As AVfM readers will no doubt recall, our Judicial Accountability Committee (JAC) and our associated volunteer activists launched an activism campaign on behalf of Gordon Smith. Smith is a resident of Delaware, and the victim of a spree of malicious false accusations by his former wife Tiffany Marie Smith. This was further complicated by police incompetence and arrogant indifference of prosecutors involved in the case. Gordon Smith was eventually exonerated, and his former wife arrested and charged, partly because of the activism furthered by this website.
Prior to and after Smith’s change of fortune, we made contact with dozens of state officials in Delaware about the case. Managing Editor Dean Esmay put in many calls, including one to State Senator David G. Lawson. I spoke with Dean this morning on that exchange. He said:
Around the time we were doing the mail out to all candidates running for office in Delaware, I also called more than one of those candidates. Only one of them returned my call: Senator Lawson. We spoke for about ten minutes and he made it very clear to me that this issue mattered to him and he planned on doing some work on it assuming he was re-elected.
Senator Lawson kept his promise.
In a letter dated December 21, Lawson did not mince words with Attorney General Joseph Biden:
Attorney General Joseph Biden, III
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Dear A.G. Biden,
I write to you today with great concern for the abhorrent behavior displayed by your agency toward a mutual constituent, Gordon Smith. Need I remind you, sir, that Mr. Smith was facing numerous domestic violence charges (24 to be exact) that were just recently dismissed due to the finding that the alleged victim was falsely reporting each of the incidents, to which Mr. Gordon was subsequently arrested. My concern is that the Attorney General’s office seems that they are patting themselves on the back for releasing Mr. Smith from these charges; however, Mr. Smith continues to be the victim in these cases.
Why? Because of these outlandish charges, which again were proven to be false, Mr. Smith was terminated from gainful employment. The simple dismissal of charges does not assist Mr. Smith in picking up the fractured pieces of his life because he is currently unable to find a job. Those charges remain on Mr. Smith’s record, to which he is obligated to disclose. When Mr. Smith tried to address this matter he was met with a rather inappropriate response that he would have to file to have those charges expunged. This is frankly unacceptable; may I remind you that Mr. Smith is unemployed due to the actions of his accuser. Those charges were proven to be false, the Attorney General’s office is paralyzed as to what to do regarding the defendant of those false reports, and feels vindicated by simply dismissing Mr. Smith’s charges? Attorney General Biden, Mr. Smith need not continue to be the actual victim here. The State should see to it that all the charges against Mr. Smith be expunged from his record at its own expense, especially in light of the State’s acknowledgement that each of those charges was unfounded and falsely reported. Let us not continue to see this matter swept under the rug.
Due to the reckless behavior of Mr. Smith’s accuser the State has expended an extraordinarily large amount of taxpayers’ dollars to which end? To continue to victimize the one that was actually found to be innocent and to protect the one that was found to be falsely expending the State’s money? This is not appropriate and the math, sir, does not add up. Chapter 5, subsection 1245, Title 11 of Delaware Code clearly establishes that “…Falsely reporting an incident is a class A misdemeanor…In addition to the penalties otherwise authorized by law, any person convicted of an offense in violation of this section shall pay a fine of not less than $500…which fine cannot be suspended and be sentenced to perform a minimum of 100 hours of community service, and shall be required to reimburse the State, or other responding or other investigation governmental agency, for any expenses expended in the investigation and/or response to the incident falsely reported.” Where is the justice for Mr. Smith to allow these charges to continue to exist on his record and no penalty is sought against the accuser?
I anticipate a speedy review of this matter and look forward to your immediate response.
David G. Lawson, Senator 15th District
Governor Jack Markell
Chief Judge Chandlee J. Kuhn
Superintendent Nathaniel McQueen, DSP
This letter is both a small gesture and a brave, public political statement. And who knows what benefit it will ultimately be to Gordon Smith.
It may resolve a lot of his problems, or it may be a well-intended dead end attempted by a public servant who is actually serving the public.
But what we must take notice of at this point is that our voice, your voice, is finding its way into higher places all the time. We don’t have near the public pull of feminists and false accusers, but the fact remains that the days of ignoring us are coming to an end.
Together, we are making a difference.
Dean Esmay also had this to say:
I’m pleased to see he kept that promise, and I hope people understand this: state-level legislators are vitally important to many men’s issues, often more important than anyone elected to the US Congress or the Presidency, and they’re also more likely to return your calls. This guy is taking a chance to try to help make things better for victims of false allegations in Delaware, and all it took was some letters and phone calls. YOU can make this kind of difference, too. It only takes one state level politician like this to make a difference.
I want to echo Mr. Esmay’s thoughts here as heartily as I can. A blind man could see that things are starting to change for us. Everywhere we look the writing is on the wall that we can put the sexual dark ages of the last 50 years to an end, and the agendas of hateful ideologues (and yes, public officials) will suffer the light of truth and scrutiny.
This is not a time for complacency.
2013, folks. It is a year we must crank up the volume. In old school rock ‘n’ roll terms, that means a wall piled to the ceiling with Marshall stacks.
When you see the activism opportunities on the page of this website throughout the next year, please ACT on them. Send those emails. Make those phone calls.
Drive the motherfucker like you stole it.