Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez confirms he is investigating a Fake Facebook profile but adamantly states he did not release information to the press. . . .It is beyond troubling to find that posting anonymously via social media regarding political candidates utilized the resources of the sheriff, prosecutor and courts at the very same time murderers are being released from jail because Bernie Carter can’t manage to take them to trial in time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains postings from social media from an account purportedly maintained by “Jackie Sutton.” The Gazette presents the posts in relation to the First Amendment arguments of the posts and does not intend to suggest that the posts contain truthful information. In fact, some of the information is false, some is the opinion of “Jackie Sutton” and some is true. Readers are cautioned that propaganda and misleading information often contains a kernel of truth to lure the reader in and then presents unverified or even blatantly false facts to push a certain narrative. We make no representations as to the truth of the statements contained in the screenshots of the posts and we invite readers to question their elected officials regarding any statements for which you would like more information.
February 15, 2018-Everyone who has visited the office of Lake County Treasurer Peggy Katona knows that she still employs her 90+ year old mother in her office. According to Sheriff Oscar Martinez, uttering those words in public may be criminal . . .if you use a pseudonym to do it. A profile on the social media site Facebook, under the name “Jackie Sutton”, called out the relationship between Katona and Holinga and made allegations against other elected officials:
On Tuesday the One Region Northwest Indiana Times ran an article stating that they had received subpoenaed documents and said 4 individuals were identified as being associated with postings on the Jackie Sutton Facebook account. The Times identified 3 of the 4 individuals named in the documents. An allegation that Bob Cantrell and his wannabe politico Gilbert Guttierez were behind the posts was no surprise to anyone. What was surprising was the allegation by The One Region Times that Schererville Police Chief and Sheriff Candidate David Dowling was also listed as one of the individuals who logged on to the account. While The Times failed to name the 4th individual associated with the account, Mayor McDermott called out an individual with the initials “KD” and the Times indicated the IP address was traced back to Crown Point High School. If all that is true, Dave Dowling doesn’t deserve one single vote for Sheriff. Nonetheless, I still do not see a crime in any of it.
The Real Story
Now that the salacious details are out of the way, the real story . . .the records relating to the account were obtained via a criminal supboena under the guise of investigating a “synthetic identity.” It is beyond troubling to find that posting anonymously via social media regarding political candidates utilized the resources of the sheriff, prosecutor and courts at the very same time murderers are being released from jail because Bernie Carter can’t manage to take them to trial in time. The only crime committed in the whole matter was most likely the release of investigatory materials to the press. In a telephone interview, Sheriff Martinez adamantly denied that his office leaked the information. That leaves someone in the prosector’s office or a judge’s office as the only possible source for the leak. Lake County residents must demand to know who the judge or magistrate who signed the orders for production were and demand answers as to what information was provided in the application for an investigatory supboena.
The United States has a long history of protecting anonymous political speech going back to our founding days. According to the American Civil Liberties Union:
The right to remain anonymous is a fundamental component of our right to free speech, and it applies every bit as much in the digital world as it does in the physical one. In the words of the U.S. Supreme Court in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.”
Unfortunately, the right to remain anonymous has been under steady attack in the online world. Governments and corporations have attempted to unmask unpopular speakers through subpoenas directed at the websites they visit.(see https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/internet-speech/online-anonymity-and-identity )
The privacy rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation points out:
The right to participate anonymously and pseudonymously in political discourse is vital to any democracy. It is a right that is protected by the First Amendment, and it has been a part of U.S. politics since as far back as the Federalist Papers and Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” and as recently as the numerous political parody Twitter accounts lampooning the president. The Supreme Court has said that anonymity serves as a “shield from the tyranny of the majority,” and the United Nation’s free speech watchdog concluded that online anonymity creates “a zone of privacy to protect opinion and belief.” (See To Protect our Democracy, We Need to Protect Anonymous Low-Cost Online Political Speech
Ironically, Jackie Sutton said we need to drain the swamp in Lake County. The fact that the Sheriff, the Prosecutor and a sitting Judge were all duped into the trap of using the power of the courts to expose a social media post shows us just how deep that swamp is in Lake County.
Up next, just how invasive is the Cantrell political machine in Lake County, Indiana.
Poststcript: While we were researching this article, we came up with this gem from nearly 20 years ago regarding pension double dipping. In the article Treasurer Peggy Katona said her then 71 year old Mother was just helping out until the new computer system was installed. Ms. Katona estimated that would take about six months. Pension doubtful for former treasurer-http://www.nwitimes.com/uncategorized/pension-doubtful-for-former-treasurer/article_7557e795-80c2-5a0e-9d6e-8128448ce933.html