Gainesville, FL – Former University of Florida instructor Charlie Grapski will face a third degree felony wiretapping charge in Circuit Court on Monday November 13. The trial is already steeped in local politics, and Grapski`s prosecution stems from his May 1 arrest at Alachua City Hall. Grapski was there attempting to inspect public records related to a city commission election that is being challenged in a citizens` lawsuit.
On Wednesday November 8, Grapski turned down an offer by the State Attorney to settle the case out of court, and as a result he will be going to trial on Monday November 13 in Circuit Court in Gainesville.
"Their offer would have been reasonable had I done something wrong," Charlie Grapski said of the settlement offer made to him by State Attorney Bill Cervone and Assistant State Attorney Geoff Fleck during a meeting in the State Attorney`s office on Wednesday, where the defendant met with his prosecutors to discuss his case.
"The terms of the settlement I was offered were absurd. In essence, they were asking me to forfeit my First Amendment rights for a year, in return for having these trumped up charges dismissed," Grapski said. "I made the State Attorneys a very reasonable offer, but they weren`t interested in cooperating with me to ensure I have a fair trial."
Grapski, who is representing himself in the trial, was forced to dismiss Gainesville criminal defense attorney Craig DeThomasis as his counsel after the attorney demanded an additional $40,000 retainer before doing any further work on the case.
Grapski`s supporters have organized an ad hoc Grapski Defense Committee and the group will host a potluck dinner and fundraiser at the Civic Media Center next Saturday, with local singer-songwriter Lars Din performing. Funds are still needed to pay for transcripts and depositions, and there will be a minimum $5 donation at the door.
For more information:
State Attorney`s offer to Charlie http://grapskidefense.org/files/legalarchive/wiretapcase/stateattorney/DP.pdf
Charlie`s offer to State Attorney http://grapskidefense.org/files/legalarchive/wiretapcase/grapski/offertofleck.pdf (.pdf)
CMC fundraiser flyer http://www.gvillemusic.com
Also: http://www.freealachua.org and http://www.highspringsherald.com (search the Herald archives for "grapski alachua")