Letter to US Magistrate DiBianco to subpoena witnesses, Sep 2002

c/o Software Workshop Inc.
55 East Genesee Street
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
Sep 30, 2002

Honorable Gustav J. DiBianco
US Magistrate Judge
RE: United States v. Murtari
P.O. Box 7396
Syracuse, NY 13261-7396
CC: Asst. US Attorney Southwick

Dear Judge DiBianco:

This letter contains a list of people I would like to have subpoenaed to testify at my trial on October 9th. I’m also sending a copy to Asst. US Attorney Southwick per your instructions that we exchange witness lists by October 2nd. I spoke with Mr. Southwick on Thursday, Sep 26th, and he told me I would be receiving the specific complaint in the weekend’s mail. There may have been a mail delay and it did not arrive. I assume that I am being charged with a violation of Title 41 CFR 101-20.304 (Conformity with signs and directives).

I understand I need to justify my request for having you subpoena people to testify. In the brief summary below I will outline my planned defense in this matter and why each of the people could be important:

POINT ONE: Did a violation or building rules occur?

On July 29th my conduct was in compliance with the “Rules and Regulations Governing Public Buildings and Grounds.” The rule prohibits “Any loitering, disorderly conduct, or other conduct on property which creates loud or unusual noise or a nuisance; which unreasonably obstructs the usual use of entrances, foyers, lobbies, corridors, offices, elevators, stairways, or parking lots�” No such conduct is alleged in the information I have so far, the focus appears to be that I was “demonstrating” or “protesting.” Conduct by such name is not even mentioned in the rules.

I was told by security staff they were acting under instruction by the Building Manager in response to a complaint by one of the tenants (Senator Clinton’s office).

POINT TWO: If a violation is found, is the rule constitutionally valid?

We are all aware of the “free speech” protections given citizenry by the US Constitution. But even more specific to his matter (and perhaps deserving greater protection) is another clause in the First Amendment which protects the right of citizens “� to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is what makes the conduct that day unique. Peaceful, quiet, and focused on a member of Congress. In his remarks during my first appearance Mr. Southwick explained that our group had gotten a negative answer from Senator Clinton and wasn’t happy with that. There may have been some confusion by whoever reported this to him. It almost made it appear as if the members of the group were “harassing” government officials.

The fact is we have received no response from Senator Clinton addressing our concerns over the need for Congressional Hearings into the need for reform. The immediate reason for the events of July 19th is a failure to establish a dialog between a member of Congress and constituents. The definition of “loitering” is vague, I had a clear and valid purpose to be in the building at that location.

Regarding the use of the word “loitering” in the regulation, in 1999, in the case of City of Chicago v. Morales, the United States Supreme Court struck down Chicago’s anti-loitering ordinance for a lack of a reasonable definition of the word “loitering.”

POINT THREE: Was there any intent to violate the rules?

Conduct similar to the above has been going on for the last few years. Over 20 charges in both the Syracuse City Court and Federal Court have been dismissed. There have been extended periods of time where I have been allowed to conduct my actions outside the offices of Federal Legislatorsin the building (Senator Schumer and Congressman Walsh) with no interference from building management or office staff.

The first time I appeared in Federal Court on this matter, Asst. US Attorney Michael Olmstead had the charges dismissed and told me my conduct was unique and I had a right to petition my government as I was doing.


  1. Ms. Mary Jo Marceau Hawthorne – (Macedon, NY) A member of the group, present in the building on July 29th. She will testify to what happened that day. Will appear voluntarily.
  2. Asst. US Attorney Michael Olmstead – (Hanley Federal Building, Syracuse, NY) – should testify to our earlier conversation when charges were dismissed that my actions were constitutionally protected. Had also witnessed my free access to the halls. Request subpoena to testify.
  3. Building Manager Joan Grennan – (Hanley Federal Building, Syracuse, NY) – should testify to the conduct/complaint that triggered the arrest and also why such conduct was allowed in the past. Request subpoena to testify
  4. Ms. Kathy Calhoun, Regional Rep. of Senator Clinton – (Hanley Federal Building, Syracuse, NY) – should testify to what conduct she observed to trigger a complaint and to what prior communications have occurred. NOTE – there is no intent to make this ‘political’ or question ‘why’ on policy issues. This is just to clarify some facts associated with the arrest. Request subpoena to testify.

Respectfully yours,

John Murtari
635-1968, x-211