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Jeff Bruzzese speaks out.

The Perception of Corruption

Corruption is defined as...

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Domain is back

Just as an FYI, the domain is back up.  I'll be posting future content at  :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Perception of Corruption?

Corruption is defined as "dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power".  Falsifying police reports and tampering with official police recorders so that misconduct would not be documented would certainly be perceived by the average layperson as "corrupt".  Using excessive force against persons who witnessed police misconduct would be perceived by the average layperson as "corrupt".  When those in power turned a blind eye and condoned this type of conduct, the average layperson would perceive that this behavior was "corrupt".
In August 1997, a second consent degree was reached with a police department under the "pattern or practice" provision, with the city of Steubenville, Ohio and its police force.218 In its complaint, the Justice Department alleges the city and the police department have engaged in a pattern or practice of subjecting individuals to excessive force, false arrests, charges, and reports, improper stops, searches, and seizures.219 The complaint states that Steubenville officials have caused and condoned this conduct through their inadequate use-of-force policies; inappropriate off-duty-conduct policies; and failure to supervise, train, discipline, monitor and investigate police officers and alleged misconduct. Among the offenses, Steubenville police officers allegedly used excessive force against individuals who witnessed incidents of police misconduct, who were known critics of the department or were disliked by individual officers, and who were falsely arrested or charged persons believed likely to complain of abuse. Further, officers allegedly falsified reports and tampered with official police recorders so that misconduct would not be recorded.

The city agreed to improve training, implement use-of-force guidelines and reporting procedures, create an internal affairs unit, and establish an early warning system to track use-of-force reports, civilian complaints and civil lawsuits to identify officers requiring increased training or supervision.
 The Consent Decree issued by the US Department of Justice specifically cites incidents of Constitutionally illegal behaviors.  It also required the implementation of policies and training to ensure that these incidents no longer occurred.  The City of Steubenville agreed to ensure that City law enforcement officers NOT behave in a manner that "deprived persons of rights, privileges, and immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States".

1. The United States brings this action to enforce Section 210401 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. The United States alleges that officers of the Steubenville Police Department have engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and that the City of Steubenville, the Steubenville Police Department, and the Steubenville City Manager (in his capacity as Director of Public Safety) have caused and condoned this conduct through inadequate policies and failure to train, monitor, supervise, and discipline police officers, and to investigate alleged misconduct.

2. The defendants in this action are the City of Steubenville, a municipality in the State of Ohio; the Steubenville Police Department ("SPD"), a law enforcement agency operated by the City of Steubenville; the Steubenville City Manager, an employee of the City of Steubenville who serves as the Director of Public Safety, and in that capacity, oversees the SPD and other agencies operated for the safety of persons in Steubenville; and the Steubenville Civil Service Commission, an agency of the City of Steubenville with authority for hiring and review authority for disciplining SPD officers. The defendants are hereinafter referred to collectively as "the City."


21. The City shall develop and implement use of force policies that comply with applicable law and current professional standards. The policies shall include provisions governing use of deadly force, other uses of force, drawing of weapons, roadblocks, vehicular pursuits, and hostage situations. The City also shall develop and implement new policies on off-duty responsibilities and off-duty gun use. Prior to implementation, the policies must be reviewed by the independent auditor and approved by the United States.

Consent Decree:

The Rev. Maurice D. White at the St. John's Lutheran Church said:

"At this very hour war is being declared in our town, a war which might better be termed a program of rat extermination, a war against men, machines, and powers which have made this city and its environs the hellhole of the State of Ohio. An energetic and enthusiastic resolve to rid this community of the scabs, parasites, the cheaters who have drained the lifeblood of decent living and have made of ita contaminated stream of corruption, is in the air. Too long has Steubenville enjoyed the dubious reputation of being a 'Little Chicago,' the open vice den of America. 
"Too long have men used this town as a dive in which they might go slumming. Too long has the atmosphere of our town been polluted with the vile salacious odor of immorality. Too long have politicians and public office-holders evidenced utter disregard for the law; too long have they neglected solemn responsibilities; too long have they used their office for personal gain. 
"Too long have our children had to be reared in the environment of the foul, the degenerate. Too long have the reputable citizens of this community turned a blind eye on the evil about them; too long have they complacently given up in despair. 
"It's time for war, a war long overdue. It's time for righteous wrath and indignation to be crystallized into action. It's high time that war be declared on the enemies within our
 The above quote from Reverend White was written in a book published in 1947 called 12 Against the Underworld.  The book is written about Steubenville, Ohio.  Those are very strong words coming from one of twelve pastors and priests who took on the underbelly of their town in the hopes that they could make it a better place to live.

It is very uninformed for someone to accuse me of creating a perception of corruption in their town -- when that perception...verified or not...has been there longer than I have been alive.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thoughts From the Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor

Tammy Dixon is a legal secretary at the law offices of Frank Bruzzese (Assistant Jefferson County Prosecutor), Jane Hanlin (Jefferson County Prosecutor) and Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Bruzzese who seems to be disappointed in the Ohio Attorney General's handling of the grand jury investigation and subsequent indictments. 

17 JAN 2014 - AUTHOR EDIT:

After I wrote this blog, Mr. Bruzzese took to Twitter to discuss it.  At 8:44 PM  EST Bruzzese @'d me on Twitter.  I have had him and his crew blocked for a very long time and didn't see the tweet come up in my mentions.

Later I had replied to another Twitter account who had tweeted to ICE alleging that I am an illegal immigrant.  My response was snarky because couldn't make this crap up.  Mr. Bruzzese responded to my tweet in kind.  Note, at no time did I mention him.

Bruzzese continues to voice his professional opinion.

Mr. Bruzzese, you are not a friend of mine nor do I know you - only friends   Your bucolic colors are showing.  Being a "professional" you should have more manners than that.  I do not know this man's family and at this juncture, have no desire to do so, but just because others in his own hometown have an issue with them does not mean I am responsible for their PERCEPTION.  I'll get to that gem in a minute.

I unblocked him and this is some of the dialogue.

I have since blocked him...again.  Aren't there ethical codes in place for this kind of behavior?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Steubenville Matters

First of all, I would like to point out a misconception about Steubenville as a whole.  There ARE good, decent, hard-working people who live in Steubenville, Ohio who are unfortunately being labeled because of the abhorrent behavior by a handful of miscreants who continue to victim blame and shame Jane Doe on a regular basis.  These good people are also afraid to speak openly about this behavior for fear of retaliation against them or their families, and with good reason.  I have been the target of harassment for over a year by these people.  I can't say that I blame anyone local for not wanting to speak out against them because they have to live there among these people.  I have also been the subject of a lawsuit filed against my anonymous commenters and myself for speaking out about this case. (copy of lawsuit here)

I have said little publicly about this case for a long time.  I have ignored the insults and hate speech for longer than anyone else would have.  The families of those involved have threatened to sue me for what amounts to nothing more than internet butt hurt for the past year now.  I have been accused of being everyone on the internet that speaks out against them and they have harassed, targeted, intimidated and shit talked my family, innocent friends and myself for over a year.   Their hatred of me has become a very sick, unhealthy obsession. I am reminded of the question I asked myself on August 22, 2012 when I first read about this case:  Why would these kids act this way? The answer is very clear:  Look at the examples they have in their lives.  They have adult role models in their lives who bully, harass and intimidate others for speaking out, so why wouldn't these kids opt instead to do nothing but shame, blame and bully Jane Doe on social media?

I am not a US citizen.  I am a German immigrant who proudly lives in this country and loves everything about America.  I have been a staunch defender of the right to free speech and vehemently fought for the rights of my anonymous commenters to remain anonymous when we were sued by the family of Cody Saltsman with regard to the Steubenville rape case.  I could have had the attitude every man for himself when I was sued, but I didn't.  I rallied behind my John Doe defendants and ultimately was able to enlist the assistance of the ACLU to represent them so that anonymous speech was protected; and more importantly that their identities were protected.  Even as an immigrant, I am entitled to "unalienable rights" as afforded by the Constitution:  the protection of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".  Over the past year, I have been a target of hate speech; I have been hunted like an animal by individuals wishing to expose where I live, where I work or who I may have relationships with.  Why?  Because I wrote about a rape case involving their not so compassionate children.  I have purposely not disclosed where I live because these people are unhinged, and people with stalker obsessions are capable of doing bad things.  So, yes...I am in hiding.  NO ONE should have to live like this.  They are so hell bent on destroying me as a person that they have and continue to inhibit my right to earn a living and the right of those who may work for me to earn their living.  Because of their behavior and absolute intent on destroying or causing me physical harm, I am not even in a position to file a police report...because that would disclose my location and potentially put me in danger.

Connie Lulla, who used to be my best friend and who is also the wife of a Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Officer  instrumental in the Steubenville case went so far as to post my partial address on her twitter timeline.  Was Connie trying to intimidate me because she and her posse were able to stalk down my address?  A reasonable person would assume so.

...but these are not reasonable people.

The mother of my former best friend, Georgeann Tennant Allen, has wished me to die of AIDS and has made other innocuous threats about me being "in hiding". She has made threats openly on Twitter, and has wished my best friend who suffers from mental illness to just take something to end her suffering.  I would hope that I am not alone when I ask - WHO DOES THIS?
My status as a legal permanent resident alien should have nothing to do with this case, but apparently among Mrs. Tennant-Allen and her friends - it makes my opinions or thoughts less important.  It also reveals a very dark side of this group:  their bigoted and misogynistic attitudes which feeds the hate and ignorance machine.


Even my deceased Vietnam Vet father was not off limits to these people.

This case has been important for a few reasons.  It opened the world's eyes to the word "rape culture".  The content put online that night allowed the world a bird's eye view of rape culture in action, and also revealed the insensitivity of a group of entitled kids who believed they were immune from accountability - an idea that the adults online reinforce regularly.  It is also an important case because it empowered so many survivors of sexual violence who may never have been able to let the unspeakable pass their lips to do so and that there were people out there who were willing to stand up and do the right thing...regardless of the personal cost.

Attorney General Mike DeWine summed up the Steubenville situation very eloquently in his statement on The Cleveland Plain Dealer
But the lesson of Steubenville is not just that rape is a horrible crime of violence. While this began as a rape of a 16-year-old girl, it also represents blurred, stretched and distorted boundaries of right and wrong. It started out being about the kids, but it is just as much about the adults. How do you hold the kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?

A 14-member special grand jury convened after the rape trial. The members listened to 123 witnesses over a seven-month period. The grand jury has now indicted six adults, each presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. The charges, in connection with the juvenile rape, range from obstruction of justice, falsification of statements, tampering with evidence, failure to report child abuse and neglect, and allowing underage drinking.
What is obvious to anyone following what happened in Steubenville is that a lot of adults failed a lot of kids. Grown-ups provided alcohol to minors. Grown-ups protected some kids at the expense of others. Grown-ups preserved an image over exposing reality.
As parents and as adults, we have an obligation to lead by example. We must teach our kids right from wrong and teach them basic standards of human decency. But in this age of social media and instant communication, a culture of “anything goes” has evolved. Act now, think later, and don’t worry about the consequences. We use our devices to communicate -- leaving an electronic barrier that divorces us from shame and from taking responsibility for actions and how those actions affect others.(Source:

Temporary Digs

I am putting up the blogspot as a backup to my dot com.  I think it's important that this information, specifically on the Steubenville case, be out in the public domain.  I'll put up all the links and try to grab the old blog posts as well.  Dot com should be back up by the weekend.

Till then...keep on keepin' on. :)