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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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If You Value Your Own Privacy, Pay Close Attention To What Is Written Here

by Bill Simon

PREAMBLE

Ladies and Gentlemen, goose bumps are going to rise to the surface of your skin after you finish reading what has been done to a fellow citizen of these United States.

Over the last 3 days, I have see-sawed from having a knot in my stomach to being so outraged that I could not form cogent thoughts. However, as you will see, I have reined-in control over my senses and my emotions well enough to deliver to you what you, and many others, need to know.

A Return to Gwinnett County FUBAR

Last Thursday, July 31, a press conference was called in Gwinnett County by Sheriff Butch Conway and State Senator Renee Unterman. During the press conference, Sheriff Conway held a tape recorder and played an excerpt (likely, doctored) from a conversation he had with George Anderson in his office on Tuesday, July 29.

In that press conference last Thursday, Conway and Unterman spoke out against “the politics of personal destruction”…ONLY to then proceed with actually waging war to personally destroy a man who uncovered the corrupt land deals that Lorraine Green had been behind.

The fact is, Conway was not himself “personally attacked” when ethics complaints were filed against him by George Anderson. An “ethics complaint” is a legal presentation of the observance by someone who has personally witnessed a violation of the LAW. That is NOT a “personal attack,” but a LEGAL ACTION!!!

That Senator Unterman and Sheriff Conway would first act indignant and claim someone else to be “personally destroying” Conway, and then proceed for their OWN separate, individual reasons, to attack a private citizen who was NOT running for office goes beyond the pale of what is acceptable behavior from our elected officials.

The name of the individual Conway and Unterman wish to personally destroy is Joe Newton. Joe Newton is a person a lot like me: pissed-off when government officials or political people do NOT do their jobs, and he takes action to research and investigate just what the heck is going on.

By the way, what are their own, separate reasons? As I’ve alluded to above, Conway doesn’t like Newton because he is daring to upset his candidate of choice for commission chairman, Lorraine Green.

Unterman’s beef with Newton is that she and Newton dated during the past 3 years, and the relationship didn’t go in the direction Unterman wanted it to go. Thus, you have an ex-lovers spat by a vindictive state senator.

The Personal (and Illegal) Destruction of A Citizen’s Life

In that July 31 press conference, the article from the AJC (linked above) has a paragraph that is written as follows: “At the news conference, the sheriff denounced Newton’s meddling in the race and challenged his credibility by presenting documents showing Newton has had traffic-related arrests in North Carolina and Georgia and a conviction for misdemeanor assault against a woman.”

The key phrase from the above paragraph is “the sheriff…challenged [Joe Newton’s] credibility by presenting documents showing Newton has had traffic-related arrests in North Carolina and Georgia and a conviction for misdemeanor assault against a woman.”

One might wonder exactly where and how such “documents” were obtained? After all, as I’ve stated before, and it is well-known, that JOE NEWTON IS NOT RUNNING FOR POLITICAL OFFICE. So, how is is that previous information about someone who is NOT running for political office, nor is he under any criminal investigation is obtained by a Sheriff of Gwinnett County? Hmmmmm…..?

Before I tell you all I know, I want to let you in on a very interesting, and quite fascinating, series of events:

7:00 PM on July 31st: George Anderson received a phone call at his home. On the other end of that phone call was a woman by the name of Stacey Broubone (sp?), who is the public information officer for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office. She proceeded to ask George for a letter that Sheriff Conway wanted from Anderson. Anderson told her [I’m paraphrasing here] that in his conversation with Conway on Tuesday, July 29 in Conway’s office (the conversation that Butch Conway secretly taped without telling Anderson he was being taped), the Sheriff had told him about an 80-page background report on Joe Newton that he possessed that supposedly showed some “bad things” about Newton’s past. Anderson had told Sheriff Conway that he wanted to see that 80-page document.

Ms. Broubone (sp?) told Anderson that [again, I’m paraphrasing] “Sheriff Conway has it on his computer and I’ll get him to e-mail it to you.”

8:28 PM on July 31st: George Anderson receives an e-mail with an 80-page PDF file of Joe Newton’s life story attached. The e-mail states the following:

“George,

Sheriff Conway was away from his computer – and asked me to forward this info on Joe Newton to you. It is quite scary. It looks like he has a real ugly history with women – and money.

I appreciate your integrity in this situation. None of us like to feel used.

If you could send something to the press to clear this all up, it would certainly set things right.”

WHO, you ask, might have been the source of this e-mail to George Anderson. Well, the following is the actual ENTIRE e-mail text sent to Anderson:

“From: Lorraine Green [mailto:lgreen@greenconsulting.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:28 PM
Subject: FW: Newton, Joseph W.

George,

Sheriff Conway was away from his computer – and asked me to forward this info on Joe Newton to you. It is quite scary. It looks like he has a real ugly history with women – and money.

I appreciate your integrity in this situation. None of us like to feel used.

If you could send something to the press to clear this all up, it would certainly set things right.

Lorraine Green”

Gosh…”Lorraine Green”, Candidate for County Commission Chairman, has a copy of the personal life history of Joe Newton, just like Sheriff Conway has a copy of on his Sheriff office computer…as do, apparently, some AJC reporters…and, I would venture to guess, as does Mark Rountree, who is the political consultant for both of the political campaigns of Sheriff Butch Conway and Lorraine Green.

(Note to Green, Conway, Rountree & any other person involved: If you have that PDF on any of your business or personal computers, you will likely be charged with obstruction of justice if you delete it). This 80-page document was obtained by using Joe Newton’s Social Security Number and Date of Birth. By the way, Date of Birth can be easily found in a Voter File…a database of which Mr. Rountree happens to have ownership (not that I’m stating that is where the Date of Birth was found…it’s just a possibility). Which just leaves, of course, how one legally obtained Newton’s SS#? Answer: They didn’t do it “legally.”

Now, here are the bits and pieces of the background info that are contained in the data that are relevant to this discussion: There are records on Newton dating back to 1986, over 20 years ago. There are records from other states in this dossier, not just Georgia alone.

NOW…as far as the data dealing with misdemeanors go, dating back over 20 years, THAT type of info exists in very few databases, and could very well have come from at least one of these two government agency databases: GCIC (Georgia Crime Information Center) and, the BIG Daddy Database, NCIC (National Crime Information Center.

The penalties for tapping either of these two databases for “joyride” research activities (like, researching the life of a private citizen who just exposed the biggest land fraud deals in the state, if not the country) are, if I recall, pretty darned severe. Those investigations will be performed by the GBI and the FBI to discover if their databases were tapped, and, if they were, by whom.

It is important for you to know that Mr. Newton did NOT sign a waiver for Butch Conway to investigate his background. So…someone, under the auspice of some “legal purpose” actually broke the law in getting this information contained in the 80-page PDF file.

The legal test for a private detective agency, or some other similar entity, to be allowed to tap any such database that would have this kind of information is whether or not a “Permissable Purpose” is in play. Research on a political opponent hardly qualifies as a “permissable purpose.”

HOW was the data obtained? Ah, well…that’s where the fun starts to happen. The entity responsible for HOW the info was obtained isn’t as slick as they thought they were because they left electronic fingerprints on the PDF. At the top of some of the pages of the PDF is a phone number…this phone number is the SOURCE FAX from which the PDF report came from. The date shown on the PDF that the document was faxed (to the Someone who received it) is “07/28/2008.”

The phone number of the Source FAX is 770-339-2025. If you look that up on the Web, you see that number lines-up with a private detective firm (Huhn & Associates) located in Lawrenceville, Georgia at 1255 Lakes Parkway…in an office building approximately 2/10 of a mile from the office of Wayne Mason, who does most of his work at Madison Ventures, a company located at 1505 Lakes Parkway.

Wayne Mason is a land owner in Gwinnett County. Mason is also a contributor to Lorraine Green, AND he is the subject of a mailpiece sent out by Joe Newton over last weekend laying-out the financial connection between Wayne Mason, someone named “David Jenkins”, along with the “Abernathy family” AND two pieces of property bought by the county for $21.1 Million and are now shown to be valued at only $6.0 Million. Is all this just a mere coincidence?

Not if this is Gwinnett County. Many years ago, it is rumored that Wayne Mason said, upon stepping down from chairing the county commission of Gwinnett, that “I’d much rather own a commissioner than be one.”

Now, to be clear, I am not accusing Mr. Mason of anything here. I’m just a guy who happens to find these types of coincidences…well, interesting, to say the least.

It COULD just be a coincidence that Huhn & Associates is located so close to Mason’s Madison Ventures. In fact, let’s just put that geographical fact aside for the moment, and look more closely at the fact of the existence of this “research report” on Joe Newton.

I have looked at the report (AND, don’t even ask for a copy because the report contains Joe’s SS# and life history and WHOEVER purchased the services of Huhn & Associates is, apparently, hell-bent on destroying Joe Newton’s life), and several things pop-out:

1) Whatever Mr. Newton has been charged with in the past is NO LONGER RELEVANT TO ANYTHING TODAY. Everything in his record is clear. Anyone caught repeating anything that they’ve read (or heard) about the report will be justifiably slapped with a slander and libel suit because the report ITSELF was somehow illegally obtained. SO, if you’re DUMB ENOUGH to repeat shit you’ve heard or read about, you deserve the full force of the laws against slander and libel, and any civil rights laws that can be used to bury your stupid ass.

2) The stuff in Georgia (minor traffic crap) COULD BE accessed by some clever investigators. After all, Joe lives in Georgia, so, the obvious would be to look in Georgia first for info. But, once you leave Georgia, do you go look at all of the databases of the other 49 states? No…you don’t…

3) There is stuff from a 2nd state as well. Sure, it COULD be accessed by some clever investigator…but, he/she would really have to know it was there in order to go looking for it in the normally “public” databases. The same holds true for information obtained from a 3rd state’s public information databases. You have to KNOW it’s there in order to spend time looking for it.

AND, how would one get the knowledge that the offenses could be found in 3 different states? Ah, that’s where the connection would come from someone likely tapping either the GCIC database or the NCIC database for a preview of someone’s history.

As a law enforcement officer, it is quite possible for someone in…say…Sheriff Butch Conway’s position to “tap” a national or state database. But, peace officers are not allowed to just willy-nilly tap crime information databases; there has to be a legit, law-enforcement justification to check the database. And, again, tapping the GBI or FBI’s databases to look-up damaging information on a political adversary DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A LEGAL PURPOSE!!!

Tuesday’s Run-Off Race

Whatever happens in the run-off this Tuesday between Charles Bannister and Lorraine Green is irrelevant to what WILL happen during the next 365 to 730 days:

1) Sheriff Conway will be investigated by Gwinnett County Police, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and possibly the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his role in using his elected office for political campaign purposes, and whatever criminal information database he tapped to research Joe Newton. Also, Sheriff Conway will be asked how it is he came to “tape” George Anderson for political purposes? Did he use his trusty consumer-type of tape recorder…or..did he have help from an investigator at Huhn & Associates in recording Anderson?

Anyone working in concert with Conway in the Sheriff’s office will meet the same fate as Conway.

2) Commissioner Lorraine Green will be investigated by Gwinnett County Police, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and possibly the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her role in the attack game of “Let’s Destroy Joe Newton, a private Gwinnett citizen.” Again, this is REGARDLESS of whether she wins on Tuesday or not. Her forwarding of that PDF file to George Anderson (and the text of her e-mail to Anderson) constitutes material evidence of HER role in this matter.

3) If Huhn & Associates were duped by whoever hired them, I am certain they will be more than willing to cooperate with the proper authorities for their role in gathering the information that was/will be used to help destroy Joe Newton’s life. If Huhn & Associates were NOT “duped,” and knowingly participated in the scheme to obtain this information on Joe Newton…one can only imagine what will happen to them.

4) The Someone who hired and paid Huhn & Associates will be discovered, prosecuted, and will likely end-up wishing they retired long before this. (But, I guess some greedy people just cannot stop themselves and “retire” can they?)

Now…I do not know how much Mr. Rountree is involved in this matter, OR if he is materially involved at all… but, I think it is relevant to point out who Mr. Rountree has as his firm’s clients…you know, just to make sure there are no “accidental” conflicts of interest that someone might forget about down the road.

As I’ve stated before, Mr. Rountree’s company (Landmark Communications) is the political consultant for both Lorraine Green and Sheriff Conway. In point of fact, Mr. Rountree is also the political consultant for these other Gwinnett elected officials as well:

Rosanne Szabo, Gwinnett County Solicitor

Danny Porter, Gwinnett County District Attorney

County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly

Several of Gwinnett County’s State Court and Superior Court judges (I don’t have the time to go through all the disclosures). Oh..also, there is a Judge Panos in DeKalb County as well.

And…for the record…Carla Brown, who is a Gwinnett State Court Judge, is married to Sheriff Butch Conway. (So, note to Gwinnett Solicitor Rosanne Szabo: Avoid taking that case regarding Conway violating the Gwinnett Merit Board laws to her courtroom, okay? There will be OTHER eyes watching that case very carefully, Ms. Szabo.)

For any matter taken before ANY judge in Georgia, this is the question that must be asked of the judge before presenting the case for a warrant or subpoena: “Are you a client of Mark Rountree’s or Landmark Communications?” If they answer “yes,” go find another judge.

EPILOGUE

The fact is, Folks, I don’t think we need any “more laws” on the books to prevent this kind of crap from happening. What we need is law-abiding citizens and law-abiding peace officers to follow their damn oaths of office. I don’t think Mr. Conway has followed his oath of office in this case.

But, one thing I’m 99% sure of is there is a PDF copy of Joe Newton’s file on his computer at the sheriff’s office and THAT cannot be legal in ANY case.

One Response to “If You Value Your Own Privacy, Pay Close Attention To What Is Written Here”

  1. #1 as Double Edged Sword · Says:

    […] News » News If You Value Your Own Privacy, Pay Close Attention To What Is …2008-08-08 03:25:57Last Ladies and Gentlemen, goose bumps are going to a knot … reading what has […]

Today's Deep Thought

Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at the word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it's made up of two separate words: 'mank' and 'ind.' What do these word mean? It's a mystery and that's why so is mankind.



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