Sunday, January 31, 2016

Request for Grand Jury Audio from the Court of Sally A. McLaughlin

     Below is a Public Record Request for the audio from the grand jury proceedings initiated by Dearborn County Prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard on January 15, 2011 to investigate the internet writings of Dan Brewington. Negangard initiated the investigation, five days after the Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a complaint that Brewington filed against Negangard. Negangard initiated the grand jury proceedings through the court of Dearborn Superior Court II Judge Sally A. McLaughlin (Blankenship at the time) to determine if making “unsubstantiated” and “over the top” statements about officials operating within the Dearborn County Court System violated First Amendment law. Brewington was indicted and convicted for criminal defamation but Brewington’s convictions were upheld upon a hidden threat argument first raised by Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush and the Indiana Supreme Court, despite the term “hidden threat” never appearing in the record of the trial or the transcripts from the grand jury proceedings. Prior requests for public records regarding Brewington’s case have prompted Judge McLaughlin’s (Blankenship) court to issue claims of lost documents and missing records, while responding to requests for public record with unsigned and untitled documents. Judge McLaughlin (Blankenship) is now one of thirty applicants to fill an Indiana Supreme Court position becoming available with the retirement of Justice Brent E. Dickson.

     Brewington’s case is flooded with constitutional violations that the Indiana Supreme Court claimed were waived by the trial strategy of Brewington’s public defender, Bryan E. Barrett, whom refused to speak with Brewington prior to trial and prohibited Brewington from any participation in the preparation of Brewington’s own defense strategy. The CCS in the case demonstrates how the Trial Court and Prosecution attempted to try Brewington prior to Brewington receiving the evidence from the grand jury, which the State claimed to form the basis of the non-specific general indictments. The grand jury evidence was not released until August 23, 2011, seven days after the original vacated trial date. As the trial court already authorized the release of the transcripts of the grand jury [Brewington Grand Jury Transcripts], the release of the audio only serves as an appropriate check on transparency of the courts and provides the public an educational insight to an otherwise very secretive prosecutorial process.

     Feel free to read Brewington’s Public Records Request for the Grand Jury Audio addressed to Dearborn County Superior Court II Judge Sally A. McLaughlin (Blankenship), current applicant to the Indiana Supreme Court. See also Brewington’s Public Records Request for the Court Audio  from Brewington’s trial addressed to Judge McLaughlin (Blankenship), which includes an order from the Dearborn County Superior Court II denying that previous hearings in Brewington’s criminal proceedings actually occurred. Any questions or concerns about the transparency of Indiana Courts or about Dearborn County Superior Court II Judge Sally A. McLaughlin (Blankenship) or any other current applicant seeking to fill the position of retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice  Brent E. Dickson can be directed to the Commission on Judicial Qualifications. Judge McLaughlin has seven days to respond to Brewington’s public records requests and responses from Dearborn Superior Court II will be posted on this blog. A denial of the request will be challenged in a hearing pursuant to Indiana law. See below for more information on the contact and member information of the Indiana Supreme Court Commission and a list of the thirty applicants for the open position of the Indiana Supreme Court. Check out the Indiana Law Blog for scheduling of public interviews for the below candidates.    

Indiana Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Qualifications
Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush, Chair
David Tinkey, First District
Charlie Berger, First District
Lynette Long, Second District
Lee Christie, Esq., Second District
John O. Feighner, Esq., Third District
Rudy Yakym III, Third District

Staff Contact
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian St., Ste. 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-233-6586 [fax]

Lilia G. Judson, Esq., Interim Chief Administrative Officer
David J. Remondini, Esq., Interim Executive Director

Adrienne L. Meiring, Counsel

Robin Meyers, Paralegal

Applicants for Indiana Supreme Court Justice
Mr. Thomas P. Yoder
Mr. Geoffrey G. Slaughter
Mr. Thomas E. Wheeler, II
Hon. Thomas J. Felts
Mr. Peter J. Rusthoven
Hon. Vicki L. Carmichael
Mr. David E. Cook
Mr. Curtis E. Shirley
Mr. Mark A. Lienhoop
Hon. James R. Ahler
Hon. Sally A. McLaughlin (Blankenship)
Hon. Matthew C. Kincaid
Ms. Jaime M. Oss
Hon. Larry W. Medlock
Mr. John H. Shean
Hon. Steven L. Hostetler
Mr. E. Nelson Chipman, Jr.
Ms. Leanna K. Weissmann
Hon. Frances C. Gull
Hon. Darrin M. Dolehanty
Ms. Elizabeth C. Green
Mr. Bryce D. Owens
Mr. Ted A. Waggoner
Hon. Kit C. Crane
Hon. Paul R. Cherry
Rep. Thomas W. Washburne
Mr. Thomas M. Fisher
Mr. Lyle R. Hardman
Ms. Karen A. Wyle
Hon. Steven R. Nation