"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, July 9, 2010

Times Union: "Corey Doesn't Have to Testify in First Baptist Blogger Case"

As reported by Times Union reporter Paul Pinkham this week on the Times Union website, a U.S. magistrate ruled in favor of the defense's motion to not have Angela Corey deposed regarding the destruction of subpoena and subpoena request forms related to the First Amendment lawsuit.

Here is Pinkham's article:

Submitted by Paul Pinkham on July 7, 2010 - 2:52pm

State Attorney Angela Corey won't have to give a deposition in the case of a First Baptist Church blogger suing Jacksonville police and a state prosecutor for exposing his identity using investigative subpoenas.

U.S. Magistrate Monte Richardson ruled Corey doesn't have to testify about the inadvertent destruction of the subpoenas and related information during an office relocation. Richardson noted that one of her assistants already has testified about the destroyed documents and that Corey said in a deposition that she has no firsthand knowledge of the case and what knowledge she does have was presented to her by her staff.

Richardson said Corey's testimony isn't essential to the case and the information she could provide can be obtained through less burdensome means than deposing a sitting state attorney.

Blogger Tom Rich sued after he was exposed as the author of a blog critical of First Baptist leadership via subpoenas obtained by a police officer who is a member of the church with help from an assistant state attorney in 2008, before Corey took office.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Watch, what did u expecgt they would do. I know u must feel frustrated with events thus far. I am not directly involved but discouraged with how u have been treated in this affair. To say the records have been lost due to moving to a new location seems a little ridiculous. The tax-payors money at work.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - not discouraged one bit. The process is long, sometimes painful for all involved. Some of the testimony in depositions has been shocking and disappointing, but for now I won't comment on it - but plan to when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder how much of the Lord's lucre it took to make those records conveniently "disappear".

I doubt there are many, even in the "how dare you besmirch a man of God" crowd, who believe those records were accidentally misplaced.

You should be bumping this story all over the place.

debbiekaufman said...

I support you on this Tom and I am praying for you all the way through it.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that when any individual makes assertions against another whether they are citizens or whoever that these statements were automatically entered into the State Attorneys computer for any and all to retrieve. What happened to those records? They can't just disappear into thin air. There has to be someplace that they landed within the computer's hardware or on magnetic tapes otherwise its a BAD SYSTEM!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually, the inadvertent and seemingly fortuitous "loss" of these particular records will help Tom's case and hurt the JSO, Hinson, and SAO's office tremendously. Why? Because according to the 34 page Order issued by the Federal Judge that will hear this case, Hinson, the JSO and the SAO must show a "compelling state interest" for violating Mr. Rich's Federally protected privacy rights. Without these documents, they can not, ever, submit anything to the Judge that will support any compelling state interest at the time the subpoenas were requested and obtained. (Trying to justify with information they learned after the fact won't cut it.)

It would have been better for them had Hinson, or the SAO that signed off on the subpoena, been able to produce about 6 inches worth of documentation of criminal investigation notes, reports of threats, and other basis for issuing subpoenas to Comcast to find out Mr. Rich's identity. As it stands right now, it looks like a church member, security employee, deacon, and discipline committee member violated Mr. Rich's privacy rights as a favor/courtesy to his fellow deacons, boss, and committee members so they could "aggressively confront" the criticism coming from Mr. Rich's blog.

I wonder if Comcast lawyers might be real interested in knowing why their company was forced, under threat and force of law, to produce one of their customer's private information to a member of the FBC Jax discipline committee.

I think Mr. Rich's case against the JSO and SAO is just the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

The question that must be dogging the church and Hinson right now is this: Even with those records "inadvertently" destroyed, how in the world did Mr. Rich ever find out what I did? Ooops. Time to go into full damage control. Spin, spin, spin.

Anonymous said...

Government is corrupt, too. And has too much power.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog,
I would like to echo what Debbie said. Right will prevail in the end. I admire you for pursuing this just cause !!

Anonymous said...

"It would have been better for them had Hinson, or the SAO that signed off on the subpoena, been able to produce about 6 inches worth of documentation of criminal investigation notes, reports of threats, and other basis for issuing subpoenas to Comcast to find out Mr. Rich's identity."

That is the LAST thing they wanted to do. There was no case to warrant the subpeona and they know it.

Tom, how did you first find out they had subpeona'd your blog ownership to find out who you were?

Anonymous said...

Comes as no surprise - all the State & City politicians don't want to rock the boat as they use First Baptist as a stage for votes - they all visit every election year.

No surprise in depositions either - it is disappointing when people say one thing to your face and another behind your back - Caner being one of our examples.

FB got a pass on this one but they are squirming and their reputation is growing with disgusted members growing weary of the millionaire preacher and his clubhouse cronies. Hang in their WD!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog...if I ever hear or see another case where individual rights have been violated it could not be more flagrant than yours. No evidence at all shown to receive permission from a judge to secure your name so that you could be ousted from your church, is amazing. In my opinion, a Federal Judge hearing this case is going to be very interested in how all of this went down.

Anonymous said...

As soon as FBCJ's new bylaws become public record, somebody---somehow (download, copy requested from courthouse, etc)---get a copy for distribution to interested readers here.