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View Diary: Charlie Grapski jailed since Oct. 12 with no bond (227 comments)

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  •  Okay, this shit sounds crazy (21+ / 0-)

    If there isn't more to it, this is a freaking outrage.  How could a place like UF let something like this go unnoticed?  Ato the C to L to the U.

    just another liberal, anti-American, cutnrun combat veteran

    by Uncle Irish on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 09:51:01 PM PST

    •  Just Same Old, Same Old (20+ / 0-)

      Florida House Candidate to Face Litany of Criminal Charges After Alleging Vote Fraud

      By Miriam Raftery

      Raw Story

      Monday 12 June 2006

      In the article is proof that Grapski was hanging with the bomb-throwing terrorists:

      Here are some photos of Charlie at one of many DFA related events...

      Many other great Democrats are speaking at that event as well...Hightower, Ivins, the Dean brothers..many more.

      Charlies is lucky they are only jailing, freezing and starving him - for now.

      Best,  Terry

      •  Okay what about the Gainesville Sun? (8+ / 0-)

        local papers.  msm.  Rod Smith didn't have anything to say?  I'll certainly ring the alarm bells through my very limited channels.

        just another liberal, anti-American, cutnrun combat veteran

        by Uncle Irish on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:23:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Gainesville Sun Has Shone Its Light on (14+ / 0-)

          Grapski more than once:

          Grapski charged with trespassing

          By Karen Voyles

          Sun staff writer

          Published: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
          Last Modified: Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.

          Charles James "Charlie" Grapski, a one-time candidate for the Florida House of Representatives and a frequent plaintiff in lawsuits against the city of Alachua, is in jail.

          ...According to the arrest report, Grapski went to the home, and banged on the front door. Two people inside the home allegedly told Grapski to leave. In response to the request that he leave, Grapski reportedly smashed a window with his fist before walking around to a side door and letting himself into the home. A witnesses told police that Grapski said he wanted help finding his glasses and refused to leave despite being told repeatedly to get out.

          Officers said Grapski was still inside the home when they arrived. Grapski’s bond was set at $10,000 in the case, but jail records show he is being held without bond in the two previous cases.

          See here.

          Best,  Terry

        •  Re: What about the Gainesville Sun and Rod Smith? (0+ / 0-)

          local papers.  msm.  Rod Smith didn't have anything to say?  I'll certainly ring the alarm bells through my very limited channels.

          Heads up on the Sun and Smith: The paper is falling on lean times and is dependent on advertising from the developers and Chamber types, who do not want any reporting that makes their local sold-out officials look bad. Also, they have no real journalists any more. They have done nothing to look into the corruption and criminal misconduct by Alachua officials, or the Charlie Grapski persecution. You need to read the High Springs Herald to get the news on Alachua.

          As for Rod Smith, he is part of the local "mob" that is trying to put Charlie away. In fact, Smith is the hired gun for Clovis Watson and the City of Alachua in defending the public records and dual office holding lawsuits filed by Charlie Grapski and Michael Canney. See the High Springs Herald articles posted HERE for all the background.

          Smith spearheaded the push to build a huge Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Alachua on environmentally sensitive land, and

    •  There is more to it. (10+ / 0-)

      Everybody here is getting all worked up without knowing the whole story. I live in Alachua. I know Charlie Grapski. While I appreciate his efforts to expose our corrupt city government, I also know that Charlie is a flawed hero. He got arrested this last time for breaking into a house in the middle of the night. Said he needed help finding his glasses. Charlie has a penchant for getting into trouble. People at this site should not be so quick to get on the Grapski bandwagon.

      •  I lived in Gainesville for 15 years (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        c, chick ghandil, kuulray, COwoman

        And I never, that I recall, met Charlie. But I know of him, because he was in the papers a couple of times a year for some new incident. For all I know, maybe he was on the morally correct side of those incidents each time...but as the parent post says, he certainly does have "a penchant for getting into trouble." Just sayin'.

        •  The first time, he was definitely in the right (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          c, mataliandy, FishOutofWater, COwoman

          I just did a search that reminded me of the first Charlie G incident of which I was aware: in 1995 he was running for student body president, and his opponent made and distributed fliers falsely claiming that he had been arrested for molestation and indecent exposure. He sued their asses for that, and rightfully so.

      •  Thank you for clarifying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kuulray

        This community JUMPS with little regard to background research. IMHO, Grapski tends to file frivolous lawsuits at the drop of a hat. His attitude borders on paranoia. I've lived in this community for 25+ years, followed Grapski since the 90's when he ran for student body prez at UF, and have (way to much) knowledge of local law enforcement and the state's attorney. The DKos community is better served fighting a diff't battle.

        BTW, loved the "flawed hero" line. Perfect.

        •  Frivolous lawsuits? NOT (0+ / 0-)

          The suggestion by c that "the DKos community is better served fighting a diff't battle" may be a fair statement, but the reference to "frivolous lawsuits" is without any basis. You obviously don't need to support Charlie, but I'm not sure how the "DKos community" is served by making unsubstantiated accusations. Which lawsuit was "frivolous" and without merit?

          I suggest a Google search for Grapski Florida Blue Key defamation. Grapski has some powerful enemies, and for good reason. Many of them are UF-connected, including UF Prez Bernie Machen (who endorsed McCain-Palin, BTW).

          •  Charlie's frivolous Florida Blue Key lawsuit (0+ / 0-)

            Charlie didn't collect this money, because Vlcek has all his assets in the names of other family members, but a "frivolous lawsuit" it was not.

            Suit over fliers brings $6-million

            A former Florida Blue Key member is ordered to pay for defaming a former UF student body president candidate.

            By MATTHEW BOEDY
            St. Petersburg Times - March 15, 2000

            GAINESVILLE -- An Alachua County jury on Tuesday ordered former Florida Blue Key member Peter Vlcek to pay $6-million in damages for defaming a former University of Florida graduate student by making him look like a child molester.

            Charles Grapski, the former UF student body presidential candidate who was the subject of defamatory fliers in the 1995 spring elections, broke out in tears after learning of the verdict from jurors. He had left the courthouse to grab a bagel at a coffee shop.

            "He said the numbers and I said, "Huh?' " Grapski said afterward. Grapski said his legal victories should send a message to UF.

            "They actually condone campaigns of the candidates of student government by a very ruthless, self-interested elite who don't care about the good of the students, the good of the university or the good of the community," he said.

            The jury awarded him $1-million for compensatory damages and $5-million for punitive damages.

            One of Grapski's lawyers, UF law professor Joe Little, had asked in his closing argument for $150,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. After the verdict, Robert Widman, another of Grapski's attorneys, seemed overwhelmed by the money awarded his client.

            "I've never heard of a defamation verdict like that," Widman said. "That jury was trying to tell somebody something."

            "We found it was disturbing that someone would do something like that to someone," said juror Michael Milek.

            Vlcek, 43, was not present at the two-day trial. Widman said Vlcek, a former UF law student, claimed the reason for his absence was that his brother was sick and he had no car to get from his home in Jacksonville.

            The verdict ends a four-year legal battle that Grapski, now a graduate student in England, brought against Florida Blue Key, former UF student body president John McGovern and Vlcek.

            All three parties have now been found civilly liable for posting the doctored fliers that used Florida Department of Law Enforcement records on Grapski with false convictions.

            The fliers falsely stated that Grapski had been arrested for child molestation, public exposure and lewd and lascivious conduct. The fliers correctly stated that Grapski had been arrested for driving under the influence more than two decades ago.

            Florida Blue Key settled with Grapski for $85,000, without admitting liability. McGovern is appealing the $80,000 judgment he's been ordered to pay.

            © St. Petersburg Times

    •  there IS more to it (5+ / 0-)

      As I note downthread, Charlie has made a career of pushing the limits of the law.  Charlie is ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that he is always correct.  Charlie is not always correct, and he seems to have pretty much run out of goodwill locally, even in the progressive community.

      I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

      by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:35:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kind of has that smell (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        c, ThirstyGator, Blackmamba1973

        local law enforcement going overboard, but in some ways instigated into it by a guy who seems to have made "making trouble" his cause in life

        •  not to make light of the situation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          c, chick ghandil, COwoman

          but if you basically walk around daring the police to arrest you, you're likely to be arrested.

          Come and see the violence inherenet in the system!  Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

          I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

          by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:11:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being a pain in the butt (6+ / 0-)

            Is not a valid reason for incarceration.

            Charlie certainly hasn't helped himself by his own actions, but he still doesn't deserve to be held indefinitely without bond on a clearly trumped up charge as a means of coercing a plea deal.

            What he needs is a real lawyer, not a public defender who'll try to convince him to plead guilty to a felony he didn't commit.

            Refusing to plead is not "choosing not to be defended by competent counsel," it's choosing not to become a convicted felon for having recorded a conversation with a public official in the open and with permission.

            You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

            by mataliandy on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:54:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  we disagree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              c

              You're correct that being a pain in the butt is not reason for incarceration.

              That's not what this is about.  The guy repeatedly breaks the law.  They put you in jail for that.  When you do it often enough, they don't give you bail.  PD's are real lawyers.  You should get to know some of them.

              I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

              by ThirstyGator on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:02:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hear what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

                The guy repeatedly breaks the law.  They put you in jail for that.

                Fine. Convict him and put him in prison.

                But it seems the "crime" that is keeping him in jail without bond is recording a public official.

                Is that not a problem for anyone that values the rule of law?

                Or is the story wrongly reported?

                Best,  Terry

              •  The laws he has "broken" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lotlizard
                - He recorded a public official in the open, with permission. (law supposedly broken: felony wiretapping)

                - He tried to file a complaint when a police officer illegally accessed his bank records, and was persistent in requesting to be allowed to file. He was arrested and imprisoned, beaten for this "crime."

                - He spoke to another person at a public meeting, then asked why he was being asked to leave, since he'd done nothing wrong (starting at 35 minutes, in this video).

                - The above "crime" led to the "assault" charges against the police. In the video, starting at 38 minutes, you can see the "assault." (Good thing for Charlie there's video.)

                - Misdemeanor trespassing. The only legitimately broken law in the bunch.

                So, yes, he's a pain in the butt, but to characterize him as a repeated lawbreaker is not quite accurate.

                I'm sure if I were in the same community, I'd be plenty impatient with him, and might be tempted to write him off due to his annoyance factor, but that doesn't mean this imprisonment is appropriate.

                You don't need to protect me from someone else's spelling, grammar, extra posts on a topic, or use of quotations.

                by mataliandy on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:00:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  ThirstyGator is now judge and jury? (0+ / 0-)

                The guy repeatedly breaks the law.  They put you in jail for that.  When you do it often enough, they don't give you bail.  PD's are real lawyers.  You should get to know some of them.

                It is a fact that Charlie Grapski has not been convicted of a crime, although a great deal of effort and taxpayers' expense has been devoted to doing so (including by public and police officials who are guilty of numerous PROVABLE criminal violations).

                The real issue here is not whether Charlie Grapski is a white knight or an asshole, the real issue is whether a citizen's right to defend him/herself against their accusers is guaranteed, and whether there is a  presumption of innocence in the judicial process.

                ThirstyGator's comments reveal either an ignorance of the facts in this case, a disregard for constitutional rights and the rule of law, a bias against Grapski, or all of the above...

            •  If you get "bad advice" from one lawyer (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              c

              maybe s/he's a bad lawyer.

              If you get the same "bad advice" from another lawyer, maybe you're having a run of bad luck.

              If a third lawyer also gives you that "bad advice," perhaps you should start wondering why it's so "bad."

              If a fourth lawyer thinks the "bad advice" was actually a damned good idea, well, the problem is more likely found in the mirror than in the courtroom.

              Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Two Days per Bottle.

              by dhonig on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:56:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's always a degree of conflict of interest (0+ / 0-)

                between a defendant who wants to go to trial, and attorney's natural desire to get the case over with. This is not to suggest his attorneys have violated ethical codes, but when the defendant is short on social skills the problem's exacerbated, and repeats.

                I'm less stubborn than Charlie, so there's been a couple cases where I took deals i'd have rather not to keep a good relationship with my attorney, with a view towards the next case.

                The War on Drugs is $40 billion a year of Government waste.

                by ben masel on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:20:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Pleading guilty to a crime or infraction (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mataliandy, lotlizard

                  one hasn't committed is understandable, but morally reprehensible.  While many people cannot afford to stand on principle because they put loved ones or family members at risk, Charlie Grabski is not inhibited by these considerations.

                  Plea bargain justice is socially corrosive because whenever a false plea is entered, it re-enforces the assumption that "everybody's guilty of something" and that the presumption of innocence is just a procedural starting point.

                  Plea bargain justice also promotes over-charging by the police and prosecutors and a certain disregard for providing accurate information and evidence.  It's in this sense that it is corrosive of our judicial system.

                  I was a "disinterested" observer of court proceedings in Alachua County for more than a decade.  I sat in on all kinds of trials and hearings, including divorce proceedings conducted "in chambers" to "protect" the wealthy participants from having to expose their dirty laundry to public inspection.  I was invited to become a Guardian Ad Litem so I could have access to juvenile hearings, where I got to see dozens of juveniles "disposed of" in a couple of hours while wealthy couples could monopolize court facilities for days.  It was not an edifying experience.

                  One of the main problems we have is that the judicial system is essentially closed since only those affected by the outcome of proceedings usually show up.  The press makes an occasional appearance for a celebrity case, but the day to day activities are generally ignored by the law abiding citizenry, which assumes that anyone who ends up in court must have done something wrong.

                  How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

                  by hannah on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 09:58:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  2007 stats for my County (0+ / 0-)

                    showed only 1% of misdemeanor cases going to trial. Used to be higher, but now the DA's office moves to dismiss all of mine at the initial appearance. (Actually they dismiss most of the weak ones, since they're getting more felonies with the same number of Assistant DAs)

                    The War on Drugs is $40 billion a year of Government waste.

                    by ben masel on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 10:03:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  From where I sit, if the prosecutors are (0+ / 0-)

                      dismissing almost all charges, then the police aren't doing a good job. Arrests and charges that can't be validated are merely inflating police time sheets and pretending to be accomplishing something that they're not.
                      Respect for law and order is not enhanced when people are falsely charged.

                      Of course, New Hampshire has a really weird system where arresting officers get to prosecute their own misdemeanor arrests.

                      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

                      by hannah on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:25:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They're dismissing the weak ones. (0+ / 0-)

                        Plenty more getting guilty pleas.

                        I'll admit that SOMETIMES it makes sense to make the arrest to unwind a situation that seems to be, in the view of the officer on the spot, to be about to spiral into something worse, with a quick release after emotional temperastures cool, and it's then a waste of everyone's time to prosecute the borderline disorderly. More often, these plea down to non-criminal County Ordinance disorderly.

                        The War on Drugs is $40 billion a year of Government waste.

                        by ben masel on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:55:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

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