Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) Legal Counsel Trevor Clark has taken over Sean’s case from Angela Hunsinger. Clark says he plans to throw out the Rules Infraction Board (RIB) decision and re-do the investigation himself.
Hunsinger’s RIB report relied on an “ideological match” between Sean’s anarchist beliefs and the propaganda distributed by the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Sean appealed the decision, all the way to ODRC director Gary Mohr. All of his appeals were denied, nobody in the ODRC thought there was a problem. Sean was on his way to supermax, when his lawyer, Robert Fitrakis, threatened a civil rights lawsuit, claiming that Sean’s ideology is rooted in neolithic indiginism, his state-approved religious belief. The ODRC sent Head Legal Counsel Trevor Clark in to look at the situation and prepare a defense against the lawsuit. After reviewing Hunsinger’s conduct report, and listening to the RIB hearing, Clark admitted to Sean that listening to it, he “wanted to shoot [him]self in the fucking face” because the hearing and report was so poorly conducted.
Trevor Clark then proceeded to start over from scratch fabricating another frame up. Here is what we have been able to determine about Clark’s frame-up strategy, based on the few letters Sean has been able to get past the mailroom paper-shredder. We’re meeting with Mr Fitrakis on Monday to review the paperwork and detailed accusations Sean is facing, so expect a more accurate update early in the week.
1. Recruit a snitch. Clark says he got Leslie Dillon to roll over. Apparently they threatened Dillon’s sister and mother with FBI investigation to pressure him into implicating Sean and Blackjack. On Jan 9th, 2013, Leslie Dillon (#416-607) signed a sworn affidavit that he is Monkey #9 and that Sean and Blackjack were not involved. Clark says Dillon recanted the affidavit. Dillon insists he didn’t tell them anything. It’s possible Clark is snitch-jacketting Dillon, or it’s possible that he actually did roll. Until this is confirmed, everyone should be very cautious about working with Leslie Dillon, or talking with him about anything that could be mis-represented as illegal support for the 12 Monkeys.
2. Share the home addresses of elected officials with a convicted murderer. We’re not sure how this strategy helps Clark, but it is something he has done. Clark found a list of home addresses for Ohio politicians while searching Sean’s property. He presented this list to Sean and asked where he had got it. Sean explained that years ago, he wrote the General Assembly to request mailing addresses of elected officials, so he could write them letters appealing to their consciences. This was back when he thought politicians might care about his wrongful conviction. The clerks sent him a list of home addresses. While explaining this to Clark, Sean looked at the list and memorized some addresses. When he got back to his cell, he wrote a letter to Senator Hagan’s home address, asking if Hagan knew that the ODRC lead counsel was sharing addresses with him.
3. Read all Sean’s mail, throw some of it in the trash. Clark told Sean that he has read 10,000 pages of Sean’s mail, collected and copied over the last six months. (Sean says: “I’m fairly certain that’s not true. He had no self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the face.”) Sean’s mail continues to be heavily intercepted, delayed and often simply lost. Normally, prison officials are not allowed to read outgoing mail, or block incoming mail without filing a report and returning it to the sender. None of those rules apply to the treatment of Sean Swain.
4. Fabricate threats. In the face of constant ill-treatment, lawlessness and persecution Sean was seeking some form of accountability or recourse. He requested his outside supporters create something he calls BLAST! Blog, on which dirty or corrupt correctional officers and prison officials’ names and other publicly available information would be listed. Far as we know, this is neither illegal, nor is it something Sean can actually do. Sean has been incarcerated for over 20 years, he does not, and never has had access to the internet. It is also something his outside supporters have not done. Sean often suggests various schemes and projects (video advertisements, topless gender-bending car washes, another run at governor, a rock concert headlined by a dozen mainstream bands from the 90s are a few of my recent favorites). We cannot keep up with Sean’s imagination, and often we don’t want to, even if we could. At anyrate, no one is sure exactly how Clark intends to build a case around Sean talking to us about this thing.
The most interesting thing about Clark’s investigation is that it focuses on letter writing Sean has done AFTER being rounded up and accused of being leader of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. None of this evidence (other than the obviously unreliable and possibly non-existent testimony from a flip-flopping snitch, extracted under threat of violence against his family) has anything to do with the Army of the 12 Monkeys. None of it attempts to prove Sean’s involvement, only his dissatisfaction with being accused and persecuted. I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t imagine this strategy being any better than Hunsinger’s “ideological match” argument. Of course, that clearly doesn’t matter, as far as the ODRC process is concerned. They’ve already demonstrated they’ll approve any raise in Sean’s security level and deny any appeal he files.
Clark is also not seeking level 5 (supermax) security increase. He wants to send Sean to level 4, at Lucasville, the site of the longest deadly prison uprising in US history. We think that Sean should be sent to Marion correctional instead. He had a spotless record and was slated for a transfer to minimum security there before these unfounded accusations arose. In Marion, Sean can either participate in more programs and earn himself a parole, or work on his original conviction and prove his innocence without the endless harassment he has faced at ManCI.
Sean continues to endure ill-treatment at ManCI. His mail and printed materials are arbitrarily blocked, delayed or The food portions have shrunk, Sean and Blackjack have lost upwards of 40 pounds since being sent to administrative control.
Supporters of Sean Swain should call Mansfield Correctional and ask them to stop messing with his mail, his food, his clothes, his blankets, his ability to sleep, the temperature of his cell, and any other “special treatment” he and Blackjack are receiving. Call 419-526-2000.
Supporters can also call Trevor Clark and ask him to admit that they have nothing solid against Sean and to leave him alone. Call central office legal services 614-752-1765 and ask for Trevor Clark.
More importantly, folks can write to Sean, donate to his legal defense fund, and spread the word about this persecution of a steadfast, committed anarchist prisoner. Sean remains optimistic, he’s excited to have “kicked a dent” in Trevor Clark’s career and potentially ruined Hunsinger’s. He ends most correspondence with “I think we’re winning.” We hope he’s right.