busts Cookeville cops in drug, money laundering sting
Tennessean beats Herald-Citizen with story about corruption
allegedly took place right under the nose of C'ville's top cop
Bob Terry and DA Bill Gibson, who denies using cocaine
From the Tennessean:
sting nabs 2 officers, 6 others
Cocaine ferried, cash laundered in
scheme, FBI says
(Aug. 17, 2005) ó
Shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday, FBI agents arrived at the
Cookeville Police Department to arrest two men.
were easily spotted.
blue ... and police badges.
"Operation Tarnished Shield," a three-year effort by federal and
state authorities to "root out corruption" in this Upper
Cumberland Plateau city, also had resulted in the arrest of two
former law enforcement officers.
individuals, for a total of eight, also were taken into custody
as part of the undercover sting investigation that alleges
police participation in a conspiracy to ferry cocaine and
launder hundreds of thousands of dollars.
yesterday at the Cookeville Police Department were Master Patrol
Officer Reno Martin, a 15-year veteran of the department, and
Patrol Officer Jason Blythe, who has been on the force three
into federal custody yesterday were Steven Bert Williamson, a
former police officer in Algood, and Gregory Dale Scott, who
once worked as a corrections officer at the Putnam County Jail.
arrested included Ronald Middlebrook, a Cookeville auto body
shop owner, and his sister, Robin Blaskis, a certified public
accountant in Cookeville. Also nabbed in the sting were Troy
Bell and Darrell Thomas Jones, also of Putnam County.
Cookeville, Putnam County would pay firms
But with a history
of dog shooting, cops running over suspect, psychologically
unstable police, drunkard in government service, computer
hackers who pay to settle lawsuit, an arson murderer running
loose, DA who says he doesn't use cocaine, candidate murder --
is there enough money?
Should a company
with stockholders risk doing business in a lawless town?
Every company in Cookeville should
ask for a handout
One way to find out.
Every company in
Cookeville should ask for a handout.
employee Mary Jo Denton works deputy's name six times into a
13-paragraph sex article involving a 15-year-old girl
The hidden cost of the War on Terror
Supreme Court asked to decide whether attorney general illegally
changed IRS regulations to allow federal police powers Congress
meant to curb
By GEOFF DAVIDIAN
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 14, 2005) -- Millions
of Americans put down a good chunk of their earnings each year
as the tax man takes his cut to provide services like protecting
us from terrorists.
But the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked in
Payne v. USAto
decide whether former Attorney General John Ashcroft illegally
rewrote treasury regulations in a surreptitious end-run around
congressional limits on federal police powers Ė powers that were
meant to protect citizens from the damage caused not by
terrorists, but by the IRS.
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
(2004, San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler Publishers,
250 pp., $24.95)
'And we wonder why
terrorists attack us?' asks author John Perkins
By GEOFF DAVIDIAN
Editor, The Putnam Pit
In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins gives
us good insight into everything wrong with capitalism, and in
doing so shows us an example of the kind of person who makes it
Perkins portrays a world where a few are
kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that millions
of souls lead lives of economic misery and exploitation, through
a system in which religious groups, corporations and U.S. policy
converge wherever poor nations have resources we want.
WASHINGTON, January 24,
2005 ó Ever wonder what outside financial interests a Tennessee legislator
might have? Now you can find out with a couple of clicks of your mouse. Putting
the country's government ethics laws to work, the Center for Public Integrity
today made thousands of state legislators' outside interest disclosure filings
available to online users.
Although they admit no guilt .
Cookeville pays $77,000 to settle
dog shooting case
In a continuation of City
Mismanager Jim "Jimmy Dale " (Jimbo) Shipley's policy of paying
public money to bail out incompetent public employees without
admitting anything, the Smoaks family of North Carolina gets
$77,000 for being pulled from their car on Jan. 1, 2003,
handcuffed on the side of the road and watching Cookeville
Police officer Eric Hall blow the head off their dog Patton
''We felt like we had a
good case and we did nothing wrong. We admitted no liability in
the settlement. In my opinion, it was a good economic
decision,'' Shipley said.
Here's the Tennessean story
Letter to the editor
Cookeville, Police Department, still
insensitive on utility issues
tobacco, cocaine or meth next in schools?
Putnam schools look for money
despite children's welfare
Area poverty so great it takes 125
volunteers to distribute government food to thousands of
More traffic horror for South Willow
New disciplinary action against state
lawyers by Tennessee Supreme Court
Wisconsin atty. Ray
Pollen, who defended City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley and City
Attorney Thomas M. (T. Michael) 'Mike' O'Mara in Web site
hacking case, is sued in Milwaukee for withholding records
criminal charge in Cookeville may be illegal, DA warns
D.A. Bill Gibson, who
can't tell when a death is a murder, tells Hair-Oiled Citroen
that if a consideration (or stake, such as legal fees) has to be
paid, the event is totally chance-related rather than a test of
skill (as with which judge you draw) and there is a prize
(justice), the endeavor is illegal.
Shipley singles out police for gambling
ban, H-C reports
No word on
whether they can still
run over bodies,
shoot dogs or
For years, The
Putnam Pit has been calling former Putnam County Court Clerk
Lewis Coomer a thief . On Jan. 29, we give him a chance to prove
Jeff Jones defends Coomer in federal civil rights case
Danny L. Newton
asks . . .
How many dead Chamber of Commerce
in Cookeville Mismanager Jim Shipley's back yard?
Year/anniversary to the fathers of modern Cookeville . . .
Hall and Bob Terry
You co-defendants put Cookeville on the
Ten months after high-speed police chase
City Manager Jimmy
Dale Shipley releases altered, edited video of Cookeville cops
running over suspect
Download and view 17MB .avi format police
(Very large file)
Still photos in .pdf (Requires free Adobe
Videos suggest two squads
were traveling too fast, too close together Jan. 31, 2003 before
victim was hit
Crucial portions of
video are blank, audio missing:
Defective or altered? Tapes
fit pattern of Cookeville cops avoiding accountability
Read about the incident
Inn Suites get on the Water?
It was one thing
when the employee at Cookeville's Country Inn Suites used the
Internet to defame guests, but now it looks like since that
didn't help business the company is being represented as being
on the water.
Dale Shipley misevaluates Cookeville Top Cop Bob 'Smut Boy'
Above average? On some other
To look at his personnel
file, you'd think
Cookeville Police Chief Bob Terry
never sent pornography to D.A. Bill Gibson or City Councilman
Ricky Shelton; never used his alpha-numeric pager to receive
sleazy messages from a subordinate; never spent too much public
photos of himself; never was
investigated for a breach of security; never collected
more overtime than anyone in the department when he was a
manager; never oversaw a department riddled by a binge of civil
rights cases by officers he supports and defends. That's because
Terry stuffs his file with only the good correspondence -- even
if it is about someone else -- and the city manager has
nothing to say that would raise a red flag.
Click here to see the 'Official'
Not long ago, Cookeville had no money to replenish first-aid
kits. But now, . . .
- $870,243 in Cookeville
government employee Workers Comp claims in past five
years: 'Cut pinky finger' and 'Bumped foot on foot rest
under desk' are among hundreds of City workers' injuries, TML
Eighteen general liability claims against Cookeville hit
$95,669.58 between July 1, 2002 and April 29, 2003
(Nov. 9, 2003) -- Over the past
five years, the City of Cookeville reported 344 employee
accidents. A review of the workers comp losses over the
five-year period revealed that the City recorded 36 severity
claims, each over $10,000, according to a
the TML's Risk Management Pool. Nine of these City of
Cookeville employee claims incurred amounts over $75,000
each while 5 of those claims surpassed $100,000 each.
Who's getting the money this year?
Letter to City
Manager Jim Shipley regarding the inclusion of employee
Social Security numbers for all Workers Comp claimants,
right after being slapped with a civil rights suit for the
same thing by Dog-killing Cookeville Police officer Eric 'I
saw the doggie's tail wagging and was afraid so now I want
Police vanity budget revealed
What's wrong with this
Chief Bob Terry's ego?
support Terry regardless of how dumb he acts, regardless of how
much damage his alleged leadership causes
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2003) --
Not long ago, the City of Cookeville did not have
money to replace bandages in City Hall first-aid kits. Tax
revenue is down; civil rights cases against the city are
abundant. A police officer is suing the City. One of the biggest
civil rights cases in City history is pending over a cop
shooting a dog.
Police Chief Bob Terry do? He has pictures of
himself and his pals taken at City expense.
Here are City's photography bills, including the
$2,760 for police/Bob
Terry photography sessions since 12/14/98. By comparison:
$142.95 for City Mismanager Jimmy Dale Shipley since 1997; $537
for one photo shoot of Mayor Womack in October 2002;
|$100 for a
20X24 frame and
glass for a City Council portrait and $575 for City of
Cookeville Water Department "Environmental of Home Sitting"
photo sessions and "Portraits" billed to "Bonnie" on
See the bills
Smoak et al.
v. Eric Hall et al.
Count the Cookeville defendants:
City of Cookeville (1); Police Chief Bob Terry (2); Officers
Eric Hall (3), Mead McWhorter(4) and Bruce Lamb (5);
Dispatchers Angela Cheseboro (6) and Laurie Graham (7)
Each defendant is entitled
to a separate lawyer at your expense.
After demanding that Bobby Andrews agree to
not release the terms of Cookeville's payout of $20,000 to end
his civil rights employment case against Police Chief Bob Terry
and Cookeville, the City backs down and turns it over to The
Putnam Pit. Why does the city demand confidentiality when
the law demands openness?
Read the agreement.
From the TML
Risk Management newsletter:
"Beginning last year, and continuing this year and
into the future, the Pool will increasingly price to experience.
That means that the worse a member's losses continue to be, the more
the Pool will charge that member. But in addition, the Pool
will provide these members with a summary of their loss history,
together with an offer to help with intensive training and loss
control. The Pool will do everything it can to help these members,
but in the end, the losses, no matter how great, must be paid.
And those members with the worst loss history will pay the most.
Fair is fair."
Read the newsletter.
should Cookeville raise money to pay the city's legal fees and
damages to the Smoak family in their suit against the City and
Police Officer Eric Hall?
salaries/cut City jobs
Putnam Pit readers responding to our on-line poll send
this message to City Mismanager Jimmy Dale Shipley, Police
Chief Bob 'Smut Boy' Terry, and Eric 'They Gave Out My
Social Security Number and Now I Want Money' Hall:
'Let the people who
cause the trouble feel pain'
24% of Putnam
Pit readers voting in our poll want to sell
Cookeville Hospital to compensate Hall's victims.
More than half (58%) want police salaries slashed and
City job cuts. 97% oppose tax hikes to pay for
legal fees and damages.
Bob Terry is the apparent scapegoat, but who hired
Why no one believes the Shipley/Womack government
typical fashion, the City of Cookeville government
pretends it is user-friendly, while masking its greedy
Here are the facts in black and
The only part of this case yet
to be ruled on is whether the City's tax-paid insurance lawyers will
be sanctioned for disingenuous statements to The Court. A
Rule 11 motion
is pending, according to the case
Cookeville lawyer Daniel Hurley "Threatening
to Kill A Nigger Is Not A Citeable Offense"
Rader, III, and his firm, Moore, Rader, Clift & Fitzpatrick, may be
held accountable for violating Federal court rules.
Special Bible Belt edition
Cookeville City Mismanager
J. Dale 'Jimbo' Shipley
Party on, Dude, as though there were no cascade of ominous
terrible stuff aimed directly at you
Smoaks sue over dog
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the
earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face
of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the
waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And then Cookeville began to annex the Earth, and darkness
returned. Cookeville City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley said,
"Let former Chief Richard Holt be fired to
protect Police Captain Wayne Bandy in a
reckless gun incident,"
and Bandy was protected. Later, Shipley said,
"Let Bob Terry be Chief, although he is
the least qualified for the job,"
and it was so; then Shipley said,
"Let Bob Terry not be disciplined for
to the DA, other cops and now-Councilman Shelton,"
and he was forgiven, for Shipley is a compassionate and
understanding Mismanager; then Shipley said,
"Let Bob Terry receive inappropriate
personal messages on his alphanumeric government pager," and it
was so; then Shipley said, "Let Zac
Birdwell shoot another officer
in the neck while drunk with no consequence to Bob Terry,"
and it was so; then, Shipley appeared to the Profit-from-it-all,
O'Moses, who later read from the Tablet,
'Let Police Officer
shoot the puppy Patton execution-style, while his owners are
handcuffed along the side of the road,' and it was so;
then Shipley appeared and said, "Eric Hall shall sue Cookeville
because he was victimized
when he killed the dog execution style," and he
did. Then, The Mismanager said,
"The City will pay The Putnam
Pit for hacking its Web site with public money,"and
they did. Stay tuned for Shipley's Exodus.
More about Cookeville
Is there a pattern
here? Do you know what a pattern is? A pattern is the same thing
happening over and over. A pattern is a reliable sample of
traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a
person, group, or institution. Like "Bandy-gun,"
is a pattern of Cookeville police officers terrorizing people with a
firearm. It's is not a random occurrence. It's Cookeville's style,
essence, signature. And Mr. Shipley's response: CENSOR THE
Does Shipley have any responsibility
chief, City in secret $20,000 settlement to payoff
Municipal League has already funneled $12,243 of city money to
lawyers defending Chief Terry since November 2000 in this case alone
not including the secret payoff!
And furthermore . . .
shelled out a whopping $635,966 between July 2000 and June 2003
in legal fees and damage awards to victims of the
Shipley/O'Mara/Womack gang. That's an average $580 a day, every
day, for 1095 days . . . not including a separate paycheck to
City Attorney Thomas M. (T. Michael) "Mike" O'Mara.
But now, even more bad
Federal judge orders Cookeville to pay
$69,467 in legal fees over illegal utility shut-off scheme
City settles Bobby Andrews case
after boasting in 2001 of winning
The Harris column
"Huffy" John Duffy deserves
Despite "Huffy" John
Duffy's suggestion that The Putnam Pit doesn't report the
outcome of civil rights suits correctly, Sam Harris's new column
offers more truth than Duffy can likely handle. A federal court
has accepted an agreement to settle the case against Cookeville
brought by Bobby Andrews.
Here's Harris' take.
The City's electric company
maintained an unconstitutional policy,
according to Gamble v. City of Cookeville, even after City
Attorney Thomas M. (T. Michael) "Mike" O'Mara was aware of it, but
Cookeville City Manager Jimmy Dale Shipley has not responded to
inquiries about why the policy continued. Now YOU pay AGAIN for
does not include the new
Most of these expenses could have been
avoided and resulted from the city's arrogant denial of civil rights
Breakdown by department.
lawsuit brought by former Police Chief
arose from City Manager Jim Shipley's cover
up of corruption in
the Police Department by his friend Wayne
others, the $60,694.80 cost of the suit was linked to the
Police Department rather than the administration. Had the city
manager been honest, the chart would have looked more like
City Attorney Thomas M. (T. Michael) "Mike" O'Mara and Police
Chief Bob Terry continue to rack up unnecessary costs by not
anticipating vulnerability, records show --
Click here for full-size image
a picture of your "competition" getting some kind of award at
the last city council meeting. I think it was about
coverage of 911 events. My brain was so enraged that the
H-C gets any kind of award considering the damage they do by
anesthetizing the populace to the quality and the capriciousness
of the so called leadership.
things even more surreal, the mayor and the council droned on
for a long time about their determination to avoid a law suit
over the 30 year old water bill that they owe the federal
government for water taken from Center Hill. Since when
have they tried to avoid a law suit?
Dog-killing cop Eric Hall
sues City of Cookeville, Chief Bob Terry
Driving around in a city-owned car,
armed with a shotgun, hunted like a dog by reward-seeking
assassins, shunned in his community, mad at his boss,
unprotected by Cookeville police and in the care of a psychiatrist,
dog-killer Eric Hall wants justice -- in small-denomination,
non-sequential, unmarked bills!
gave out my Social Security number by mistake,' Hall may as well
whimper. 'Now I want millions of dollars! They paid off Reno Martin,
don't I get anything?'
Read the federal
Seven months after
Cookeville Police Officer Eric Hall
shot the Smoak Family's dog Patton execution style because he
was afraid of a tail-wagging puppy, only
two Cookeville cops have received the promised training on how
to deal with dogs and Eric Hall is not one of them.
Their training? How to avoid dog bites
(.pdf file requires free
Shipley and O'Mara Are
Sued and They Use Public Resources to Get Out of Their Personal
Shipley-O'Mara censors deny wrongdoing, Cookeville's publicly
financed insurance pays $7,000 in addition to the City's legal
defense to settle a
hacking case before a jury hears it. WHY do they pay YOUR money
if the officials are innocent of uploading altered pages to The
Putnam Pit? The check reproduced below has been altered to
remove account numbers that might offer people like the
defendants an opportunity to use the information in ways not
intended. After all, since the public always bails them out, why
shouldn't they continue in their corruption binge?
From Cookeville, Tenn., a
living example of what happens when public officials take personally
criticism that they are incompetent, and don't care how much public
money they squander maintaining the facade of being nondescript.
Cookeville and Putnam County taxpayers bear the costs
for these federal cases, among others:
law firm $5,000 in legal fees after cops violate speech rights of
Tenn. (August 12, 2003) -- City taxpayers will fork over
$5,000 in legal fees to the firm representing a Tennessee couple
whose First Amendment rights were violated when police stopped their
peaceful demonstration in front of a local church.
See previous story
The plaintiffs in Hewitt v. Cookeville received just $2 in the
settlement, but Cookeville has agreed to obey the Constitution from
now on as part of the deal. No word on how much the City's defense
team made because the Tennessee Municipal League's Risk Management
Pool is exempt from public scrutiny for the time being.
Cookeville taxpayers get hit
for $7,000 to buy O'Mara, Shipley out of a Wisconsin
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (July 30, 2003)
-- City Attorney O'Mara, co-conspirator Jim Shipley, the
city manager, and John Duffy, a lawyer for the Knoxville
firm Watson & Hollow, agree to pay $7,000 to settle
they insist they did nothing wrong in. Defendants,
who include the city's computer manager and who are named in
their individual capacities, also have managed to get the
City of Cookeville to give up money it has coming to the
general fund from other cases to bail them out of the
Cookeville city council reappoints
O'Mara city attorney without performance evaluation
Should the Cookeville City Council
vote to retain part-time City Attorney Thomas M. (T.
Michael) "Mike" O'Mara for another term at between $125 and $150
an hour? The question is not just whether Mr. O'Mara has
performed well enough to deserve the city's trust for
another couple of years. It is also whether the
Shipley-Womack government actually evaluates the issues it
votes on, or whether the City Council is just a rubber stamp.
The question of retaining Mr. O'Mara is a straightforward
one and involves two parts: quality and value. To answer
the question intelligently, members of the City Council
must compare Mr. O'Mara's performance to a baseline or
standard that reasonable people will agree constitutes the
There's hope for TTU's
University alumni C. Douglas and Mildred Norman recently
endowed the Dr. C. Douglas Norman Journalism Scholarship
Endowment at Tennessee Tech. The Norman's are the parents of
c.d. 'Sonny Boy' norman,
a chronic contributor The Putnam Pit.
Should police break the law to
Local police sting
was organized fraud; may leave taxpayers liable for 663
laptop computers to everyone cops deceived.
Here we have law
enforcement piggybacking on lowered civil liberties
respect to cash in for overtime pay in a racketeering
scheme that includes a judge and so-called newspaper.
How could the district attorney and
Judge John Hudson (who used to work for the DA) approve
false advertising? Isn't a judge supposed to be neutral?
Here he is, part of a fraud scheme, as defined by TCA
to "collect money."
Read the H-C verbiage
Shoot a pooch, like Eric!
The second annual Cookeville Dog Shoot, sponsored by
the Police League and the Cokevial Department of
Leisure, will be held Jan. 1st, 2004. Check out some of
Who can Cookeville City
employees thank for losing their raises?
TERRY can't get it together and
everyone else loses their raise.
First it was the
murdered Smoak family Dog;
then it was the Hewitt case.
Now, although the H-C didn't tell you . . .
Police Chief Bob 'Smut Boy' Terry, 2 other cops, drag city
into another federal lawsuit
". . . Defendant,
Chief Robert Terry, had a duty to train officers properly in order
to prevent [Cookeville Police Officers Jonathan Williams and Brent
Anderson] from the outrageous conduct and illegal and negligent
actions . . . "
-- Lawyer Richard Brooks
How to deal
with a budget crisis
By GEOFF DAVIDIAN
Putnam Pit editor
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (July 12,
2003) -- As the Cookeville City Council votes
on a whopping property tax increase, I feel the need to
take the lead in my own household and set my own budget
priorities. Where can I cut my own fat and stay out of the dog
house? Man, it
is tough when crisis is everywhere and no money.
Don't make us laugh!
hey claim to be 'pleased' to be partners with the Knoxville
News-Sentinel in the defense of constitutional liberties, but
the law firm of
Watson & Hollow in fact
defends government officials accused of violating civil rights.
In fact, John C. Duffy, one of the firm's lawyers, when he's not
decrying the world's greatest art,
is accused of being part of a conspiracy to
hack this Web site
in an effort to recreate exhibits for a jury in a case where his
clients were on trial for censoring critics and retaliation.
'Huffy' John Duffy
c.d. Sonny Boy norman writes:
Perjury, obstruction of justice, prosecutorial misconduct
Tennessee D.A. swears
murdered woman was not murdered More
Crime and unpunishment
How, long, how
From left, Judge
Sidney A. Fitzwater, Judge William J. Haynes Jr., Senior Judge
Louis F. Oberdorfer and Judge Aleta A. Trauger.
& Hollow, fresh from
lying to Judge Haynes in the Hewitt
Case, is rewarded by the Tennessee Municipal
League by getting assigned to defend more local officials, in
Burton v. Terry,
depriving Cookeville's own
Dan 'Threatening to Shoot A Nigger Is Not
A Citable Offense' Rader
even more money. What kind of welcome will these
corruption-defending firms receive from Judge Haynes after the
Hewitt lies and the 'Citable Offense' crack? How will Thomas M.
(T. Michael) "Mike" O'Mara squeeze some dough out of this baby?
City finally provides electronic version of
proposed 2003-2004 budget
of Cookeville parking citations in .xls
for names, addresses and licenses plate numbers of Cookeville
Cookeville's hidden payroll
A Web Site Causes Unease
Tenn. (July 12, 2003) -- Who makes how much
working for the City of Cookeville? Well, we can't be sure because
the spreadsheet we received last month from Cookeville City Manager
Jimmy Dale Shipley's office lists salaries for only 336 of the
city's 458 employees, or 74.4 percent.
Friday, Shipley's assistant asked
The Putnam Pit to replace the partial list with another spreadsheet
that also failed to provide the salaries for 122 employees. The reason:
The city inadvertently included confidential information about city
employees with the first spreadsheet.
Putnam Pit has learned that a Cookeville police officer went
online to The Putnam Pit and downloaded the salary list and
found the concealed data. "The cops are all torn up about it," one
city hall insider told us.
accommodate Cookeville's finest, The Putnam Pit and Shipley
have agreed that The Pit will voluntarily replace the
spreadsheet and the city will furnish this newspaper with a complete
list of city employee salaries.
Click here for payroll spreadsheet
in .xls (68 KB)
Correspondence from Cookeville Police Sgt. John Bilbrey
(And he doesn't even say 'please' or 'thank you.'