My name is John Henry Jones, and I am a whistle blower. I will be 60 years old in February. I am being held in the King County Jail in Seattle, Washington. I have never been in jail before. I have been jailed since Oct. 24, 2008. It is a nightmare.
Please recommend this Diary, I have until 8pm PST tonight to get this on the main KOS page, and wider distribution!! Thanks. Hit the "recommend" button on the right.
I have been a Metro bus driver (King County, WA) since 1980. I am a black man, and I was fighting discrimination on the job. I took my case to Federal court, and lost on the first round (MORE on that later) But the real reason I am here is political. And it is corruption. You see, I am in jail to prevent the filing of an appeal to my Federal court case. There are people in County management that have used the police and the prosecutors to stop my multi-million dollar lawsuit. They are the ones who could lose THEIR jobs and even face charges if this lawsuit is allowed to continue.
On October 24, I was trying to figure out how to raise $4,000 by Monday for my bail. I had just spent one night in jail--on a made up charge of "Felony Harassment". While I was standing in my apartment parking lot, at least TWO King County police vehicles (one an unmarked Hummer with a detective) pulled up and two uniformed officers RE-arrested me. I was handcuffed and taken to jail. Only now, bail was raised to $300,000. That is why I am still in jail, because my fiance and friends could not raise the $30,000 the bail-bondsman needed to put up the rest.
During my years at Metro, I have endured racism and harassment from management and even union officials (my job was eventually LOST by the action of one union officer).
About 3 years ago, my tires were slashed in the North Base parking lot. This was done by a white mechanic with racist tendencies (others have said he used racial slurs when talking about me and other blacks) who had hinted that he would do something. We had had words before. A witness saw him leaving the parking lot after my tires were slashed. I confronted him... and he was... NICE! He offered to to BUY me new tires. He didn't admit that he'd slashed them, but we were NEVER on good terms. I believe he was afraid of losing his job. He needn't have worried. I complained to management, informed them of the witness, but there was no investigation and nothing ever happened to him. Imagine what would have happened if I had done that! I would have been history right then.
I felt that the lack of a real investigation was racial discrimination. I began to gather evidence to bring to King County's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
As I did this, I faced more harassment from management and added these to the complaint.
In December 2006 I was involved in a minor accident on the job. My accident kit was missing the risk management card to give to the other party. I called the radio coordinator and requested a supervisor come out with the card. Instead, the coordinator sent Seattle Police, who gave me a citation. I later fought this in court and won. Coordinators NEVER send out police for a minor accident unless requested by the operator. The other party did not have proof of insurance, yet he was NOT cited.
Two months later, I filed suit in Federal court for harassment and racial discrimination.
On April 27, 2007, I was accused of attacking a white female co-worker. This was totally fabricated.
The allegation was that as she was bent over getting transfers, I hit her on the back of the head in an area that is in plain sight of EVERYONE coming and going to sign in for their daily assignment. The time of day given was 7 a.m., when a number of drivers are reporting for work. She did NOT report this alleged assault at the time, instead going off to work. We are told to report assaults immediately to the supervisor at the sign-in window. A physical exam by a doctor showed nothing, no bruising, etc.
Remember the coordinator who sent the police to the minor accident? I found out after this "assault" that he is the husband of the female co-worker.
According to regulations, I should have been placed on administrative leave. Instead, I was ordered to continue working. This was the basis for the "victim" to file for a Restraining Order in Shoreline District Court (King County). Also it was claimed that she feared for her safety based on the "history" between us.
Let me make this perfectly clear: THERE IS NO HISTORY BETWEEN US. She had never filed any complaint against me before this. But now she was saying that I had sexually harassed her over a period of years. But there is NOTHING in my record about this. Remember, her husband is in Metro MANAGEMENT. She wouldn't have had his help in filing a complaint? Starting to look fishy? Yet on the basis of this, with no credible witnesses, The judge issued a one year restraining order. Metro had asked for one lasting the life of my employment at King County (which turned out to be less!)
Although the alleged incident took place in the city of Shoreline, it was investigated by King County Police.
A month later, KC Police came up with a witness who did not see the alleged assault, but claimed she heard the victim say "Ow!". Yet this outburst supposedly happened around the corner from the window supervisor-- seven feet away. This allowed them to file 4th degree assault charges against me.
I was wrongfully terminated in June, 2007. I was unable to collect unemployment.
Just as an aside, Metro did not fire a white operator who assaulted an asian female co-worker, who sustained injuries that took months to heal. He did not even receive a verbal reprimand. His assault is not listed as such in his record, but as "other".
Fighting the false charges cost me on the order of $10,000. I had to cannibalize my retirement. Denying me unemployment was just another way of keeping me from defending myself and stopping my federal case, which takes MONEY.
In July, 2008, there I was in court, a black man accused of assaulting a white woman. The 6 member jury (4 white women, 1 white man, 1 asian woman) deliberated for FOUR minutes. I was found innocent.
While this has been going on, I was trying to get my job back through my union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587. At a union meeting, members gave the union authorization to fight this wrongful termination. So we're going to arbitration, right? Wrong. The union officer in charge of filing the papers "FORGOT" to do so by the deadline, even after being reminded repeatedly by another union officer.
The upshot? Arbitration forfeited, lost. Hey, if you want to play the game, you have to SHOW UP.
Here's what it says in the ATU Local 587 News Review, September 2008, page 3:
"John Henry Jones: Grieved termination for alleged gross misconduct. Arbitration bi-furcated
due to Metro assertion [that the] Union forfeited grievance timelines. Arbitrator ruled in
favor of Metro. We wish Brother Jones all success in his future endeavors."
"forfeited grievance timelines"= oops, I forgot.
Besides collective bargaining, the job of the union is to fight tooth and nail to overturn bogus terminations.
Wow. Thanks. You lost my job, which I would have gotten back based on my acquittal. Very nice of you to wish me success. I have to wonder, when the union officer who "forgot" retires, will there be some quid pro quo?
So it's October, 2008. My federal case went to court on the 14th. I have payed my attorney $35,000 already. There is a LOT of evidence in my favor, including the phony "assault" charge that was cooked up.
OTHER attorney's have said my case is a slam dunk. King County is obviously afraid, using the prosecutor's office to file such a shaky charge.
But guess what? I LOST. In order to have all the evidence in my favor be heard in court, it has to be, well, FILED. My attorney, who the judge in the case called "incompetent" failed to file much of what was gathered. Word is, he has moved his office to some very pricey new digs. I doubt it was my $35,000. No way that was enough. I had 30 days to file an appeal, but before I could do that, I was in JAIL! Can you think of a better way to stop an appeal?
I was charged with "Felony Harassment" Supposedly, I had made threats against A) The King County Prosecutor who defended County in my federal case, B) My own attorney, and C) the union officer mentioned above.
I want to state right now that I did not make ANY threats against these people. Like the earlier fake assault, this is MADE UP. So why am I in jail on $300,000 bail? Why not just issue restraining orders?
Because they have to lock me up to keep me from appealing. Friends have told me that posters with a mug shot have been put up at operating bases warning of these threats. They are still there even though I have been locked up for more than 2 weeks, with no chance of getting out. They are trying to trash my reputation with people who know me and might support me. If you see an official notice like this, what are you going to think? My close friends know that it is total BS. But other friends, who haven't seen me since I was fired in 2007? They are using every avenue at their disposal, to prevent my appeal. And a LOT of resources. Is this illegal? OF COURSE. But proving this corruption would be difficult, for me. Now, if someone could get the FBI in on this... Or the state. King County IS the law around these parts..
And my resources? Practically nothing. The same goes for my fiance, Emily "Robin" Meyer. She and a few friends are the only ones helping. That is why I am asking for help. You can go to http://www.johnhenryjones.net/ to make a donation and get updates. If you know of anyone who can help, either monetarily or with influence, please do!
Currently my arraignment is scheduled for November 20th. I will be given a public defender then. My fiance has found an attorney who is asking for $5,000 retainer to take the case and pay for an investigator.
I am hopeful that an attorney/investagator could get my bail reduced, or move it along faster. although he is not my attorney yet, he has said that after the arraignment NOTHING will happen until the New Year.
I will be in jail over the holidays and then an undetermined amount of time in early 2009. As I said before, I have NEVER been in jail. This is taking a tremendous toll on me emotionally. My fiance is frantic with worry, but she is doing what she can.
I am allowed 1 hour of visitation per week. Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. This was put together based on what I have told my fiance. I do not have computer access in jail.
John Henry Jones
This the link to find me in the King County Jail Lookup Service:
This link seems to change at times.. From the start, go for BROWSE JAIL REGISTER. Then "Find everyone in custody alphabetically..." Then "J".
once you are on the "J's", I am on the page with entries 91-100 (this could change as people are added or released. Look until you find Jones, John Henry. The link will show you my prisoner number. Two entries, one for the Wed Night (10-22) I spent in jail, then my current incarceration beginning 10-24-08.