Sunday, June 11, 2006

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,, 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


At Wed Jun 14, 12:30:00 AM, Blogger jack camp said...

Hello, Whats the problem with your records being open to the public unless you have something to hide ! It really sounds like your town is doing inappropriate things to protect political positions . If this fellow Grapski is off his rocker , then all opposed to him and his inquisitiveness into the vote count look even more foolish in denying him access to all records and having him arrested for acting on his constitutional rights to material that is public record! Your mayor & police chief really look bad in this matter and the chief is acting like a selfish little girl !! This is the view from afar and Alachua probably needs investigating on account of their antics of castigating this citizen. ............Thanks ...Jack Camp , Halls TN. LET THE LIGHT OF TRUTH AND FREEDOM SHINE !!! POWER TO ALL THE PEOPLE NOT JUST THE CHOSEN FEW !!!

At Wed Jun 14, 09:17:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

The City has not denied Mr Grapski access to records that he is legally permitted to see. He did ask to see certain records that the Statues and the Dept of State opine that he can’t see. Mr. Canney was legally permitted access due to his position as Co-Chair of the Green Party. Mr Grapski wishes to spin it that he was not allowed to see that data but that was for a legal reason. Had the City given him that data he would have come back that the City was doing something illegal. He is trying to put the City in a lose-lose position. They are following the letter of the law. It just gets in Mr. Grapski’s way. Mr. Grapski will get his day in court. Facts will win out in the end.

Mr. Grapski was arrested for violating Florida law. Two agencies and and the State Attorney Office agree. Mrs. Grapski and Canney will have their chance to prove these agencies wrong. Mr. Grapski has spread his story wide over the internet. Of course it is only one side of the issues. Once again, facts will determine the truth. Stay tuned.

At Wed Jun 14, 11:47:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Factual Errors by Calderwood:

1. I did ask to see several records, including the SINGLE record referred to by Mr. Calderwood. I have not been given ALL of the records, independent of this single document, that I have asked for.

2. The particular record referred to was requested by me. I am a candidate in an upcoming contested election. I am therefore eligible under the law to receive that record - as is plainly indicated in the statute - as was Michael Canney as a party representative.

3. There was no Dept. of State opinion published stating that I, as a candidate in an upcoming election, do not have the right to that document. And the statute clearly states that I do.

4. What Mr. Calderwood leaves out is that the document given to Mr. Canney was also NOT the document I requested - which Clovis Watson stated in his first memo to the City Commission that the City had DESTROYED that document prior to my request.

5. What Mr. Calderwood further has not revealed is that Clovis and the City sent Mr. Canney a certified letter threatening him with legal action regarding that document, sent a letter to all absentee voters saying that Canney was up to something illegal, and took an ad out saying the same - and that anyone contacted should contact the city so it could take legal action.

6. I was not arrested for violating the law - I was arrested by Clovis Watson for his personal (and those of others) reasons. And the law does not state that what I did was illegal. Furthermore Clovis Watson COMMITTED PERJURY in filing the sworn statement against me (that he personally had me arrested on).

7. The State Attorney's office has NOT charged me with a crime - so you cannot say that they AGREE with Watson.

8. The two agencies you refer to are 1) APD - which IS Clovis Watson (so that doesn't count); and 2) the ASO - which did NOT file anything regarding the incident with Clovis. So you are intentionally misleading people.

Again Mr. Calderwood - I will stand on the facts - and will force them into the public light. And let the chips fall where they may.

At Wed Jun 14, 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

"which Clovis Watson stated in his first memo to the City Commission that the City had DESTROYED that document prior to my request".

What document are you referring to?

At Wed Jun 14, 03:52:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Well Hugh, you seem to indicate that you have access to all the documents - you tell me. I have a document from Clovis Watson that states that very thing. Perhaps Clovis has not shown this to you - or you did not write this for Clovis.

Once again, you state I have been given all the documents I have requested and that the City has bent over backwards to provide the documents to me.

All other evidence indicates the opposite. That they have not been forthcoming with documents, that they have delayed and denied giving documents, and that they have withheld documents legally requested.

I'm not here to do your work for you. You made the claims that you clearly cannot back up - as you don't have the documents.

At Wed Jun 14, 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

I repeat, what document are you referring to? We are not mind readers.

At Wed Jun 14, 05:03:00 PM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Again, why do you expect me to do your work for you.

You claim to know all of what goes on in City Hall. Thus you must have all the documents.

Figure it out.

At Wed Jun 14, 06:59:00 PM, Blogger Stafford Jones said...

Charlie, you were asked a simple question. You are the one that keeps claiming that you weren't provided something, so say what it is. What is the big secret? Why not say what it is, unless you just want people to think that something is missing (that's my bet). For some reason, you keep asking other people to prove a negative. For some reason, you seem to think that it is ok for you to accuse somebody of something without providing specifics, then ask them to prove that it isn't true. As I recall, you fought against just such tactics when you sued Blue Key and McGovern. What happened to you between then and now. What caused you to adopt the tactics that fought against?

I will go ahead and find out, myself. I have contacted city hall and done my own records request to see just where you stand.

At Wed Jun 14, 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Graspki, you keep saying that I
claim to know all that occurs at City Hall. I never said that. In fact I don't know what document you keep referring to, proof that I don't know everything. I have asked you to provide that information. Then I can research it. I am not a mind reader. What is your logic to keep saying that you should do my work? I will do my own work when you tell me what you are talking about.

At Wed Jun 14, 07:57:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

Mr. Grapski, the Dept. of State has offered an opinion on your right to see confidential information in regards to absentee ballots. I suggest the you contact Sharon Larson at for confirmation.

At Wed Jun 14, 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

"8. The two agencies you refer to are 1) APD - which IS Clovis Watson (so that doesn't count); and 2) the ASO - which did NOT file anything regarding the incident with Clovis. So you are intentionally misleading people."

I am not misleading anyone. APD does count. It is not Clovis. ASO did file a sworn complaint.

From your own web site:

"This evening we were informed that the Gainesville Sun was notified in a release by the Alachua Sheriff's Office that the Sheriff has decided to file sworn complaints against Michael Canney for two instances of "illegal interception of communications" (the wiretap statute) for tape recording at City Hall on two occasions - and against Charlies Grapski also for two further instances of tape recording of public officials".

I never said that both dealt with Clovis. Now you are trying to mislead people. Next your argument will be that ASO is run by a Republican so it doesn't count either!

At Thu Jun 15, 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...

Clovis Watson IS the APD.

Clovis Watson UNCONSTITUTIONALLY holds both positions of City Manager and Police Commissioner.

Clovis Watson is thus his own boss (City Manager over Police Commissioner), the boss of the Chief of Police Jernigan (as Police Commissioner), and his own boss once again (as sworn, active duty officer).

Clovis Watson filed the sworn complaint against me as City Manager. He was the (allegedly) aggrieved party as City Manager. He accepted the sworn complaint as police officer. He instructed Jernigan to accept this sworn complaint and arrest me as Police Commissioner.

You beginning to get the picture?

To date how many crimes have I been charged with? Answer: ZERO.

At Thu Jun 15, 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Charles Grapski said...


The real question about the ASO (and yes - Steve Oelrich is a Republican and is very much affiliated with you and Stafford and your activities. How much has he been involved your your recent shenanigans we don't know. But there is a clear tie to Oelrich and the REC is there not?) - is not that of Oelrich's Republican affiliation.

It is Oelrich's history of IGNORING the criminal activities taking place in the City of Alachua under the color of law.

Why is Oelrich not investigating and taking action on these activities?

At Thu Jun 15, 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

"To date how many crimes have I been charged with? Answer: ZERO".

Be patient.

"Why is Oelrich not investigating and taking action on these activities"?

Well, have you sworn out a complaint and given him any evidence of wrong doing? Have you given anyone in authority any evidence? I have lived here for 25 years and I haven't seen the corruption and profiteering that you suggest. We are all still waiting.

At Wed Jun 21, 05:53:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

I made a post over on and they immediately started to call me names like a troll. When Jack Camp posted here he was given civil answers, no name calling. Mr. Grapski still hasn't answered my question of which e-mail he keeps referring to. I then assume that there never was such an e-mail.

At Fri Jun 23, 09:14:00 PM, Blogger Catreona said...

Mr. Calderwood,

Allow me to suggest you consult a dictionary, and therein observe the difference between the words "statue" and "statute."

At Sat Jun 24, 02:20:00 PM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...

I need new glasses.

At Sun Jun 25, 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Hugh Calderwood said...


I have been thinking about your comment and I believe that I need to set up a web site where interested people can donate money to the cause to purchase new glasses for me. Contrary to Mr. Grabski's insinuation that I have "profited" from any of my "voluntary" work for the City of Alachua, free money to purchase new glasses would come in handy.

At Wed Feb 07, 04:47:00 PM, Blogger Lady Di said...

I, for one, am sick of reading Grapski's name in the news and on Alachua blogs. No town is perfect but the city of Alachua comes close. Mr. Grapski, who didn't even live in Alachua until a few weeks ago, is one of those who loves to stir up trouble so he can shine the spotlight on himself. Many of us watch him in action and are sickened. I am offended by those who seek to be part of a problem (if there ever was one) than part of the solution. As a person who relocated over 3,000 miles to live in the BEST CITY IN THE USA, I have a few things to say! So . . . what is right with the city of Alachua?
~Our city administrators, employees, commissioners and other volunteers who serve on advisory committees are all very approachable and always "lend an ear." I am treated with courtesy and respect when I meet with them for various reasons. Why? Because I treat them that way!
~Our city government is the right size for a city our size. Our city government is very supportive of the groups here to help Alachua and it's residents. We are a small town rich in culture, history and tradition. Our city government supports the efforts of non-profit groups such as the Alachua Business League, the Alachua Chamber of Commerce, the Alachua Women's Club, the Alachua Historical Society, Relay for Life (ACS) and many more groups. I only specifically name those, as they are the groups I am personally involved with.
~Our city government has a system of checks and balances meaning that no one does anything there single handedly. I have seen departments consult with other departments or a committee consult with administration. There is a lot of collaboration that goes on within our city and its citizens. This is a great thing! (just fill out a permit for an event and you'll find this to be true).
Finally, I feel so sad that people like Grapski and his ALA bring down Alachua in the eyes of those outside looking in. If you ever want to visit a community steeped in Southern hospitality, high moral standards, an outstanding work ethic, a strong churched community, friendly neighbors, and city commissioners that truly love their city, then Alachua is the place. Oh, I forgot to mention - we have a beautiful historic Main Street, many cultural & community events, excellent schools, fabulous churches and wonderful people. I often tell people that I came here for my house, but I stay for the people. . . and it's true. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Alachua truly is the Good Life Community.


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