Introduction by Sharon Rondeau, The Post & Email
Todd Sweet, an inmate at the Morgan County Correctional Complex in Wartburg, TN, met Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III while both were inmates at the Monroe County jail in Madisonville, TN last year. The Post & Email has reported extensively on Fitzpatrick’s discovery of corruption within the Monroe County judiciary, law enforcement, and grand jury, which he contends has resulted in the unlawful incarceration of an unknown number of Monroe County’s citizens. Fitzpatrick is currently in jail awaiting a scheduled release date of February 9, 2012. Sweet supports Fitzpatrick’s contention that the Monroe County grand jury is chosen by the court clerk rather than by automated means, as stipulated by state law.
Because of unchecked corruption, Sweet believes, “…the top dogs whom you vote in…are going to destroy your County…and they can arrest people like Walter Fitzpatrick III.”
In two previous letters published at The Post & Email, Sweet described his conversion to Christianity while in jail, his regret for past crimes and his observations about prison life and the criminal justice system. In the following letter, he discusses the corruption he witnessed while in Monroe County which appears to support several local news reports stating that in 2009, several sheriff’s detectives posed as attorneys to elicit information and/or a confession from an inmate, John Edward Dawson, using the information to garner a conviction against him. Dawson has since appealed, and the conviction was overturned.
Like Fitzpatrick, Sweet, who has spent extensive time in prison, likens the Monroe County jail to a “dungeon.” In our earlier story today, The Post & Email reported that an inspection of the Monroe County Jail occurred on Thursday, February 2, during which inspectors reportedly entered Fitzpatrick’s cell and identified him by name. Madisonville Mayor Tim Yates was reportedly present at the time and had refused to meet with Fitzpatrick several months ago on the premise that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department had forbidden it.
The Post & Email can also report this evening that the document which Fitzpatrick received last week referenced in our earlier report was a Writ of Habeas Corpus directed to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, TN. There is speculation that the “inspection” might have been connected to the Habeas Writ. More details are to follow.
State vs. County Jails
By Todd Sweet
The Post & Email (site is under maintenance at time of publishing)
(Feb. 5, 2012) – I’m sitting here on my bunk at the TDOC’s Morgan County Complex.
My housing is nice (for being in prison). The staff is for the most part helpful and respectful. The situation around me is well controlled. I feel safe. I feel human. I am given many opportunities to go worship my Lord and Savior. TDOC puts alot [sic] of emphasis on Christianity and it thrills me.
Though it is January and cold, my cell is kept at a fair temperature. The Tennessee Dpt. Of Corrections by far – so far – exceeds my expectations. The TDOC has surprized [sic] me. I can say that out of everywhere I’ve been – penally speaking – that no one, no where [sic] has opened the word of God to inmates like they do here at Morgan County.
In here – God Counts.
In other institutions – in other states, I have had officers Curse God. Stomp and kick and disrespect my personal Bible on more than one occasion [sic].
It is safe to say that there more than likely are a few officers that have the potential to act that way, ive [sic] only encountered one here. I prayed for him and I believe God is working on his heart as we speak (as the saying goes). Other than that one guard I’ve been met with total respect and very polite staff.
After doing time at Monroe County Jail and at Bradly [sic] Co. Jail all of this shocks me.
So what gives? Why is it so different in those jails than in prison?
Lets [sic] visit a few facts.
Bradly [sic] County. That jail is where I hit my knees finally and asked God to take over my life. I have yet to feel satan @ work against inmates when it comes to staff as bad as at Bradly County.
Though their conditions (housing) far exceed the dungeons of Monroe County, the staff does not. Bradly Co. has speakers on the wall in your cell where I was housed. Push the button and you are supposed to be able to talk to a staff member.
If and when they answer your call – they are very rude – almost to a hateful nature. And in person they are worse. To [sic] little personal contact breeds laziness.
The staff at Bradly even made me send out Legal papers and my personal Bible which is against our Constitution.
I wasnt [sic] supposed to be in Bradly. Sheriff Bill Bivens asked the staff there to house me as a favor because at the time I had caused a slew of detectives under Bivens’ orders quite a bit of embarrassment. They were acting as though they were attorneys (SEE STATE OF TENNESSEE V. JOHN EDWARD DAWSON NO. E2009-02469-CCA-R3-CD) – Filed on January 13, 2011 in the Criminal Appeals Court in Tennessee and also they were stealing my legal mail to attorneys Randy Rogers and others (SEE Court of Criminal Appeals Nos. E2010-00728-CCA-R3-CD & E2010-00729-CCA-R3-CD). Several officers, mostly detectives [sic] had threatened my life and Bivens felt it necessary to transfer me to a safer facility. So, while @ Bradly one significant altercation truly got my attention.
Though I don’t [sic] remember the inmates [sic] name, I do however remember the officer. Officer XXXX.
NOTE: I do not condone the activity that I am about to enlighten you on – but do understand it.
Officer XXXXX made it his daily routine to antagonize inmates. Belittle them. Mess with their mail.
There are certain things you dont [sic] call an inmate ever. They are combat words. If an inmate doesnt [sic] stand up for himself, sad as it may be – other inmates will then prey upon him.
I and others personally watched officer XXXXX call this inmate every name he could think of. Provoke, disrespect and almost beg for a physical confrontation. This went on for days and then finally XXXX unleashed his verbal abuse one last time. That night officer XXXXX was very brutally beaten by this inmate he loved to pick on.
The very next day as I sat listening to my radio, I heard it announced on a local station.
They said that the attack was “totally un-provoked.”
And the public bought it.
Let me school you all on a fact. Inmates, no matter how tuff [sic] or threatening [sic] will only cause havoc on other inmates normally. They all know that to assault a staff member means alot [sic]. A beating. Loss of good time. H(?) action. New charges. Almost zero percent chance of parole. Phone – visits – T.V. and commissary could be taken indefinately [sic].
I’ve done time in the worst of the worst and the best of the best.
And only on 3 occassions [sic] did I personally watch staff get assaulted. Normally they get attacked while breaking up a fight. These 3 times the officers were brutally attacked….
Because they forgot the number one rule.
Treat people the way you want to be treated.
You reap what you sow.
So, the reason I tell you – the People – this is to let you gain a better understanding. And I hope you will pray for Bradly County. It is my hope too that your prayers remain on Monroe County. Though there are several good officers at Monroe County Jail, it is mostly the head administrators that do satans [sic] bidding. Bivens, Stutts, Reedy, Ross’, Wilson, Prock (now no longer at MCSD’s employ)
H there’s more, but I just want to for now let the People know that its [sic] the top dogs whom you vote in, that are going to destroy your County.
They can snowball and they can arrest people like Walter Fitzpatrick III.
But it will grow and grow. Monroe County is making headlines at their corruption. Not to worry [sic] people. If you pray it, God will root out the evil.
Just Trust God.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Sweet’s revelations will be continued in Part 2 shortly, in which he describes documents which were “made to disappear” related to a murder investigation in which Sweet was asked to assist in solving.