A glimpse inside the corruption at the Flathead County Prosecutor’s Office: Coercion of defendants and attorneys forced to play ball or get black-balled.
When one moves to a quiet region like the Flathead Valley, Montana, you would expect that the crimes that bigger community suffers would pass you by or be present in a much smaller way. This fact is normally true as it pertains to violent crimes, but crimes from government players seems to be deeply rooted in this quiet, western valley.
If you find yourself at the wrong end of a criminal case, one would expect to have the fairest, fastest and most transparent legal system in the world in which to resolve their matter, despite the charges against you. In America, one should be able to feel a certain assurance that he will be treated and judged fairly and honestly. After all, we have the best legal system in the world, right?
But, what if things are not that fair after all in the criminal justice system? What if your local prosecutor is just another “good ole’ boy” called by a legal name? What do you do when those who play the game get promoted and those who oppose the game get demoted? How does one lone defendant stand against the full weight of the State while being threatened by a police officer or prosecutor? Well, in one case in Flathead County, Montana, the victims have decided to protect themselves from government coercion by recording what these officers and prosecutors are threatening against them, despite the potential criminal actions that they could be charged with.
In the audio-video transcript below, you will hear evidence of a police officer who coerced a defendant and his wife to fire his attorney, Tim Baldwin, so the government could get rid of him. Why? Because Tim Baldwin challenged the prosecutor’s case against the defendant and forced the prosecutor to comply with the law. But the recording more than suggests that the officer was not the sole boot being pressed upon the defendant and his wife.
The officer repeatedly states that what he is telling the defendant’s wife is not coming from him alone but from the County Attorney’s Office. In fact, the officer plainly states that if the defendant does not fire his attorney, the entire County Attorney’s office would “go against” him and his family. For 27 minutes, the officer makes it clear that if the defendant does not fire Tim Baldwin and hire another attorney who “gets along” with the County Attorney’s Office, it will be bad news for him.
This is not a case of some “lone wolf” leaving the pack. Rather, it is a case of a pack of wolves devouring justice. The “alpha” wolf in this case appears to be Kenneth “Rusty” Park of the Flathead County Attorney’s Office. The officer, McKeag Johns, makes many references to “Rusty” and the control he has over the officer and the defendant. The officer alludes to the fact that he is doing the bidding of Rusty Park, such as, “I am passing too much along,” “I have semi-gotten in trouble,” and “it is over my head and out of my control,” more than suggesting that Rusty Park of the Flathead County Attorney’s Office is using the officer to manipulate and control the defendant and his wife to ensure that they fire Tim Baldwin, who, according to the officer, causes too many problems for Rusty Park and the County Attorney’s Office.
Listen closely to the audio-video below and notice how many times the officer belittles Tim Baldwin and attempts to get the defendant’s wife to fire him as her husband’s attorney. And notice how often the officer attacks Tim Baldwin’s reputation and work as a defense attorney in effort to remove him from the picture, because as the officer says, all of the other attorneys “get along” with “them” (meaning, the officers and the prosecutor) but Tim Baldwin “pushes” too hard for his client.
What is clear throughout this recording is that the government agents do not want attorney Tim Baldwin in the picture. They will do or say anything to make their jobs of criminal prosecution easier, which in this case means removing an attorney who does his job and vigorously defends the rights of his clients.
If you are a defendant who has a “get along” attorney, beware!
To listen to the entire 27 min audio recording, and to see the motions filed in this case, click this link.