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Grapski To Appear In Court Today

Grapski To Appear In Court Today

Grapski Committee

Gainesville, FL Former University of Florida instructor Charlie Grapski will appear as his own counsel in the Courtroom of Judge Peter K. Seig today at 1 P.M. to defend himself against a felony wiretapping charge that resulted from Grapski's inquiry into official misconduct and possible fraud in the April 11 city commission election in Alachua.

The first issue to be addressed is Grapski`s right to appear pro se and defend himself. The Court has ruled against Grapski`s right to self-defense for the past two weeks in rulings that Grapski intends to challenge at today`s hearing.

"I filed a motion for speedy trial almost two weeks ago, and according to law the Court was required to hold a hearing within five days or else dismiss the case, " said Grapski, "but the Court ignored this five day requirement, ruling that I could not appear or file motions on my own as pro se counsel until the Judge had accepted the withdrawal of my former counsel." Grapski contends that his right to appear is constitutionally guaranteed.

Charlie Grapski will also argue that he was denied his rights to discovery when the State Attorney refused to produce for him the evidence they have against him in this case and when the State refused to cooperate and witnesses ignored his subpoenas, which were issued by the Court for taking depositions.

Three Motions to Dismiss have been filed by Grapski, which he hopes will be heard after his right to a defense and his right to compel witnesses have been recognized. These motions call for dismissal of the charge based on: 1) the fact that the State Attorney has failed to allege a crime; 2) the fact that the undisputed facts in this case do not constitute a crime; and 3) the fact that the arrest by Clovis Watson was illegal because Watson cannot legally serve as a police officer with the powers of arrest and serves solely as the Alachua City Manager, who has no such powers.

The motions that have been filed by Grapski and other documents can be found at:

The wiretapping charge was filed against Grapski by State Attorney William Cervone on October 5, after being held over him for more than five months since his May 1 arrest.

Charlie Grapski was a candidate running for the District 23 State House of Representative seat when he was arrested in Alachua City Hall during an appointment to inspect public records related to the controversial election. A condition of his recognizance bond has been that Grapski is effectively banned from the City of Alachua. He dropped out of the House race in large part due to the burden of his defense and his bond restrictions.

The Grapski Legal Defense Committee will be holding a Potluck Dinner and Benefit Fundraiser for Charlie`s legal defense at 7pm on Saturday November 11. The event will be at the Civic Media Center, 1021 W University Ave Gainesville`s legendary Lars Din will be performing.

Charlie Grapski is a doctoral candidate at UF and a well-known electoral reform advocate. He can be contacted at

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