Sunday, January 5

Statement that sent the Judge to "Guilty By Necessity"

Not Politically Correct?

This was filed with the Court as part of the per-sentencing report.  The investigator instructed me to be honest.  I guess she forgot that we were dealing with the 'justice' in rural Tennessee. 


(Give your version of the offense and your reasons for being involved.)

Imagine, if you can, that you are a pawn in the middle of a checker game.

On behalf of Ms Tidwell, a private citizen, the Hardeman County Sheriff's Department choose sides and stuck their nose in Central Bank's foreclosure and eviction business because the victim is a "Friend of the Sheriff’s Department.

The Hardeman County Sheriff's Chief Investigator, Deputy Joy, knowingly filed a false affidavit with unfounded charges based on a verbal report filed with the Sheriff' by Ms. Tidwell. Motive for charges - "like I said, my biggest concern was him getting that Detainer to cover her' and 'if she had got her property back we wouldn't even be here," (Chief Joy)

Cook was bound over to the Hardeman County Grand Jury without a finding of Probable Cause on the basic elements of the criminal charges. Even the fact of if a crime had been committed would have to be determined by the Circuit Court Judge relating to a detainer warrant. The Judge did find that "there are some questions of fact, which are matters that are going to have to be determined by a jury" and "it will be a question of law for the Circuit Judge to determine whether or not the unlawful detainer warrant was required in this case."

It has been confirmed, verified and documented by reliable sources that no criminal intent ever existed and no criminal act ever took place. The criminal charges are unfounded and most everyone, including the ADA, Chairman of the Board, Lee Lackey, and the President/CEO, Robert Atkisson, of Central Bank, has known or should have known it since the arrest and put in jail thing took place and before.

It is universally recognized that - - "the good faith and office of a Judge . . . cannot be called in question but his knowledge of the law, or facts of the case, may be."

For me to infer malice on the part of the Judges in their handling of my cases would be childish and would unduly elevate the importance to the world of my cases, but it is of awesome importance to me. Of such importance is it that I have undertaken the unspeakable - - - to go as a layman to the law books, - - to somehow ease the nagging gut feeling that something, beside my layman's naivete', is wrong in the handling of my case . . . All the way from Chief Investigator Joy's false affidavit to the preliminary hearing, the Grand Jury indictment and subsequent "trial." Something in the nature of such a injustice, as to constitute no justice at all, which just may be of interest to the world.

The legal fraternity of judges, prosecutors and lawyers advised defendants and the public that laymen dote on technicality, whereas Courts and lawyers deal with form and substance. If true, the public needs educating by the legal profession. From Biblical time, through Shakespeare to date, the average mind considers "the letter of the law" and the legendary "loop-hole" the provinces of lawyers and courts. Is there a double standard? Is technicality in the hands of the laity a laugh - - but in the hands of lawyers a delight? If I am technical in my approach, I march to the drum fashioned by the legal profession and after all, I did not write the technology.

To apologize for the form of presentations, would be to apologize for being a layman, which warrants no apology. I do, however, regret inconvenience to any reader, who is accustomed to reading in specialized legal format. This case is a classic examples of what happens when those responsible for the administration of the criminal justice system, for whatever reason, abuse and/or ignore the checks and balances built into our criminal justice system to protect the citizens and their rights from the abuse of police powers without first establishing real probable cause for use of the state's powers of arrest and prosecution.

The nexus of these charges relate to a foreclosure and eviction by property owner/landlord, or in this case Central Bank in Hardin County, Tennessee and their acknowledged representative, dealing with the personal property, aka. ‘tenant trash' or ‘abandoned property,' that remained on the real property after the tenant, in this case a "Grifter," had voluntarily surrendered the foreclosed property.

My nature is to fight back and that is why I have taken such a steady beating – I understands what the prosecutors judges are doing and refuses to let them get away with it.

Theodore G. Cook

October ____, 2013

Saturday, March 30

Here Come The Judge

This is the letter that was delivered to the Judge's office.

From the desk of
Ted G. Cook
480 Hard Rock Road
P.O. Box 625
Savannah, TN 38372

March 25, 2013

The Honorable Judge
Creed McGinley
Circuit Court Judge
Hardin County, Tennessee
Savannah, TN 38372

In re: Possible Jury Tampering With My Grand Jury Panel

Your Honor,

The most charitable way of explaining my issue is, something is very wrong with the results of my attempt to present the results of a Comptroller’s audit to the three member screening panel, en route to your full Grand Jury for their review and up or down vote.

I had at least two occasions to talk with District Attorney General McCadams before my presentation, which Mr. McCadams also attended, and he never mentioned a statute of limitation issue or any other issues that would effect getting the true bill from your grand jury.

The triable or indictable public offenses charges were: Theft of property - Class C/D - Felony (4 year SOL); Criminal Conspiracy - Class D Felony (4 year SOL); Official Misconduct - Class E Felony (2 year SOL) ; Official Oppression - Class E Felony (2 year SOL) ; and Misrepresenting information to state auditors - Class C Misdemeanor (1 year SOL). [Applications enclosed]

After I completed my summary presentation to the panel and left the room, relegated to wait in the hallway while they “deliberated” for about 20 to 25 minutes, someone call my attention to the fact that Mr. Terry Dicus, a supposed lawyer and TBI Investigator for the DAG’s office had gone into the deliberation room and we wondered why.

When I was called back to the deliberation room the only people present were the three members of the screening panel. Your Foreperson announced that the TBI agent, that had just left the room, had informed them that the statutes of limitation had expired on my charges and therefore they had voted NOT to pass my application on to the full grand jury.

Although I tried to explain why that was just plain wrong, they would have no part of it and again informed me that they had voted and I could not move on to the full grand jury. Thank me very much, told me to have a good day. By the time I got back to the hallway DAG McCadams and Mr. Dicus were nowhere to be found and the DA is not responding to my phone calls.

I am aware that Mr. Dicus personally dropped a letter off at The Courier Friday, treating a libel suit if an immediately retraction, by the Courier, of my opinion in the Letters to the Editor section. How dumb is that? I don’t think he liked my reference to the DA’s “pet TBI agent” along with the tampering with the jury remark. I think I may have touched a nerve with the young man. But then again ole Navy Chiefs’ have a talent for that sort of thing and besides, I didn’t invite him.

Now that the TBI Investigator and part time lawyer has influence the grand jury panel with his bogus pronouncements as to the statutes of limitation having, as a matter of law, expired on the charges, the court and myself are entitled to see his proof as to when he or the DAG think the statute of limitations expired on the charges in the application. To do that, he needs to tell the Court and myself, when the SOL began and ended on each one of the charges, and his proof. Of course, that is impossible on at least one of the charges, i.e. Criminal Conspiracy, being a continuing act, and all. [First Blush Summary of Statute of Limitations Enclosed]

Question: Why did the panel member not ask, if in fact they asked anyone as to the SOL, the DAG or the Court itself, as per your instructions, if it was a legal question or in this case a question of fact for a jury to decide, at some point in time, if the defense alleges and proves it. If that is not out of bounds, I’m not sure what would be.

I will bet you my retired Constable badge against his active TBI badge, and you can hold the stakes, that he is so wrong that there has to be another motive for injecting himself into my CITIZENS application to the grand jury. The DA has had the information on the auditor’s investigation since at least December 2010 and as late as last month advised me that they were still waiting for the auditors to send him their files on their investigation, which we all know is not going to happen. In short, as far as we know, there has not been an investigation by the DAG or TBI. If there has, no one has contacted Mr Spence or myself and as far as I know has not talked to any of those “certain employees” referred to in the audit.

As we all know, not to necessarily say that District Attorney General McCadams is unethical, but, an unethical prosecutor will introduce inflammatory or prejudicial material that has nothing whatsoever to do with the case. They usually do this for the singular purpose of prejudicing the judge, but it would work well in a grand jury panel, too. We also know that on occasions a judge will believe a prosecutor before he believes a stranger, especially if that stranger is a non-lawyer. This tactic can be spectacularly effective.

Where in the heck did Mr. Dicus come from and why did he try to thwart, double cross or frustrate my rights to interface with the full grand jury. Why wasn’t it General McCadams who rendered the bogus opinion, and that is just what it is, an opinion, instead of the representative of the TBI, with his little badge? Maybe because Mr. McCadams knows better and doesn’t want his fingerprints on the issue. Too, too late.

As you may know, the audit was published in February 2012, for fiscal year 2011, and the results as outlined will provided your grand jury with the basis to find the elements present to return a true bill on the charges represented by the Comptrollers report of their investigation. i.e. sufficient evidence for a trial; that the act was a crime under law; and that the court had jurisdiction. A very low threshold called probable cause, as you know.

If the SOL has not expired, as Mr. Dicus pronounced and I win his badge, I could see how he might be charged with tampering with the grand jury panel and perjury for his false statement, in that they are, in fact, NOT TRUE and both Dicus and McCadams knows, or should know, they are false.

You Honor, as best I can tell, I have been denied my constitutional right to redress my grievances and allegations with the Grand Jury, and I want it back, sooner rather than later. I would like to see you either convene an investigative panel or reconvene the current grand jury panel, with the costs charged to the District Attorney and TBI, of course.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

/s/ Ted G. Cook
Ted G. Cook

cc: DAG McCadams, TBI Jackson Office, DAG Conference and State Attorney General (FAX)

Attachments - (3)

Wednesday, March 27

TBI's Terry Dicus vs The Courier and Free Press

You Just Can’t Make this Stuff Up.

What do you call a TBI Investigator and licensed attorney that delivers a “Notice of Action Against Periodical” to The Courier to demand that “A full and complete retraction is demanded” of my comments in the Letter to the Editor on March 21, 2013? Who does this dude think he is?

It seems that this “pending plaintiff” thinks that my reference to a”pet TBI agent of tampering with a grand jury” and “guilty of official corruption, the most malignant peril to the criminal justice system” are both defamatory and untrue. Well I’ll be .. .

I did not name or identify who the “pet TBI agent” was by name, in my article, however, Mr. Terry Dicus, Jr. has come forwarded with his notice and has identified himself. Thanks Terry, I kinda figured you were the weak link, with your ego and all.

Mr. Dicus also informed The Courier that “[w]hile the complainant refuses to comment on the existence of a grand jury inquiry that is secretive according to state law, he intends to vigorously prosecute these libelous charges.” I wonder how he intends to do that without proving that his bogus information to the grand jury panel kinda already confirms “the existence of a grand jury inquiry.”

What is about to become clear is that although they think everything they do behind the door of the grand jury is forever secret, they may have forgot that in this vary rare case there is a CITIZEN, myself, that is not bound by their forever secret limitations.

This “lawyer” should know that case law reflect that an essential part of the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and press is the right to debate public issues and to examine and criticize the conduct of governmental officials. In fact, this right had been characterized as a "political duty" that "should be a fundamental principle of the American government." The Tennessee Supreme Court has likewise observed that "the news media have not only a right but a duty to make searching inquiry into all phases of official conduct and to realistically evaluate and assess the performance of duty by public officers."

I will posted a copy of Mr. Dicus’s letter to The Courier in the file section of TheNewSavannahJournal. It is almost like Mr Dicus doesn’t understand the concept of free speech or even the basics about freedom of the press.

I wonder how he will try to explain all of this to his bosses.   Respectfully submitted for your consideration.   Uncle Ted

Tuesday, March 19

DA's Office Becomes Defenders of Corruption in Hardin County

Readers Write - Grand Jury - the Courier - 3- 21-13

Question: Do illegal acts of our elected or appointed officials and county employees deprive the citizens of their right to have them perform their officials duties in the citizen’s best interest?

I think the answer to that question in Hardin County depends on if you are the citizen, or if you are one of those elected or appointed officials or employees doing the illegal acts.

I’m not sure where the absolute low point of political corruption is in Hardin County, but, after my recent experience with our grand jury, it has reached a new low in my book.

As you know from recent headlines concerning our schools superintendent, if the district attorney won’t, a layman can bring a bill of indictment to the grand jury and if the grand jury finds there was; a.) sufficient evidence for a trial; b.) that the act was a crime under law; and c.) that the court had jurisdiction, it would return the indictment to the complainant. A very low threshold called probable cause.

That is what I want to do, no more or no less, because T.C.A. §40-12-104(a) provides that "[a]ny person having knowledge or proof of the commission of a public offense triable or indictable in the county may testify before the grand jury."

Research has shown that it is the intent of the General Assembly that the integrity of the processes of local government be secured and protected from abuse. The General Assembly recognizes that holding public office and public employment is a public trust and that citizens of Tennessee are entitled to an ethical, accountable and incorruptible government. That includes the citizens of Hardin County.

About a year ago, if you will remember, it was revealed by the State Auditors that: "As a result of our investigation, certain employees of the Solid Waste Department admitted to us that they had removed scrap metal from the county’s Solid Waste Department and sold it for personal gain...

Management of the Solid Waste Department had knowledge of this illegal activity; however, they did not take corrective action...

...This practice by county employees resulted in a loss of revenue from the sale of scrap metal by the Solid Waste Department..." and that "County officials should seek to recover any funds determined to have been generated from the unauthorized removal of scrap metal."

The triable or indictable public offenses charges: Theft of property - Class C - Felony (4 year SOL); Criminal Conspiracy - Class D Felony (4 year SOL); Official Misconduct - Class E Felony (2 year SOL) ; Official Oppression - Class E Felony (2 year SOL) ; and Misrepresenting information to state auditors - Class C Misdemeanor (1 year SOL).

In a nutshell, I think the case is now made for our district attorney, Hansel McCadams, with his pet TBI agent, have tampered with our grand jury and strayed outside their established boundaries and limitations as prosecutors.

In an effort to thwart my efforts to present my case to the full grand jury and hold the "Management of our Solid Waste Department", i.e., Director Randy Etheridge and Mayor Kevin Davis, accountable for their illegal activity exposed by the county audit last year, the TBI agent, I’m sure with the blessing of District Attorney General McCadems, injected himself in to my application to testify before the grand jury that was being reviewed by a panel of three members of the grand jury before I was allowed to make a presentation to the full 12-member grand jury for their action.

I was told by the foreperson that the TBI agent had informed them, the three member panel, that the "Statute of Limitations" (SOL) had expired on my charges and therefore I would not be allowed to make my presentation to the full grand jury, for their up or down vote.

That is so wrong, unless the DA and the TBI agent have become the defenders of government corruption instead of the prosecutors because the government need not allege the time of the offense in the indictment and it is up to the defendant to raise the limitations defense. A statute of limitations defense is a non-jurisdictional, affirmative defense.

Case studies have established that it’s up to the defendant to figure out whether the statute has "run," and to raise the issue with the judge. Judges do not take it upon themselves to review cases for possible limitations problems. So why did the district attorney?

"[T]he common-law rule was that affirmative defenses ... were matters for the defendant to prove."

And then you have a "continuing offense" which is, in general, one that involves a prolonged course of conduct; its commission is not complete until the conduct has run its course.

In the light most favorable to the district attorney and TBI agent, they fabricated a departure from authorized procedure in order to deceive the grand jury reviewing panel AND deny me my right to testify before the grand jury.

Like Director Etheridge and Mayor Davis, they employed the insidious and charlatan rationale, the end justifies the means. Based on the facts as we now know them, they too are guilty of official corruption, the most malignant peril to the criminal justice system.

I really wanted to hand this off to the criminal justice system and get the subject off of my list of thing that needed to be dealt with, before I retire, again. It looks as if we are going to have to add another chapter to the book on exposing corruption in Hardin County, Tennessee.

Ted G. Cook
Savannah, TN

Sunday, November 11

Outrage about Lack of Public Notice -- Not Nitpicking

Reader's Write Article for 10-12-12 -- The Courier, Savannah, TN

Outrage about Lack of Public Notice -- Not Nitpicking

You just can't confuse these folks with facts.

Do you remember back just a couple months ago when Hardin County Mayor Kevin Davis got caught "fibbing" to WBBJ about moving forward with the city of Savannah for animal control in Hardin County, his pretend meeting of the Animal Control Committee, and his fake proposal to the city on behalf of a committee that hadn't even met?

Also, if you will remember the pretend meeting had "improper notice," no quorum to transact business and ended up falsifying public records to help cover-up Mayor Davis's "fibbing."

In that it was pointed out at the–again without "proper" notice–Animal Services Committee's meeting last week, the problems/issues with the minutes of the pretend meeting, the Committee, all of those that were present, voted to approve the minutes of the pretend meeting and thereby ratify or condone the conduct surrounding the pretend meeting, even though they had to see that there had not been a quorum present. That just ain't right.

Even the University of Tennessee's County Technical Advisory Service affirms that "any action taken at a meeting in violation of the Sunshine Law is void." [TCA 8-44-105] and the in order to remedy a violation of the Sunshine Law, however, the ultimate decision must be made at a meeting that satisfies the Sunshine Law and there must be new and substantial reconsideration of the issues involved.

Also, even if a subsequent meeting is held in compliance with the Sunshine Law, the ratification and confirmation of an action will not remedy a prior violation of the Sunshine Law, if it is merely a "perfunctory rubber stamp."

A government that proclaims itself entitled to do completely as it pleases, while requiring its people to rigidly obey every precept of its legislation, violates the maxim or saying of law that says, "just as the state and county are created by laws, so the state and county must be subject to law … for only by the principles of law can we judge the state and/or county as just or unjust, wise or foolish, strong or weak."

Such governments that proclaim itself entitled to do completely as it pleases are unjust, and their leadership should be changed immediately for the sake of the people whom they are charged by law to protect. Our founding fathers came up with that idea.

These folks have proven to me, again, by their behavior that they are not above less-than-honorable, open and straightforward conduct required for responsible service of a public official.

Other than affirming to the citizens of Hardin County that the basic instinct of our county government "leadership" is to be sneaky and less than straight forward, this fiasco reaffirms that our "leadership" will treat their bosses, us citizens, like mushrooms by trying to keep us in the dark and feeding us a bunch of c---, if you know what I mean!

As far as proper (legal) notice – The question is: Is the issue of moving forward with animal services and expending somewhere just short of a million dollars of taxpayer dollars, at this time, a.) Not to be expected to be of interest to the general public; or b.) Is the issue one that is expected to be of great public concern. The law of the land, even in Hardin County is – Notice was inadequate where it failed to indicate the meeting was to be held for the purpose of discussing an issue of pervasive importance to public. Point: The mayor never put the purpose of the meeting in their otherwise hidden notices.

This group of folks act as if they are entitled to do completely as they please. As noted, governments that proclaims itself entitled to do completely as it pleases are unjust, and their leadership should be changed immediately for the sake of the people whom they are charged by law to protect. I'll vote for that.

A couple of the commissioners will probably yell that this is just more "nit-picking" but with a little more "real" public service under their belts, they will understand it is part of their responsibility and oath to deal with us nit-pickers and those pesky laws that define their boundaries and limitations.

I contend a citizen expressing concern over ill-conceived plans and obvious unlawful behavior, for at least the third time this year, is not nit-picking. If it is I could use a couple of more nit-pickers down on the field.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Ted G. Cook


Friday, October 12

Letter to Editor - The Courier - Condone Theft of County Property

Local Officials Condone Theft of County Propery

For you folks that don't feel the need to look into public affairs in Hardin County for yourself, what follows is the results of a lot of homework and research.

Respectfully submitted for your consideratoion,

Uncle Ted

Letters to the Editor
Pg 2A

Despite a state audit and finding that illegal activity and cover-up of theft of county property was condoned by “management of the solid waste department” (Hardin County Mayor Kevin Davis and Randy Etheridge), a documented fabrication to the media, and falsification of public records to cover up the fabrication (i.e. lie) by Davis concerning animal control moving forward, neither has been held accountable.

Left to their own devices, they likely won’t, because our Board of Sanitation, the Board of County Commissioners, the county attorney, the district attorney and the sheriff all have ratified and condoned this illegal activity by their wink-and-nod and inactivity for at least the last two years.

The Board of Commissioners, despite the current state of affairs, re-elected Mayor Davis chairman of the board at their September meeting. They did this because not the first one of them was willing to step up and take the job. None of them seems to have the time and it might actually prevent them from hiding, like cowards, behind Mayor Davis, as if he is the only one responsible for allowing the corruption in his office to continue.

The best excuse of the whole sordid affair was by Mayor Davis, at the commissioners’ February meeting, when he responded to the question by Commissioner Jenkins, “Has anyone been disciplined or punished?”

Mayor Davis retorted that the audit and investigation results did not identify anyone specifically, by name, so no one has been disciplined or fired for the actual theft of county property or for management ratifying or condoning the thefts.

The really sad thing about the whole mess is that the commissioners seem to say, “O.K., sounds good to us, nothing for us to do, the mayor is going to deal with it as soon as someone ferrets out the names of the managers of the Hardin County Solid Waste Department.” That’s lame.

Since I was the one who in July 2010 filed the complaint with the comptroller, DA, assistant district attorney and Sheriff Sammy Davidson that led to the comptroller’s investigation, I’m here to tell you that I named Mayor Davis, Randy Etheridge and the county commission as the officials who were aware of the theft of the county’s scrap metal and the cover-up that was taking place.

The comptroller’s investigation files are considered work product and are not public records, at this time; they will not release those files. Be that as it may, my files are not public records, either, but I have no problem with releasing the complaint. The long and the short of it is, the investigation results confirm the allegations in my complaint.

Some of the employees had taken scrap metal, sold it and kept the money. Management of the department was aware of, and in fact encouraged, the theft and refused to take any corrective action. Their problem with corrective action against those responsible is that the county commissioners are apparently waiting for Mayor Davis to discipline himself since they refuse to honor their oath of office for fidelity to the Constitution and the law.

I for one am not going to stand by and just wait for our “leaders” to end the corruption in the mayor’s office and the Board of County Commissioners. Now that my physical issues have stabilized and seem to be under control and the corrupt affair in Hardeman County has been kicked down the road until after the first of the year, there will be time to deal with these folks, and the state, which has also been sitting on its hands.

Question: What happens when our mayor all 20 commissioners, the DA, assistant DA and county attorney violate their oath of office? They are about to find out.

Ted G Cook

Sunday, July 29

Should The State and County Be Subject to the Law

Should The State AND County Be Subject to the Law?

Without law no state and/or county could exist. No nation. No county government . No international force. No state and/or county of any kind can exist without laws, for it is by laws that states and/or counties are created.

This maxim teaches us that, just as the state and county are created by laws, so the state and county must be subject to law.

And, of course, every state and county should be subject to these principles of law … for only by the principles of law can we judge the state as just or unjust, wise or foolish, strong or weak.

The old saying, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” comes to mind. Only the government willing to submit to law is justified to require others to submit to its power … for its power derives solely from law.

A government that proclaims itself entitled to do completely as it pleases, while requiring its people to rigidly obey every precept of its legislation, violates this maxim of law. Such governments are unjust, and their leadership should be changed immediately for the sake of the people whom they are charged by these maxims of law to protect.

How can the exercise of power be justified in the hands of a government that is, itself, lawless? It cannot. The exercise of state power is only legitimate to the extent that the state itself submits to legal principles, of which the maxims of law are supreme. No state has a lawful right to act outside its own laws – nor does any state have the right to create laws that violate the maxims of law. This should be obvious.

The legal maxims are self-evident to everyone but those who for selfish reasons refuse to submit their private interests to the good of all.

It is self-evident that states should be subject to the law, yet news reports today are too frequently peppered with stories about government action that is contrary to the most fundamental laws of the land … and clearly contrary to these maxims!

What is the answer?  It’s simple. You can do it yourself. You Can Make a Difference.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Uncle Ted