Disgruntled Autoworker # 27 March 06'
On 10.08.05 I wrote the Baltimore City Police Commissioner and asked him to expedite an investigation that I believed was taking way too long. On 04.23.05, an FBI Printout of my criminal record was circulated in one of the plants my amalgamated UAW local represents. The Printout was circulated to discredit me because of my concerted union activities, and because I was running for a union office. I lost the run-off election by eleven votes, which I attributed to the Printout.
With the help of a Baltimore County Police Sergeant, we tracked the Printout to a Baltimore City police computer. I contacted the City’s Internal Investigation Division and asked them to investigate the Printout. A detective told me on 06.14.05 that the investigation would take several months. I called back on 10.03.05 and was told the investigation is almost complete. I was also told that the Officer the Printout was tracked to is no longer on the force, and the statute of limitations to prosecute the Officer may have expired.
Discouraged, I wrote the commissioner (letter available at, Disgruntled Autoworker # 20 ) a few days later. I told him I wasn’t out to prosecute the Officer; I just want to know who in my local he gave the Printout too, so I can seek closure in this incident. In a 10.24.05 letter, the Commissioner’s response was, “I have been advised that the IID is currently investigating your complaint and that you will be contacted upon completion of their investigation.”
Also on 10.24.05 I was asked to come down to IID to fill out a deposition. Then on 11.02.05, I was asked to come in and sign the deposition. With a friend as a witness, a rookie detective asked, “Is this about the Kidd investigation?” I said, “I’m here about someone accessing my files.” He said, “That’s the David Kidd investigation.” He then went on to tell us Kidd left the force, but didn’t know when or why. His leaving the force confirms what I was told about a month ago. I wanted David Kidd’s name in writing, not consciously dropped by a rookie detective.
On 11.29.05, I called IID and spoke to one of the four detectives I’ve been bounced around between. I was told the investigation is complete, and it’s been turned over to superiors. I asked, “Does the investigation involve David Kidd?” It does. “Will Kidd be brought up on charges?” Don’t know. “When and why did Kidd leave the Force?” Don’t have that info. “Can I have a copy of the investigation’s results?” No. You’ll have to subpoena that info. Great, I still don’t have Kidd’s name in writing.
Then on 12.01.05 I received a certified letter from the Chief of IID. He wrote, “The IID has completed its investigation of your complaint under IID Control Number 2005-0350. The investigation revealed violations of rules and regulations did occur. The case has been referred to this Agency’s Legal Affairs Section for review and appropriate action, in accordance with this Agency’s disciplinary process.” And, “I wish to thank you for taking the time to get involved and for bringing this matter to our attention. This information facilitates the correction of deficiencies and assists us in making this a better police department.”
I thought, “What arrogance.” So on 12.09.05 I wrote the following to the Chief of Legal Affairs, “While I’m more than happy to assist the police department in facilitating the correcting of deficiencies, this does not resolve the fact that I lost an election because of this unknown Officer’s actions. And, while my efforts have assisted the police department in becoming a better Agency, I still don’t know which union member and/or official this unknown Officer gave the FBI Printout to for distribution.”
“Therefore,” I went on, “I have four requests that would help me to achieve closure; What’s the Officer’s name? Who did the Officer give my personal information to for distribution? What form of disciplinary action does the police department consider appropriate for the irreparable damage this Officer’s done to my character and political career in the UAW? And, will I be informed of the date and time the Officer appears before a magistrate to be prosecuted for violating police department rules and regulations, and my right to privacy?”
On 12.21.05, the Chief of Legal Affairs responded to all 4 questions in too much detail to include here. He essentially said, “I Will Not reveal the Officers name, because, while the Printout was indeed access from the Officers’ computer, officers have a habit of not logging off, therefore, anyone could have accessed that info. Furthermore, the Officer is no longer employed with the force, therefore, the Officer Has Not, Will Not, and Cannot be charged with the commission of a crime connected with this act.” I need a lawyer.
After the holidays, I must have called a dozen lawyers. Most of them didn’t want to get involved in any dispute involving the City, for whatever reasons. A couple told me they wanted $5,000 down, and then they’d bill me by the hour. I was afraid to ask how much per hour. Another told me his fee would be $25,000 with no guarantee of results. I don’t think so.
Another demanded the names of those I suspected of hiring Kidd to investigate me. I gave him a list of possible suspects. He connected one of the names to Kidd, and tells me it’ll cost $5,000 with no guarantee of results. I told him I’d think about it. Then he tells me he knows a retired official from my local. I immediately become suspicious and wonder if he’ll share my list with local incumbents. I left his cramped and cluttered office shaking my head in disgust. I was upset I had given him the list of suspects so willingly.
I was on the verge of giving up when I read about a lawyer who had won a substantial amount in a sexual harassment case. I called and was asked to Fax the Printout, letters to the FBI, IID, Commissioner, and all of their responses. A few days later the lawyer told me the statute of limitations expired, and that I won’t be able to sue the police, the city, or Kidd for violating my civil rights. If I had taken the Printout to a lawyer right away, I may have had a case, but my wanting to save a few dollars by conducting my own investigation, and the IID deliberately dragging out their investigation for over 5 months, compromised the case. I’m more upset with the police department’s IID, than I am with myself, because they have a nationwide reputation for shady shenanigans, and the way they handled my case fits their method of operation.
The lawyer didn’t want to take my case for the obvious reason, however, the names of two lawyers were recommended. One told me he doesn’t think my case is worth pursuing unless I’m willing to spend thousands of dollars. I’m not. I met the other in a very impressive high rise with an even more impressive view. I could smell money, and lots of it. We shook hands and that was the last I saw of him. Maybe it’s because I dressed like an autoworker and not the CEO of a company.
About an hour later, a 30ish lawyer comes into the boardroom where I was instructed to wait. He looks over my file. We discussed the case and my list of suspects. It turns out the lawyer is about the same age as Kidd, and he grew up in the same neighborhood as Kidd and one of the suspects. The lawyer told me Kidd and the Suspect went to high school, coached little league soccer, and still hang out together. The Suspect is the same one another lawyer pointed out a few days ago, and the one I suspected all along, because he works in the plant where the Printout was circulated.
If the 30ish lawyer thought we could get more money out of Kidd than what it cost to sue him, I would have hired him. See ya. I tried, but no lawyers would take my case on consignment, because the cost far exceeds the rewards, at least for them. While the ACLU thought I had a good case, they turned me down because it doesn’t set precedence. And I make too much for pro bono lawyers. Oh well, if nothing else, at least I know which one of my 4 suspects circulated the Printout.
What the Suspect did is a misdemeanor, so he’s not worth pursuing thru the courts, or the UAW’s bogus legal system that’s more about prosecuting members for dissention than policing its own ranks. And like most appointees, humiliation is not in his vocabulary; however, they don’t like their names in print, especially by dissenters. I may not get justice, but I’ll get satisfaction by naming this appointee who was never elected by a membership that despised him when an ex-president, traitor, promoted him in spite of their objections.
The Suspect is Darren Petty, and I believe he put Kidd up to accessing my criminal files so he could circulate it to influence the election. This appointed punk felt so threatened by my concerted activities he had to resort to thuggery. Darren Petty has managed to yum yum his way up the UAW’s hierarchy to become the states UAW CAP president without ever being elected, but yet he finds it necessary to undermine the efforts of legitimate candidates. His actions are typical in today’s union elections. And the traitors, who promote people like him, the Alfreds, Shoemakers, and Gettelfingers of our union, are the reason the UAW is in the pathetic concessionary state it’s in today. Damn them all straight to hell.
In Solidarity, Doug Hanscom