A middle Tennessee private businessman has filed a criminal complaint with the FBI regarding the state’s custom of giving driver licenses to people without their having applied for them — and then revoking those licenses, making them subject to criminal prosecution.
A complaint was sent Tuesday to the FBI, with copies being forwarded to the federal justice department in Washington by Arthur J. Hirsch, who has endured arrest and criminal prosecution for insisting on a right to travel he says is God-given and protected in the bill of rights.
The complaint names officials serving Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, reaching as high as a commissioner and the attorney general on down to a police officer and his chief in Loretto. The officer made a violent arrest of Mr. Hirsch on allegations under the state’s trucking and freight statute, at Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55, dragging him bloody from his car after threatening to break a window. A hearing on Mr. Hirsch’s “driving on revoked” charge is in Lawrence County sessions court today.
The complaint says defendants such as Jeff Long, department of safety and homeland security commissioner, “knowingly, willfully and routinely fabricate false and fraudulent documentation which they use as the basis for bringing false charges and sham prosecutions in state courts against individuals; complainant being one of the victims,” according to a copy of document.
“The defendants’ conspiracy uses the channels of commerce to conduct their racketeering enterprise and extortion scheme. Their criminal activities include fabricating fictitious driver licenses with numbers assigned, and suspending the same, when, in fact, no application for a Tennessee driver license was ever submitted, making false statements under oath in federal court, perjured affidavits from state law enforcement relying on false data entered by defendants into the federal National Driver Registry (‘NDR’) data system, false arrest, violence against victims using excessive force and torture, armed carjacking, damage to property, extortion for money and property from victims using the U.S. Postal Service, fraudulent use of federal statutes for the purpose of receiving federal funding under the NDR statute, which requires accurate data entries.”
The complaint cites material uncovered by TNtrafficticket.us and my work at NoogaRadio 92.7 FM in Chattanooga, including state government’s annual funding contract with the federal government and details in rulings by a U.S. district court judge in Nashville who in 2018 overturned the state’s system of imposing effective civil death sentences on the poor — driver license suspensions — for failure to pay “court debt.”
Mr. Hirsch names Mr. Long’s predecessor, David Purkey; Herbert Slatery III, the attorney general; Susan Lowe, the director of the financial responsibility department under Commissioner Long; Stewart McWhorter, commissioner of the department of finance and administration; Bobby Killen, the Loretto chief of police; officer Zack Watson; and two district attorney employees.
Phony driver licenses alleged
Mr. Hirsch cites the federal false statements and concealment act at 18 U.S.C. § 1001(3) against one who “makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry” who shall be fined or imprisoned up to five years.
Then-commissioner Purkey “admitted in a reply letter that there was no driver license on file with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (“DHS”),” Mr. Hirsch says, “yet a fraudulent license had been created in complainant’s name, a number assigned to said license, which was then ‘suspended.’”
With attachments as evidence, Mr. Hirsch says, Mrs. Lowe “sent an undated and unsigned letter to complainant, which he received on July 15, 2019, stating that he had never applied for a Tennessee driver license, but, nevertheless, his fictitious license was declared ‘suspended.’” Mrs. Lowe “evaded answering complaint’s request for proof of a valid license,” Mr. Hirsch says. “Several [replies] from LOWE were off point and refused to indicate the reason for returning the $5.00 request fee, trying to conceal the fraud.”
Swindle argued to FBI
Mr. Hirsch also complains the officials, all cited as acting in their personal capacity, violated the federal fraud and swindle law at 18 U.S.C. § 1341. The correspondence with Mrs. Lowe shows a demand for “extortion of money for ‘reinstatement’ of a driver license that never existed and other fees.”
Mr. Hirsch has criminal penalties hanging over his head because of the state’s actions to impose the commercial trucking and hauling statute on people not involved in trucking and hauling. “Complainant has learned that by ‘suspending’ said fraudulent driver license and entering the false information on the National Driver Registry data system, defendants would be placed in jeopardy of a police arrest, and face an enhanced penalty upon conviction, i.e., ‘suspensions’ are class B misdemeanors and carrying a penalty of $500.00 fine and six months in jail. Two convictions of driving on suspended license carries a $2,500.00 fine and a year in jail.”
‘Duty to respond’
Mr. Hirsch says that the Lee administration has a duty to respond to inquiries, and that his department’s silence in face of his grievances is fraud. “The courts have said that silence from public officials when they have a duty to reply is equated with fraud.”
In the federal court case, plaintiffs obtained testimony from Mr. Purkey that indicates he lied on the stand, and that the attorney general cooperated in the prevarications. Mr. Hirsch cites that court record, with his comments marked by brackets:
Defendant PURKEY by counsel (SLATERY) ADMITS: “That an individual’s “license” may be “revoked” under section 40-24-105(b) [FALSE–SEE BELOW] even if the individual has never had a driver’s license: upon the Court Clerk’s notification that the person has Court Debt that has been unpaid for one year, the commissioner assigns a license number to the individual and notes the license as “revoked.” See Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-50-102(48) (SEE BELOW addressing revocation of a person’s “license or privilege”).” [NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO FABRICATE A FICTITIOUS LICENSE]
Mr. Purkey lied in depositions because he knows the law at TCA 40-24-105, Mr. Hirsch says, which regulates suspension and restoration of driver licenses. Revocations are said in the law to last a year only, and there exists an administrative system within the agency by which one may contest a revocation. The scheme attacked by the Hirsch criminal complaint skips that step, violating due process rights.
Ballbusters in blue
The police officers are described as strongmen for the scheme, as they “enforced the fraud by falsely arresting (kidnapping) complainant without a warrant and using excessive force (assault) for allegedly having a “suspended” driver license, resulting in property damage, lost business opportunity, financial loss and physical injury. *** KILLEN approved WATSON’S false arrest without due diligence of law concerning Tennessee statutes concerning arrests without a warrant and public offenses (gross negligence in training).” This element of the complaint cites my analysis of widespread violation of TCA 40-7-103, grounds for arrest by officer without a warrant, clearly violated in Mr. Hirsch’s arrest and jailing.
“Defendants, as public servants, cannot use their public office to commit felony fraud,” declares Mr. Hirsch.
Undeveloped part of complaint
One shortcoming in the complaint is that it only suggests the federal nexus between the department of safety and the federal government. To get federal subsidies, the state swears that its laws and practices in regulating commercial motor vehicles align with the federal government’s. The most recent version of the document, drearily titled “TENNESSEE Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Fiscal Year 2018” says that the highway patrol is the “is the sole agency in the State of Tennessee responsible for enforcing laws related to size, weight, and safety regulations for commercial motor vehicles.”
Police power is authorized by law to enforce the transportation statute at Title 55 upon commercial vehicles only — and only the THP is authorized to use that power. That Commissioner Long and his predecessors refuse to enforce the limits of Title 55 to commercial users only, and that they take federal money while allowing others to enforce those laws, and allow troopers to enforce these laws against private users and travelers — these are elements of what promises to be a major political, legal and moral imbroglio for state government.
Particularly since State of Tennessee is, as of March 2018, under transportation administrative notice, which is has not rebutted nor to which it has responded.