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Dear friends and colleagues:

I am being tried, by ambush, in the court public opinion on charges of insensitivity.


At 5:30 yesterday, I gave an interview with Channel 8.
In that interview, as I already had done Thursday both on the radio and in a large public meeting,
I pleaded guilty to insensitivity. I accepted personal responsibility for a momentary lapse of
judgment to a mistake that led to saying something insensitive. I apologized promptly. I took
responsibility for and ownership of what I did wrong. And, as I said at the television interview, in
a display of contrition, I am sentencing myself to 100 hours of community service, in the very same
community most adversely impacted by my mistake.
This is not a new thing, volunteering for service to the community. I have done this for years.
I have been invited by Prosecutor Hilson, in the past, to volunteer to help the community and I
responded to the call to serve free of charge. In retrospect, however, Prosecutor Hilson has a
peculiar way of showing gratitude for this voluntary generosity. Why is that?
Big Rob and PA, on-air personalities at a local radio station who are leveling some of the most
extreme accusations themselves can attest to the service I have provided in this same community
(voluntarily and not out of any obligation) for nearly a decade.
I do this because it provides a sense of contentment when I serve others, and because I love
Muskegon County. I want to make this community better, and I think my track record for nearly
a decade in this community supports that view.
So, why does the witch-hunt continue? Who benefits?
Why has the Chair of the County Board, in particular, inserted himself where he does not belong?
Is the County Board Chair Mr. Sabo by appearing on television to offer opinions without even
bothering to talk privately, first, seeking ends that happen to be politically expedient to himself,
personally? By inserting himself, is he making things better, or worse?
Who is fanning the flames, rather than working diplomatically to seek conciliation?
Those are all good questions.
Incidentally, has Mr. Sabo, or Mr. Hilson, or anyone else, ever made a mistake, or due to a
momentary error or simple cluelessness, done or said something insensitive?
Let the one among you who is perfect and without blame, cast the first stone.
With that principle in mind, please allow me to confess something else.

Dear friends and colleagues


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I confess that I have been speaking truth to power, and that I will continue to do so.
But speaking truth to power is not a crime. It is not an injustice. It is not wrongful.
We honor courageous people who, in the conscious pursuit of Satygraha, have spoken truth to
power, and who have stood up against injustice. Including racial injustice. Including injustice
against the poor, and the elderly, and the disabled and the oppressed.
I do not apologize for speaking truth to power. And I will not kneel and grovel before any
authoritarian tyrant who demands that I do so.
Rather, I consider it a sacred duty to make the truth known.
So, I am not guilty of this accusation. I am only guilty of the charge of insensitivity.
Why does Gregory Pittman have difficulty understanding the obvious difference? The difference
between wrong and right?
Why does Prosecutor Hilson have difficulty understanding this intuitive difference?
Why do radio personalities have such difficulty understanding the truth in front of their noses?
Why does the Chair of the County Board (and a candidate in a difficult political race) have such
difficulty telling right from wrong?
Could it perhaps have something to do with a primary on August 2, 2016?
So, next, I have a charge of my own to level. It is a charge of political opportunism.
And I am happy to offer any of my accusers (the ones who insist that I *also* apologize for speaking
truth to power, which I will not do), the chance to address the public together. The chance to tell
their side of the story in a fair and even handed way, and to explain why they are not engaged in the
most shameless sort of political opportunism. Please. Lets do this.
Speaking truth to power which few in this community have the courage to do is a benefit to
others, not a harm to them. Having the truth spoken is a benefit even to those who exercise power
arbitrarily, and who misuse their power for improper and selfish ends (including the perpetuation
of their own illegitimate uses of power).
Interestingly, at least one of the other candidates seeking the same office I do, has a history of
speaking truth about this particular judge. The other candidate, back in 2002 at least, was an
outspoken and public critic of this judge. Indeed, picket signs once sprouted in abundance outside
the Muskegon County Courthouse, because [a] Michigan woman who complained that her husband

Dear friends and colleagues


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violated a protective order against her was ordered to be handcuffed to him by the judge who is
handling the couples divorce. . . . The two werent released until [the woman] dropped her
complaint. [The woman] said she had been telling the truth and only withdrew to be released from
jail. Her attorney, [now a judicial candidate] said she didn't see any other way to get her out of
there. < http://womensenews.org/2002/03/divorcing-couple-shackled-together-judge/ >.
And now, the critical difference between these two candidates is that the attorney of the woman who
was jailed in 2002, now touts her cooperative relationship with this same judge. And the knives
come out, when a different candidate stands up and tells the truth that this judge is still at it.
On television, I see PA from the radio says that Gregory Pittman is a legal legend. But the press
reports about Judge Pittman from 2002, and no small number of other cases that have received less
press attention since that time, are hardly legends or fables they are true, and they are horror
stories for real people seeking real help in the Muskegon County courthouse.
Thurgood Marshall is a legal legend, and I revere Justice Marshalls example.
We need more role models like Justice Marshall on the bench.
The views of the radio personality, however, in light of the real facts, are perhaps a bit overstated.
The great philosopher Lao Tsu correctly observed:
A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
I am grateful for the feedback of many real friends, and a few false ones, on Thursday, for gently
pointing out to me the error of my ways.
How long did it take for me once this was brought to my attention, to admit my error, and to develop
an action plan to atone for it and to exhibit true contrition? Hours, not days. And a willingness to
self-correct, to admit error and fix it it seems to me is one measure of a good candidate to
become anything in life, whether a judge or an author or a professor or anything else.
In contrast, my accusers had the whole time from July 10, 2016, to July 15, 2016, to contact me to
talk about it. Did they? What explains the subterfuge? Political opportunism seems the most likely
explanation, but if I am to level such an accusation, then those charged deserve a fair hearing, not
a rush to judgment. If there is some other plausible reason, by all means let the truth come forth.

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TV 8 asked me (although they cut the footage) what my response was to prosecutor Hilsons
accusations. He has made these accusations without even bothering to talk things over like an
honorable man. I repeat my invitation to talk face to face, which I have been repeating for months.
My response in the interview was this: I have defended Prosecutor Hilson in court when he gets
sued, and I have won. I am delighted to talk to him face-to-face, at his convenience, but I prefer not
to have this conversation through the media, before reaching out. I would expect him to do the
same.
Except, after the interview, I learned there is more to the story. Even more subterfuge. How
typically Muskegon. Politics in Muskegon County can be a rough and tumble business.
Channel 8 did give Hilson a chance to be interviewed, but advised me that he declined. What was
Prosecutor Hilson doing at 5:30 while I was giving my interview? Reportedly, at least, political
opportunism.
I have not heard it personally, but I am advised that he was on a radio station. He was on a radio
station by himself. That radio station had my telephone number. They had every opportunity to
provide due process in the Court of Public Opinion fair notice, an opportunity to be heard, the right
to confront ones accusers, and to respond to the charges. They failed to do that.
Is insensitivity such an egregious offense in the Court of Public Opinion that we can dispense with
the very safeguards of due process, and rush to judgment? I should hope not.
Will the radio station have the decency to publish this letter in its entirety? I should hope so.
Will those who whispered and skulked in the shadows since last Sunday, have the decency to
provide this response to every person whose ears burned with the poison emitted from their lips?
That will be interesting to see how many do the right and honorable thing, and set the record
straight.
Most of all, will Gregory Pittman, in his sanctum elaborate on his confession that mistakes have
been made? Please, Judge Pittman, be precise. What mistakes, exactly, and who made them?
Did you read the words of Lao Tsu, when you were reminded of them in June, 2015?
What mistakes do you realize you have made? Specifically.
What mistakes do you personally acknowledge? Specifically.
What have you ever done to correct your mistakes, and how quickly? Specifically.

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This contrast is important. It cuts right to the heart of the matter. It exposes for the whole world to
see . . . a difference in character. A difference in qualification to lead, to deliver impartial justice.
Now, I can anticipate a counter-charge of political opportunism directed back at me.
The television reporter asked me whether I would withdraw from the race, as a result of
insensitivity. The answer of course not. That would be an excessive response. The
punishment would not remotely fit the charge to which I have pleaded.
And, at this late date, I could not remove my name from the ballot even if I wanted to do so. People
already are voting. Ballots already are printed.
But, truth be told, I already am busy caring for the widow of a judge. I am very busy in court, in
Ottawa County, endeavoring to clean up a mess in that judicial widows life, directly created by the
Hon. Gregory C. Pittman. I have every right, in light of Judge Pittmans behavior on the bench, and
the harm and pain he has inflicted on others to speak truth to power about the problems in the
Probate Court. The public deserves to know.
What has Judge Pittman ever done to admit his mistakes or to fix them (aside from angrily
removing himself from my mothers case and taking a parting shot in the process of self-removal
that cost her over $40,000.00)?
So what I will do is this.
Im too tired and worn out and beaten down, to continue campaigning from now until August 2,
2016. Im happy to devote time, instead, to community service, and sorting out all the mistakes
that many people including me have made.
Would it not be wonderful if my accusers (especially the County Board Chair) could similarly focus
principally on service to others, rather than personal political advantage and opportunism?
A mutual friend of ours has confided in me, Gregory Pittman considers himself God in the
courtroom. That would be consistent with what I have observed.
When the Kings power is believed to come from God, then the King can do no wrong. Nor can
the Kings courts. For how can a God, incarnate, or his servants on earth, ever do wrong?
The emperors of Persia whose colonization of Jerusalem is recounted in the Books of Nehemiah
and Ezra considered themselves Gods, too. And their subjects were required to pretend to believe
this whether or not these groveling vassals on their knees, believed it in their hearts.
There is a contrasting point of view Popular Sovereignty. It is bottom-up, instead of top-down.

Dear friends and colleagues


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Popular Sovereignty holds it is self-evident that, to secure our individual inalienable rights as free
human beings free and liberated people who do not bow down and kneel and grovel before
authoritarian tyrants Governments are instituted among [human beings], deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed.
Moreover, it is equally a self-evident truth [t]hat whenever any Form of Government becomes
destructive of these ends, namely securing the inalienable rights of free people, then the people
have every right to choose new leaders who will respect their inalienable rights.
This is why we have elections.
In The Federalist, No. 51, James Madison identified an important principle, that is worth
considering:
But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on
human nature? If men were angels, no government would be
necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal
controls on government would be necessary. In framing a
government which is to be administered by men over men, the great
difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control
the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A
dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the
government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of
auxiliary precautions.
How is our government in Muskegon County doing especially the Muskegon County Probate
Court when it comes to exercising self-restraint, and control[ling] itself in its own exercise of
power and authority over people?
If the government proves incapable reliably of exercising self-control and self-restraint, then is it
not the obligation of those like me to speak out about it, and of the voters to turn out at the polls, and
remind the government that its power, its very existence, is dependent on the people alone?
No small number of my critics on Facebook have asked, well, didnt you attempt to work it out
discretely with Judge Pittman, by communicating privately, before saying what you did?
Well, yes, I did reach out.
Again, and again and again. Starting in October, 2012.
Has Judge Pittman admitted to me that mistakes have been made?
Yes, he has, in front of witnesses. And he has tacitly confirmed on the record that my quotation of

Dear friends and colleagues


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him -- mistakes have been made is truthful.
And I will also remind him of my response over a year ago to his insistence that I purportedly
need more skin in the game.
In reality, this is not a game.
No court case is ever a game.
game.

It is offensive in the extreme to treat courts of justice like a

This is a womans life and retirement, that has been turned upside-down by a judge (and by the
judges political allies, and there are many), because he perceives me as a potential rival and
challenger and competitor. No widow ever should be used as a pawn in somebody elses game
to cling to power.
No elderly widow ever should be used as a hostage, in order for a bully to cling to arbitrary,
authoritarian power and to seek [a]lways . . . the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and
constantly growing subtler . . . the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is
helpless. George Orwell, in his novel 1984 from which the preceding quotation comes, predicted
a bleak future: If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face for
ever. That is no future that I want either for myself or for any human being. I hate politics. But
I hold my nose and soldier on in the face of politics, precisely because such a future is unacceptable.
The words of Lao Tsu were provided to Judge Pittman on June, 2015. He has had a year to say four
simple, truthful words: I made a mistake.
Still waiting. Tick, tock, Judge Pittman.
Maybe you can say the words, Im sorry, too.
The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office, in June 2015 also made a grave mistake.
After engaging in the delaying tactic from January, 2011, to June 2015 (so much for speedy trials),
of tasking me again and again and again with preparing a vast array and litany of reports and
summaries, and free work product the Prosecutors Office blew a major case. Catastrophically.
And, conspicuously, the local media neglected even to notice or mention such a stunning,
breathtaking, disappointing and embarrassing loss. What accounts for that?
The transcript of the trial is available. One of the defendants got on the stand and admitted to the
conduct that was charged. And still the Prosecutors Office could not secure a conviction.
Prosecutor Hilson could not do justice. He and his staff blew it. Badly.

Dear friends and colleagues


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Nobody from that office has said two simple words Im sorry. Or, We made a mistake. Or,
We could have done better. Indeed, they have insisted that everything was done perfectly. And
they blame Judge Hicks. I do not blame Judge Hicks. The Prosecutors Office had the evidence
(although one of the divisions of the Sheriffs Department now advises that the evidence has been
destroyed at the insistence of the Prosecutors Office) but still failed in their mission to do
justice. What accounts for that?
Indeed, the prosecutor who tried the case was surprised by testimony from the victim, that he should
have known about, if he bothered to study either the police reports, or the multitude of summaries
that I was tasked with preparing. This is not to be mean or cruel. Just honest.
And just means a lot when other people have your life or the life of someone who means much to
you in their hands to hear them take ownership of their own conduct and their own failures. And
to admit what they have failed or neglected to do, too.
Muskegons African American community, in particular, know exactly what it is like to walk into
a courtroom, and to find yourself in the middle of what feels like a rigged game. And to wonder,
is this really a rigged game, or am I misunderstanding the situation? I know that feeling too well.
The question this election season is whether you want to keep having that feeling in the courthouse,
whether you are happy with the status quo or whether you want a change for the better, whether
you want courts that follow the Rule of Law and that treat everybody fairly and equally. No matter
who the accused may be. Do we want courts in which justice flows down like waters, and
righteousness like a mighty torrent? Or more of the same?
So to all the people on Facebook, and listening to certain radio personalities: Dont believe the
hype.
Take the time to figure out who your *real* allies are and also discover who kneels obediently
before your *real* oppressors. Those who worship false idols, like Mammon, are not your allies.
How many Assistant Prosecutors, exactly, have been reassigned away from the Probate court, to
other assignments, because a problem arose interacting with this particular judge? Why is Mr.
Hilson not being candid with the public about the number of reassignments that have been
necessitated by this judge?
The people of Muskegon County deserve better. The first step toward making a change is to admit
there is a problem. We have a problem. Four of the five judicial candidates (all of whom privately
acknowledge the same thing) will not even say in public what the problem is. One of them is a
former critic of this court, who certainly is not saying or claiming anything has changed to fix the
problem. But this candidate also is conspicuously quiet about problems that she has had the courage
in the past (but 14 years ago) to discuss publicly. Why is that?

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Taking on this problem is not something that I relish, or desire to do. B ut Im not aware of anyone
else with the courage to do it. And it appears that this task needs doing.
I am willing to do it, if the voters give me support to do it. Alternatively, voters have four options
for how to maintain the status quo. If the voters so choose, so be it. Not only can I live with that,
but with a clean conscience, I can rest satisfied that I did my part, and someone else dropped the
ball.
Thank you for your attention.