Burkart responds to Napp
To the Editor:
Once again, Kyle Napp is playing loose with the facts in statements that appear in an article posted on Nov. 1, 2012.
First, no one is defending Jeramey Brown. The question is, did Napp and Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons agree to reduce this heinous murderer’s sentence in a secret settlement agreement because a federal judge hinted that his second conviction might be thrown out? In the federal case where Napp is a named defendant and accused of reading this felon’s mail to his lawyer and monitoring his phone calls to his lawyer while he awaited trial, Federal District Judge said “Here, it appears that if Brown successfully proves his Sixth Amendment rights were violated in preparation for his second criminal trial and that he lost at trial as a result, that finding would necessarily implicate the validity of his conviction.” “Napp and Buckley have not carried their burden of showing they are entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity for their actions in connection with Brown’s complaint.”
Napp was given every opportunity to prove this convicted murderer’s accusations were false. Instead, she and the county settled the case under undisclosed terms, and never explained what she and the county gave this heinous murderer to get him to dismiss his federal complaint. We already know that the state’s attorney reduced the sentence and even changed a conviction of 1st degree murder on Sylena Sergerson to residential burglary. She is due to be released in January. The state also agreed to reduce the sentence of Allen Hozian who was convicted of 1st degree murder from 27 to 20 years and have him moved to a minimum security facility. We also know that the county paid Brown’s mother $9,000 of taxpayer’s money to settle a separate suit. The federal record in Napp’s case shows there was a settlement under specified terms, but does reveal the terms. Did they reduce Brown’s sentence as well? Just come clean.
Second, Napp’s claim that “nobody ever listened to conversations of Jeramey Brown and his lawyer” was heard and rejected by federal judge Donald Wilkerson. “If anything, Defendants’ claim that these tapes will not be used in any fashion and that the Jail 'does not listen to detainees telephone conversations' undercuts their necessity (Doc. 106-2 at ¶ 6). If Defendants do not even listen to the conversations then what is the point of taping the calls and playing a recording warning of the call monitoring other than, perhaps, to intimidate detainees from speaking freely over the phone whether to their attorney or anyone else?” Napp’s claims that police obtained a “legal” eavesdropping order is belied by judge Wilkerson’s order requiring prosecutors and the jail to stop monitoring the calls.
Third, compare Napp’s claim that “nothing was done illegally in the handling of Brown’s prosecution” with federal judge Wilkerson’s finding that “Defendants [Madison County prosecutors] would have been reasonably aware in 2002 that their alleged actions were indeed unlawful.” Furthermore, there is a transcript of court proceedings with Napp admitting that she and the state’s attorney were reading Brown’s mail with details Brown’s court-appointed attorney claimed could only have come from a letter to his attorney.
Napp does not get it. It is a question of what is the truth? If an officer sworn to defend the constitution, knowingly violates recognized constitutional limits, voters should know that. If that is not the case, then let me defend Ms. Napp and show that there is absolutely no truth to Brown’s allegations. With the resources of the county behind you, you simply do not compromise on the truth, unless, of course, the truth is not on your side.
Candidate for Madison County Circuit Judge