federal

Sheriff's Deputy threatened for speaking out against federal power grabs

Sunday, July 15, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: free speech, federal, power grab

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) It's not supposed to be against the law to speak your mind and what's more, Americans depend on the nation's lawmakers and law enforcement officers to uphold the Constitution's protections. But what about when a law enforcement agency is denying one of its own the right to speak his mind about, say, the intrusion of the federal government into state and local business?

In some parts of the country, exercising that right is apparently not allowed. Enter Trinity County, Calif., where the sheriff - Bruce Haney - has found himself embroiled in a civil rights lawsuit filed by one of his deputies, Mark Potts, for allegedly punishing Potts over comments he made about the federal Leviathan in a series of editorials in the local newspaper.

Potts, who filed his complaint in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, said in court papers he was seeking to "vindicate" his "free speech rights" under "federal and state constitutional and statutory law."

"Defendant officers of the Trinity County Sheriff's Office have reprimanded Mr. Potts for engaging in expressive political speech and have prohibited him from speaking as a citizen on important matters of public concern," the complaint reads.

"This action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to redress the violation of Mr. Potts' rights under the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, and the Public Safety Officers' Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA)."

According to the complaint, Potts said he began writing politically themed letters to the editor of the The Trinity Journal newspaper "several years ago."

No disruption in the work place

"These letters, authored and signed by Mr. Potts in his capacity as a private citizen, addressed a variety of topics of public concern, including the wisdom and constitutionality of various laws, and the appropriate scope of federal governmental authority," the complaint said.

The complaint went onto say that Potts was not in uniform nor did he use public/county resources when writing his editorials.

His "letters have never caused a disruption of the workplace, affected the performance of his job duties, or otherwise interfered with the operations of the Sheriff's Office," said the complaint, adding that during the course of his official duties, he "consistently received positive performance reviews."

Prior to Haney's 2010 election as Trinity County Sheriff, the complaint says, the county district attorney asked then-Sheriff Lorrac Craig to force Potts to discontinue writing his letters, a request that Craig refused to carry out.

After Haney assumed his office in January 2011, he and "Undersheriff Ken Langton called Mr. Potts in for a meeting to discuss his letters to the editor," says the complaint. "Sheriff Haney stated that the District Attorney had threatened not to prosecute any cases that Mr. Potts investigated if he continued to write letters to the editor, and that Mr. Potts needed to stop writing letters to the editor."

Some months later, in August of last year, the complaint says Potts was once more warned to stop writing his letters by sheriff's deputy Sgt. Ray Hurlbert, who allegedly said Potts' letters were a "problem" for the department.

"Mr. Potts asked for guidance on the scope of the prohibition of his written expression but was never provided with guidance on what topics would be deemed by the Sheriff's Office to be acceptable or unacceptable," said the complaint. "Unable to obtain any clarification from the Sheriff's Office about the scope of any prohibition, Mr. Potts understood the Office either to be imposing a blanket ban on all letters to the editor, or to be requiring Mr. Potts to draw his own line between" what he felt was and was not appropriate.

Sought guidance but a reprimand instead

The complaint said Potts published four more letters to the editor in the local paper between October and November 2011 on topics ranging from "drug policy, including drug legalization, and the right to carry concealed weapons."

"On December 5, 2011, Sgt. Hurlburt provided Mr. Potts with written notice of an administrative investigation into his expressive letter-writing activities," said the complaint. "The notice letter cited six provisions of the Trinity County Sheriff's Office Policy Manual and explained that Mr. Potts was being investigated for possible violations of these provisions. Mr. Potts was ordered to appear for an interrogation concerning the potential violations."

Two weeks later, the department conducted "an investigatory interrogation" of Potts, in which he objected "on the grounds that his free speech rights were being violated."

In February, the department issued Potts a formal reprimand for his conduct, saying that by writing his letters he was in violation of a number of departmental policies. Potts stopped writing letters following his reprimand.

In March, Potts; through his attorneys, asked Trinity County to expunge the reprimand from his work record, a request that was denied a month later.

There is an old saying in the military that goes, "We're here to defend democracy, not practice it." It sounds like that's the case in Trinity County, Calif. as well.

Sources:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/07/09/FirstAmend.pdf

www.naturalnews.com/free_speech.html

www.naturalnewsradio.com/Archive-HealthRangerReport.asp

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.