Saratoga Springs Witch Trial

“The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by lesser men.” – Plato

I know I am going to get FLAMED for this post, but I can’t just sit by and watch what is happening to the City of Saratoga Springs.  It is being ripped apart.

In 1692 in Salem Village, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams (ages 9 and 11) started what has now been known as the Salem Witch trials.   “The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions, according to the eyewitness account of Rev. Deodat Lawson, a former minister in the town. The girls complained of being pinched and pricked with pins. A doctor, historically assumed to be William Griggs, could find no physical evidence of any ailment. Other young women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviors. When Lawson preached in the Salem Village meetinghouse, he was interrupted several times by outbursts of the afflicted” [Source]  

Historians later note that they believe that it started over a “family feud”, and a vicious rivalry between the Putnam and the Porter families.   Because of what is know as group think (“A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action”), no one in the town stood up for the first set of people on trial.  History then tells us of the spread of the accusations.  The end result were over 150 people arrested or imprisoned, with even more accused not formally pursed.   Giles Corey was even executed using the form of punishment called peine forte et dure (stones were piled on his chest until he could no longer breathe).

If a few people would of stood up to the trials, and not allowed the false information to be spread, then the trials probably would not of happened or could of been minimized.   As Plato mentioned in the first quote, if people do not get involved in politics, then they can reside themselves to the fact that less people will rule them.

Saratoga Springs has its own version of the Salem Witch trials going on.   The Witch trial is not being done by the Justice Courts, Police Officials, or City Officers, but by a hand full of residents against the Judicial Branch of the cities Government.    It started out as a few “families” that disagreed with some judgments handed down by the Justice Court of Saratoga Springs.  It has now moved to include accusations against the Administrative Branch of the city Government as well.   I am talking about the “No to Stoney” movement in the city.  This group has gotten so “deeply involved” that they can no longer “realistically appraise alternative courses of action”.   The main course of action that they have taken is belittling, and falsely accusing other people.   I encourage every resident of Saratoga Springs to go to the No to Stoney facebook page.  Read the comments, and come up with an opinion yourself.    I believe their rantings will show that they are on a personal mission to attack, and slander everyone that does not agree with their movement.  My favorite is them calling Stoney and Jarvis, “Bi-Polar and suffering from Borderline Personality Order.”  Really??  You have proof from a doctor that they suffer from these conditions?  (On a side note, Saratoga Springs has a City Council, not a City Counsel, unless you are referring the the Cities Lawyer.)

The flames have been fanned by the bias writings found on www.cityweekly.net.  There have been several articles written about Saratoga Springs and the No to Stoney claims.   All of them have been written by Stephen Dark.  If you look at articles written by him, you will see a common tread, he does not like police, and the judicial system.  His articles are not objective, but are written to forward his anti-police stance.  He is fanning the flames and stroking the egos of those in the No to Stoney camp.  His articles NEVER include the other view point.

The results so far have been the resignation of Lindsey Jarvis.  She is quoted as saying: “This was all an attempt to make it look like they got me to leave, I’m not playing these games anymore. I’m tired of being attacked.” [Source]

They are now going after Mayor Love and Council Member McOmber, because they have not done what the group feels they should do.

If you think that Judge Stoney has violated your rights, then get him removed from his position.  The way to do that is to put him under judicial review.   Bring the evidence you say you have to the higher courts and have him removed from his position.  Don’t start a slander campaign on anyone that you think does not agree with you or you feel is standing in your way.

I did a GRAMA request a little while back, and got the court judgments from Jan 1, 2010 to Nov 5, 2010.   I encourage you to take a look at it.  You can find it by clicking here.  One of the main points they are making is that  the Justice Court is only there for money.  KSL.com did a report on this on Feb, 3rd 2011.  In their report, they show Saratoga Springs collected $282.993.80.  I suggest that you read the court rulings.  If the court really was just about money, then why do the majority of the rulings lower the fine from the allowed amount.   On most of the decisions, you will see a “Fine Suspended” line.  If the court was so into making money, then why are they suspending any of the fine amounts?   If they did get rid of the court, then I bet the City Council would come under fire for raising property taxes to fill in the budget gap the Justice Court leaves behind.

I am also leery of anyone that makes broad generalizations when making an argument.  The No to Stoney camp does this all the time.  All Justice Courts are evil.  All Saratoga Springs police are corrupt.  Everyone in Saratoga Springs does not like the courts.   These generalizations are false and very dangerous to make.

Here is an example of how figures and generalizations can be false.  They claim that 53% of the residents of Saratoga Springs do not want Judge Stoney in our Justice Court.  They have also made the statement that those same residents don’t want our city to have a Justice Court.  They get that number from the Judge Retention election that was held during the 2010 general election. (The county voted at 75.51% to keep him).  They are correct in saying that 53% ( 1394/2630) of people who voted said No to Stoney.  But if you look at the number of registered voters in Saratoga Springs only 22% (1394/6306) bothered to say No to Stoney.  So to say that 53% of the residents of Saratoga Springs voted No to Stoney is a incorrect statement.   If you look at the total residents in Saratoga Springs, then only 14% (4763 residences with two adults per residence) actually felt that it was important enough to say No to Stoney.   The percentage would even be lower if we had the actual numbers, we are assuming that there are only 2 members of each residence over voting age.  This is by far not the MAJORITY of Saratoga Springs residents.  (It is also interesting to note, that many of the No to Stoney group voted NO to all judges in Utah County because they feel that all Judges will eventually become corrupt with a love of power.  Which is ironic itself, they are using the retention law they dislike to affect the Justice Courts in other cities.)

I think that the witch hunt needs to stop with the slander and false information.   If you do indeed have proof that Stoney is violating the law, and that some of the officers in the Saratoga Springs Police Department are corrupt, take it to higher authorities.  Calling people Bi-Polar and insulting them does nothing to help your cause. 

On a side note, the group has done some things that I agree with.  They did help get legislation past to move the Judge vote to the City level instead of the County level.  For details, you can check out H.B. 74 – Municipal Justice Court Judge ElectionsS.B. 318 – Justice Court Modifications also passed that now requires Justice Courts to operate a recording device in each court room.  I wish that this was in effect a year ago, so I could see what the No to Stoney group is saying happened in court.

From what is said on their facebook page, they are also pushing litigation up the line of command.   This is how this should be handled, not by name calling and airing dirty laundry in the public view.  It will be interesting to see if their proof actually exists and if it pulls enough weight to get him removed by his superiors. 

This may just be a case of False Allegations, like the recent incident at the University of Virginia where a student claimed racial profiling by police in a letter to the editor.  It was later found that the student just wanted to make a statement, and the incident never really occurred.   Is that what is happening in Saratoga Springs?  If the evidence really does exist, and the No to Stoney group really is pushing litigation in the court systems, then time will tell.

But until then, lets put a stop to the witch hunt, and let the City Council, Mayor, and other City Employees do what they are suppose to be doing.  Running the City of Saratoga Springs, and not being attacked daily by the No to Stoney group.

Comments

  1. Saratoga Springs Responds to Justice Court Alligations
    http://www.saratoga-springs.net/newsevents/newsletter/files/2011_05_newsletter.pdf

    S T A T E M E N T
    O N
    J U S T I C E
    C O U R T
    M A Y 4 , 2 0 1 1
    Concerns have been raised recently by some residents concerning the operation of the Justice Court and Police Department in Saratoga Springs. These concerns have been accompanied by some inaccurate statements and misunderstandings concerning the Justice Court and Police Department in Saratoga Springs. The City wishes to clarify these misstatements and many of the misunderstandings that have been circulated recently.

    At a recent City Council meeting some residents requested that the City terminate the employment of the Justice Court Judge. There is a clear separation of the judicial branch of government from the other branches of government in Utah cities. City executive and legislative branches are not authorized to execute influence over the judicial system. The purpose of this separation is to allow judicial independence of the court system. If Judges were subject to termination from elected or appointed city officials their actions in court could be influenced by politics and other pressures that would undermine the integrity of the court.

    During the elections in the fall of 2010, Justice Court Judges throughout Utah were subject to retention elections for the first time. Each Justice Court judge’s term is for six (6) years. At the end of six years each Judge stands for another retention election. The City has reviewed individual complaints regarding the Police Department and has found those complaints to be unfounded. The City supports these employees and their associated department. Their job is a difficult one; however, they play an important role in keeping our City safe and safeguarding the rights of our residents.

    At this time the City has decided not to comment on individual cases that are pending in the Court system. We wish to assure our residents that there is another side to the stories that have been circulated. We are confident in the integrity of our Police Department and know that it will continue to operate with fairness to all parties. We have investigated the allegations voiced against Detective Champagne and other members of the Police Department and determined that they are completely false.

    1. If are willing to talk to the other residents we are willing to talk to you..So many things have not been brought out..such as we do not have a open court case but no one has bothered to REALLY check out the “TRUTH” things always happen for a reason. Maybe you should get YOUR facts straight before you start slandering people also.

        1. this is not a witch hunt. You have never spoke to me so you have no idea of my side at all. Do not put me in the same category you have no clue of what is going on. But you are sure quick to judge people that are standing up for their civil rights. I

          1. So who are you? Hard to talk to someone that does not actually state who they are. Why don’t you tell me exactly how you LOST YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS. I suggest you look up the term first.

            I do have a clue of what is going on. You assume that just because someone does not come to the same conclusion that you have that they are idiots. I have talked to ALOT of people. And the people I have talked to have no problems with the Justice Courts, and think the Police are doing what they are paid to do. The No to Stoney group says that the Majority of Saratoga Springs residents are against the Justice Courts, Police, and Judge Stoney. That is not the case.

            I have looked at the record of the Justice Court, and find that they lower the fines they impose, instead of hitting with the max. If they were all about money and power, they would not be lowering jail time, or fines. Yes, there is no official record, but the sentences given out by the court are a matter of record.

            If the Justice Court has trampled your Civil Rights like you say they have, you have other resources to deal with that. Have you filed complaints with the Utah Bar Association, have you brought your complaint to the state level? All I have seen so far is a bunch of people calling names, I have yet to of seen any document that proves the points. Yes, some cases have been dismissed, but that does not show a violation of Civil Rights. Instead of using the resources that can change the system, you are attacking anyone that does not agree with you. Playing this out in the public realm is not the place to do it.

            I am surprised that someone has not found a pole in the town square, put fire wood around it, and started lashing people to it. Read the comments on the No to Stoney page, and then tell me that they are logical and not full of hate and vengeance. It is exactly like the witch trials. A group of people are upset with the court system, so they are trying to get the rest of the residents in a frenzy, so they can lash someone to a pole and light a fire.

  2. Thank You! I am so relieved to know that SOMEONE has finally been able to read between the lies and piece this mess together without us (the Police Department, Judge, myself) having to break our ethical obligations and discuss the matter openly. We’ve sat back and remained silent as these disgruntled and unaccountable defendants have continually smeared our reputations and attempted to convince the citizens of Saratoga Springs that we are monsters who abuse our power.

    I practice law in front of numerous judges, from Davis County to Utah County, and I can say that Judge Stoney waives more fines than any other Judge I practice before. It’s not about the money. Judge Stoney is more “treatment focused” than the majority of the Judges I see on the bench. Additionally, despite the lies that have been portrayed, Judge Stoney treats everyone with respect; a characteristic that not all Judges portray. However, when you disobey rules in his presence, treat court staff with disrespect, or make a mockery of his courtroom, he holds you accountable. Isn’t that part of a judge’s job description?

    Detective Champagne is not only a phenominal detective, but he’s one of the most integral individuals I have ever met. He and his family do not deserve the treatment they’ve recieved. Champagne puts his life in jeopardy everyday, and he does so willingly to protect the citizens of the city he resides in. He cares. He’s honest, and despite the slander, he continues to do his job day in and day out. The City is very lucky to have a detective like him.

    Again, I appreciate your ability to see through the lies and to present the truth. I realize you have put yourself in a position to be attacked now as well, so thank you for speaking out.

    Lindsay Jarvis

  3. I am so glad that finally, someone has the decency to speak out. This sham has gone on for far too long. The personal attacks these fanatics have leveled against anyone who does not agree with them is frightening. When people have a long list of disobeyeing the law as these people do, it makes their accusations suspect. Why should any public servant have to put up with abuse just because they are trying to do the job they were entrusted to do? The city is/was lucky to have them. It’s too bad that rags like City Weekly do not take the time to explore the facts. They allow these nuts to inflame other people into believing lies and distortions, resulting in threats and malicious acts against the very people who are there to protect us law-abiding citizens.

    1. you know NOTHING of which you speak….you need to research this a little bit more and talk to some of the people involved before you start making false statements and slandering people…have your facts straight before you open your mouth.. If Miss Jarvis had nothing to hide than why did she run like a scared little girl? Every attorney I know would up a fight…open your eyes

  4. This is the type of thing I am talking about:
    Posted on the Facebook No to Stoney page, by No to Stoney…

    11. Here is one more point, and thanks for listening: We are told by a certain SSPD officer that Lindsay Jarvis one of the main perpetrators and Stoney’s sidekick is a heavy partier and that is the reason she wears very heavy makeup, especially on a Monday morning. 17 hours ago.
    [Source]

    Really, have you seen her party… Funny, but no court would allow this to be entered as evidence, but the No to Stoney group says it is. Who is being slandered here?

  5. So dadzoo you pull out one case where there was false accusations as to try to prove that this case may also be false? Wow… man… just wow. You sir use just as low tactics as the people that try to smear Stoney and Jarvis’s names with no proof.

    Read this;

    Takes one to know one.

    Or;

    You’re projecting all over this.

  6. Really, post the court rulings…. What statements are FALSE? I need to start taking screen shots more. Someone has been scrubbing the No to Stoney pages to remove the comments I am refering it.

    1. On thing should be also noted… None of the No to Stoney camp that have posted on this have used their real names. They don’t even bother to use their real names when they post to their No to Stoney page.

      You have to wonder what they are really hiding? I have a hard time believing a group of people that hide in the shadows.

      1. when and where would you like to meet? cause i know you will know who i am when you see me..I am not afraid and i have no court case, never been in trouble, never been before Stoney, so lets talk you tell me when and where and i will be there.


  7. Mr. Wayman (noticed I at least took the time to spell his name right), I contacted you, you did not contact me. And in the process, you insulted me. You are not interested in talking, you are interested in pushing your version of the truth and brow beating everyone into believing it.

    Anyone who wants to, can read the conversation I had with Craig Wayman by clicking here.

    Also, “My friends the Champagne’s” is a lie. The only interaction I have had with them was when we were in the same ward. I have never talked to him personally. Once again, the No to Stoney camp does exactly what they are accusing me of doing. They are making statements without checking before they open their mouths. I have never been to the Champagnes, or had any interaction with them besides seeing them at church on occasion.

    The No to Stoney camp says they are all law abiding citizens, and that the SS Justice Court is out to get them. Why don’t the main players in the No to Stoney camp publish their police record. Prove to us that you did not have any run-ins with the law prior to moving to Saratoga Springs.

  8. Yes because dadzoo is your real name.

    Give me a break dude.

    Your crying fire when there is no fire. Saying it’s a witch hunt is just silly, and you know it.
    Why don’t you ask Miss Jarvis why she told McVey that she was being threatened and that she made a record of it with the police but when police were asked of said investigation there was no record. HMMMM Very fishy indeed.

    She is very unethical. The fact that you or anyone would promote and defend an unethical lawyer just shows you are corrupt as well.

    1. It is not hard to find out my real name (check out the comments, or your beloved No to Stoney page). My name is Mike Kieffer. Now it is your turn. Who are you, and exactly how has your civil rights been violated by the Justic Court, Saratoga Springs Police, or City Employees? Please be specific, so that what you say can be verified via GRAMA and other methods.

  9. So you think it’s okay for a lawyer to be unethical and make up lies about people? Wow.. You sir are a troll.

    1. Nice name calling…

      No, I do not think that unethical behavior is good. But then again, I have not been shown any proof that unethical behovior has been done. A few cases that have been overturned do not count as proof. Every judge, in every district, and every court at one time has had a case overturned, or dismissed.

      You still have not answered my questions. 1- Who are you, and 2- What Civil Rights have the Justice Court, Police Department, or employees of Saratoga Springs taken from you? Remember, I would like proof so that I can validate your claims. It is so easy to hide behind internet anonymity. You can say whatever you want to say, and what you say is impossible to prove wrong, but it is also impossible to prove correct.

      Typical No to Stoney play book… Don’t answer the question asked, just call people names, and get hostile if someone does not agree with you. You sir, are proving my point.

      1. UMMM just so YOU know ssfriend and ssresident are not the same person..careful..and fyi you do know me…

        1. I do know that… You are a resident of SS, or live close to SS, but ssfriend lives in Oregon.

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