Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Foster County, ND - Auditor Commits Perjury in an Effort to Stifle Freedom of Speech
On Friday, April 25, 2014, my husband and I appeared in the Foster County Court before Judge Jay Schmitz in a case entitled Teresa L. Risovi vs. Judy Keller and Ted Keller. Teresa Risovi, the Auditor of Foster County, had restraining orders for disorderly conduct filed against us, and we were in court to fight for our first amendment rights and to refute the charges that she had made. If her charges were found to be true, the temporary restraining orders would have been extended. Then, basically if we did anything that the Auditor considered a threat (like talking loudly around her, gesturing with our hands while talking near her, coming into her office and asking for public records, sitting behind her at Foster County Commissioners meetings, taking pictures of her at the meetings, writing critical articles about her on CarringtonNews.com, "watching" her, etc.), we could be arrested without a warrant and put in jail for up to a year and/or fined $2,000.
QUITE A WEAPON to have in the hands of a vindictive government official!
After listening to the testimony in court, Judge Schmitz dismissed both restraining orders, basically saying that he did not find our actions to be disorderly conduct, or conduct that threatened Auditor Risovi's safety. In his opinion our actions were included under constitutionally-protected activities.
After listening to Risovi testify in court that she is "terrified" of me, I truly have a hard time understanding how I've caused that intense fear, and I'm sorry that she feels the way she does. I want to assure her and her friends that my husband and I are no threat to her personal safety. However, because of the lies that she swore to under oath (committing perjury) in the restraining orders, we will most likely continue to be a threat to her job safety as Auditor of Foster County.
In my opinion, any person who is so insecure and terrorized by the above Constitutionally-protected actions, and who is so ignorant of the law, should not be holding a public office. We need people serving in our government offices who conscientiously make an effort to understand our county/state/federal laws and how they apply to their positions and to the communities they serve... people who we can trust to be honest and truthful with us.
The question is.. how do we get qualified people to run for those offices?
NOTE: By the way, for the auditor's friends/supporters who thought my husband and I were sending her threatening letters, the letters were simply notifications of legal motions, filings, dates that Auditor Risovi needed to be aware of for the hearing. They were letters with information that would help the auditor prepare for the hearing, a hearing which she, herself, instigated by filing restraining orders against us. Somehow or other... in her and her friends' minds... those official letters turned into "death threats," bullying, and harassment from "crazies." If they're ever in a situation like this again, I hope they make it a point to get some facts before they start spreading the gossip and lies.