Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Extortion, intimidation, and retaliation

My problems in Steamboat Springs started when I moved into a dead end street across from Kevin Bennett. The city street was narrow but the city owned a total width of 60 feet. Bennett barricaded 6000 feet so only he could use it.  This prevented me from subdividing my land and building an extra house that would have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and it caused a lot of stress between me and my neighbors. There was no culdesac because Bennett used the end of the street as his private parking area so all the traffic was forced into my drive.  There was a lot of traffic and a lot of it was late at night and a lot of it was people visiting Bennetts. The traffic woke us and our children up. The city wrote a letter saying that was fine with them. However, blockade of a public passageway is actually a crime.

In Steamboat Springs Colorado I was subject to extortion by local government officials so that I would give up my rights to use the street adjoining my home on Princeton Ave.  The City never issued a trimming permit to anyone. The City criminally charged me with my gardener trimming an old willow tree hanging over my driveway that Kevin Bennett, a convicted felon who was the city council president, trimmed the same week. I was threatened in writing with 6 months in jail unless I signed a document privatizing 6000 square feet of public land and selling my portion to Bennett for $1.

After getting the land Bennett built two buildings with bathrooms and central heating suitable for residences even though the ordinances only allowed the one building with bathrooms that he already had. I complained about that so the police and Jane Bennett had me criminally prosecuted for that. Jane Bennett claimed that my standing on the street adjoining my home in the afternoon on one day for about 2 minutes and accusing her and her husband, who were 30 feet away with 2 construction workers, of violating the zoning was criminal harassment.  The police let her use a form that state law restricts to police officers who are actively witnessing a crime and can't wait for a warrant.  I was prosecuted without a criminal complaint or any document signed by any government employee. This continued for 6 months, then the assistant district attorney dismissed the criminal charges and defamed me to the press by claiming that there was probable cause and that Jane Bennett was my victim but a trial would be too expensive. The prosecutor, Elizabeth Witteymer, is married to a real estate speculator Chris Wittemyer. The city council helped them get a permit for a new ski area at Stagecoach that they tried to sell for $20 Million, about 7 times cost.

Bennett's lawyer Randy Klauzer told local Judge Garrecht that there were criminal charges against me and therefore that Jane Bennett should have a permanent restraining order against me. The only way that would have been legal is if the DA had requested it but the DA didn't.  They used summary procedure and the forms for a domestic relationship. I only got 3 days advance notice of the hearing, had no lawyer, and was not allowed an extension to get a lawyer.  The judge who started the process was Joel Thompson who lost his seat the next year after the DEA arrested his girlfriend. The police knew that the DEA was investigating Thompson's girlfriend so I think he was blackmailed. Judge Garrecht ruled specifically that the restraining order would go away when the criminal proceedings ended but when the criminal charge was dismissed he refused to dissolve the restraining order and he put a lien on my deed because I requested that he do so.

The restraining order was a big deal because it required me to stay 30 feet from Jane Bennett and she lived next door to me. The 30 feet when inside my house. She parked by my drive instead of in her own and followed me around town trying to get me arrested.  She asked the police to arrest me because I sent a fax to an official city fax number. She filed a police report saying she followed me through Walmart trying to take my picture to prove that I was near her so therefore I should be arrested. She asked that I be arrested for waiting at a red light before crossing the street while she watched from inside a building.  Kevin Bennett lied to the police about where his property line was  --- misrepresenting it by over a yard, in another attempt to get me arrested. In 2010, Jane Bennett called the police in Wisconsin and asked that I be arrested because I filed in court.  In 2010, Judge Garrecht ordered that I should be fined because Klauzer didn't file a receipt for the money he got from the sale of my house.

I sued about these events in the Federal Court in Colorado. My case was assigned to former federal judge Edward Naughty Nottingham.  He dismissed my case but didn't write an opinion. Then without writing an opinion, he ordered me to pay over $100 K.  He didn't state his legal authority to do so nor did he say why. There was no trial and no Rule 11(c)(6) orders.

Since Nottingham ordered me to pay the defendant's legal bills they sent them to me and they showed many calls to and from the Court.  The magistrate also said in court that he drinks with lawyers and he wrote that he had discussed my case with Bennett's lawyer.  Bennett's lawyer, David Brougham, said in court that he was walking around the office areas of the court showing an associate how things are done and that he discussed my case with the magistrate there. The city attorney Anthony Lettunich bille d the city for a three way long distance ex parte conference call with Brougham and the magistrate and there is no record of what was said.

Bennett's lawyer David Brougham did not file a Rule 11 motion but he claimed that he had a judgment against us and posted that in Dane County WI. He had our bank accounts garnished to 0 with no prior notice. He and the other defense counsel ruined our credit. We couldn't apply for a loan or a lease and eventually we lost our house and our business.

We tried to fix things by going to another court. Bennett's lawyer asked Judge Nottingham to put me in jail to stop me from getting a hearing in another court. Nottingham did so. He ordered my summary imprisonment three times. He made explicit threatening statements to both me and my husband that we would be imprisoned unless we filed motions that he dictated to us.

Brougham told the Denver Post that everything I wrote was "gibberish".  However, he also claims that I filed in bad faith and therefore should pay him over $25 K without a trial and without discovery and without identification of anything I filed that was incorrect in even the slightest way.

Brougham was paid by the Colorado Intergovernmental Risksharing Agency. They had sold a $5 Million insurance policy for law enforcement and public officials errors and omissions insurance to the City of Steamboat Springs. CIRSA isn't incorporated, it isn't a local government,  it isn't a state agency or a public entity, and it doesn't pay income tax and isn't regulated as a regular insurance company. See my blog "what-is-cirsa".

I filed for relief in the 10 th Circuit. By local rules I wasn't allowed an appendix. Therefor Brougham and his buddies filed an appendix that left out my objections.

Then it came out that during my litigation Nottingham had  obsessions. It wasn't just a purchase of sex with an escort like Eliot Spitzer. According to 9 News, Nottingham was kissing prostitutes on the street in front of his condo. The 10th Circuit reported that a prostitute said that Nottingham asked her to lie to investigators about their relationship and that he was calling multiple prostitutes on his cell phone. I think it was 9 News that reported that Nottingham attended an orgy at the Denver Athletic Club and told everyone he was a federal judge.  9 News definitely reported that Nottingham told the prostitutes he was a federal judge.  AP reported that the staff at the Diamond Cabaret knew Nottingham, he must have been a regular there.

9 News and the Denver Post reported that Nottingham was a customer of the Denver Players. That was a brothel / escort service that was publicly associated with cocaine. The news said that the Denver Players had the credit cards of many lawyers but they didn't say anything about Nottingham's credit card. The Feds prosecuted the owner manager of the Denver Players, Brenda McLeod for income tax evasion and got the credit card numbers used but kept them secret and didn't prosecute anyone else.

I saw Nottingham's financial report on line and it showed that his only source of income was his federal salary.  He wasn't rich like Spitzer.  His third wife started his exposure during their divorce proceedings. She said that she went through his credit card bills and found one charge to the Diamond Cabaret on 9//5/05 for $3 K.  So it sounds like there weren't any records of how his prostitutes and strippers were paid for on other days. That is one reason why I think that Brougham and other people involved in my lawsuit paid off Nottingham by providing prepaid debit cards and credit cards to the Denver Players and the Diamond Cabaret.

The first time that Nottingham ordered me summarily imprisoned was 9/2/05, a Friday.  In court Brougham said that Kevin Bennett came from Steamboat. I think Bennett brought a debit or credit card for Nottingham to use and that he maxed it out over the weekend and that is why he used his AMEX card at the Diamond Cabaret on Monday.

Another reason why I think that Brougham and his associates paid off Nottingham and the magistrate is that on its financial statements CIRSA lumps insurance payments and loss adjustment "expenses". I think the expenses include bribes.

I think that the feds didn't want to expose Nottingham because they didn't want any questioning of the criminal prosecutions that he adjudicated including that of Joe Nacchio. There were a lot of people who would have wanted Joe Nacchio found guilty, for revenge for their stock losses or maybe for insurance coverage. Nottingham wouldn't let Nacchio have his expert witness who supposedly would have testified that the reason that Nacchio sold his Q-West stock options when he did is that if he hadn't they would have expired in a week.