Former State House candidate and University of Florida instructor Charlie Grapski will be appearing in Judge Curtain`s courtroom at 8am Thursday morning to defend himself against a third degree felony charge of "intercepting an oral communication" filed by the State Attorney`s Office on October 5.
UF Law Professor Joe Little assisted with jury selection on Monday, and Little will be co-counsel with Grapski in court on Thursday. Grapski has been conducting a pro se defense since his dismissal of Craig DeThomasis in October, and has filed a number of motions, including several motions to dismiss, before the Court. It is possible the motions to dismiss will be heard before the trial, which will take place on the 2nd floor of the new courthouse on SW 2nd Avenue, downtown Gainesville.
GRAPSKI`S "ILLEGAL" RECORDING IS NOW ONLINE
Click on the link below to listen to the recording made by Charlie Grapski in Clovis Watson`s City Hall office, during the April 28 visit for which he was arrested on May 1, while attempting to inspect public records.
The door to Watson`s office was open the entire time this conversation was taking place, and the digital recorder was sitting in the middle of a coffee table directly in front of Watson.
After you hear what transpired during this meeting between City Manager Clovis Watson, Charlie Grapski and Eileen McCoy, be sure to read the arrest minimus containing the sworn statement of Police Commissioner Clovis Watson charging Grapski with a third degree felony.
WATSON`S DUAL OFFICEHOLDING PROHIBITED BY FLORIDA CONSTITUTION
One of Grapski`s motions to dismiss is based on Clovis Watson`s status as a police officer being in open violation of Article II Section 5 (a) of the Florida Constitution, which specifically prohibits any individual from holding two offices simultaneously.
A 17-page pamphlet on Dual Officeholding is available on Florida Attorney General`s website, which explicitly states that Florida`s Constitution prohibits any individual (even Clovis Watson) from holding the office of city manager and police officer at the same time.
For a crystal clear ruling by Florida`s Attorney General Charlie Crist (soon to be governor) on the Dual Officeholding provision, which explicitly addresses the question of a police chief serving as city manager, see: AGO 2006-27: Dual Office Holding, police chief as city manager
Apparently, Alachua`s city attorney needs a refresher course on constitutional law.
LISTEN TO THE "ILLEGAL" RECORDING (and read the transcript here):
The Meeting (Grapski records Clovis Watson)