Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Question of Character

Walter Griffith, one of five Republican candidates for Luzerne County Controller has shown us through his reaction to the posting of his 1993 citation for patronizing a prostitute that he is unfit to serve in public office.

When we decided to post the sixteen year old newspaper article which listed Griffith's being cited with patronizing a prostitute, we did not believe the matter had much relevance on his fitness to serve in public office, but we posted it because we believed the public had a right to know and make their own decision.

We asked Griffith to respond prior to our posting, to which he did. His explanation of the events surrounding the incident left more questions and became a factor in our decision to post. We found his explanation a bit dubious.

Griifth insisted that he had decided to celebrate his milestone "40th birthday." He stated this to us a number of times:

"when I was 40 and decided to go have a beer to celebrate a milestone in my life and because I never drink"

"going to celebrate my 40th birthday"

"The incident happened on July 16th 1993 on my 40th birthday"

The problem is Griifth was born on July 16, 1954. July 16, 1993 would have been his 39th birthday. We have confirmed Griffith's age through his own web site and through voter registration records.

Secondly, if he were innocent and just "in the wrong place at the wrong time," what reason would he have to say:

"I apologized to my wife at the time and have asked God for forgiveness for this incident"

"This incident happened 16 years ago and I have changed my life and am a new person "

Once we posted the article, Griffith posted a number of comments on OVC which generally amounted to insults and character attacks. What was far worse and reminded us of WWE trash talk were the e-mails he sent to us. We have decide to post those e-mails, because we believe they demonstrate Griffith's unfitness to hold public office.

His first e-mail was received on Friday, May 8th at 10:34 am. It is posted below in its entirety.

"Dear Anonymous ASS HOLE,

This is the last time I will address this issue that you as a real coward, that is the writer of this Blog page, has brought up about my personal life, and has attempted to destroy a human beings personal life, without regard for the persons feelings or the affect that a story, that is 16 years old would have on his family and children that were to young at the time, but now are able to understand.

I would like to be crystal clear in my statement that this post is nothing more than slander, and a personal assault on my character and my family without any proof at all regarding the circumstances of the incident or the outcome of the charges that were rendered at the time of the hearing.

I really don't need to go and address people that are cowards and refuse to sign their names to their posts, and I surely won't even get down in the gutter with you as a stupid blogger, that had no regard for my family, by posting something that was printed in the newspaper, but never was proven to be true.

The incident that happened was unfortunate and when the case was heard before the magistrate the recording of my statement to the undercover policewoman was played and the ruling was that I was loitering due to the anti cruising law that was in place in the City and therefore I was cited for Loitering.

There was no plea bargain as was suggested and the case was filed as a summary offense much like a traffic citation.

The newspaper has destroyed many people by simply writing that they were arrested but the newspaper never seems to follow up with the ruling of the courts after the initial arrest and therefore the public never saw a story that the charges were DISMISSED for me and several others that are in that article.

The fact of the matter was that I was found “NOT GUILTY” and the article on the blog is SLANDEROUS AND LIBELOUS” because it was stated that there was a criminal citation issued and that is simply not true. The citation was for patronizing a prostitute and that is not a criminal offense, but a summary offense, and therefore you have issued a slanderous and defamatory statement which is not true and was posted in print media for all to see without evidence or proof.

My life was devastated by this article in 1993, because the people that read the newspaper, like you, that are allowed to have a blog page, as well as the people that HIDE behind the First Amendment, that feel they can write or say anything anonymously, simply don't follow up or do their own investigation to be sure they have the facts before they insert their foot in their mouths.

I will say this to you, and that is simply that if you do not remove this post on your blog and issue a retraction, I will find you and I will sue you for Slander and defamation of my character and I will send letters to the PA Attorney General’s Office and the FCC and I will make your life a living nightmare. I have spoken to Bob Sypniewski as well and have issued the same warning to him.

Walter L Griffith Jr."

The second e-mail was received at 11:47 am.

"Dear Anonymous or whatever.
Below is the definition of Libel for the unlearned as yourself and the charge that I will be filing against you when tells me your name and address..

An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person's reputation or standing in the community. Because libel is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. Libel is a form of defamation , as is slander (an untruthful statement that is spoken, but not published in writing or broadcast through the media).
Walter L Griffith JR
Candidate for Luzerne County Controller"

The third came at 11:53 am, which included a lengthy "cut and paste" definition of libel, was prefaced by the following:

"Hey Anonymous,

Please read this and know I am coming to get you with this and other information.


Walter Griffith Jr"

The fourth, which was received at 11:55 am contained a further definition of libel.

The fifth came at 5:09 pm. It read:

"Hey James or John or David,
What's wrong does the cat have your tongue as to removing the post ? Take down that post or deal with me and my obsession to make your life a living hell.
You are nothing more than a back stabbing person that hides behind Jesus and his church. Come out in the open and identify yourself if you feel you were in the right to post this article. I am going to sit outside your house and watch you until I find out who you are and what you are doing.
I know where you live on Lehigh St as well as the others in Dallas and trust me I will find out who you are and may even show up in your church on Sunday.
Walter L Griffith JR Candidate for Luzerne County Controller"

I had not checked my e-mail during that day, so I became aware of them when I returned home at about 5:30 pm. As a result of these e-mails, I informed Griffith that I would not remove the post, because there was nothing libelous contained within the post. I also advised Griffith to seek legal counsel before he proceeded further in his actions. I finally asked him why I should not post his e-mails. I received his response at 8:55 pm.

"Hey Coward,
I really don't care if you post them or not how's that for a reason, Trust me I will find you and I don't need an attorney and I did consult with one before I sent the e mails to the FCC and I am on firm legal ground and you are on shaky ground as well.
I asked you like a gentleman to not post the information and I asked you to consider my family and my personal feelings and not post it and you refused to listen to me and have hurt my family. I will wait and I will find you and I will have the last laugh at your expense, this is not a threat but a promise. and I always sign my name and am not a Coward or scum bag like you..
Walter L Griffith Jr
Candidate for Luzerne County Controller"

We are very troubled by Griffth's reaction and lack of restraint. We also believe this is a testament to why Griffith is unfit for public office.


Anonymous said...

How should Griffith react? Were you expecting a "thanks for the post!" This whole thing has nothing to do with the pending election. Do somethiong useful Norton and stop it with your Walter Griffith obsession.

Anonymous said...

It certainly does have something to do with the election. Griffith has made this an issue and we have Norton to thank for it. If he reacts like this (threatening to stalk someone and engage in ranting and name calling)to a lowly blogger, how the hell is he going to react to something important.

Norton said it best, Griffith is not fit for public office, not because of his actions in 1993 but because of his reactions in 2009.

As far as how he should of reacted was to say it is irrelevant to the campaign and move on. Griffith is the one who made it an issue by reacting like a lunatic.

Luz Cty Republican said...

"Useful?" how bout exposing this guy as unstable. "Sit outside your house and watch you until I find out who you are and what you are doing." This aint the talk of a rational person. How's he gonna react when Skrep or Petrilla say something he doesn't like. The cover up is always worse than the crime. Griffith would do fine as a WWE thug not public office.

Terry(West Pittston) said...

Walter's threats are a tactic used by individuals that are fearful. He is the coward by threatening someone and telling him he will sit outside their house.

This isn't going to very popular with us female voters. We are tired of politicians fighting let alone stalking and harrassing.

The Squirrel said...

Hey Walter
Don't loiter outside of Norton's house. If you get cited it will be your second loitering know what that means.

Jack Benny said...

Well if he gets cited for loitering, maybe the magistrate will find him "not guilty" of loitering, but "guilty" of patronizing a prostitute. What comes around goes around.

If Griff doesn't say "thanks for the post", I will.

Thanks Norton for helping expose this nut.

Anonymous said...

Next time I need a classy, articulate stalker, Griffith, I'll look you up.

Anonymous said...

so basically Griffith is a liar and a bully

Parrot in the Window said...

Hey Walter . . . . Yo-o-o-u Kno-o -o-w!

Anonymous said...

It looks like walter is getting a taste of his own medicine. He made personal family attacks during his council campaign two years ago. We need to put a stop to this guy. He will seek any and all offices until gets elected, he's a bum.