Vietnam Vet 71 Y.O Common Law Grand Jury Forman Whistleblower Charged with Unlicensed Practice of Law Faces 70 Years in Prison
AVNETNEWS 2015 – By: Raquel Okyay
Florida officials, including 2016 presidential frontrunner John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, are scrambling to keep a Dixie County common law grand jury foreman quiet as evidence mounts of inappropriate execution of Common Core.
“The presentment was that the state attorney acted improperly and the Dixie County School Board had unlawfully contracted with the state to implement Common Core,” said Terry G. Trussell, a Dixie County resident and Vietnam War veteran.
Shortly after a Dixie County common law grand jury entered numerous charges of government corruption into the public record; Trussell was arrested and charged with crimes he said he did not commit. “The judge threatened me with 70 years in prison and I am 71 years old.”
$1 Million Bribe For Common Core?
When Trussell was initially confronted with evidence that Dixie County School Board accepted a $1 million bribe from Florida Gov. Richard “Rick” Lynn Scott in exchange for implementing Common Core, he said he requested information concerning the 21-member Dixie County Grand Jury he was foreman of from state attorney, Jeffrey A. Siegmeister.
Access to the independent statutory grand jury, in violation of its own instructions and rules, was impeded, either intentionally or through incompetence, he said. “My duty as foreman was to present probable cause evidence, given to me by the people of Dixie County, to the grand jury for their review.”
Part of the evidence showing the bribery charge was that there was no reason to change the existing curriculum to Common Core, said Trussell. “Money flowed without justification; without proof that the new standards would work better.” It was the $1 million offer made by Scott that he said changed the minds of the school board to vote against the will of the people.
“The impetus for asking the grand jury to look into the Common Core issue was not political, but economic,” he said. “Information had been revealed that while the state was offering $1 million to implement Common Core, the real cost is $6 million, with the balance to be raised from Dixie County property owners.” He said he suspects the state is being relentless in prosecuting him to keep the public from learning the truth about the financial chicanery involved.
‘Do not deploy Common Core’ yet, Scott moved forward with it
“After officials heard negative feedback on Common Core indoctrination procedures at public meetings around the state, it became pretty obvious that Scott had struck a deal with Bush,” he said. “The overwhelming opinion expressed during the public meetings was ‘Do not deploy Common Core’ yet Scott moved forward with it.”
It was more important to Scott, in a close re-election campaign, to have the support of Bush than to import the will of the people, said Trussell, who is a former bail bondsman. “Scott was willing to alienate many of his voters in order to gain both the political and financial support of Bush, the single biggest pro-Common Core supporter.”
Siegmeister would eventually convene a statutory grand jury but not before tainting the jurors’ views with illegal ex-parte communications, obstruction of information, and obstruction of justice, he said.“The state attorney interrupted my presentation of the case concerning the bribery scheme to the statutory grand jury.”
Trussell wrote a complaint letter to the obligatory judge assigned to the grand jury, and several weeks later he said he was informed by the chief judge of the circuit, Judge Gregory S. Parker, that he was officially removed as jury foreman. “The court refused to address the issues I had with the state attorney; I felt the grand jury had been corrupted and consequently declared it void.”
Trussell said the state had insufficient grounds in determining that a juror cannot have an adversarial hearing. “I did not have an opportunity to put on a defense.” In court documents, Trussell accused the judge of colluding with Siegmeister to personally attack him in an attempt to hide criminal actions by the state attorney. This reaction makes the court professionally and personally culpable, he said.
“Some are saying that when people complained to Terry about the bribery involved in Common Core he should have just ignored it,” said Rodger B. Dowdell Jr., one of the people. But that is not Trussell, he said. “Terry is fundamentally a very strong valued person who loves the country, very patriotic, and he cares about his fellow citizens.”
When the county school board agreed to switch to the new federal Common Core curriculum, without being tested or proven to work, he said they committed to spending $5 million in addition to the $1 million the federal government was contributing. “They accepted a $1 million bribe from the state government to convert and throw-out their old curriculum – which was working fine – into the Common Core curriculum at the expense of the taxpayer.”
Dixie County, Fla. is a small county of 17,000 people with approximately 5,000 to 6,000 property owners, he said. “The cost to implement Common Core is about $1,000 per property owner.” Some cannot afford a tax increase, and if they cannot pay their taxes, they lose their property, said Dowdell, who has two degrees in electrical engineering.
“The Dixie County School Board has a fiduciary duty to Dixie County taxpayers not to commit them to spending large sums of money to replace a proven curriculum unless there was hard evidence the new curriculum would produce better results,” he said. “There was zero evidence that the new curriculum would improve student performance.”
In violation of the public trust, it is clear that the Dixie County School Board accepted a bribe, he said. “The beneficiaries of the bribe are all the text book, testing, and consulting companies who gain significant new revenues at the expense of Dixie County tax payers.”
The public, not satisfied with the rejection of their concerns by a corrupt system, exercised their common law rights, he said. “They formed their own 25-member grand jury under common law in Dixie County and said ‘we’ll consider the evidence’ and they did just that.” The grand jury asked Trussell to be foreman and Trussell agreed, said Dowdell.
On Aug. 14, the People’s Grand Jury Under Common Law in Dixie County returned two true bills: one against the state attorney for jury tampering and obstruction of justice; and the second involved mainly bribery charges against Gov. Scott, the Dixie County School Board and other officials.
“Terry did what was his sworn duty,” said Dowdell. “He had to sign the bills and file them with the clerk of the court – he must do it.” Filed records were later unlawfully and feloniously removed from the public record, he said.
“The true bill presentments prepared by the People’s Grand Jury were subsequently put into the public records and presented to the Dixie County sheriff, said Trussell. “What they choose to do with it is up to them.” That is when he said the Dixie County Sheriff’s office contacted Florida Department of Law Enforcement who in-turn asked Trussell to come in for an interview.
“I thought I was in front of them to talk about these crimes that were committed,” he said. “I thought they were going to help me – well they were actually out to get me.” Following a two hour interrogation, in which he said he was honest and forthcoming, one of the two officers present prepared an affidavit that made no sense, he said. “It was a Non Sequitur– he was all over the place.”
On Sept. 2, Trussell said he was arrested for the first time in his life with a bogus warrant issued by Dixie County deputies, booked in jail and released the following day on $5,000 bond. Unbeknownst to Trussell at the time, he said he was charged with impersonating and intimidating a public officer and simulating a legal process.
He appeared for arraignment for the criminal charges on Oct. 9 but was ignored by Judge James C. Hankinson, a second circuit court judge operating in the third circuit on special assignment by Gov. Scott, he said. “There is no reason for me to not have a judge in my circuit that is accountable to the people in my circuit.”
I Did Not Get A First Appearance, No Due Process, No Charges, No Nothing
Hankinson called his name, he said. “I stood up and said, ‘I am here to address this issue.’ He called three times – I kept answering. He finally said let the record show Mr. Trussell has failed to appear.” At that moment, deputies stepped over to him, placed him in handcuffs, and hauled him off to jail for 21 days, said Trussell. “I did not get a first appearance, no due process, no charges, no nothing.”
After several days in jail without access to his blood pressure medication, he said jailers gave him an unknown drug that led him to fall unconscious and be taken from the jail to the emergency room. “I woke up in the hospital with tubes all over me.”
When Trussell volunteered to be foreman of a Dixie County Grand Jury, he said he took his responsibility seriously. “I did the research. I looked up the case-law. I did not commit any crimes.” He said the government is destroying his family with this vendetta against him. “My stomach is in knots; my wife is on special medication to keep her heart going,” added Trussell. “This is wrong in every sense of the word – this is not the America I fought for.”
On Oct. 30 he said he was brought back to court in hand cuffs and shackles. “The judge simply said he would plead not guilty on my behalf.” The judge dropped the failure to appear charge but he said did not address the initial charges against him or the 21 days he spent in jail. He was released after payment of the court’s increased bond from $5,000 to $14,000 to await trial, he said.
“What we have been able to surmise is that this is retribution against me in an attempt to cover-up not only Scott’s involvement in the Common Core scheme, but former Gov. Bush as well,” said Trussell.
Officials are circumventing both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution by taking the act of reporting a crime committed by a government official, and turning that act into a crime, said Dowdell. “That is how they protect corrupt officials.” The state is making Trussell their example, he said.
“My wife and I have been married it will soon be 48 years,” said Trussell. “I would like to spend the rest of my life with her, not in prison.”
Vietnam Vet 71 YO Common Law Grand Jury Forman Whistleblower Charged
Raquel Okyay is a political columnist and commentator. She is frequently published at Human Events, Bearing Arms, and the Rockland County Times.