How to Lose an Uncontested Election - Page 2
As of this writing there is no threat of prosecution for the criminal destruction of these records, though the commission of the crime is well documented and the perpetrators known.
On the one hand, the cyberstalking prosecution was a flagrant abuse of the First and Fourth Amendments; on the other, they never intended to follow through with it. In retrospect it is clear, the cyberstalking charge was a ruse. The threat of jail was a means of bullying police officers into giving up the co-worker(s) who dared to want something better.
Two senior officers were publicly named and demoted. Former sergeant (now Officer) Bill Judd admitted to making one of the cartoons and disclaims the others. Former deputy chief (now Sergeant) Charles Marsalisi was demoted for knowing about Judd and not telling on him. Insiders say other officers have been privately punished. Officer Judd's recent appeal for reinstatement was denied, suggesting that the city stands firmly behind its past decisions.
The Renton Patch posted notice of this ironic display of remorselessness, calendared between Judd's appeal and Marsalisi's:
"The City of Renton will host a free document shredding event on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Sam's Club parking lot, 901 South Grady Way from 9 a.m. to noon, or until the shredder is full."
Supporters unconnected to Renton, and therefore not vulnerable to employer sanctions, produce a constant stream of new parodies. The copycat cartoons are meant to publicize the matter, embarrass the administration, and most importantly, deter further persecution of Renton employees.
As it happens, Mayor Law is up for re-election November 8, 2011, uncontested on the ballot. The grassroots campaign to write in Mr. Fuddlesticks (now referring to the sarcastic police officer in the cartoons, rather than their publisher) as a protest vote against Mayor Law is small but committed.
An internet message board has been established to provide a free speech platform for Renton employees and their supporters. Great care was taken to protect anonymity; the servers are housed privately and IP addresses are not logged. Thus if a search warrant is obtained, there is nothing to be found. Circumstances demand that the participants' identities be shielded, so it is left to the reader to discern who is credible.
"Anonymous poster: I campaigned for [Mayor Law] but after... talking to friends who are firefighters I would not even be able to look him in the eye without getting sick today. Fire department employees are all threatened [with firing] if they even talk about the mayor... One did say that what is posted [on the anonymous message board] is the tip of the iceberg."Continued on the next page