June 4, 2013
|Kendall participated in the rallies to impeach ex-governor Fitial|
Brian Kendall, who was arrested for allegedly posing a "terroristic threat" to then-governor Benigno Fitial, was found not guilty by Superior Court Associate Judge David Wiseman.
In February 2013 Kendall was accused of posing a security threat to the governor after a visit to the Governor's Office where he expressed his First Amendment rights and views of then-governor Fitial.
Judging by reports of the testimony of John Joyner, who was Fitial's senior advisor at the time of the incident, it appears that Fitial was retaliating against Kendall who was a vocal advocate for the then-governor's impeachment.
John Joyner testified that Kendall was no threat, but elaborated that Fitial ordered him to call DPS. Joyner testified that "the governor was not in danger." In fact, the office remained open, and Kendall was not even taken into custody until two days after the incident, which also demonstrates that there was no real threat.
At the trial Assistant Attorney General James McCallister stated:
. . .the case against Kendall was not about free speech, press freedom or politics but about an “angry protester who crossed the line” in protesting against government.Actually, it appears that the case was really about Fitial engaging yet another one of his dictatorial bullying tactics. Anyone who questioned or crossed Fitial would lose their job, have one of his DPS thugs after them or be otherwise punished. It was the Governor's Office that crossed the line.
The OAG appears not to know a great deal about the First Amendment, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It subpoenaed tapes and notes from reporters for this case, which also caused an uproar.
The Office of the Attorney General brings shame to the office for pursuing this case and for not dropping the charges when Joyner publicly stated that Kendall did not make a terroristic threat.
Why doesn't this office concentrate on the real criminals? A DPS officer brutally beat an innocent foreign worker and not only did the OAG not prosecute, but it defended his actions! What is the OAG doing to bring back Fitial to face charges?
Not only did the Governor's Office engage once again in using the Department of Public Safety to push its own political agenda, but it also deliberately attacked the character of a Saipan citizen. It will be interesting to see if the judge had any comments about this case.