Charles Grapski, Attorney At Large
Charles Grapski is a proud man. You could say that he is an elitist because he wants to be a modern day Emile Zola. For those who don’t know, Zola was a French novelist who brought down the corrupt French government ( a redundant statement) back in 1898. He wrote an article entitled “J’Accuse”, where he spelled out in detail the corruption in the French government. Both Zola and Grapski claim to be for the little man battling a corrupt government except that Mr. Grapski hasn’t spelled out any corruption, just accusations without proof. Mr. Grapski wants to defend democracy and citizens rights in their dealings with city hall. I support that and I will get back to that in a minute.
Mr. Grapski plans to go to law school. He puts that on his web page of accomplishments, www.homepage.mac.com/cgrapski/, right next to his PhD candidacies at the University College London, England and U of Fl. As best as I can tell from his web page, at the age of 40, he hasn’t managed to finish either of these.
Mr. Grapski has decided that he will reform Alachua city government single handedly (along with Michael Canney, Co-Chairman of the Alachua Green Party and the ALA). Toward that goal he helped Eileen McCoy file a lawsuit against the Canvassing Board and the individuals on that Board that has yet to be served on the named parties. Unfortunately he filed it three days too late and he paid the filing fees with a NSF check Not a good start for his legal battles against corruption in Alachua. If this were a horse race we would say that he stumbled coming out of the gate.
He immediately followed that by getting arrested for secretly recording private conversations in private offices in city hall, a third degree felony. He has repeatedly stated that he knows the law and he hasn’t violated it. He even said that he would continue to record people he considers public officials and the video shown on the High Springs Herald web site shows that he kept his word. Will more arrests be coming? Seems so. In baseball we call that “strike two”.
Next he DEMANDED that he was privy to sensitive information concerning absentee ballots as described by Florida Statues because he was a candidate in another election , “As I am a candidate in a contested election-I am entitled to this document under Chapter 102 as well as 119”. An opinion from the Florida Department of State disagreed saying, “this person would not be allowed to review the confidential information that the City gathered pursuant to statue 101.62(3)”. In baseball this would be “strike three”.
Finally a good attorney fights for his clients, in this case the ALA. Mr. Grapski claims that City Manager Clovis Watson illegally holds two or more jobs and is unqualified to hold any of them,
” Frankly, and let's be honest, Clovis Watson is UNQUALIFIED for the job (actually many jobs) he currently occupies. He certainly ought not to be a police officer - let alone the City's TOP police officer. But putting aside that it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL for him to occupy that office AS WELL as another (City Manager) - he has NO QUALIFICATIONS whatsoever to be City Manager. And yet he is probably the HIGHEST PAID City Manager in the state of Florida. QUESTION: HOW CAN THAT BE?”
What he fails to understand is that Mr. Watson is an innocent victim, one of those Mr. Grapski claims to defend. Why is Mr. Watson a victim? Because he isn’t the party that caused this supposed illegality. Who gave him the job that Grapski feels he isn’t qualified to hold? That party has to be the commission when it gave him the titles, if you are to follow Mr. Grapski’s logic. It was Commissioner Robbins who made the motion and Commissioner Rothseiden who seconded the motion to accept Watson’s contract and make him Police Commissioner. They were proud to have him as their City Manager. They were falling all over themselves praising him and his qualifications. We will report on their comments soon. Remember these are the same “clients” that Grapski “represents”, so to speak, the ALA. So where does the real corruption lie. Who is working behind the scenes, out of the Sunshine, usurping the democratic process and thwarting the will of the citizens. This is where I support Grapski’s efforts as I was one of those who was asking these commissioners for a proper city manager search for new candidates. One with those same qualities that Mr. Grapski says are lacking. My and the other citizen’s requests fell on deaf ears. Why?
Mr. Grapski says he has proof of corruption in city hall but has not produced any to date. I want to give him some to place in his file. I hope he goes after these individuals as aggressively as he has my wife and myself. But then he wouldn’t be a very good attorney by turning in his own clients.
Let the record show my “proof” of corruption in city hall. Let the public record show who really was thwarting the citizens for their own political gains. To wit:
“I was referred to in another post as "miss perfect", never make a mistake. Yes I did make one big mistake while a commissioner. That was stooping to the GOB's way of governing while appointing Mr. Watson to the postion of city manager, especially the agenda removing the title of "interim" from his title. He campaigned relentlessly for that position. He showed up on my door step with candidate Kosman and her husband (editor’s note- Paul Rothseiden) to assure me that he could do the job that Jarboe could not. He was at my house numerous times during his "campaign". He was after his positon for some time. It was no surprise when Watson was appointed to the interim postion, that myself and 2 other commissioners knew it was going to happen all along. This was a real example of GOB back room dealings, and prearranged voting. What a disgusting way to do the public business. When the public stated that things were being rushed, they were right. When the public requested another professional study be done, at no cost: They were right. Watson promised things would be different, and he supported doing the right thing. I have regretted that action many times, and still do. For that, I owe the public an appology. Steam-rolling issues for "secret" interests is a slimey way to operate. I truely hope that the dirt will someday wear away from my hands. It felt wrong when it was happening, and it always will be”. Ex-Commissioner Tamara Robbins
Mr. Grapski sees himself as Emile Zola and a first rate attorney. I see him as Don Quixote, the comic character tilting at windmills.
Posted by Bud Calderwood