Tag Archives: citizens

Complaint Against DesJarlais Filed With Congressional Ethics Office

News release from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:
Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) alleging Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) violated House rules by blatantly lying to the public when confronted about an inappropriate sexual relationship he had with a patient while serving as her treating physician.
In October, a transcript of a telephone conversation between the doctor-turned-congressman and the unidentified woman was released revealing the pro-life congressman urging the woman, who he believed might have been pregnant with his child, to have an abortion.
Rep. DesJarlais stated he had not recorded the conversation, claiming it “was recorded unknowingly without my consent.” Recently released testimony from the congressman’s divorce proceedings proves Rep. DesJarlais intentionally and knowingly recorded the call. Under oath, he testified that he and his wife recorded the conversation to discern whether the mistress/patient was lying about her pregnancy.
“Apparently, Rep. DesJarlais suffered a convenient memory block until a transcript from his divorce refreshed his recollection after he was reelected,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Taping a conversation with a mistress doesn’t seem like something you would easily forget, but maybe now he will argue his memory was clouded by the pot he was smoking at the time, or he confused that mistress with one of his many others.”
Rep. DesJarlais also claimed — and continues to claim — the patient was not pregnant and did not have an abortion. Testifying under oath in Rep. DesJarlais’ divorce case, however, the woman asserted that, in fact, she was pregnant and fairly confident Rep. DesJarlais was the father. Nevertheless, she refused to comment on the outcome of the pregnancy, but said she had no children by Rep. DesJarlais.
“It is clear Rep. DesJarlais lied to ensure his telling of events aligns with his current anti-abortion stance. Apparently, his views have ‘evolved’ to the point where he now believes abortions should be illegal for everyone except the women with whom he sleeps,” continued Ms. Sloan, who noted the congressman seemingly had urged his wife to have two abortions. “Rep. DesJarlais’ constituents may have overlooked his reprehensible conduct and numerous lies, but hopefully, the House will not. Whatever happened to Speaker Boehner’s much touted ‘zero tolerance’ for misconduct?”
Click here to read CREW’s letter to the OCE
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact David Merchant at 202.408.5565 or dmerchant@citizensforethics.org

CREW Files Complaint Against DesJarlais for Sexual Relationship With Patient

News release from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:
Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health against Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) for conducting an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient in violation of state law.
Last week, it was reported that in 2001, while he was married, Rep. DesJarlais engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient. A transcript of a conversation between Rep. DesJarlais and the unidentified woman clearly demonstrates the pair began a sexual relationship when Rep. DesJarlais was her treating physician. The transcript also reveals the pro-life congressman urging the woman, whom he believed might have been pregnant with his child, to have an abortion. Rep. DesJarlais has not contested the authenticity of the transcript and has admitted to the relationship.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “Tennessee law is crystal clear: Doctors are prohibited from engaging in sexual relationships with patients. The only question remaining is, now that Tennessee authorities are aware of Rep. DesJarlais’ blatantly unethical and scurrilous conduct, what are they going to do about it?”
During the conversation, the woman blamed their predicament on Rep. DesJarlais, noting it was his “fault for sleeping with your patient.” Rep. DesJarlais responded that she had initiated the relationship by suggesting he ask her out after he called to check on her foot.
According to the Tennessee State Board of Medical Examiners’ Sexual Misconduct Statement and Policy, “sexual contact with a patient is misconduct and is considered to be a violation of T.C.A. Section 63-6-214(b)(1),” which prohibits unprofessional, dishonorable or unethical conduct. The policy makes clear that whether the patient consented to or initiated the sexual contact is immaterial; the physician is strictly liable. Possible penalties for violations include restrictions on a physician’s practice as well as the suspension or even revocation of his medical license.
Sloan continued, “It is hard to imagine behavior much more craven than a married doctor exploiting his position to conduct a sexual relationship with a patient. It is mind-boggling that when confronted with the patient/mistress’s possible pregnancy, this ardent pro-lifer urged her to have an abortion. How much hypocrisy can we stand? Where is Speaker John Boehner’s much-touted zero tolerance for unethical conduct now?”

Note: Text of the letter to Department of Health is HERE.
In response to an emailed inquiry about the letter, Department of Health spokesman Woody McMillan responded: Anyone can file a complaint with our Complaints Division. The complainant does not have to be a Tennessee resident. Our investigators follow up on each complaint received. We could not speak to a time line, as each complaint is evaluated based on the issues involved.

New Citizens Take Oath at MTSU

By Kristin M. Hall, Associated Press
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Hundreds of people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Middle Tennessee State University on the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
About 300 men and women who have immigrated to Tennessee from all over the world gathered to take the naturalization oath on Constitution Day, 225 years after the ratification of the rules that dictate the powers of the federal government.
Normally these ceremonies are held in the federal courthouse in downtown Nashville, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe B. Brown held the court session in the large university gymnasium in front of family and friends of the newest U.S. citizens.
Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade spoke about the history of the Constitution and its amendments.

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Diane Black Campaign: ‘Shadowy Group’ Financed by Zelenik Finance Chair

News release from Diane Black campaign:
GALLATIN, TN — The Diane Black for Congress Campaign today called on Lou Ann Zelenik to disavow the false negative attacks being run by shadowy groups coordinating with her campaign and run an honest and ethical campaign. The group Citizens 4 Ethics in Government that is spending over $100,000 on false ads attacking Black was formed and is solely financed by Andy Miller, Zelenik’s Campaign Finance Chairman, and is in violation of at least one federal campaign finance law.
“Lou Ann Zelenik needs to cease and desist with the false and illegal campaign activities. We are calling on Lou Ann Zelenik to disavow the lies being spewed by a shadowy group her campaign is coordinating with and demand the ads be taken down. Not only is this behavior dishonest, it is illegal,” said Black spokesman Jennifer Baker. “The shadowy group attacking Diane Black with a barrage of false claims on TV is being financed and run by Lou Ann Zelenik’s campaign finance chairman and is in violation of the law. One would hope that if Lou Ann Zelenik is running to make federal laws in Congress she would follow federal laws in her campaign.”
The shadowy independent group called Citizens 4 Ethics in Government is running over a hundred thousands of dollars in false ads against Diane Black and is violating at least one federal law by failing to disclose its campaigns expenditures as required by the Federal Election Commission. (Specific FEC law cited below). The group also appears to be in violation of the coordination laws surrounding these secret groups. Andy Miller, Zelenik’s Campaign Finance Chairman, is the only donor to Citizens 4 Ethics in Government and filings show that he has given over $100,000 to the group. The group was formed recently to influence this race specifically. In addition to the group being formed, financed and run by Miller, the Zelenik campaign is telling supporters they are coordinating to “take out” Diane Black and keep Lou Ann’s hands clean.
“Lou Ann Zelenik will stop at nothing in her crazy vendetta against Diane Black and that includes telling vicious lies in coordination with a shadow group that is violating federal election law,” said Baker. “Our Country is in peril. We have a national debt that exceeds $16 trillion dollars and the citizens of the 6th Congressional District need an honest Congressman representing them who won’t put her own personal vendetta above the law or fixing our Country’s serious problems.”
Zelenik who resides in the 4th Congressional District, has rented an apartment in the 6th District for the purpose of running against Diane Black to satisfy her own personal vendetta. In her last losing campaign against Black, Zelenik ran one of the dirtiest campaigns in Tennessee history. The attacks Zelenik launched on Black were so false that Zelenik’s advertising team settled out of court; paying a monetary settlement and admitting that the negative attack ads they produced for Lou Ann Zelenick had no factual basis and they had no knowledge of any unethical behavior. (Settlement document attached to email) Now she is at it again, coordinating with shadowy groups that are violating the law and running hundreds of thousands of dollars in false attacks on Diane Black.

UPDATE: This statement from the Lou Ann Zelenik Campaign Manager Jay Heine:
“Andy Miller resigned from Lou Ann’s Campaign abruptly in May of this year, Tom Arnold assumed the Position of Finance Chair on June 1st of 2012. We have had no involvement in the Ethics for Government organization. Diane Black can’t even tell the truth about her own votes let alone tell anything factual in a press release attacking Lou Ann. We call on Diane Black to end her negative campaign ads and talk about the issues and explain why she voted to fund Obamacare, Increase the Debt Ceiling, and tax every new mortgage and re-finance in the US for the next 10 years. Diane Black should apologize to the people of Tennessee and make amends for her dishonest and disgraceful negative campaign tactics. Clearly the Diane Black campaign has gone crazy.”

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Defendant in Courthouse Takeover Case Deemed ‘Downright Kooky’

By Bill Poovey,Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jurors at the federal weapons trial of a Georgia militia supporter charged with traveling into Tennessee with an AK-47 and handgun to make citizens’ arrests of judges and law officers found out quickly Tuesday from his attorney what to expect: “Downright kooky.”
Court records show Darren Wesley Huff, 41, of Dallas, Ga., traveled in April 2010 to the Monroe County Courthouse for what he said was a plan to take it over, and if necessary use force to do so, in support of serving a citizens’ arrest warrant that also named President Barack Obama.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Mackie said Huff and others were involved in a takeover plan that stemmed from their support of a local activist’s earlier unsuccessful attempt to arrest the Monroe County grand jury foreman.
Gary Pettway testified Tuesday as the first witness at the trial that as grand jury foreman at the time in the rural county between Knoxville and Chattanooga he refused a demand to pursue charges Obama related to questions about his American citizenship.
“Every one of you all may think he (Huff) and his ilk are kooky as all get out” Huff’s attorney, Scott Green, said in an opening statement. Green said Huff and the others “love their country.”

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SOS Will ‘Educate Citizens’ on Voter Photo ID Law

News release from Secretary of State’s office:
The Tennessee Department of State has launched a campaign to educate citizens about the new photo identification requirement that will go into effect for elections held in the state after Jan. 1, 2012.
After that date, people who wish to vote will be required to show photo identification when they arrive at the polls. Accepted forms of identification include any photo ID issued by the State of Tennessee – including drivers’ licenses – and photo IDs issued by other states or the federal government, including U.S. passports, government employee identification cards and military ID cards.
The law, a safeguard against voter fraud, allows people who forget to bring photo IDs to the polls to cast provisional ballots and provide their county election officials with proof of identity within two business days after an election. People who vote absentee are not required to show photo IDs. And people who have religious objections to being photographed may sign oaths acknowledging their identities.

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