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I was standing outside St. Pius Church in Rock island waiting for the bus when the call came on an October morning, just four months ago.
“Springfield, Ill.” the caller ID said.
I knew I better answer it, because half an hour earlier I had emailed my former victim’s advocate at the FBI. I knew she was in the Springfield office.
The agent on the other line, who if I recall correctly was named Jonathan, did not like the email I had just composed.
“This really straddles the line of what’s appropriate,” the agent said, or something to that effect, and then reading back to me what I had written to the victim’s advocate.
Specifically, he did not like an idiom that one of my neighbors, a longtime federal employee, used to describe victims advocates that I repeated in the email.
He also did not like that I referenced in the email that I was about to blog about how poorly I had been treated by the FBI.
What caused me to repeat the comment?
My neighbors know I’m NOT crazy. They live in my neighborhood. They see what happens outside my house and around the neighborhood while I’m sleeping, or during one of the three scary times in the past six weeks when someone tried to enter my home in the middle of the night while I slept.
The FBI agent did not like the fact that I wanted to write about my year-long “snafu” with the FBI. I’m not sure how else to describe it other than an aggravating “snafu.”
In the email, I wrote:
“I am ready for the stand at any time and unafraid.
As I speak, and write you this, my email inbox is filling with emails from someone named “Itchy Butt.”
This is what I have dealt with for two and a half years.
My next blog post will be about the FBI.
This is RIDICULOUS”
The agent wanted to know “what’s your main complaint to us…what did you originally reach out to us for…”or something to that effect.
This seemed like a bizarre question given the fact I had been assigned the advocate in January. She called me while I was vacationing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Imagine walking on the beach after finally settling your dad’s estate after a nasty, protracted legal battle the day before (I jetted to Miami the next morning) … and a call comes from the FBI.
At first, I was excited. It went south a short time later, and turned out to be a total cluster. More on that in a second.
When I told the agent what happened inside the jail, and specifically who was in there who I believe should not have been, and what I heard her say, he exploded.
And I mean EXPLODED in the most intimidating, unprofessional way possible.
“I know (said politician)….it didn’t happen.”
He then corrected himself. “I talked to her, it didn’t happen.” Or something to that effect.
My reply: “Really? Wow.”
Then, the screaming:
“One more stunt like this and we will pursue federal….we will pursue charges through the Rock Island County States Attorney’s Office.
“DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR!”
And he said it again: “DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR!”
I never give up
I curled into a ball and cried for several days. Since that moment, I have landed almost zero paid work, although thankfully that appears to be on the verge of changing soon. I hope.
Finally, after a month, I went to the Rock Island city police and told them what happened. They came to my home and I’m quite certain they videotaped my report with their body cameras.
I also told someone else I trusted in law enforcement, in a different state and different jurisdiction, just how this unprofessional FBI agent intimidated me.
In my gut, I now expect the FBI knows I told the truth. I expect they know what this agent did to me, too. And I think, but do not know for sure, that they are keeping me safe.
I hope and pray they are.
But I definitely could be wrong.
How did I get hooked up with the FBI to begin with?
I had been assigned a victim’s advocate after going to Braking Traffick, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking in the Quad-Cities.
Months passed after I met with Braking Traffick at Lee’s on 14th Restaurant, which I have not been to since, for whatever reason. And I love Lee’s.
I suppose now it may forever be a PTSD trigger.
When the victim’s advocate called me while I was in Florida, she told me she would be calling in a week again to discuss “next steps.” She said she could be present when I testified, but that I should not share details of what happened to me with her, as she might be called to testify against me.
How scary for a guy who has been through all I have been through. And my hateful, dishonest former newspaper friends and colleagues just delight in gaslighting me despite everything I have been through and what they know to be true.
We all worked together many years with Congresswoman Cheri Bustos at the Quad-City Times newspaper in Davenport, Iowa. You can read this excerpt from my book, to be published next year, by clicking here.
Cheri’s husband, Gerry, is our sheriff. He was appointed to an elected position.
When I had not heard from the victim’s advocate a couple of weeks after she called me, I called her myself. She said “I never told you I was your victim’s advocate…”
I continued to email her all year long, because when bad things would happen to me – I originally was denied SNAP and Medicaid benefits, for example – they seemed to get fixed after I would reach out to her.
Regarding my financial situation, which is no one’s business: I own a beautiful home that my dad left me, and that I sank an additional $40,000 into. Beyond that, I do not have one cent in my pocket, and have had very little income in many, many months.
Almost everything from my dad went into this house, which I believe was a smart long-term decision. The house was built in 1941 and had many, many problems.
Although the MSM is not reporting it, the FBI is under intense scrutiny for corruption as it pertains to showing favoritism to the Democratic party. You can read all about that here.
From the story:
“They weaponized the most fearsome government agencies to target, monitor and presumably illegally unmask political opponents, including members of Congress, journalists reporting unfavorable stories, Trump allies and average Americans.”
I have nothing more to say. The truth is the truth is the truth is the truth.
No, I do have more one thing to say: To the filthy journalists of the Quad-Cities who used to be my friends and colleagues — most all the longtime ones, not the awesome new ones at places like WHBF and KWQC — turn in your press badges right now.
Until next time.