though you missed it in the Daily Report, you can read Tricoli’s letter here.

One thing’s for sure, after the mass recusal, Tricoli cannot be subjected to the same old mass refusal to even consider his case. Maybe the replacement judges will honor Tricoli’s request to tear down the already-crumbling barrier of sovereign immunity for felonies and send his case back to Superior Court for a trial by a jury of his peers.

That is the longstanding Anglo-Saxon tradition. Then, at a trial, maybe we can find out what was really behind those screw-ups in the audit procedures the assistant attorney general was talking about on the radio.

And maybe next, if qualified judges reconvene to reconsider the decision to throw out the uncontested phantom case at Kennesaw State, we’ll get to see the evidence presented to a jury about the financial fraud the USG was covering up when Dr. Papp was coerced to vacate the KSU presidency to make way for Attorney General Sam Olens.

Any questions? —CL—     Supreme Court of Georgia Website   0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: ‘The Case of the Mass Recusal’ "
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Article

Sunday May 31, 2020 04:34 pm EDT
Conflicts of interest, sleight of hand, and the usual obstruction of justice | more...
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  string(52) "Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County"
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  string(11119) "“…it appears that members of (Georgia Perimeter College’s) cabinet, to include the former President, and both the President’s Council and the Strategic Budget Committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations made by the (VP of Finance Ron Carruth) … that were not representative of GPC’s financial condition … It should be noted that this budget neglect did not appear to be malicious or intentional ….”
 — USG Special Review: Georgia Perimeter College

I was hanging out one day in one of the hotel lobbies where FBI agents like to meet near their offices. In passing conversation, at the mere mention of DeKalb County, the two I was talking with both sat bolt upright on their crushed-velour sofa cushions.

“If you can tell us about DeKalb!,” they exclaimed with their eyes bugging under the mood-lighting. They seemed to believe that DeKalb, lying at the Union Army’s eastern gateway to Fair Atlanta, is the holy grail of government corruption.

Now I would argue, if I had to choose, that a close-knit cabal of county officials, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, and Russian mafia money launderers located northwest of the city is the actual epicenter of corruption in Georgia.

But down in southeast Georgia, homespun former members of the police and sheriff’s departments seem to get away with shooting a lot of people without suffering any consequences. So they have an argument.

And over in Valdosta, high school kids can end up rolled-in-a-gym-mat-stood-on-its-head dead, under security camera surveillance, and no one gets caught for that positional asphyxia accident. Well, you get the picture without even having to look at the existing camera footage yourself.

But these two FBI agents seemed to think that investigating and prosecuting in DeKalb County is where it’s at, which may be why they both got transferred out of there fast.

And I have had my own experiences with the district attorneys in DeKalb County. I carried to them bushels of information, including that $10 million, “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012, remained unaccounted for even after a University System of Georgia (USG) investigation of itself.

Yes, there’s more. In all, state records show $20 million disappeared from GPC reserves over three years 2009-2011.

Also, the USG investigation concluded that they, the USG officials themselves, knew nothing about that shortfall until they suddenly discovered it overnight, in April 2012, even though voluminous state records show that then-Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, and others knew about the three-year rising tide of red ink and concealed the information from GPC’s management while simultaneously maneuvering to set GPC President Anthony Tricoli up to take the fall for it — which is why I represent him in his case against the Board of Regents and attorney general.

Most relevant to our hotel discussion that afternoon, state records show that two sets of books were kept at GPC during that time frame, one accurate set that ended up in state auditors’ hands to conceal the fraud — and one given to the management team described above (all the cabinets and councils and committees, as well as President Tricoli) to conceal the true state of GPC finances from them.

That is important because, to get ahead of the story, both DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said there was no evidence of criminal activity any investigation could ever turn up at GPC in those days.


But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

Two sets of books is about as good as it gets. Special Agent Eliot Ness would settle for a lot less to catch a racketeering impresario.

Here’s some more evidence Olens and Boston didn’t cotton to:

In the civil RICO case I filed on behalf of Anthony Tricoli against Olens and the Board of Regents, concerning the $10 million in cash reserves that went away, Ron Carruth was telling the GPC management team they were running a $37 million surplus at the same time he was drawing millions at a time out of the reserves without the knowledge of the rest of the GPC administration. (No, Boston and Olens did not find any problem there, either).

At Carruth’s last GPC cabinet meeting, in March of 2012, he reported a large surplus, and also announced his retirement. It was his last score. Weeks later, the USG announced a $16 million deficit at GPC. You may have heard of Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Disappearing Budget Surplus, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous cases.

Olens said this money caper was just a comedy of errors with some jesters run amok. Clearly not. Enter the DeKalb district attorney’s office (FBI agents wait around hotel lounges for something federal like fraud in funding of higher education).

Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James dug through emails to find a solution to this dilemma. His investigator, who originally hailed from the attorney general’s office, insisted there was no crime to prosecute because Carruth was fired after the April discovery, according to USG records from June of 2012.

First, Carruth wasn’t fired — unless you can fire someone after he already retired. So why did the USG try to act like he had been, unless they were trying to cover their tracks?

Second, what does getting fired from your job have to do with whether or not a person is subject to criminal liability and prosecution?

Does that mean I could embezzle $10 million as vice president of a bank, and then just tender my resignation in lieu of termination when I got caught? Case solved? I doubt it. I know you are wondering where that ten million dollars went. Don’t worry, I will get to that, but only slightly today.

Also, the DeKalb district attorney pulled some financial wizardry: The 10 million dollars were merely projections and budget estimates that did not come to fruition — so, abracadabra, the money is not really missing. But, no, it was not imaginary money that became a double-fantasy when the money that did not exist dematerialized. It was, in fact, millions in cash that was in a bank account and could have been withdrawn from the vault in the form of crisp green bills — until it disappeared.

It became clear, no matter how many of these defenses I shot down, I was going to hear every excuse imaginable from the assistant district attorney who came over from the attorney general’s office to work for Robert James.

Sherry Boston ran against Robert James in 2016 on a platform that James was not fighting corruption — the same corruption the two FBI agents believed so strongly to exist in DeKalb County. And Sherry Boston won on that platform, which made many citizens hopeful for a change of scenery that could be viewed from atop Stone Mountain.

So a state legislator from DeKalb dragged me back to the DeKalb County Courthouse, that replica of Iraqi Air Defense Headquarters down by the MARTA station, to talk to Sherry Boston.

She was nice and set me up for a meeting with her lead investigators. I went in prepared, (finally) some months later, but really I’ve run into more enjoyable ambushes in Baghdad.

I listened patiently as the head of the team of lead investigators explained to me, as I happen to be a lawyer familiar with the case, that while the county had been waiting for Robert James to leave office, the statute of limitations had run out on the crimes — meaning the deadline to prosecute had expired.

Since the statute of limitations happens to be my business, I explained that it had not run out. The three investigators returned fire, like I was back in an alley in Sadr City, saying I was entitled to my opinion.

Opinion it’s not, I purred in my softest nonthreatening avenging lion voice, because I got it straight from the statute book.

The statute of limitations has expired, they repeated, by way of retort. By the way, statute of limitations is the oldest excuse in the book for a prosecutor who doesn’t want to take a case.

I just tried to stay on the subject of the evidence (since the SOL is what it is, regardless of anyone’s opinion, so why argue about it?). Here they opined — just as Robert James had, and as did the USG, as well as Sam Olens — that Ron Carruth was just a bumbling idiot. He did not misrepresent the financials on purpose. That would be a felony under OCGA 16-10-20.

I kept my blinders on and plowed right ahead with the evidence that showed that Carruth knew what he was hiding, and so did his assistant Sheletha Champion, and so did Hank Huckaby, and so did Steve Wrigley, and so did Sam Olens and his assistant attorneys general, for that matter. DeKalb’s ace detectives were not the least bit interested in hearing that, which is maybe why the FBI agents have such opinions of DeKalb County.

That is when the DeKalb County investigators gave me the richest excuse of all. This case is stale, DeKalb’s lead investigator sneered. And then he actually taunted me: It was already turned down once, he observed with tremendous self-satisfaction.

Yeah, it was turned down by the former district attorney your boss ran against for not prosecuting corruption, I thought to myself.

The next time I ran into Boston — in another hotel lobby, the night of the Jon Ossoff run-off — I told her to her face what a crock I had to listen to at her office that day. But she was adamant: Her investigators looked and looked and just could not find any criminality (I told you, just like Sam Olens). I told her I didn’t buy it (Boston's negative response).

Nonetheless, there were still two sets of books kept by Carruth’s office at GPC — one for the USG and state auditors, one for the GPC administration they were deceiving.

Since those unproductive meetings with two different DeKalb district attorneys, it was learned through our own devices that the $10 million missing from GPC was funneled through a shell company — and turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud. Some might call it bank fraud and money laundering, which seem to be popular around town these days. I alleged that much in court last April 1, 2019, and Attorney General Chris Carr has been as silent as Uday and Qusay’s empty castles left without an owner. In short, Chris Carr has never responded, over a year later.

But don’t think that when the attorney general fails the people, and the governor refuses to appoint an independent investigator, that you can just pack up and go to your local district attorney. Every County DA’s office has its own adventure story in this RICO saga, but those will have to wait for a later date.

As for DeKalb itself, it seems real criminal investigators of the Georgia power structure are about as welcome there as Sherman at Decatur. It’s a little disheartening. Politicians come and say they will stop the corruption. And then they don’t. They just become part of the problem."
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  string(12165) "''“…it appears that members of (Georgia Perimeter College’s) cabinet, to include the former President, and both the President’s Council and the Strategic Budget Committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations made by the (VP of Finance Ron Carruth) … that were not representative of GPC’s financial condition … It should be noted that this budget neglect did not appear to be malicious or intentional ….”''
 __— USG Special Review: Georgia Perimeter College__

I was hanging out one day in one of the hotel lobbies where FBI agents like to meet near their offices. In passing conversation, at the mere mention of DeKalb County, the two I was talking with both sat bolt upright on their crushed-velour sofa cushions.

“If you can tell us about DeKalb!,” they exclaimed with their eyes bugging under the mood-lighting. They seemed to believe that DeKalb, lying at the Union Army’s eastern gateway to Fair Atlanta, is the holy grail of government corruption.

Now I would argue, if I had to choose, that a close-knit cabal of county officials, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, and Russian mafia money launderers located northwest of the city is the actual epicenter of corruption in Georgia.

But down in southeast Georgia, homespun former members of the police and sheriff’s departments seem to get away with [https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/supporters-launch-virtual-campaign-after-fatal-brunswick-shooting/s6URizsNMG7tbYOWsWLRfK/|shooting] a lot of people without suffering any consequences. So they have an argument.

And over in [https://www.foxnews.com/us/body-of-high-school-student-found-dead-in-rolled-up-gym-mat-to-be-exhumed-for-second-time|Valdosta], high school kids can end up rolled-in-a-gym-mat-stood-on-its-head dead, under security camera surveillance, and no one gets caught for that positional asphyxia accident. Well, you get the picture without even having to look at the existing camera footage yourself.

But these two FBI agents seemed to think that investigating and prosecuting in DeKalb County is where it’s at, which may be why they both got transferred out of there fast.

And I have had my own experiences with the district attorneys in DeKalb County. I carried to them bushels of information, including that $10 million, “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|gone with no explanation]” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012, remained unaccounted for even after a University System of Georgia (USG) investigation of itself.

Yes, there’s more. In all, state records show $20 million disappeared from GPC reserves over three years 2009-2011.

Also, the USG investigation concluded that they, the USG officials themselves, knew nothing about that shortfall until they suddenly discovered it overnight, in April 2012, even though voluminous state records show that then-Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, and others knew about the three-year rising tide of red ink and concealed the information from GPC’s management while simultaneously maneuvering to set GPC President Anthony Tricoli up to take the fall for it — which is why I represent him in his case against the Board of Regents and attorney general.

Most relevant to our hotel discussion that afternoon, state records show that two sets of books were kept at GPC during that time frame, one accurate set that ended up in state auditors’ hands to conceal the fraud — and one given to the management team described above (all the cabinets and councils and committees, as well as President Tricoli) to conceal the true state of GPC finances from them.

That is important because, to get ahead of the story, both DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said there was no evidence of criminal activity any investigation could ever turn up at GPC in those days.

{img fileId="31081" stylebox="float: left; margin-right:25px;" desc="The untouchable lawman, Eliot Ness"}
But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

Two sets of books is about as good as it gets. Special Agent [https://www.biography.com/law-figure/eliot-ness|Eliot Ness] would settle for a lot less to catch a racketeering impresario.

Here’s some more evidence Olens and Boston didn’t cotton to:

In the civil RICO case I filed on behalf of Anthony Tricoli against Olens and the Board of Regents, concerning the $10 million in cash reserves that went away, Ron Carruth was telling the GPC management team they were running a $37 million surplus at the same time he was drawing millions at a time out of the reserves without the knowledge of the rest of the GPC administration. (No, Boston and Olens did not find any problem there, either).

At Carruth’s last GPC cabinet meeting, in March of 2012, he reported a large surplus, and also announced his retirement. It was his last score. Weeks later, the USG announced a $16 million deficit at GPC. You may have heard of Sherlock Holmes’ [https://creativeloafing.com/content-425364-OUTLANDISH-CONSPIRACY-THEORIES-The-adventure-of-the-disappearing-budget-surplus|Adventure of the Disappearing Budget Surplus], one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous cases.

Olens said this money caper was just a comedy of errors with some jesters run amok. [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRsX_hheAGyXQiwLh9z-7F4LpyN8Z-5c/view|Clearly not]. Enter the DeKalb district attorney’s office (FBI agents wait around hotel lounges for something federal like fraud in funding of higher education).

Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James dug through emails to find a solution to this dilemma. His investigator, who originally hailed from the attorney general’s office, insisted there was no crime to prosecute because Carruth was fired after the April discovery, according to USG records from June of 2012.

First, Carruth wasn’t fired — unless you can fire someone after he already retired. So why did the USG try to act like he had been, unless they were trying to cover their tracks?

Second, what does getting fired from your job have to do with whether or not a person is subject to criminal liability and prosecution?

Does that mean I could embezzle $10 million as vice president of a bank, and then just tender my resignation in lieu of termination when I got caught? Case solved? I doubt it. I know you are wondering where that ten million dollars went. Don’t worry, I will get to that, but only slightly today.

Also, the DeKalb district attorney pulled some financial wizardry: The 10 million dollars were merely projections and budget estimates that did not come to fruition — so, abracadabra, the money is not really missing. But, no, it was not imaginary money that became a double-fantasy when the money that did not exist dematerialized. It was, in fact, millions in cash that was in a bank account and could have been withdrawn from the vault in the form of crisp green bills — until it disappeared.

It became clear, no matter how many of these defenses I shot down, I was going to hear every excuse imaginable from the assistant district attorney who came over from the attorney general’s office to work for Robert James.

Sherry Boston ran against Robert James in [https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/how-sherry-boston-won-dekalb-race/AziHSofLRJ67Fh38hr6l6I/|2016] on a platform that James was not fighting corruption — the same corruption the two FBI agents believed so strongly to exist in DeKalb County. And Sherry Boston won on that platform, which made many citizens hopeful for a change of scenery that could be viewed from atop Stone Mountain.

So a state legislator from DeKalb dragged me back to the DeKalb County Courthouse, that replica of Iraqi Air Defense Headquarters down by the MARTA station, to talk to Sherry Boston.

She was nice and set me up for a meeting with her lead investigators. I went in prepared, (finally) some months later, but really I’ve run into more enjoyable ambushes in Baghdad.

I listened patiently as the head of the team of lead investigators explained to me, as I happen to be a lawyer familiar with the case, that while the county had been waiting for Robert James to leave office, the statute of limitations had run out on the crimes — meaning the deadline to prosecute had expired.

Since the statute of limitations happens to be my business, I explained that it had not run out. The three investigators returned fire, like I was back in an alley in [https://www.npr.org/2017/11/02/561334010/sadr-city-attack-on-u-s-troops-retold-in-the-long-road-home|Sadr City], saying I was entitled to my opinion.

Opinion it’s not, I purred in my softest nonthreatening avenging lion voice, because I got it straight from the statute book.

The statute of limitations has expired, they repeated, by way of retort. By the way, statute of limitations is the oldest excuse in the book for a prosecutor who doesn’t want to take a case.

I just tried to stay on the subject of the evidence (since the SOL is what it is, regardless of anyone’s opinion, so why argue about it?). Here they opined — just as Robert James had, and as did the USG, as well as Sam Olens — that Ron Carruth was just a bumbling idiot. He did not misrepresent the financials on purpose. That would be a felony under [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|OCGA 16-10-20].

I kept my blinders on and plowed right ahead with the evidence that showed that Carruth knew what he was hiding, and so did his assistant Sheletha Champion, and so did Hank Huckaby, and so did Steve Wrigley, and so did Sam Olens and his assistant attorneys general, for that matter. DeKalb’s ace detectives were not the least bit interested in hearing that, which is maybe why the FBI agents have such opinions of DeKalb County.

That is when the DeKalb County investigators gave me the richest excuse of all. This case is stale, DeKalb’s lead investigator sneered. And then he actually taunted me: It was already turned down once, he observed with tremendous self-satisfaction.

Yeah, it was turned down by the former district attorney your boss ran against for not prosecuting corruption, I thought to myself.

The next time I ran into Boston — in another hotel lobby, the night of the Jon Ossoff run-off — I told her to her face what a crock I had to listen to at her office that day. But she was adamant: Her investigators looked and looked and just could not find any criminality (I told you, just like Sam Olens). I told her I didn’t buy it (Boston's negative response).

Nonetheless, there were still two sets of books kept by Carruth’s office at GPC — one for the USG and state auditors, one for the GPC administration they were deceiving.

Since those unproductive meetings with two different DeKalb district attorneys, it was learned through our own devices that the $10 million missing from GPC was funneled through a shell company — and turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud. Some might call it bank fraud and money laundering, which seem to be popular around town these days. I alleged that much in court last April 1, 2019, and Attorney General Chris Carr has been as silent as Uday and Qusay’s empty castles left without an owner. In short, Chris Carr has never responded, over a year later.

But don’t think that when the attorney general fails the people, and the governor [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z4OP-AqsBJToxcEYU70td-PrsNiOnBsi/view|refuses to appoint] an independent investigator, that you can just pack up and go to your local district attorney. Every County DA’s office has its own adventure story in this RICO saga, but those will have to wait for a later date.

As for DeKalb itself, it seems real criminal investigators of the Georgia power structure are about as welcome there as Sherman at Decatur. It’s a little disheartening. Politicians come and say they will stop the corruption. And then they don’t. They just become part of the problem."
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  string(11562) " 4 Dekalb Humphreys  2020-05-13T22:01:54+00:00 #4_Dekalb_Humphreys.png     Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County 31080  2020-05-13T21:47:36+00:00 Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Where’s my Eliot Ness? jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-05-13T21:47:36+00:00  “…it appears that members of (Georgia Perimeter College’s) cabinet, to include the former President, and both the President’s Council and the Strategic Budget Committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations made by the (VP of Finance Ron Carruth) … that were not representative of GPC’s financial condition … It should be noted that this budget neglect did not appear to be malicious or intentional ….”
 — USG Special Review: Georgia Perimeter College

I was hanging out one day in one of the hotel lobbies where FBI agents like to meet near their offices. In passing conversation, at the mere mention of DeKalb County, the two I was talking with both sat bolt upright on their crushed-velour sofa cushions.

“If you can tell us about DeKalb!,” they exclaimed with their eyes bugging under the mood-lighting. They seemed to believe that DeKalb, lying at the Union Army’s eastern gateway to Fair Atlanta, is the holy grail of government corruption.

Now I would argue, if I had to choose, that a close-knit cabal of county officials, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, and Russian mafia money launderers located northwest of the city is the actual epicenter of corruption in Georgia.

But down in southeast Georgia, homespun former members of the police and sheriff’s departments seem to get away with shooting a lot of people without suffering any consequences. So they have an argument.

And over in Valdosta, high school kids can end up rolled-in-a-gym-mat-stood-on-its-head dead, under security camera surveillance, and no one gets caught for that positional asphyxia accident. Well, you get the picture without even having to look at the existing camera footage yourself.

But these two FBI agents seemed to think that investigating and prosecuting in DeKalb County is where it’s at, which may be why they both got transferred out of there fast.

And I have had my own experiences with the district attorneys in DeKalb County. I carried to them bushels of information, including that $10 million, “gone with no explanation” from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in 2012, remained unaccounted for even after a University System of Georgia (USG) investigation of itself.

Yes, there’s more. In all, state records show $20 million disappeared from GPC reserves over three years 2009-2011.

Also, the USG investigation concluded that they, the USG officials themselves, knew nothing about that shortfall until they suddenly discovered it overnight, in April 2012, even though voluminous state records show that then-Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley, then-Chancellor Hank Huckaby, and others knew about the three-year rising tide of red ink and concealed the information from GPC’s management while simultaneously maneuvering to set GPC President Anthony Tricoli up to take the fall for it — which is why I represent him in his case against the Board of Regents and attorney general.

Most relevant to our hotel discussion that afternoon, state records show that two sets of books were kept at GPC during that time frame, one accurate set that ended up in state auditors’ hands to conceal the fraud — and one given to the management team described above (all the cabinets and councils and committees, as well as President Tricoli) to conceal the true state of GPC finances from them.

That is important because, to get ahead of the story, both DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said there was no evidence of criminal activity any investigation could ever turn up at GPC in those days.


But anyone who ever watched a mobster movie knows this:

Two sets of books is about as good as it gets. Special Agent Eliot Ness would settle for a lot less to catch a racketeering impresario.

Here’s some more evidence Olens and Boston didn’t cotton to:

In the civil RICO case I filed on behalf of Anthony Tricoli against Olens and the Board of Regents, concerning the $10 million in cash reserves that went away, Ron Carruth was telling the GPC management team they were running a $37 million surplus at the same time he was drawing millions at a time out of the reserves without the knowledge of the rest of the GPC administration. (No, Boston and Olens did not find any problem there, either).

At Carruth’s last GPC cabinet meeting, in March of 2012, he reported a large surplus, and also announced his retirement. It was his last score. Weeks later, the USG announced a $16 million deficit at GPC. You may have heard of Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Disappearing Budget Surplus, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous cases.

Olens said this money caper was just a comedy of errors with some jesters run amok. Clearly not. Enter the DeKalb district attorney’s office (FBI agents wait around hotel lounges for something federal like fraud in funding of higher education).

Former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James dug through emails to find a solution to this dilemma. His investigator, who originally hailed from the attorney general’s office, insisted there was no crime to prosecute because Carruth was fired after the April discovery, according to USG records from June of 2012.

First, Carruth wasn’t fired — unless you can fire someone after he already retired. So why did the USG try to act like he had been, unless they were trying to cover their tracks?

Second, what does getting fired from your job have to do with whether or not a person is subject to criminal liability and prosecution?

Does that mean I could embezzle $10 million as vice president of a bank, and then just tender my resignation in lieu of termination when I got caught? Case solved? I doubt it. I know you are wondering where that ten million dollars went. Don’t worry, I will get to that, but only slightly today.

Also, the DeKalb district attorney pulled some financial wizardry: The 10 million dollars were merely projections and budget estimates that did not come to fruition — so, abracadabra, the money is not really missing. But, no, it was not imaginary money that became a double-fantasy when the money that did not exist dematerialized. It was, in fact, millions in cash that was in a bank account and could have been withdrawn from the vault in the form of crisp green bills — until it disappeared.

It became clear, no matter how many of these defenses I shot down, I was going to hear every excuse imaginable from the assistant district attorney who came over from the attorney general’s office to work for Robert James.

Sherry Boston ran against Robert James in 2016 on a platform that James was not fighting corruption — the same corruption the two FBI agents believed so strongly to exist in DeKalb County. And Sherry Boston won on that platform, which made many citizens hopeful for a change of scenery that could be viewed from atop Stone Mountain.

So a state legislator from DeKalb dragged me back to the DeKalb County Courthouse, that replica of Iraqi Air Defense Headquarters down by the MARTA station, to talk to Sherry Boston.

She was nice and set me up for a meeting with her lead investigators. I went in prepared, (finally) some months later, but really I’ve run into more enjoyable ambushes in Baghdad.

I listened patiently as the head of the team of lead investigators explained to me, as I happen to be a lawyer familiar with the case, that while the county had been waiting for Robert James to leave office, the statute of limitations had run out on the crimes — meaning the deadline to prosecute had expired.

Since the statute of limitations happens to be my business, I explained that it had not run out. The three investigators returned fire, like I was back in an alley in Sadr City, saying I was entitled to my opinion.

Opinion it’s not, I purred in my softest nonthreatening avenging lion voice, because I got it straight from the statute book.

The statute of limitations has expired, they repeated, by way of retort. By the way, statute of limitations is the oldest excuse in the book for a prosecutor who doesn’t want to take a case.

I just tried to stay on the subject of the evidence (since the SOL is what it is, regardless of anyone’s opinion, so why argue about it?). Here they opined — just as Robert James had, and as did the USG, as well as Sam Olens — that Ron Carruth was just a bumbling idiot. He did not misrepresent the financials on purpose. That would be a felony under OCGA 16-10-20.

I kept my blinders on and plowed right ahead with the evidence that showed that Carruth knew what he was hiding, and so did his assistant Sheletha Champion, and so did Hank Huckaby, and so did Steve Wrigley, and so did Sam Olens and his assistant attorneys general, for that matter. DeKalb’s ace detectives were not the least bit interested in hearing that, which is maybe why the FBI agents have such opinions of DeKalb County.

That is when the DeKalb County investigators gave me the richest excuse of all. This case is stale, DeKalb’s lead investigator sneered. And then he actually taunted me: It was already turned down once, he observed with tremendous self-satisfaction.

Yeah, it was turned down by the former district attorney your boss ran against for not prosecuting corruption, I thought to myself.

The next time I ran into Boston — in another hotel lobby, the night of the Jon Ossoff run-off — I told her to her face what a crock I had to listen to at her office that day. But she was adamant: Her investigators looked and looked and just could not find any criminality (I told you, just like Sam Olens). I told her I didn’t buy it (Boston's negative response).

Nonetheless, there were still two sets of books kept by Carruth’s office at GPC — one for the USG and state auditors, one for the GPC administration they were deceiving.

Since those unproductive meetings with two different DeKalb district attorneys, it was learned through our own devices that the $10 million missing from GPC was funneled through a shell company — and turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud. Some might call it bank fraud and money laundering, which seem to be popular around town these days. I alleged that much in court last April 1, 2019, and Attorney General Chris Carr has been as silent as Uday and Qusay’s empty castles left without an owner. In short, Chris Carr has never responded, over a year later.

But don’t think that when the attorney general fails the people, and the governor refuses to appoint an independent investigator, that you can just pack up and go to your local district attorney. Every County DA’s office has its own adventure story in this RICO saga, but those will have to wait for a later date.

As for DeKalb itself, it seems real criminal investigators of the Georgia power structure are about as welcome there as Sherman at Decatur. It’s a little disheartening. Politicians come and say they will stop the corruption. And then they don’t. They just become part of the problem.    Stephen Humphreys   0,0,10                                 Outlandish Conspiracy Theories: Where’s my Eliot Ness? "
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Article

Wednesday May 13, 2020 05:47 pm EDT
Cloak-and-dagger theatrics play out in DeKalb County | more...
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''(a) Any superior court may … enjoin violations of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);
(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) by any agency of the state OCGA § 16-14-6''

How did former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, with no experience in academia, end up spending a year as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU), despite widespread opposition at KSU?

How was a lawsuit to block Olens’ appointment swept under the rug and why was no one ever held accountable for the financial crimes that were covered up — and then uncovered — in the University System of Georgia (USG)?

How did the USG create a vacancy at KSU to give Attorney General Olens a $500,000 a year position in the first place? After all the trouble to place him at KSU, why was Olens gone in a year?

The timeline tells the story by itself. Every statement in it is documented by state records and admitted by the USG in court proceedings:

April 28, 2016: While Kennesaw State University (KSU) president Dan Papp, a Russia scholar by academic training, is out of town on vacation, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, visits KSU and is given a tour of the Center for Elections Systems, located on the KSU campus and run by the USG at the time. Dr. Papp knew nothing about the Russian ambassador’s visit and had no involvement in the planning.

Kislyak was Russia’s top intelligence operative in the United States, who later became famous when everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner forgot they had met with the Russian ambassador.

May 5, 2016: One week after the Kislyak tour of the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, USG head of audit John Fuchko goes to visit KSU President Dan Papp, and gives Dr. Papp bad news, out of the blue, that Papp has to resign or else he will be smeared with false accusations of financial impropriety. Dr. Papp agrees under duress to resign, effective June 2016.

June 2, 2016: The USG smears Dr. Papp with claims of financial impropriety, anyway, releasing a report accusing Papp of improperly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation (usually misrepresented in the media as “retirement pay”). Though this turned out to mostly consist of bonuses for longevity and achieving fundraising goals, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution repeats the USG’s financial impropriety smear at face value, with no examination of the underlying facts.

If anyone had actually bothered to read it, the USG report actually reveals financial impropriety by the USG, including small-time bank fraud and money laundering.

The important thing to note, at this point in the timeline, is that all this USG fraud and financial impropriety, and the removal of Dr. Papp from KSU by means of extortion, was all reported to then-Attorney General Sam Olens — who was soon to become Dr. Papp’s successor.

August 2016: Three months after the Kislyak visit, Russian military intelligence agents begin hacking Georgia’s Center for Elections Systems at KSU (though this was not publicly known till two years later — see July 13, 2018 indictment).

October 4, 2016: USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announces that Sam Olens is the sole candidate to be considered, in violation of the Board of Regents policy on USG presidential appointments, to replace Dr. Papp at KSU.

To put the USG appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the sole candidate considered in context, it is necessary to briefly take the timeline backwards to a USG financial scandal that erupted in April 2012. On July 3, 2012, a letter from Attorney General Sam Olens’ office documents the attorney general blocking a hearing by the Board of Regents into USG financial impropriety and obstructing a criminal investigation of USG financial fraud.

As documented in the July 3 letter, in light of $10 million “gone with no explanation,” Olens directed the USG to conduct an investigation of itself, which began on May 10, 2012.

On September 17, 2012, the USG released the results of an investigation of itself, in which the USG found no financial impropriety by the USG, even though it still cannot account to this day for $10 million gone AWOL from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This USG self-review of its finances was substituted for the independent audit required for re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accreditation agency, complied with this substitution in violation of its own rules requiring an independent audit.

Which catches us up on the historical context and brings us back to the USG appointing Olens to a high-paid USG position in 2016.

Oct 31, 2016: A coalition of Kennesaw State University faculty, alumni, and students file for injunctive relief to bar the political appointment of Olens as the sole candidate considered in violation of BOR policies, and as a quid pro quo for Olens obstructing criminal investigation of the USG. The KSU plaintiffs sue under the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes injunctive relief against state agencies.

The KSU coalition filed that legal action under the authority of the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes a court to enjoin the actions of a state agency where criminal impropriety is alleged. Chris Carr, the newly-appointed attorney general to replace Sam Olens, never filed any responsive pleading to the KSU complaint for injunctive relief. Carr never responded to KSU’s subsequent motions placing additional evidence of USG fraud and attorney general obstruction into the court record — over the course of more than three years.

November 1, 2016: Olens started work at KSU with no court action by Judge Tom Campbell on the KSU motion for a temporary restraining order.

November 7, 2016: A hearing on the motion begins at 9 a.m. Subpoenaed USG witnesses do not appear. Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard argues with no evidence that the subpoenas were hidden inside the complaint when it was served on the USG. Willard produces an order entered by the Georgia Supreme Court that very same morning of the hearing, in which the high court let stand, without explanation, a March 30, 2016 Court of Appeals order conferring sovereign immunity on state officials for the financial crimes documented at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC).

November 14, 2016: Judge Campbell enters a final order prepared by the attorney general’s office that misrepresents the failure of the USG witnesses to appear and asserts state sovereign immunity protection against injunctions — contrary to the explicit language of the Georgia RICO statute.

November 18, 2016: KSU coalition files a motion to set aside the judgment based on knowing misrepresentations of the law, in violation of constitutional due process, and to strike the attorney general’s false assertions regarding service of the subpoenas.

The attorney general never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never so much as acknowledged this November 18, 2016 pleading — for over a year, until January 2018.

June 2, 2017: KSU filed a Supplement to the November 2016 Motion to Set Aside. This supplement documented the Board of Regents (BOR) making after-the-fact changes to BOR policies to hide violations committed by the USG in removing Dr. Papp and covering up the USG’s own financial fraud (a story unto itself).

The June 2 filing also documents USG fraud in evading a hearing required by BOR policy, to which Dr. Papp was entitled — to challenge the USG for tarring him with false claims of financial impropriety. The USG clearly would not have wanted a hearing into the misleading financial allegations against Dr. Papp, where USG officials like Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley were the ones committing felony financial fraud.

The attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this June 2 pleading.

July 2017: A public interest group files a lawsuit concerning demonstrated vulnerabilities and irregularities in voting tabulations at the Center for Elections Systems on KSU campus. Three days after the lawsuit is served on KSU President Sam Olens and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the servers at the KSU election center are wiped clean.

October 17, 2017: KSU filed a Second Supplement to the Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, specifying the constitutional due process violations in evading the requirements of the RICO statute — which mandated voiding the order allowing the Olens appointment. The KSU coalition repeated its demand for Judge Tom Campbell to take action since the USG and attorney general still had not filed a single response to the KSU legal action started a year before, in October 2016.

Though the real point of the motion was to spur the court to action, or to elicit a response from the attorney general, the attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this October 17, 2017 pleading.

November 3, 2017: KSU renewed the motion to set aside, repeating the constitutional grounds to set aside the order that allowed Olens’ appointment in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct criminal investigation of the USG. The renewed motion cited 1960s civil rights cases, such as Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham and Wright v. Georgia, in which the US Supreme Court said states could not evade their own laws on the books — like the Georgia RICO statute.

Though, by this time, Sam Olens has been serving for more than a year with an unanswered lawsuit charging bribery and extortion hanging over him, the new attorney general Chris Carr never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this November 3, 2017 pleading.

December 14, 2017: Sam Olens announces his departure from KSU, effective in February 2018. Hint: It was not really about the cheerleaders.

January 12, 2018: Trial court judge Tom Campbell enters an order denying the KSU motion to set aside the judgment, though the KSU action was never contested by the USG or attorney general. Judge Campbell’s order is one sentence long, and merely says motion denied — with no explanation, no citation to any fact or legal authority.

July 13, 2018: Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases indictment of Russian military intelligence agents (see April 2016 Kislyak tour, August 2016 Russian hacking, on timeline). The Russian spies were indicted, in part, for hacking the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (see servers wiped clean to destroy evidence, July 2017).

September 12, 2018: KSU files a notice of appeal, under statute OCGA § 5-6-34 authorizing direct appeal for denial of the motion to void Campbell’s orders on constitutional grounds.

April 1, 2019: While the KSU appeal is pending, a bombshell court pleading is filed in a related case documenting that the USG financial fraud, including the $10 million “gone with no explanation” at GPC — for which Olens obstructed the investigation before the USG appointed him KSU president at $500,000 a year — consisted of systematic USG-wide fraud on the federal government affecting billions of dollars in federal assistance to the University System.

As in the KSU case, the attorney general has never responded to these documented allegations of billion-dollar fraud by the USG on the federal government, admitting them as true. The allegations in the KSU case, to which the attorney general also never responded — for more than three years — include financial fraud, bribery, and extortion. By the State’s failure to respond — the bribery, fraud, and extortion at KSU is also admitted as true.

June 12, 2019: The KSU Appellants’ Brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals outlined the admitted state government corruption, as well as obstruction of justice and constitutional violations committed to cover it up.

On the same day the brief is filed, a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals (Judges Ken Hodges, Elizabeth Gobeil, and Stephen Dillard) enter an order dismissing the KSU appeal on procedural grounds never raised by any party (the USG and attorney general could not have raised them, since they never responded to the KSU action). It is hard to explain without going to law school, but the panel said the appeal was res judicata, already decided conclusively on all issues, based on prior one-sentence orders with no explanation, on top of the attorney general’s non-responses.

March 26, 2020: The Georgia Supreme Court declines to review the KSU case, in another one-sentence order without explanation.

This refusal to review means the KSU case has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system, without the documented allegations of bribery, extortion, and fraud ever being contested by USG or attorney general (and thus admitted as true).

Even more egregiously, the Georgia Supreme Court’s dismissal of the KSU case, without comment, means that the entire case involving all this bribery and extortion in Georgia state government has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system without a single judge ever saying a single word about it.

The courts have provided no remedy to any of the victims of the admitted crimes, and no explanation, either. Thus it remains the phantom case at Kennesaw State University. —CL—

Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future Outlandish Conspiracy Theories columns, online weekly, more or less."
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''~~black:(a) Any superior court may … __enjoin violations __of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);~~
~~black:(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) __by any agency of the state __~~===[https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-14/16-14-6/|~~#2980b9:OCGA § 16-14-6~~]===''

How did former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, with no experience in academia, end up spending a year as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU), despite [https://www.mdjonline.com/news/bigstory/ksu-faculty-students-protest-impending-vote-on-olens/article_3b8fa0a0-8f54-11e6-9ee2-13ff19b80312.html|widespread opposition] at KSU?

How was a lawsuit to block Olens’ appointment swept under the rug and why was no one ever held accountable for the [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRsX_hheAGyXQiwLh9z-7F4LpyN8Z-5c/view|financial crimes] that were covered up — and then uncovered — in the University System of Georgia (USG)?

How did the USG create a vacancy at KSU to give Attorney General Olens a $500,000 a year position in the first place? After all the trouble to place him at KSU, why was Olens gone in a year?

The timeline tells the story by itself. Every statement in it is documented by state records and admitted by the USG in court proceedings:

__April 28, 2016:__ While Kennesaw State University (KSU) president Dan Papp, a Russia scholar by academic training, is out of town on vacation, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, visits KSU and is given a tour of the Center for Elections Systems, located on the KSU campus and run by the USG at the time. Dr. Papp knew nothing about the Russian ambassador’s visit and had no involvement in the planning.

Kislyak was Russia’s top intelligence operative in the United States, who later became famous when everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner forgot they had met with the Russian ambassador.

__May 5, 2016:__ One week after the Kislyak tour of the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, USG head of audit John Fuchko goes to visit KSU President Dan Papp, and gives Dr. Papp bad news, out of the blue, that Papp has to resign or else he will be smeared with false accusations of financial impropriety. Dr. Papp agrees under duress to resign, effective June 2016.

__June 2, 2016:__ The USG smears Dr. Papp with claims of financial impropriety, anyway, releasing a [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KCkY3M-LqjVuh6gtzMOdCwF8JgW2WivH/view|report accusing Papp] of improperly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation (usually misrepresented in the media as “retirement pay”). Though this turned out to mostly consist of bonuses for longevity and achieving fundraising goals, the ''Atlanta Journal-Constitution'' repeats the USG’s financial impropriety smear at face value, with no examination of the underlying facts.

If anyone had actually bothered to read it, the USG report actually [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xsL6uxh4L_ZchyymJDamHUcpTm_QS3UO/view|reveals financial impropriety by the USG], including small-time bank fraud and money laundering.

The important thing to note, at this point in the timeline, is that all this USG fraud and financial impropriety, and the removal of Dr. Papp from KSU by means of extortion, was all reported to then-Attorney General Sam Olens — who was soon to become Dr. Papp’s successor.

__August 2016:__ Three months after the Kislyak visit, Russian military intelligence agents begin hacking Georgia’s Center for Elections Systems at KSU (though this was not publicly known till two years later — see __July 13, 2018__ indictment).

__October 4, 2016:__ USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announces that Sam Olens is the [https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/olens-sole-candidate-for-kennesaw-state-president/Eh7fp3owM3yFO3lqyvkzlM/|sole candidate] to be considered, in violation of the Board of Regents policy on USG presidential appointments, to replace Dr. Papp at KSU.

To put the USG appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the sole candidate considered in context, it is necessary to briefly take the timeline backwards to a USG financial scandal that erupted in April 2012. On July 3, 2012, a letter from Attorney General Sam Olens’ office documents the attorney general [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q7q07YHq5F-JcpFVkUMxMXeIFewgllnJ/view|blocking a hearing] by the Board of Regents into USG financial impropriety and [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tBR4DzXVb6jOht1YSKPi-QKbiwjNShNs/view|obstructing a criminal investigation ]of USG financial fraud.

As documented in the July 3 letter, in light of $10 million “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|gone with no explanation],” Olens directed the USG to conduct an investigation of itself, which began on May 10, 2012.

On September 17, 2012, the USG released the results of an investigation of itself, in which the USG found no financial impropriety by the USG, even though it still cannot account to this day for $10 million gone AWOL from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This USG self-review of its finances was substituted for the independent audit required for re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accreditation agency, complied with this substitution in violation of its own rules requiring an independent audit.

Which catches us up on the historical context and brings us back to the USG appointing Olens to a high-paid USG position in 2016.

__Oct 31, 2016:__ A coalition of Kennesaw State University faculty, alumni, and students file for injunctive relief to bar the political appointment of Olens as the [https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/10/13/politician-named-president-kennesaw-state|sole candidate considered ]in violation of BOR policies, and as a quid pro quo for Olens obstructing criminal investigation of the USG. The KSU plaintiffs sue under the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes injunctive relief against state agencies.

The KSU coalition filed that legal action under the authority of the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes a court to enjoin the actions of a state agency where criminal impropriety is alleged. Chris Carr, the newly-appointed attorney general to replace Sam Olens, never filed any responsive pleading to the KSU complaint for injunctive relief. Carr never responded to KSU’s subsequent motions placing additional evidence of USG fraud and attorney general obstruction into the court record — over the course of more than three years.

__November 1, 2016:__ Olens started work at KSU with no court action by Judge Tom Campbell on the KSU motion for a temporary restraining order.

__November 7, 2016:__ A hearing on the motion begins at 9 a.m. Subpoenaed USG witnesses do not appear. Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard argues with no evidence that the subpoenas were hidden inside the complaint when it was served on the USG. Willard produces an order entered by the Georgia Supreme Court that very same morning of the hearing, in which the high court let stand, without explanation, a March 30, 2016 Court of Appeals order conferring sovereign immunity on state officials for the financial crimes documented at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC).

__November 14, 2016:__ Judge Campbell enters a final order prepared by the attorney general’s office that misrepresents the failure of the USG witnesses to appear and asserts state sovereign immunity protection against injunctions — contrary to the explicit language of the Georgia RICO statute.

__November 18, 2016:__ KSU coalition files a motion to set aside the judgment based on knowing misrepresentations of the law, in violation of constitutional due process, and to strike the attorney general’s false assertions regarding service of the subpoenas.

The attorney general never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never so much as acknowledged this November 18, 2016 pleading — for over a year, until January 2018.

__June 2, 2017:__ KSU filed a Supplement to the November 2016 Motion to Set Aside. This supplement documented the Board of Regents (BOR) making after-the-fact changes to BOR policies to hide violations committed by the USG in removing Dr. Papp and covering up the USG’s own financial fraud (a story unto itself).

The June 2 filing also documents USG fraud in evading a hearing required by BOR policy, to which Dr. Papp was entitled — to challenge the USG for tarring him with false claims of financial impropriety. The USG clearly would not have wanted a hearing into the misleading financial allegations against Dr. Papp, where USG officials like Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley were the ones committing felony financial fraud.

The attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this June 2 pleading.

__July 2017:__ A public interest group files a lawsuit concerning demonstrated vulnerabilities and irregularities in voting tabulations at the Center for Elections Systems on KSU campus. Three days after the lawsuit is served on KSU President Sam Olens and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the servers at the KSU election center are [https://apnews.com/877ee1015f1c43f1965f63538b035d3f/APNewsBreak:-Georgia-election-server-wiped-after-suit-filed|wiped clean].

__October 17, 2017:__ KSU filed a Second Supplement to the Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, specifying the constitutional due process violations in evading the requirements of the RICO statute — which mandated voiding the order allowing the Olens appointment. The KSU coalition repeated its demand for Judge Tom Campbell to take action since the USG and attorney general still had not filed a single response to the KSU legal action started a year before, in October 2016.

Though the real point of the motion was to spur the court to action, or to elicit a response from the attorney general, the attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this October 17, 2017 pleading.

__November 3, 2017:__ KSU renewed the motion to set aside, repeating the constitutional grounds to set aside the order that allowed Olens’ appointment in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct criminal investigation of the USG. The renewed motion cited 1960s civil rights cases, such as ''Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham'' and ''Wright v. Georgia'', in which the US Supreme Court said states could not evade their own laws on the books — like the Georgia RICO statute.

Though, by this time, Sam Olens has been serving for more than a year with an unanswered lawsuit charging bribery and extortion hanging over him, the new attorney general Chris Carr never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this November 3, 2017 pleading.

__December 14, 2017:__ Sam Olens announces his [https://news.kennesaw.edu/stories/2017/president_announcement.php|departure] from KSU, effective in February 2018. Hint: It was not really about the [https://www.mdjonline.com/news/report-sam-olens-told-to-alert-bosses-to-cheerleader-policy/article_44c85e68-cee2-11e7-baf2-cb4576bae508.html|cheerleaders].

__January 12, 2018:__ Trial court judge Tom Campbell enters an order denying the KSU motion to set aside the judgment, though the KSU action was never contested by the USG or attorney general. Judge Campbell’s order is one sentence long, and merely says motion denied — with no explanation, no citation to any fact or legal authority.

__July 13, 2018:__ Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases [https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download|indictment] of Russian military intelligence agents (see ''April 2016'' Kislyak tour, ''August 2016'' Russian hacking, on timeline). The Russian spies were indicted, in part, for hacking the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (see servers wiped clean to destroy evidence, ''July 2017'').

__September 12, 2018:__ KSU files a notice of appeal, under statute OCGA § 5-6-34 authorizing direct appeal for denial of the motion to void Campbell’s orders on constitutional grounds.

__April 1, 2019:__ While the KSU appeal is pending, a [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-dE_mK2vhmquoK-uDQsHkHFriJmzUp_D/view|bombshell] court pleading is filed in a related case documenting that the USG financial fraud, including the $10 million “[https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M5Tr39y64UY4nxhuUgN37J-mzeUnjm0m/view|gone with no explanation]” at GPC — for which Olens obstructed the investigation before the USG appointed him KSU president at $500,000 a year — consisted of systematic USG-wide fraud on the federal government affecting billions of dollars in federal assistance to the University System.

As in the KSU case, the attorney general has never responded to these documented allegations of billion-dollar fraud by the USG on the federal government, admitting them as true. The allegations in the KSU case, to which the attorney general also never responded — for more than three years — include financial fraud, bribery, and extortion. By the State’s failure to respond — the bribery, fraud, and extortion at KSU is also admitted as true.

__June 12, 2019:__ The KSU Appellants’ Brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals outlined the admitted state government corruption, as well as obstruction of justice and constitutional violations committed to cover it up.

On the same day the brief is filed, a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals (Judges Ken Hodges, Elizabeth Gobeil, and Stephen Dillard) enter an order dismissing the KSU appeal on procedural grounds never raised by any party (the USG and attorney general could not have raised them, since they never responded to the KSU action). It is hard to explain without going to law school, but the panel said the appeal was res judicata, already decided conclusively on all issues, based on prior one-sentence orders with no explanation, on top of the attorney general’s non-responses.

__March 26, 2020:__ The Georgia Supreme Court declines to review the KSU case, in another one-sentence order without explanation.

This refusal to review means the KSU case has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system, without the documented allegations of bribery, extortion, and fraud ever being contested by USG or attorney general (and thus admitted as true).

Even more egregiously, the Georgia Supreme Court’s dismissal of the KSU case, without comment, means that the entire case involving all this bribery and extortion in Georgia state government has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system without a single judge ever saying a single word about it.

The courts have provided no remedy to any of the victims of the admitted crimes, and no explanation, either. Thus it remains the phantom case at Kennesaw State University. __—CL—__

''Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future ''Outlandish Conspiracy Theories'' columns, online weekly, more or less.''"
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  string(14319) " Phantom Mask Rose Copy  2020-05-02T03:38:43+00:00 Phantom_mask_rose copy.jpg     Bribery, fraud, and extortion never contested 30939  2020-05-01T04:07:00+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Timeline of the phantom case at Kennesaw State University jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-05-01T04:07:00+00:00   

''(a) Any superior court may … enjoin violations of (the RICO statute) by issuing appropriate orders and judgments including, but not limited to:...(3) Ordering the … reorganization of any (governmental entity);
(4) Ordering the suspension or revocation of any … prior approval granted to any (governmental entity) by any agency of the state OCGA § 16-14-6''

How did former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, with no experience in academia, end up spending a year as president of Kennesaw State University (KSU), despite widespread opposition at KSU?

How was a lawsuit to block Olens’ appointment swept under the rug and why was no one ever held accountable for the financial crimes that were covered up — and then uncovered — in the University System of Georgia (USG)?

How did the USG create a vacancy at KSU to give Attorney General Olens a $500,000 a year position in the first place? After all the trouble to place him at KSU, why was Olens gone in a year?

The timeline tells the story by itself. Every statement in it is documented by state records and admitted by the USG in court proceedings:

April 28, 2016: While Kennesaw State University (KSU) president Dan Papp, a Russia scholar by academic training, is out of town on vacation, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, visits KSU and is given a tour of the Center for Elections Systems, located on the KSU campus and run by the USG at the time. Dr. Papp knew nothing about the Russian ambassador’s visit and had no involvement in the planning.

Kislyak was Russia’s top intelligence operative in the United States, who later became famous when everyone from Jeff Sessions to Jared Kushner forgot they had met with the Russian ambassador.

May 5, 2016: One week after the Kislyak tour of the Center for Elections Systems at KSU, USG head of audit John Fuchko goes to visit KSU President Dan Papp, and gives Dr. Papp bad news, out of the blue, that Papp has to resign or else he will be smeared with false accusations of financial impropriety. Dr. Papp agrees under duress to resign, effective June 2016.

June 2, 2016: The USG smears Dr. Papp with claims of financial impropriety, anyway, releasing a report accusing Papp of improperly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in deferred compensation (usually misrepresented in the media as “retirement pay”). Though this turned out to mostly consist of bonuses for longevity and achieving fundraising goals, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution repeats the USG’s financial impropriety smear at face value, with no examination of the underlying facts.

If anyone had actually bothered to read it, the USG report actually reveals financial impropriety by the USG, including small-time bank fraud and money laundering.

The important thing to note, at this point in the timeline, is that all this USG fraud and financial impropriety, and the removal of Dr. Papp from KSU by means of extortion, was all reported to then-Attorney General Sam Olens — who was soon to become Dr. Papp’s successor.

August 2016: Three months after the Kislyak visit, Russian military intelligence agents begin hacking Georgia’s Center for Elections Systems at KSU (though this was not publicly known till two years later — see July 13, 2018 indictment).

October 4, 2016: USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announces that Sam Olens is the sole candidate to be considered, in violation of the Board of Regents policy on USG presidential appointments, to replace Dr. Papp at KSU.

To put the USG appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the sole candidate considered in context, it is necessary to briefly take the timeline backwards to a USG financial scandal that erupted in April 2012. On July 3, 2012, a letter from Attorney General Sam Olens’ office documents the attorney general blocking a hearing by the Board of Regents into USG financial impropriety and obstructing a criminal investigation of USG financial fraud.

As documented in the July 3 letter, in light of $10 million “gone with no explanation,” Olens directed the USG to conduct an investigation of itself, which began on May 10, 2012.

On September 17, 2012, the USG released the results of an investigation of itself, in which the USG found no financial impropriety by the USG, even though it still cannot account to this day for $10 million gone AWOL from Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). This USG self-review of its finances was substituted for the independent audit required for re-accreditation. SACS, the regional accreditation agency, complied with this substitution in violation of its own rules requiring an independent audit.

Which catches us up on the historical context and brings us back to the USG appointing Olens to a high-paid USG position in 2016.

Oct 31, 2016: A coalition of Kennesaw State University faculty, alumni, and students file for injunctive relief to bar the political appointment of Olens as the sole candidate considered in violation of BOR policies, and as a quid pro quo for Olens obstructing criminal investigation of the USG. The KSU plaintiffs sue under the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes injunctive relief against state agencies.

The KSU coalition filed that legal action under the authority of the Georgia RICO statute, which expressly authorizes a court to enjoin the actions of a state agency where criminal impropriety is alleged. Chris Carr, the newly-appointed attorney general to replace Sam Olens, never filed any responsive pleading to the KSU complaint for injunctive relief. Carr never responded to KSU’s subsequent motions placing additional evidence of USG fraud and attorney general obstruction into the court record — over the course of more than three years.

November 1, 2016: Olens started work at KSU with no court action by Judge Tom Campbell on the KSU motion for a temporary restraining order.

November 7, 2016: A hearing on the motion begins at 9 a.m. Subpoenaed USG witnesses do not appear. Assistant Attorney General Russell Willard argues with no evidence that the subpoenas were hidden inside the complaint when it was served on the USG. Willard produces an order entered by the Georgia Supreme Court that very same morning of the hearing, in which the high court let stand, without explanation, a March 30, 2016 Court of Appeals order conferring sovereign immunity on state officials for the financial crimes documented at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC).

November 14, 2016: Judge Campbell enters a final order prepared by the attorney general’s office that misrepresents the failure of the USG witnesses to appear and asserts state sovereign immunity protection against injunctions — contrary to the explicit language of the Georgia RICO statute.

November 18, 2016: KSU coalition files a motion to set aside the judgment based on knowing misrepresentations of the law, in violation of constitutional due process, and to strike the attorney general’s false assertions regarding service of the subpoenas.

The attorney general never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never so much as acknowledged this November 18, 2016 pleading — for over a year, until January 2018.

June 2, 2017: KSU filed a Supplement to the November 2016 Motion to Set Aside. This supplement documented the Board of Regents (BOR) making after-the-fact changes to BOR policies to hide violations committed by the USG in removing Dr. Papp and covering up the USG’s own financial fraud (a story unto itself).

The June 2 filing also documents USG fraud in evading a hearing required by BOR policy, to which Dr. Papp was entitled — to challenge the USG for tarring him with false claims of financial impropriety. The USG clearly would not have wanted a hearing into the misleading financial allegations against Dr. Papp, where USG officials like Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley were the ones committing felony financial fraud.

The attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this June 2 pleading.

July 2017: A public interest group files a lawsuit concerning demonstrated vulnerabilities and irregularities in voting tabulations at the Center for Elections Systems on KSU campus. Three days after the lawsuit is served on KSU President Sam Olens and then-Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the servers at the KSU election center are wiped clean.

October 17, 2017: KSU filed a Second Supplement to the Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, specifying the constitutional due process violations in evading the requirements of the RICO statute — which mandated voiding the order allowing the Olens appointment. The KSU coalition repeated its demand for Judge Tom Campbell to take action since the USG and attorney general still had not filed a single response to the KSU legal action started a year before, in October 2016.

Though the real point of the motion was to spur the court to action, or to elicit a response from the attorney general, the attorney general never responded and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this October 17, 2017 pleading.

November 3, 2017: KSU renewed the motion to set aside, repeating the constitutional grounds to set aside the order that allowed Olens’ appointment in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct criminal investigation of the USG. The renewed motion cited 1960s civil rights cases, such as Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham and Wright v. Georgia, in which the US Supreme Court said states could not evade their own laws on the books — like the Georgia RICO statute.

Though, by this time, Sam Olens has been serving for more than a year with an unanswered lawsuit charging bribery and extortion hanging over him, the new attorney general Chris Carr never responded, and Judge Tom Campbell never acknowledged this November 3, 2017 pleading.

December 14, 2017: Sam Olens announces his departure from KSU, effective in February 2018. Hint: It was not really about the cheerleaders.

January 12, 2018: Trial court judge Tom Campbell enters an order denying the KSU motion to set aside the judgment, though the KSU action was never contested by the USG or attorney general. Judge Campbell’s order is one sentence long, and merely says motion denied — with no explanation, no citation to any fact or legal authority.

July 13, 2018: Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases indictment of Russian military intelligence agents (see April 2016 Kislyak tour, August 2016 Russian hacking, on timeline). The Russian spies were indicted, in part, for hacking the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University (see servers wiped clean to destroy evidence, July 2017).

September 12, 2018: KSU files a notice of appeal, under statute OCGA § 5-6-34 authorizing direct appeal for denial of the motion to void Campbell’s orders on constitutional grounds.

April 1, 2019: While the KSU appeal is pending, a bombshell court pleading is filed in a related case documenting that the USG financial fraud, including the $10 million “gone with no explanation” at GPC — for which Olens obstructed the investigation before the USG appointed him KSU president at $500,000 a year — consisted of systematic USG-wide fraud on the federal government affecting billions of dollars in federal assistance to the University System.

As in the KSU case, the attorney general has never responded to these documented allegations of billion-dollar fraud by the USG on the federal government, admitting them as true. The allegations in the KSU case, to which the attorney general also never responded — for more than three years — include financial fraud, bribery, and extortion. By the State’s failure to respond — the bribery, fraud, and extortion at KSU is also admitted as true.

June 12, 2019: The KSU Appellants’ Brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals outlined the admitted state government corruption, as well as obstruction of justice and constitutional violations committed to cover it up.

On the same day the brief is filed, a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals (Judges Ken Hodges, Elizabeth Gobeil, and Stephen Dillard) enter an order dismissing the KSU appeal on procedural grounds never raised by any party (the USG and attorney general could not have raised them, since they never responded to the KSU action). It is hard to explain without going to law school, but the panel said the appeal was res judicata, already decided conclusively on all issues, based on prior one-sentence orders with no explanation, on top of the attorney general’s non-responses.

March 26, 2020: The Georgia Supreme Court declines to review the KSU case, in another one-sentence order without explanation.

This refusal to review means the KSU case has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system, without the documented allegations of bribery, extortion, and fraud ever being contested by USG or attorney general (and thus admitted as true).

Even more egregiously, the Georgia Supreme Court’s dismissal of the KSU case, without comment, means that the entire case involving all this bribery and extortion in Georgia state government has gone through the entire Georgia judicial system without a single judge ever saying a single word about it.

The courts have provided no remedy to any of the victims of the admitted crimes, and no explanation, either. Thus it remains the phantom case at Kennesaw State University. —CL—

Almost every date entry in this KSU timeline, however, has a story unto itself. Look forward to them in future Outlandish Conspiracy Theories columns, online weekly, more or less.     THE PHANTOM CASE: The Georgia Attorney General never answered and no Georgia court ever wrote a word about it.  0,0,10                                 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Timeline of the phantom case at Kennesaw State University "
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Friday May 1, 2020 12:07 am EDT
Bribery, fraud, and extortion never contested | more...
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  string(28996) "“The Court cannot overlook a remedy the legislature, in its wisdom, saw fit to create.” — Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller

Sovereign immunity is an ancient doctrine from the days of divine right kings that has now been repackaged and expanded for Georgia’s ruling class. Even in the days of our state’s namesake, King George II, sovereign immunity never absolved the King’s ministers for committing crimes, but since 2016, Georgia claims it immunizes state officials for any felony you can think of — from murder to rape to theft of taxpayer money.
The question the governor, attorney general, and the courts of Georgia are now avoiding, is whether sovereign immunity likewise allows them to commit fraud on the federal government with impunity. But that is getting ahead of the story.

Sovereign immunity proponents are backward-looking and argue the doctrine is founded in immutable common law from the mists of prehistory. That is only because sovereign immunity protection for crimes can nowhere be found in modern law of Georgia.

It is important, however, before debunking the theory, to explain exactly what sovereign immunity means, since not everyone has gone to law school or studied Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1700s.
It means, in a word, you’re screwed. Even if King George II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer or the chancellor of the University System of Georgia were to falsify government financial records to frame you for embezzlement, or threatened you with the vilest extortion, you could not go to court and sue them. Even if you have hard evidence a state official committed crimes against you that would inflame a jury to award a hundred-million-dollar judgment against the man who abused his government position of public trust to harm you, he gets to laugh in your face, because sovereign immunity bars you from taking him to trial altogether.
You don’t get a judge or jury. You never even get to present your evidence. It’s over before it begins. Of course, that sounds downright un-American.

Sovereign immunity, nonetheless, has been expanded to such an extent, in Georgia, that either of those chancellors (if the king’s chancellor could come back from the past) could commit murder most vile on you. The attorney general of this state could shoot you on Peachtree Street, but unless the attorney general decided to criminally prosecute himself, you are out of luck. You have no options in civil court.

Some may say sovereign immunity sounds like a stupid idea in a country with no king, and should be abolished altogether. In fact, in 1792 the US Supreme Court told the state of Georgia it had no sovereign immunity protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But the white male landed gentry — the only people who had any say in the 1790s — has been going ape ever since. Suffice it to say that the law handed down over the centuries only provides one avenue of relief: A state, like the most beneficent king you could ever find in the Bible, can waive its sovereign immunity protection — and consent to be sued.
 

Reviving the rule of King George II

Remember when I said the modern Georgia Tories say sovereign immunity has been the law from time immemorial, as though carved in stone by Moses. That does not turn out to be true.

In the last installment, I said that in the course of expanding sovereign immunity, with the support of the governor and the attorney general, the courts have spearheaded a spirited campaign of judicial retroactivism. By retroactive I mean they are taking society backward in time. Whether to the time of King Edward Longshanks or General Longstreet does not matter.

As to judicial activism, the important point is that while the retroactive judges are changing the rules to coincide with their antebellum viewpoint, they are ignoring the law as they found it written on the books today.

And this rewriting of the laws — by judicial officers lacking that authority, which properly belongs to the legislature — has been done with judges appointed by the governors leading the way, and sometimes with the assistance of an attorney general also appointed by a governor, as if it were a single branch of government as opposed to two separate branches.

Sovereign immunity, meanwhile, is not the bedrock principle, from which there is no escaping, they make it out to be. Until 1991, in Georgia, sovereign immunity was waived — meaning you could sue the state — if the state was covered by liability insurance for the claim. Today, the state has insurance coverage for any and all legal claims brought against it. Whenever the state is sued, insurance even covers the state’s legal fees. That would seem to solve the problem, but that isn’t the law anymore because Georgia changed it.
In 1991, without even knowing it, Georgians passed a constitutional amendment to say that sovereign immunity can only be waived — to allow a lawsuit against a state agency or officer — if the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, expressly authorizes a particular kind of lawsuit — and thereby gives the state’s consent to be sued, not for anything, but within that specific limitation.

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals

The issue of sovereign immunity came up, in my experience, about 10 years ago. I was just a corporate lawyer minding my own business when I was called upon to defend a University of Georgia professor. Then-UGA president Michael Adams was trying to revoke the tenure of Adams’ most vocal critic, UGA professor Dezso Benedek, so that Adams could fire him for his unfavorable opinions. The task of defending Benedek against the University of Georgia, where I was once First Honor Graduate, fell to me, not because I was some tenure revocation genius, but only because nobody else would do it.

Benedek won the tenure battle. The revocation failed miserably, and Benedek is a UGA professor today because of it.

The reason we won the tenure battle, though, is what has caused the commotion in the pro-sovereign immunity community. We won because the Georgia attorney general was caught red-handed trying to hide evidence that showed the charges against Professor Benedek were false, and that Adams and the attorney general knew it from the start. The attorney general of Georgia was caught in the act of manufacturing fake evidence to try to frame Benedek, and also caught suborning perjury — that is, trying to get witnesses to lie on the stand under oath — among other felonies.

So I, not knowing any better than to follow the facts and the law, did something that had never been done before: I sued the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), the attorney general, the UGA dean who impersonated real UGA students online (which is computer and identity fraud, among other crimes) to manufacture false evidence, the UGA witnesses who perjured themselves, and the kingpin of this whole racketeering scheme, then-UGA president Michael Adams.

I sued them under the RICO statute — which, where there is a pattern of related crimes spelled out in the statute, allows for either a criminal prosecution (which in Benedek’s case could only be brought by the attorney general, against himself, among others). Or, on the same terms as the criminal prosecution, the statute also authorizes a civil RICO action, just like the kind of civil lawsuit for which anybody could go to court for a slip and fall or a car wreck. Those ordinary civil litigants go before a judge and jury to hear their cases, and they get to present their evidence.

But not Dezso Benedek.

Professor Benedek is not Donald Trump with billions to fund a hundred lawsuits at once. But Benedek’s case has bounced for the last 10 years before 13 different judges, and not one of them wanted to hear it, and they all tried their hardest to throw it out without a trial for any reason they could think of.

The important thing to remember is that this is where Attorney General Sam Olens started the argument that state officials have sovereign immunity to commit these RICO felonies. So even if a state office clerk or the attorney general himself were to extort you or attempt to rub you out — much less commit lesser felonies such as evidence tampering, wire fraud, and perjury — you cannot sue them for it.

Take your evidence of crime, said Attorney General Olens, and show it to your mother or your third-grade homeroom teacher — because you are never going to show it to a judge.

Sovereign immunity even bars you from doing discovery that normally occurs in a civil action in order to find more evidence. Sovereign immunity, according to judicial retroactivism in Georgia, prevents you from using the courts to force the government to produce documents and witnesses that may shed more light on the wrong they did to you, or on a criminal conspiracy.

In the vernacular of sovereign immunity, you get thrown out of court like a bum — even if the state cost you a million bucks or, in King George’s day, cut off your head. It is not a doctrine redeemed by any sense of fairness. According to the supposedly conservative judicial activists, that is true even if the wrong was done to you deliberately, with criminal intent.
 

The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity

That is where I have been respectfully begging to differ for the last 10 years, because the Georgia RICO Act meets the new 1991 state constitutional requirement of expressly authorizing a civil RICO action (and the state does have insurance coverage, so it will never cost the state treasury or the taxpayers a thing) against government officials.

In fact, once before, State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and some henchmen in his office were extorting campaign contributions and then stealing the money for themselves. Commissioner Caldwell was criminally prosecuted, but there was also a civil RICO action — just like Professor Benedek’s case against Michael Adams — filed against Caldwell.

Sam Caldwell tried to tell the plaintiff, in that civil RICO action against him, you cannot sue me in a civil RICO action because I am a state official. But the Georgia Supreme Court said not so fast, Sam, we read the RICO statute, and it expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against state government agencies and officials. So there.

The Georgia Supreme Court pointed out, in the case against State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other state employees, that the RICO statute defines a “racketeering (or RICO) enterprise” to include “any person,” without limitation, and also to include “governmental entities.” So every time the word enterprise appears in the statute, you can write in its place, instead, governmental entity. And, in fact, enterprise is an important word that is written in the statute in several places.

Based on that reading of the RICO statute, the Georgia Supreme Court told Sam Caldwell to take a hike. Imagine doing extortion and theft and then claiming you could not be held accountable — because you are too high and mighty as a state government official.

In fact, using the statutory language and logic of the controlling Caldwell opinion, the RICO statute says, in the words of the Georgia legislature that conservatives say they respect so much, that a RICO injunction can be lodged against a state government entity (though the Georgia courts recently contradicted this clear conclusion by saying that sovereign immunity barred an injunction to prevent the USG from engaging in RICO extortion and bribery to oust Dr. Daniel Papp and replace him with none other than Sam Olens himself).

The RICO statute also explicitly says that state government employees and agents can violate the statute, and therefore be subject to the remedies, including treble and punitive damages, spelled out by the statute.

One strict rule of statutory interpretation by the courts is to never render any language of the statute meaningless. After all, the legislature put the words in there for some reason. In Georgia, in 2020, we are still waiting for the current courts to tell us why the legislators did not mean anything when they said the RICO statute authorized an injunction against the state and a civil action for damages against employees and officials. We are also waiting for them to tell us why the Georgia Supreme Court did not mean what it said in Caldwell.

Moreover, the crimes listed in the statute that qualify for a RICO action (otherwise known as RICO predicate acts) also include many felonies that would tend to be committed by government officials — such as falsifying state agency financial records and audits to conceal the illegal diversion of taxpayer funds, and using state agency computers to commit financial fraud — which brings us to Anthony Tricoli.
 

State financial oversight by embezzlers

Since I did not know better than to take on a racketeering conspiracy in state government that had the full cooperation of the courts, other victims who have been steamrolled by the state have come calling.

Anthony Tricoli, the former president of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), was fired and replaced by the University System of Georgia literally before he knew it — after it was discovered (and later verified by the USG itself) that GPC’s vice president of finance Ron Carruth falsified the financial reports of GPC, and not by some rounding error, but by as much as $37 million at one point.

Anthony Tricoli sued for the financial fraud by Carruth and other complicit state officials that harmed Tricoli. The state of Georgia claimed its officials may commit these crimes with impunity under the protection of sovereign immunity. Even if the defendants did commit the crimes, and Tricoli can prove it, no dice on any trial, no dice on any remedy for the wrong. The state just waves you goodbye.

Tricoli’s trial judge in DeKalb Superior Court, Dan Coursey, put it this way: He said the state officials involved in the fraud were immune because when they were falsifying financial records to steal millions of dollars they were dutifully performing their state “financial oversight activities.”

At the next level in the judicial system, the Georgia Court of Appeals did not adopt Coursey’s colorful theory that cooking the books to hide the theft of taxpayer funds equaled financial oversight.

Nonetheless, they issued an opinion that was curious in many ways, but seconded Coursey’s opinion that victims harmed by the crimes of state officials had no right to sue.

Their reason, without exaggerating: State officials are above it all.

The Court of Appeals opinion, throwing Tricoli’s RICO case out in 2016, said I had advanced an imaginative theory that the state itself could be held accountable, but that was all it was. Imagination.

I did not imagine the language of the RICO statute or the controlling precedent in Caldwell, but the Court of Appeals did not bother to get into that.

Analysis of the impact of the controlling authority in Caldwell: None.

Examination of the language of the RICO statute, as required by the Georgia Constitution: Zero.
 

One judge was brave enough to read the law

Only one judge on the appeals court panel actually looked at the law and wrote a dissenting opinion. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller agreed with me that the RICO statute expressly authorizes a suit against the state, waiving sovereign immunity. So maybe it was not just my imagination after all.

Judge Miller is the only judge in the last 10 years to mention anything about the language of the RICO statute and follow it to the same logical conclusion as the Supreme Court previously did in Caldwell (now the state is trying to sanction me and make me pay the state’s legal expenses, because they say no reasonable person could ever believe what the RICO statute says, but they really should not talk about Judge Miller that way).
What is even more extraordinary, in light of the state’s contention that I should be fined many thousands of dollars for arguing state officials have no immunity for RICO felonies, is that an even higher authority than Judge Miller also agrees with me, the Georgia Supreme Court in the days of Caldwell. The attorney general does not like to mention that case — in fact, neither Sam Olens nor his replacement Chris Carr has ever said a word about it in any legal brief or argument.

The Caldwell Supreme Court’s reading of the RICO statute — no sovereign immunity for criminal RICO predicate acts, which is consistent with the statute and Judge Miller’s dissent — also conforms to another provision of the Georgia Constitution.

The Georgia Constitution says that state employees can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for acts taken with actual malice and intent to cause harm — which is consistent with the English common law from the time of Blackstone, before the American Revolution ended the very notion of royalty or any other person standing above the law in this country.
 

Caldwell was decided in 1984, and the Georgia Constitution says decisions by the Supreme Court are binding — which begs the question of how the opinion rejecting Sam Caldwell’s claim that he could not be subjected to a civil RICO action has been ignored for the last 10 years. The current Georgia Supreme Court, so far, has never addressed the question of whether it agrees with the Georgia Supreme Court in Caldwell that the language of the RICO statute satisfies the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity protection and allowing civil lawsuits to go forward.

How can it be that the same judicial entity is decided against itself and gives its own Caldwell opinion the silent treatment?
 

The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals

The Georgia Supreme Court broke the law governing Tricoli’s appeal by refusing to review the case, and left the appeal court opinion standing to deter any other victim of crimes committed by state officials with the temerity to try to hold them accountable. Today, the Tricoli case stands for the proposition that no one can sue a state official who harms a citizen in the commission of a RICO felony.

The Tricoli case was rejected by the state Supreme Court the same morning a hearing was being held on a case filed by Kennesaw State University faculty for an injunction to prevent the USG from forcing Sam Olens on them as KSU president. Thus the Court of Appeals “imagination” opinion in Tricoli, given the Georgia Supreme Court’s silence that came just in time, was the sole basis of throwing out the case against the USG for hiding its own financial fraud by extorting Dr. Dan Papp to resign as president of KSU so that Sam Olens could be appointed to that position. That case was thrown out on the pretense of sovereign immunity, even though the RICO statute expressly authorizes the injunctive relief against the state sought by the KSU plaintiffs, waiving sovereign immunity — and even though the documented allegations in the KSU case of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion had to be admitted by the state in the course of three years of appeals.

The allegations of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion at KSU were filed November of 2016. Three and a half years later, Attorney General Chris Carr — who was appointed to replace Olens — has never answered them. The KSU faculty filed supplemental pleadings since then, with additional evidence of wrongdoing such as real racketeering-style extortion of Dr. Papp, and the Board of Regents changing its policies to cover the tracks of illegal USG activity.

As of April 2020, Attorney General Chris Carr has never filed a responsive pleading to any of them. He never responded to any correspondence on the subject, or answered in any other forum. But the trial court and appeals court ruled in Carr’s favor with no explanation, in one-sentence orders that did not reference a single fact or cite any legal authority.
On March 26, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the KSU case without explanation, the same as the court did in the Tricoli case. Both times, the highest court in the state allowed its own binding precedent in Caldwell to be steamrolled.

Simply put, it appears the Caldwell precedent no longer suits the philosophy of the current retroactivist court, but the appointed justices don’t know what to do with the binding Supreme Court precedent. That binding precedent is grounded in an analysis of the very words of the RICO statute. Conservatives claim to defer to the legislature, but not when it comes to holding themselves accountable, apparently — or, rather, allowing ordinary citizens of the state to call these latter-day sovereigns before the dock.
 

From $10 million fraud to a billion

After Tricoli’s case was thrown out without allowing any discovery in 2016, continuing investigation found that the 10 million dollars never accounted for from GPC, to this day, were part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government. Five times Tricoli has been barred from adding that evidence to the court record to reopen Tricoli’s case, and Judge Coursey actually blocked a federal criminal investigation by quashing subpoenas and refusing to let Olens, Carruth, and others be confronted with the new evidence.

Attorney General Chris Carr has never answered the new evidence of USG fraud on the federal government, assisted by other state agencies, including the attorney general’s office. In the legal system, such a failure to respond constitutes an admission of the allegations, which are heavily documented. Yet Carr still maintains this attorney should be punished by the state, forced to pay the state’s legal fees, for exposing this state government corruption for which Chris Carr has no answer. Carr has not yet even opined one twit on whether the state enjoys sovereign immunity for defrauding the federal government.
 

Civil versus criminal RICO

Now, after all this inconclusive wrangling over sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, you may ask why Ron Carruth and his co-conspirators were never simply prosecuted for criminal conduct, for falsifying those financial reports that led to a financial scandal where someone had to be the scapegoat? Why weren’t other state officials prosecuted for committing far greater crimes (while the attorney general who could bring the prosecution is, instead, defending the alleged criminals against the civil RICO actions)?

No one has ever argued that a Georgia government official cannot be criminally prosecuted under the RICO statute. Sam Caldwell was, as we have already noted. And former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was prosecuted under the RICO statute for gunning his campaign opponent down in his driveway, and also for financial fraud against the county.

Georgia is saying, now, that if Dorsey defrauded you, a private citizen, or gunned you down in your driveway, you could not sue him — in a civil action expressly authorized in the same RICO statute.

There is some indication of why no one was ever criminally prosecuted though $10 million was never accounted for at GPC — that later turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government, as admitted by Attorney General Carr.

That indication comes in additional evidence that was also discovered after Tricoli’s case was thrown out by the courts on grounds of sovereign immunity. Assistant Attorney General Annette Cowart wrote in a letter right after Tricoli was fired that if Ron Carruth lied to Anthony Tricoli and misled Tricoli on GPC’s finances to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — then that was a private matter between Carruth and Tricoli.

Yes, Cowart actually did write that. Common sense probably tells you that is wrong, on several levels. But, even more to the point, the Georgia legislature has stepped in again and made such misrepresentation of state agency finances a felony — a crime which very explicitly makes it the public’s business under OCGA § 16-10-20.

It certainly makes Carruth’s multimillion-dollar boo-boos the business of the attorney general charged with enforcing the criminal statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature. But Sam Olens did not see it that way, which is why Assistant Attorney General Cowart also wrote in her letter that the attorney general’s office would not conduct a criminal investigation — because there was no evidence of criminal activity at GPC, where financial reports were falsified.

State records later confirmed that two sets of books were kept at GPC , but this criminal violation of OCGA 16-10-20 was taken to be a private matter, as previously noted by Cowart. So, instead of conducting a criminal investigation, Attorney General Olens allowed the USG to investigate itself (the USG, coincidentally, found nothing amiss with the USG), and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year position, in violation of its own policies, as president of KSU (after extorting Dr. Papp to leave).

Suffice it to say that Cowart and Olens were not following the law — which it is the attorney general’s job to enforce. Instead, Cowart falsified and misrepresented state audit information to torpedo Tricoli’s case and deny him a hearing before the Board of Regents to which he was entitled by law. On top of the obvious deprivation of constitutional due process, there are several felonies there, but no attorney general ever prosecuted anyone for it.

Nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the evidence and witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, identity and computer fraud, perjury and subornation of perjury that were proven in the Benedek case. Attorney generals do not seem to perceive crimes that are committed in their own office.

As you can see, Georgia’s state government is asking sovereign immunity to cover a lot of ground when it comes to covering for public officials violating their oath of office and violating the state’s criminal statutes.
 

The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes

Proponents of sovereign immunity claim, ironically, to be conservatives in favor of limited government. It is no small hypocrisy to argue in the same breath that government officials may act with total impunity, and no one can hold them accountable.

In the RICO cases filed against the government, Georgia claims immunity for a related pattern of crimes — just like a mafia family — including theft of taxpayer funds, intentional falsification of financial reports, fraud on the federal government, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, false use of Social Security identification, obstruction of justice, obstruction of federal proceedings, evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, subornation of perjury, bribery, and extortion.

Attorney General Olens admitted he never investigated any of the crimes committed against Benedek or Tricoli, or against the citizens of this state. Instead, Olens, and his successor Chris Carr, have defended the admitted criminals against the civil RICO actions — on grounds of sovereign immunity.

Throughout the 10 years of litigation, every state governor and attorney general, the USG and Board of Regents, and, most importantly, every court has ignored what the Georgia Constitution says about how sovereign immunity is waived.

These state officials (including judicial) have ignored the constitutional requirement to examine the language of statutes enacted by the legislature to see if they waive sovereign immunity, and they specifically ignored the language of the RICO statute itself.

They have ignored the binding Georgia Supreme Court precedent in Caldwell that plainly says the RICO statute expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against the state, satisfying the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity.

Therefore, they have ignored the legislature’s express consent, authorizing a civil action against the state for RICO felonies.


Moreover, by ignoring the law at every level, they have ignored, violated, and denied constitutional due process — a principle of fairness that really does lie at the bedrock of our republic, peddling a counterfeit coin of the realm with their own image on it instead.

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. —CL—"
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  string(29616) "''“The Court cannot overlook a remedy the legislature, in its wisdom, saw fit to create.”'' — Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller

Sovereign immunity is an ancient doctrine from the days of divine right kings that has now been repackaged and expanded for Georgia’s ruling class. Even in the days of our state’s namesake, King George II, sovereign immunity never absolved the King’s ministers for committing crimes, but since 2016, Georgia claims it immunizes state officials for any felony you can think of — from murder to rape to theft of taxpayer money.
The question the governor, attorney general, and the courts of Georgia are now avoiding, is whether sovereign immunity likewise allows them to commit fraud on the federal government with impunity. But that is getting ahead of the story.

Sovereign immunity proponents are backward-looking and argue the doctrine is founded in immutable common law from the mists of prehistory. That is only because sovereign immunity protection for crimes can nowhere be found in modern law of Georgia.

It is important, however, before debunking the theory, to explain exactly what sovereign immunity means, since not everyone has gone to law school or studied Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1700s.
It means, in a word, you’re screwed. Even if King George II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer or the chancellor of the University System of Georgia were to falsify government financial records to frame you for embezzlement, or threatened you with the vilest extortion, you could not go to court and sue them. Even if you have hard evidence a state official committed crimes against you that would inflame a jury to award a hundred-million-dollar judgment against the man who abused his government position of public trust to harm you, he gets to laugh in your face, because sovereign immunity bars you from taking him to trial altogether.
You don’t get a judge or jury. You never even get to present your evidence. It’s over before it begins. Of course, that sounds downright un-American.

Sovereign immunity, nonetheless, has been expanded to such an extent, in Georgia, that either of those chancellors (if the king’s chancellor could come back from the past) could commit murder most vile on you. The attorney general of this state could shoot you on Peachtree Street, but unless the attorney general decided to criminally prosecute himself, you are out of luck. You have no options in civil court.

Some may say sovereign immunity sounds like a stupid idea in a country with no king, and should be abolished altogether. In fact, in 1792 the US Supreme Court told the state of Georgia it had no sovereign immunity protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But the white male landed gentry — the only people who had any say in the 1790s — has been going ape ever since. Suffice it to say that the law handed down over the centuries only provides one avenue of relief: A state, like the most beneficent king you could ever find in the Bible, can waive its sovereign immunity protection — and consent to be sued.
 

''Reviving the rule of King George II''

Remember when I said the modern Georgia Tories say sovereign immunity has been the law from time immemorial, as though carved in stone by Moses. That does not turn out to be true.

In the [https://creativeloafing.com/content-470481-outlandish-conspiracy-theories-counterfeiting-sovereign|last installment], I said that in the course of expanding sovereign immunity, with the support of the governor and the attorney general, the courts have spearheaded a spirited campaign of judicial retroactivism. By retroactive I mean they are taking society backward in time. Whether to the time of King Edward Longshanks or [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/596e5ddbe4b05561da5a5b3e|General Longstreet] does not matter.

As to judicial activism, the important point is that while the retroactive judges are changing the rules to coincide with their antebellum viewpoint, they are ignoring the law as they found it written on the books today.

And this rewriting of the laws — by judicial officers lacking that authority, which properly belongs to the legislature — has been done with judges appointed by the governors leading the way, and sometimes with the assistance of an attorney general also appointed by a governor, as if it were a single branch of government as opposed to two separate branches.

Sovereign immunity, meanwhile, is not the bedrock principle, from which there is no escaping, they make it out to be. Until 1991, in Georgia, sovereign immunity was waived — meaning you ''could'' sue the state — if the state was covered by liability insurance for the claim. Today, the state has insurance coverage for any and all legal claims brought against it. Whenever the state is sued, insurance even covers the state’s legal fees. That would seem to solve the problem, but that isn’t the law anymore because Georgia changed it.
In 1991, without even knowing it, Georgians passed a constitutional amendment to say that sovereign immunity can only be waived — to allow a lawsuit against a state agency or officer — if the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, expressly authorizes a particular kind of lawsuit — and thereby gives the state’s consent to be sued, not for anything, but within that specific limitation.

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

''Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals''

The issue of sovereign immunity came up, in my experience, about 10 years ago. I was just a corporate lawyer minding my own business when I was called upon to defend a University of Georgia professor. Then-UGA president Michael Adams was trying to revoke the tenure of Adams’ most vocal critic, UGA professor Dezso Benedek, so that Adams could fire him for his unfavorable opinions. The task of defending Benedek against the University of Georgia, where I was once First Honor Graduate, fell to me, not because I was some tenure revocation genius, but only because nobody else would do it.

Benedek won the tenure battle. The revocation failed miserably, and Benedek is a UGA professor today because of it.

The reason we won the tenure battle, though, is what has caused the commotion in the pro-sovereign immunity community. We won because the Georgia attorney general was caught red-handed trying to hide evidence that showed the charges against Professor Benedek were false, and that Adams and the attorney general knew it from the start. The attorney general of Georgia was caught in the act of manufacturing fake evidence to try to frame Benedek, and also caught suborning perjury — that is, trying to get witnesses to lie on the stand under oath — among other felonies.

So I, not knowing any better than to follow the facts and the law, did something that had never been done before: I sued the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), the attorney general, the UGA dean who impersonated real UGA students online (which is computer and identity fraud, among other crimes) to manufacture false evidence, the UGA witnesses who perjured themselves, and the kingpin of this whole racketeering scheme, then-UGA president Michael Adams.

I sued them under the RICO statute — which, where there is a pattern of related crimes spelled out in the statute, allows for either a criminal prosecution (which in Benedek’s case could only be brought by the attorney general, against himself, among others). Or, on the same terms as the criminal prosecution, the statute also authorizes a civil RICO action, just like the kind of civil lawsuit for which anybody could go to court for a slip and fall or a car wreck. Those ordinary civil litigants go before a judge and jury to hear their cases, and they get to present their evidence.

But not Dezso Benedek.

Professor Benedek is not Donald Trump with billions to fund a hundred lawsuits at once. But Benedek’s case has bounced for the last 10 years before 13 different judges, and not one of them wanted to hear it, and they all tried their hardest to throw it out without a trial for any reason they could think of.

The important thing to remember is that this is where Attorney General Sam Olens started the argument that state officials have sovereign immunity to commit these RICO felonies. So even if a state office clerk or the attorney general himself were to extort you or attempt to rub you out — much less commit lesser felonies such as evidence tampering, wire fraud, and perjury — you cannot sue them for it.

Take your evidence of crime, said Attorney General Olens, and show it to your mother or your third-grade homeroom teacher — because you are never going to show it to a judge.

Sovereign immunity even bars you from doing discovery that normally occurs in a civil action in order to find more evidence. Sovereign immunity, according to judicial retroactivism in Georgia, prevents you from using the courts to force the government to produce documents and witnesses that may shed more light on the wrong they did to you, or on a criminal conspiracy.

In the vernacular of sovereign immunity, you get thrown out of court like a bum — even if the state cost you a million bucks or, in King George’s day, cut off your head. It is not a doctrine redeemed by any sense of fairness. According to the supposedly conservative judicial activists, that is true even if the wrong was done to you deliberately, with criminal intent.
 

''The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity''

That is where I have been respectfully begging to differ for the last 10 years, because the Georgia RICO Act meets the new 1991 state constitutional requirement of expressly authorizing a civil RICO action (and the state does have insurance coverage, so it will never cost the state treasury or the taxpayers a thing) against government officials.

In fact, once before, State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and some henchmen in his office were extorting campaign contributions and then stealing the money for themselves. Commissioner Caldwell was criminally prosecuted, but there was also a civil RICO action — just like Professor Benedek’s case against Michael Adams — filed against Caldwell.

Sam Caldwell tried to tell the plaintiff, in that civil RICO action against him, you cannot sue me in a civil RICO action because ''I am a state official''. But the Georgia Supreme Court said not so fast, Sam, we read the RICO statute, and it expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against state government agencies and officials. So there.

The Georgia Supreme Court pointed out, in the case against State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other state employees, that the RICO statute defines a “racketeering (or RICO) ''enterprise''” to include “any person,” without limitation, and also to include “governmental entities.” So every time the word ''enterprise'' appears in the statute, you can write in its place, instead, ''governmental entity''. And, in fact, enterprise is an important word that is written in the statute in several places.

Based on that reading of the RICO statute, the Georgia Supreme Court told Sam Caldwell to take a hike. Imagine doing extortion and theft and then claiming you could not be held accountable — because you are too high and mighty as a state government official.

In fact, using the statutory language and logic of the [https://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supreme-court/1984/41044-1.html|controlling ''Caldwell'' opinion], the RICO statute says, in the words of the Georgia legislature that conservatives say they respect so much, that a RICO injunction can be lodged against a state government entity (though the Georgia courts recently contradicted this clear conclusion by saying that sovereign immunity barred an injunction to prevent the USG from engaging in RICO extortion and bribery to oust Dr. Daniel Papp and replace him with none other than Sam Olens himself).

The RICO statute also explicitly says that state government employees and agents can violate the statute, and therefore be subject to the remedies, including treble and punitive damages, spelled out by the statute.

One strict rule of statutory interpretation by the courts is to never render any language of the statute meaningless. After all, the legislature put the words in there for some reason. In Georgia, in 2020, we are still waiting for the current courts to tell us why the legislators did not mean anything when they said the RICO statute authorized an injunction against the state and a civil action for damages against employees and officials. We are also waiting for them to tell us why the Georgia Supreme Court did not mean what it said in ''Caldwell''.

Moreover, the crimes listed in the statute that qualify for a RICO action (otherwise known as RICO predicate acts) also include many felonies that would tend to be committed by government officials — such as falsifying state agency financial records and audits to conceal the illegal diversion of taxpayer funds, and using state agency computers to commit financial fraud — which brings us to Anthony Tricoli.
 

''State financial oversight by embezzlers''

Since I did not know better than to take on a racketeering conspiracy in state government that had the full cooperation of the courts, other victims who have been steamrolled by the state have come calling.

Anthony Tricoli, the former president of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), was fired and replaced by the University System of Georgia literally before he knew it — after it was discovered (and later verified by the USG itself) that GPC’s vice president of finance Ron Carruth falsified the financial reports of GPC, and not by some rounding error, but by as much as $37 million at one point.

Anthony Tricoli sued for the financial fraud by Carruth and other complicit state officials that harmed Tricoli. The state of Georgia claimed its officials may commit these crimes with impunity under the protection of sovereign immunity. Even if the defendants did commit the crimes, and Tricoli can prove it, no dice on any trial, no dice on any remedy for the wrong. The state just waves you goodbye.

Tricoli’s trial judge in DeKalb Superior Court, Dan Coursey, put it this way: He said the state officials involved in the fraud were immune because when they were falsifying financial records to steal millions of dollars they were dutifully performing their state “financial oversight activities.”

At the next level in the judicial system, the Georgia Court of Appeals did not adopt Coursey’s colorful theory that cooking the books to hide the theft of taxpayer funds equaled financial oversight.

Nonetheless, they issued an opinion that was curious in many ways, but seconded Coursey’s opinion that victims harmed by the crimes of state officials had no right to sue.

Their reason, without exaggerating: State officials are above it all.

The Court of Appeals opinion, throwing Tricoli’s RICO case out in 2016, said I had advanced an imaginative theory that the state itself could be held accountable, but that was all it was. Imagination.

I did not imagine the language of the RICO statute or the controlling precedent in ''Caldwell'', but the Court of Appeals did not bother to get into that.

Analysis of the impact of the controlling authority in ''Caldwell'': None.

Examination of the language of the RICO statute, as required by the Georgia Constitution: Zero.
 

''One judge was brave enough to read the law''

Only one judge on the appeals court panel actually looked at the law and wrote a dissenting opinion. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller agreed with me that the RICO statute expressly authorizes a suit against the state, waiving sovereign immunity. So maybe it was not just my imagination after all.

Judge Miller is the only judge in the last 10 years to mention anything about the language of the RICO statute and follow it to the same logical conclusion as the Supreme Court previously did in ''Caldwell'' (now the state is trying to sanction me and make me pay the state’s legal expenses, because they say no reasonable person could ever believe what the RICO statute says, but they really should not talk about Judge Miller that way).
What is even more extraordinary, in light of the state’s contention that I should be fined many thousands of dollars for arguing state officials have no immunity for RICO felonies, is that an even higher authority than Judge Miller also agrees with me, the Georgia Supreme Court in the days of ''Caldwell''. The attorney general does not like to mention that case — in fact, neither Sam Olens nor his replacement Chris Carr has ever said a word about it in any legal brief or argument.

The ''Caldwell'' Supreme Court’s reading of the RICO statute — no sovereign immunity for criminal RICO predicate acts, which is consistent with the statute and Judge Miller’s dissent — also conforms to another provision of the Georgia Constitution.

The Georgia Constitution says that state employees can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for acts taken with actual malice and intent to cause harm — which is consistent with the English common law from the time of Blackstone, before the American Revolution ended the very notion of royalty or any other person standing above the law in this country.
 

''Caldwell'' was decided in 1984, and the Georgia Constitution says decisions by the Supreme Court are binding — which begs the question of how the opinion rejecting Sam Caldwell’s claim that he could not be subjected to a civil RICO action has been ignored for the last 10 years. The current Georgia Supreme Court, so far, has never addressed the question of whether it agrees with the Georgia Supreme Court in ''Caldwell'' that the language of the RICO statute satisfies the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity protection and allowing civil lawsuits to go forward.

How can it be that the same judicial entity is decided against itself and gives its own ''Caldwell'' opinion the silent treatment?
 

''The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals''

The Georgia Supreme Court broke the law governing Tricoli’s appeal by refusing to review the case, and left the appeal court opinion standing to deter any other victim of crimes committed by state officials with the temerity to try to hold them accountable. Today, the ''Tricoli'' case stands for the proposition that no one can sue a state official who harms a citizen in the commission of a RICO felony.

The ''Tricoli'' case was rejected by the state Supreme Court the same morning a hearing was being held on a case filed by Kennesaw State University faculty for an injunction to prevent the USG from forcing Sam Olens on them as KSU president. Thus the Court of Appeals “imagination” opinion in ''Tricoli'', given the Georgia Supreme Court’s silence that came just in time, was the sole basis of throwing out the case against the USG for hiding its own financial fraud by extorting Dr. Dan Papp to resign as president of KSU so that Sam Olens could be appointed to that position. That case was thrown out on the pretense of sovereign immunity, even though the RICO statute expressly authorizes the injunctive relief against the state sought by the KSU plaintiffs, waiving sovereign immunity — and even though the documented allegations in the KSU case of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion had to be admitted by the state in the course of three years of appeals.

The allegations of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion at KSU were filed November of 2016. Three and a half years later, Attorney General Chris Carr — who was appointed to replace Olens — has never answered them. The KSU faculty filed supplemental pleadings since then, with additional evidence of wrongdoing such as real racketeering-style extortion of Dr. Papp, and the Board of Regents changing its policies to cover the tracks of illegal USG activity.

As of April 2020, Attorney General Chris Carr has never filed a responsive pleading to any of them. He never responded to any correspondence on the subject, or answered in any other forum. But the trial court and appeals court ruled in Carr’s favor with no explanation, in one-sentence orders that did not reference a single fact or cite any legal authority.
On March 26, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the KSU case without explanation, the same as the court did in the ''Tricoli'' case. Both times, the highest court in the state allowed its own binding precedent in ''Caldwell'' to be steamrolled.

Simply put, it appears the ''Caldwell'' precedent no longer suits the philosophy of the current retroactivist court, but the appointed justices don’t know what to do with the binding Supreme Court precedent. That binding precedent is grounded in an analysis of the very words of the RICO statute. Conservatives claim to defer to the legislature, but not when it comes to holding themselves accountable, apparently — or, rather, allowing ordinary citizens of the state to call these latter-day sovereigns before the dock.
 

''From $10 million fraud to a billion''

After Tricoli’s case was thrown out without allowing any discovery in 2016, continuing investigation found that the 10 million dollars never accounted for from GPC, to this day, were part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government. Five times Tricoli has been barred from adding that evidence to the court record to reopen Tricoli’s case, and Judge Coursey actually blocked a federal criminal investigation by quashing subpoenas and refusing to let Olens, Carruth, and others be confronted with the new evidence.

Attorney General Chris Carr has never answered the new evidence of USG fraud on the federal government, assisted by other state agencies, including the attorney general’s office. In the legal system, such a failure to respond constitutes an admission of the allegations, which are heavily documented. Yet Carr still maintains this attorney should be punished by the state, forced to pay the state’s legal fees, for exposing this state government corruption for which Chris Carr has no answer. Carr has not yet even opined one twit on whether the state enjoys sovereign immunity for defrauding the federal government.
 

''Civil versus criminal RICO''

Now, after all this inconclusive wrangling over sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, you may ask why Ron Carruth and his co-conspirators were never simply prosecuted for criminal conduct, for falsifying those financial reports that led to a financial scandal where someone had to be the scapegoat? Why weren’t other state officials prosecuted for committing far greater crimes (while the attorney general who could bring the prosecution is, instead, defending the alleged criminals against the civil RICO actions)?

No one has ever argued that a Georgia government official cannot be criminally prosecuted under the RICO statute. Sam Caldwell was, as we have already noted. And former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was prosecuted under the RICO statute for gunning his campaign opponent down in his driveway, and also for financial fraud against the county.

Georgia is saying, now, that if Dorsey defrauded you, a private citizen, or gunned you down in your driveway, you could not sue him — in a civil action expressly authorized in the same RICO statute.

There is some indication of why no one was ever criminally prosecuted though $10 million was never accounted for at GPC — that later turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government, as admitted by Attorney General Carr.

That indication comes in additional evidence that was also discovered after Tricoli’s case was thrown out by the courts on grounds of sovereign immunity. Assistant Attorney General Annette Cowart [https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q7q07YHq5F-JcpFVkUMxMXeIFewgllnJ/view?usp=sharing|wrote in a letter] right after Tricoli was fired that if Ron Carruth lied to Anthony Tricoli and misled Tricoli on GPC’s finances to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — then that was a private matter between Carruth and Tricoli.

Yes, Cowart actually did write that. Common sense probably tells you that is wrong, on several levels. But, even more to the point, the Georgia legislature has stepped in again and made such misrepresentation of state agency finances a felony — a crime which very explicitly makes it the public’s business under [https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-10/article-2/16-10-20|OCGA § 16-10-20].

It certainly makes Carruth’s multimillion-dollar boo-boos the business of the attorney general charged with enforcing the criminal statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature. But Sam Olens did not see it that way, which is why Assistant Attorney General Cowart also wrote in her letter that the attorney general’s office would not conduct a criminal investigation — because there was no evidence of criminal activity at GPC, where financial reports were falsified.

State records later confirmed that two sets of books were kept at GPC , but this criminal violation of OCGA 16-10-20 was taken to be a private matter, as previously noted by Cowart. So, instead of conducting a criminal investigation, Attorney General Olens allowed the USG to investigate itself (the USG, coincidentally, found nothing amiss with the USG), and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year position, in violation of its own policies, as president of KSU (after extorting Dr. Papp to leave).

Suffice it to say that Cowart and Olens were not following the law — which it is the attorney general’s job to enforce. Instead, Cowart falsified and misrepresented state audit information to torpedo Tricoli’s case and deny him a hearing before the Board of Regents to which he was entitled by law. On top of the obvious deprivation of constitutional due process, there are several felonies there, but no attorney general ever prosecuted anyone for it.

Nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the evidence and witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, identity and computer fraud, perjury and subornation of perjury that were proven in the Benedek case. Attorney generals do not seem to perceive crimes that are committed in their own office.

As you can see, Georgia’s state government is asking sovereign immunity to cover a lot of ground when it comes to covering for public officials violating their oath of office and violating the state’s criminal statutes.
 

''The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes''

Proponents of sovereign immunity claim, ironically, to be conservatives in favor of limited government. It is no small hypocrisy to argue in the same breath that government officials may act with total impunity, and no one can hold them accountable.

In the RICO cases filed against the government, Georgia claims immunity for a related pattern of crimes — just like a mafia family — including theft of taxpayer funds, intentional falsification of financial reports, fraud on the federal government, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, false use of Social Security identification, obstruction of justice, obstruction of federal proceedings, evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, subornation of perjury, bribery, and extortion.

Attorney General Olens admitted he never investigated any of the crimes committed against Benedek or Tricoli, or against the citizens of this state. Instead, Olens, and his successor Chris Carr, have defended the admitted criminals against the civil RICO actions — on grounds of sovereign immunity.

Throughout the 10 years of litigation, every state governor and attorney general, the USG and Board of Regents, and, most importantly, every court has ignored what the Georgia Constitution says about how sovereign immunity is waived.

These state officials (including judicial) have ignored the constitutional requirement to examine the language of statutes enacted by the legislature to see if they waive sovereign immunity, and they specifically ignored the language of the RICO statute itself.

They have ignored the binding Georgia Supreme Court precedent in ''Caldwell'' that plainly says the RICO statute expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against the state, satisfying the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity.

Therefore, they have ignored the legislature’s express consent, authorizing a civil action against the state for RICO felonies.

{img fileId="30871" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" max="400" desc="desc"}
Moreover, by ignoring the law at every level, they have ignored, violated, and denied constitutional due process — a principle of fairness that really does lie at the bedrock of our republic, peddling a counterfeit coin of the realm with their own image on it instead.

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. __—CL—__"
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  string(29645) " OC George II By Thomas Hudson  2020-04-17T22:46:27+00:00 OC_George_II_by_Thomas_Hudson.jpg    conspiracytheories Those who know the past are doomed to take advantage of it 30870  2020-04-17T22:23:02+00:00 OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Counterfeiting sovereign immunity jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Stephen Humphreys Stephen Humphreys 2020-04-17T22:23:02+00:00  “The Court cannot overlook a remedy the legislature, in its wisdom, saw fit to create.” — Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller

Sovereign immunity is an ancient doctrine from the days of divine right kings that has now been repackaged and expanded for Georgia’s ruling class. Even in the days of our state’s namesake, King George II, sovereign immunity never absolved the King’s ministers for committing crimes, but since 2016, Georgia claims it immunizes state officials for any felony you can think of — from murder to rape to theft of taxpayer money.
The question the governor, attorney general, and the courts of Georgia are now avoiding, is whether sovereign immunity likewise allows them to commit fraud on the federal government with impunity. But that is getting ahead of the story.

Sovereign immunity proponents are backward-looking and argue the doctrine is founded in immutable common law from the mists of prehistory. That is only because sovereign immunity protection for crimes can nowhere be found in modern law of Georgia.

It is important, however, before debunking the theory, to explain exactly what sovereign immunity means, since not everyone has gone to law school or studied Blackstone’s Commentaries from the 1700s.
It means, in a word, you’re screwed. Even if King George II’s Chancellor of the Exchequer or the chancellor of the University System of Georgia were to falsify government financial records to frame you for embezzlement, or threatened you with the vilest extortion, you could not go to court and sue them. Even if you have hard evidence a state official committed crimes against you that would inflame a jury to award a hundred-million-dollar judgment against the man who abused his government position of public trust to harm you, he gets to laugh in your face, because sovereign immunity bars you from taking him to trial altogether.
You don’t get a judge or jury. You never even get to present your evidence. It’s over before it begins. Of course, that sounds downright un-American.

Sovereign immunity, nonetheless, has been expanded to such an extent, in Georgia, that either of those chancellors (if the king’s chancellor could come back from the past) could commit murder most vile on you. The attorney general of this state could shoot you on Peachtree Street, but unless the attorney general decided to criminally prosecute himself, you are out of luck. You have no options in civil court.

Some may say sovereign immunity sounds like a stupid idea in a country with no king, and should be abolished altogether. In fact, in 1792 the US Supreme Court told the state of Georgia it had no sovereign immunity protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But the white male landed gentry — the only people who had any say in the 1790s — has been going ape ever since. Suffice it to say that the law handed down over the centuries only provides one avenue of relief: A state, like the most beneficent king you could ever find in the Bible, can waive its sovereign immunity protection — and consent to be sued.
 

Reviving the rule of King George II

Remember when I said the modern Georgia Tories say sovereign immunity has been the law from time immemorial, as though carved in stone by Moses. That does not turn out to be true.

In the last installment, I said that in the course of expanding sovereign immunity, with the support of the governor and the attorney general, the courts have spearheaded a spirited campaign of judicial retroactivism. By retroactive I mean they are taking society backward in time. Whether to the time of King Edward Longshanks or General Longstreet does not matter.

As to judicial activism, the important point is that while the retroactive judges are changing the rules to coincide with their antebellum viewpoint, they are ignoring the law as they found it written on the books today.

And this rewriting of the laws — by judicial officers lacking that authority, which properly belongs to the legislature — has been done with judges appointed by the governors leading the way, and sometimes with the assistance of an attorney general also appointed by a governor, as if it were a single branch of government as opposed to two separate branches.

Sovereign immunity, meanwhile, is not the bedrock principle, from which there is no escaping, they make it out to be. Until 1991, in Georgia, sovereign immunity was waived — meaning you could sue the state — if the state was covered by liability insurance for the claim. Today, the state has insurance coverage for any and all legal claims brought against it. Whenever the state is sued, insurance even covers the state’s legal fees. That would seem to solve the problem, but that isn’t the law anymore because Georgia changed it.
In 1991, without even knowing it, Georgians passed a constitutional amendment to say that sovereign immunity can only be waived — to allow a lawsuit against a state agency or officer — if the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, expressly authorizes a particular kind of lawsuit — and thereby gives the state’s consent to be sued, not for anything, but within that specific limitation.

So how does that law apply in everyday life?

Sovereign immunity for racketeering attorney generals

The issue of sovereign immunity came up, in my experience, about 10 years ago. I was just a corporate lawyer minding my own business when I was called upon to defend a University of Georgia professor. Then-UGA president Michael Adams was trying to revoke the tenure of Adams’ most vocal critic, UGA professor Dezso Benedek, so that Adams could fire him for his unfavorable opinions. The task of defending Benedek against the University of Georgia, where I was once First Honor Graduate, fell to me, not because I was some tenure revocation genius, but only because nobody else would do it.

Benedek won the tenure battle. The revocation failed miserably, and Benedek is a UGA professor today because of it.

The reason we won the tenure battle, though, is what has caused the commotion in the pro-sovereign immunity community. We won because the Georgia attorney general was caught red-handed trying to hide evidence that showed the charges against Professor Benedek were false, and that Adams and the attorney general knew it from the start. The attorney general of Georgia was caught in the act of manufacturing fake evidence to try to frame Benedek, and also caught suborning perjury — that is, trying to get witnesses to lie on the stand under oath — among other felonies.

So I, not knowing any better than to follow the facts and the law, did something that had never been done before: I sued the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), the attorney general, the UGA dean who impersonated real UGA students online (which is computer and identity fraud, among other crimes) to manufacture false evidence, the UGA witnesses who perjured themselves, and the kingpin of this whole racketeering scheme, then-UGA president Michael Adams.

I sued them under the RICO statute — which, where there is a pattern of related crimes spelled out in the statute, allows for either a criminal prosecution (which in Benedek’s case could only be brought by the attorney general, against himself, among others). Or, on the same terms as the criminal prosecution, the statute also authorizes a civil RICO action, just like the kind of civil lawsuit for which anybody could go to court for a slip and fall or a car wreck. Those ordinary civil litigants go before a judge and jury to hear their cases, and they get to present their evidence.

But not Dezso Benedek.

Professor Benedek is not Donald Trump with billions to fund a hundred lawsuits at once. But Benedek’s case has bounced for the last 10 years before 13 different judges, and not one of them wanted to hear it, and they all tried their hardest to throw it out without a trial for any reason they could think of.

The important thing to remember is that this is where Attorney General Sam Olens started the argument that state officials have sovereign immunity to commit these RICO felonies. So even if a state office clerk or the attorney general himself were to extort you or attempt to rub you out — much less commit lesser felonies such as evidence tampering, wire fraud, and perjury — you cannot sue them for it.

Take your evidence of crime, said Attorney General Olens, and show it to your mother or your third-grade homeroom teacher — because you are never going to show it to a judge.

Sovereign immunity even bars you from doing discovery that normally occurs in a civil action in order to find more evidence. Sovereign immunity, according to judicial retroactivism in Georgia, prevents you from using the courts to force the government to produce documents and witnesses that may shed more light on the wrong they did to you, or on a criminal conspiracy.

In the vernacular of sovereign immunity, you get thrown out of court like a bum — even if the state cost you a million bucks or, in King George’s day, cut off your head. It is not a doctrine redeemed by any sense of fairness. According to the supposedly conservative judicial activists, that is true even if the wrong was done to you deliberately, with criminal intent.
 

The RICO statute dethrones sovereign immunity

That is where I have been respectfully begging to differ for the last 10 years, because the Georgia RICO Act meets the new 1991 state constitutional requirement of expressly authorizing a civil RICO action (and the state does have insurance coverage, so it will never cost the state treasury or the taxpayers a thing) against government officials.

In fact, once before, State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and some henchmen in his office were extorting campaign contributions and then stealing the money for themselves. Commissioner Caldwell was criminally prosecuted, but there was also a civil RICO action — just like Professor Benedek’s case against Michael Adams — filed against Caldwell.

Sam Caldwell tried to tell the plaintiff, in that civil RICO action against him, you cannot sue me in a civil RICO action because I am a state official. But the Georgia Supreme Court said not so fast, Sam, we read the RICO statute, and it expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against state government agencies and officials. So there.

The Georgia Supreme Court pointed out, in the case against State Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other state employees, that the RICO statute defines a “racketeering (or RICO) enterprise” to include “any person,” without limitation, and also to include “governmental entities.” So every time the word enterprise appears in the statute, you can write in its place, instead, governmental entity. And, in fact, enterprise is an important word that is written in the statute in several places.

Based on that reading of the RICO statute, the Georgia Supreme Court told Sam Caldwell to take a hike. Imagine doing extortion and theft and then claiming you could not be held accountable — because you are too high and mighty as a state government official.

In fact, using the statutory language and logic of the controlling Caldwell opinion, the RICO statute says, in the words of the Georgia legislature that conservatives say they respect so much, that a RICO injunction can be lodged against a state government entity (though the Georgia courts recently contradicted this clear conclusion by saying that sovereign immunity barred an injunction to prevent the USG from engaging in RICO extortion and bribery to oust Dr. Daniel Papp and replace him with none other than Sam Olens himself).

The RICO statute also explicitly says that state government employees and agents can violate the statute, and therefore be subject to the remedies, including treble and punitive damages, spelled out by the statute.

One strict rule of statutory interpretation by the courts is to never render any language of the statute meaningless. After all, the legislature put the words in there for some reason. In Georgia, in 2020, we are still waiting for the current courts to tell us why the legislators did not mean anything when they said the RICO statute authorized an injunction against the state and a civil action for damages against employees and officials. We are also waiting for them to tell us why the Georgia Supreme Court did not mean what it said in Caldwell.

Moreover, the crimes listed in the statute that qualify for a RICO action (otherwise known as RICO predicate acts) also include many felonies that would tend to be committed by government officials — such as falsifying state agency financial records and audits to conceal the illegal diversion of taxpayer funds, and using state agency computers to commit financial fraud — which brings us to Anthony Tricoli.
 

State financial oversight by embezzlers

Since I did not know better than to take on a racketeering conspiracy in state government that had the full cooperation of the courts, other victims who have been steamrolled by the state have come calling.

Anthony Tricoli, the former president of Georgia Perimeter College (GPC), was fired and replaced by the University System of Georgia literally before he knew it — after it was discovered (and later verified by the USG itself) that GPC’s vice president of finance Ron Carruth falsified the financial reports of GPC, and not by some rounding error, but by as much as $37 million at one point.

Anthony Tricoli sued for the financial fraud by Carruth and other complicit state officials that harmed Tricoli. The state of Georgia claimed its officials may commit these crimes with impunity under the protection of sovereign immunity. Even if the defendants did commit the crimes, and Tricoli can prove it, no dice on any trial, no dice on any remedy for the wrong. The state just waves you goodbye.

Tricoli’s trial judge in DeKalb Superior Court, Dan Coursey, put it this way: He said the state officials involved in the fraud were immune because when they were falsifying financial records to steal millions of dollars they were dutifully performing their state “financial oversight activities.”

At the next level in the judicial system, the Georgia Court of Appeals did not adopt Coursey’s colorful theory that cooking the books to hide the theft of taxpayer funds equaled financial oversight.

Nonetheless, they issued an opinion that was curious in many ways, but seconded Coursey’s opinion that victims harmed by the crimes of state officials had no right to sue.

Their reason, without exaggerating: State officials are above it all.

The Court of Appeals opinion, throwing Tricoli’s RICO case out in 2016, said I had advanced an imaginative theory that the state itself could be held accountable, but that was all it was. Imagination.

I did not imagine the language of the RICO statute or the controlling precedent in Caldwell, but the Court of Appeals did not bother to get into that.

Analysis of the impact of the controlling authority in Caldwell: None.

Examination of the language of the RICO statute, as required by the Georgia Constitution: Zero.
 

One judge was brave enough to read the law

Only one judge on the appeals court panel actually looked at the law and wrote a dissenting opinion. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller agreed with me that the RICO statute expressly authorizes a suit against the state, waiving sovereign immunity. So maybe it was not just my imagination after all.

Judge Miller is the only judge in the last 10 years to mention anything about the language of the RICO statute and follow it to the same logical conclusion as the Supreme Court previously did in Caldwell (now the state is trying to sanction me and make me pay the state’s legal expenses, because they say no reasonable person could ever believe what the RICO statute says, but they really should not talk about Judge Miller that way).
What is even more extraordinary, in light of the state’s contention that I should be fined many thousands of dollars for arguing state officials have no immunity for RICO felonies, is that an even higher authority than Judge Miller also agrees with me, the Georgia Supreme Court in the days of Caldwell. The attorney general does not like to mention that case — in fact, neither Sam Olens nor his replacement Chris Carr has ever said a word about it in any legal brief or argument.

The Caldwell Supreme Court’s reading of the RICO statute — no sovereign immunity for criminal RICO predicate acts, which is consistent with the statute and Judge Miller’s dissent — also conforms to another provision of the Georgia Constitution.

The Georgia Constitution says that state employees can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for acts taken with actual malice and intent to cause harm — which is consistent with the English common law from the time of Blackstone, before the American Revolution ended the very notion of royalty or any other person standing above the law in this country.
 

Caldwell was decided in 1984, and the Georgia Constitution says decisions by the Supreme Court are binding — which begs the question of how the opinion rejecting Sam Caldwell’s claim that he could not be subjected to a civil RICO action has been ignored for the last 10 years. The current Georgia Supreme Court, so far, has never addressed the question of whether it agrees with the Georgia Supreme Court in Caldwell that the language of the RICO statute satisfies the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity protection and allowing civil lawsuits to go forward.

How can it be that the same judicial entity is decided against itself and gives its own Caldwell opinion the silent treatment?
 

The politically correct court sends a subliminal message to criminals

The Georgia Supreme Court broke the law governing Tricoli’s appeal by refusing to review the case, and left the appeal court opinion standing to deter any other victim of crimes committed by state officials with the temerity to try to hold them accountable. Today, the Tricoli case stands for the proposition that no one can sue a state official who harms a citizen in the commission of a RICO felony.

The Tricoli case was rejected by the state Supreme Court the same morning a hearing was being held on a case filed by Kennesaw State University faculty for an injunction to prevent the USG from forcing Sam Olens on them as KSU president. Thus the Court of Appeals “imagination” opinion in Tricoli, given the Georgia Supreme Court’s silence that came just in time, was the sole basis of throwing out the case against the USG for hiding its own financial fraud by extorting Dr. Dan Papp to resign as president of KSU so that Sam Olens could be appointed to that position. That case was thrown out on the pretense of sovereign immunity, even though the RICO statute expressly authorizes the injunctive relief against the state sought by the KSU plaintiffs, waiving sovereign immunity — and even though the documented allegations in the KSU case of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion had to be admitted by the state in the course of three years of appeals.

The allegations of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion at KSU were filed November of 2016. Three and a half years later, Attorney General Chris Carr — who was appointed to replace Olens — has never answered them. The KSU faculty filed supplemental pleadings since then, with additional evidence of wrongdoing such as real racketeering-style extortion of Dr. Papp, and the Board of Regents changing its policies to cover the tracks of illegal USG activity.

As of April 2020, Attorney General Chris Carr has never filed a responsive pleading to any of them. He never responded to any correspondence on the subject, or answered in any other forum. But the trial court and appeals court ruled in Carr’s favor with no explanation, in one-sentence orders that did not reference a single fact or cite any legal authority.
On March 26, 2020, the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear the KSU case without explanation, the same as the court did in the Tricoli case. Both times, the highest court in the state allowed its own binding precedent in Caldwell to be steamrolled.

Simply put, it appears the Caldwell precedent no longer suits the philosophy of the current retroactivist court, but the appointed justices don’t know what to do with the binding Supreme Court precedent. That binding precedent is grounded in an analysis of the very words of the RICO statute. Conservatives claim to defer to the legislature, but not when it comes to holding themselves accountable, apparently — or, rather, allowing ordinary citizens of the state to call these latter-day sovereigns before the dock.
 

From $10 million fraud to a billion

After Tricoli’s case was thrown out without allowing any discovery in 2016, continuing investigation found that the 10 million dollars never accounted for from GPC, to this day, were part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government. Five times Tricoli has been barred from adding that evidence to the court record to reopen Tricoli’s case, and Judge Coursey actually blocked a federal criminal investigation by quashing subpoenas and refusing to let Olens, Carruth, and others be confronted with the new evidence.

Attorney General Chris Carr has never answered the new evidence of USG fraud on the federal government, assisted by other state agencies, including the attorney general’s office. In the legal system, such a failure to respond constitutes an admission of the allegations, which are heavily documented. Yet Carr still maintains this attorney should be punished by the state, forced to pay the state’s legal fees, for exposing this state government corruption for which Chris Carr has no answer. Carr has not yet even opined one twit on whether the state enjoys sovereign immunity for defrauding the federal government.
 

Civil versus criminal RICO

Now, after all this inconclusive wrangling over sovereign immunity protection from a civil RICO action, you may ask why Ron Carruth and his co-conspirators were never simply prosecuted for criminal conduct, for falsifying those financial reports that led to a financial scandal where someone had to be the scapegoat? Why weren’t other state officials prosecuted for committing far greater crimes (while the attorney general who could bring the prosecution is, instead, defending the alleged criminals against the civil RICO actions)?

No one has ever argued that a Georgia government official cannot be criminally prosecuted under the RICO statute. Sam Caldwell was, as we have already noted. And former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey was prosecuted under the RICO statute for gunning his campaign opponent down in his driveway, and also for financial fraud against the county.

Georgia is saying, now, that if Dorsey defrauded you, a private citizen, or gunned you down in your driveway, you could not sue him — in a civil action expressly authorized in the same RICO statute.

There is some indication of why no one was ever criminally prosecuted though $10 million was never accounted for at GPC — that later turned out to be part of a billion-dollar fraud on the federal government, as admitted by Attorney General Carr.

That indication comes in additional evidence that was also discovered after Tricoli’s case was thrown out by the courts on grounds of sovereign immunity. Assistant Attorney General Annette Cowart wrote in a letter right after Tricoli was fired that if Ron Carruth lied to Anthony Tricoli and misled Tricoli on GPC’s finances to the tune of tens of millions of dollars — then that was a private matter between Carruth and Tricoli.

Yes, Cowart actually did write that. Common sense probably tells you that is wrong, on several levels. But, even more to the point, the Georgia legislature has stepped in again and made such misrepresentation of state agency finances a felony — a crime which very explicitly makes it the public’s business under OCGA § 16-10-20.

It certainly makes Carruth’s multimillion-dollar boo-boos the business of the attorney general charged with enforcing the criminal statutes enacted by the Georgia legislature. But Sam Olens did not see it that way, which is why Assistant Attorney General Cowart also wrote in her letter that the attorney general’s office would not conduct a criminal investigation — because there was no evidence of criminal activity at GPC, where financial reports were falsified.

State records later confirmed that two sets of books were kept at GPC , but this criminal violation of OCGA 16-10-20 was taken to be a private matter, as previously noted by Cowart. So, instead of conducting a criminal investigation, Attorney General Olens allowed the USG to investigate itself (the USG, coincidentally, found nothing amiss with the USG), and then the USG appointed Olens to a $500,000 a year position, in violation of its own policies, as president of KSU (after extorting Dr. Papp to leave).

Suffice it to say that Cowart and Olens were not following the law — which it is the attorney general’s job to enforce. Instead, Cowart falsified and misrepresented state audit information to torpedo Tricoli’s case and deny him a hearing before the Board of Regents to which he was entitled by law. On top of the obvious deprivation of constitutional due process, there are several felonies there, but no attorney general ever prosecuted anyone for it.

Nor was anyone ever prosecuted for the evidence and witness tampering, mail and wire fraud, identity and computer fraud, perjury and subornation of perjury that were proven in the Benedek case. Attorney generals do not seem to perceive crimes that are committed in their own office.

As you can see, Georgia’s state government is asking sovereign immunity to cover a lot of ground when it comes to covering for public officials violating their oath of office and violating the state’s criminal statutes.
 

The logic behind sovereign immunity for crimes

Proponents of sovereign immunity claim, ironically, to be conservatives in favor of limited government. It is no small hypocrisy to argue in the same breath that government officials may act with total impunity, and no one can hold them accountable.

In the RICO cases filed against the government, Georgia claims immunity for a related pattern of crimes — just like a mafia family — including theft of taxpayer funds, intentional falsification of financial reports, fraud on the federal government, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, computer fraud, false use of Social Security identification, obstruction of justice, obstruction of federal proceedings, evidence tampering, witness tampering, perjury, subornation of perjury, bribery, and extortion.

Attorney General Olens admitted he never investigated any of the crimes committed against Benedek or Tricoli, or against the citizens of this state. Instead, Olens, and his successor Chris Carr, have defended the admitted criminals against the civil RICO actions — on grounds of sovereign immunity.

Throughout the 10 years of litigation, every state governor and attorney general, the USG and Board of Regents, and, most importantly, every court has ignored what the Georgia Constitution says about how sovereign immunity is waived.

These state officials (including judicial) have ignored the constitutional requirement to examine the language of statutes enacted by the legislature to see if they waive sovereign immunity, and they specifically ignored the language of the RICO statute itself.

They have ignored the binding Georgia Supreme Court precedent in Caldwell that plainly says the RICO statute expressly authorizes a civil RICO action against the state, satisfying the constitutional requirement for waiving sovereign immunity.

Therefore, they have ignored the legislature’s express consent, authorizing a civil action against the state for RICO felonies.


Moreover, by ignoring the law at every level, they have ignored, violated, and denied constitutional due process — a principle of fairness that really does lie at the bedrock of our republic, peddling a counterfeit coin of the realm with their own image on it instead.

Most importantly, where the average citizen of Georgia sits, the promoters of sovereign immunity protection have ignored the corruption and crimes committed by Georgia officials. After all this judicial activism to expand sovereign immunity for a new class of royals, the only thing an average Georgia citizen can do is pray that he or she is not the next victim. —CL—    The Trustees of the Goodwood Collection / Bridgeman Images IN THE NAME OF THE STATE: King "George II" (oil on canvas), Hudson, Thomas (1701-79)  0,0,10    conspiracytheories                             OUTLANDISH CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Counterfeiting sovereign immunity "
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Friday April 17, 2020 06:23 pm EDT
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