With just one hour and fifteen minutes to write a full and robust blog dispatch (before the hearing resumes at 1:30, Room 1853) it's best to just get to the high points, most of which aren't to be found in the cringe-inducing, slow motion testimony of E.B. Brown.
Notably, Brown's testimony was supposed to be followed by that of Old Majority "Sergeant At Arms" Steve Jackson and (folks were almost salivating over this prospect) former executive director Jerry Moore taking the stand. OH MY WORD THE QUESTIONS THAT COULD BE ASKED, IF YOU COULD JUST OPEN THOSE DOORS.
Question: Is it important for an executive director to be HONEST and not INVOLVED in criminal activity?
(A confident "yes," but something not-so-confident in the rapid blinks that follow right away)
Question: Well, then, I'd like to ask you about a business deal you were involved with at 1564 Hillside Ave. N. which involved Keith Reitman and Larry Maxwell, who has now been convicted on 18 felony counts.
SALIVATING, I tell you. Chops being licked. Oh, sure, I might criticize Jill Clark's restless jaw motions, but there was, in fact, chop-licking taking place among members of the "New Majority" defendants. (Or maybe it was just the delicious homemade banana nut muffins some lovely North Minneapolis citizen donated to the common good, which kept everybody sustained through a long day of court)
Alas, Jerry's testimony did not come to pass. After finishing up with E.B. Brown earlier this morning, plaintiff attorney Jill Clark looked over her shoulder and her face had an expression one witness described as the "oh (expletive)" expression as Clark realized neither Steve Jackson nor Jerry Moore were present in the courtroom to be called as witnesses. This caused one local attorney to comment that, once again, Old Majority JACC figurehead E.B. Brown had been "thrown to the wolves" while Ben and Jerry slinked off.
(There are apparently some citizens in the Jordan Neighborhood who, for the sake of convenience, shorten up "Ben and Jerry" to the single phrase "Benjalina." I'm not making this up. Trust me, I'll give you a little alert when I break into the outrageous parody about my twin brother Ben)
(OK, there was some of the outrageous parody right there)
And, of course, what kind of Jordan Neighborhood meeting or public hearing would be complete without "Pete The Pedophile" showing his face? Word is that yesterday, Pete's probation officer showed up in court during that precise moment when Pete (as though possessing a sixth sense) was not present, though Pete actually came back a short while later. "Probation officer" might not be the right term for Will McDonald. "Sexual deviant gonad monitor" is, however, too much of a mouthful to describe McDonald's relationship to Pete The Pedophile.
In any case, Pete was in the court room. AGAIN. As a Level 3 sex offender, Pete has rights but those rights are very severely truncated by his status as a convicted sexual deviant likely to reoffend. So a call was made to McDonald. AGAIN. And in a very short while, McDonald (a rather BURLY man who looks capable of ripping off a pair of gonads with one hand, not even breaking a sweat) appeared in the court room and made a gesture to Peter The Pedophile like, "You, me, outside in the WOODSHED."
Some things are too icky and distasteful even for Johnny Northside. However...
...that last sentence is an example of what I call my "outrageous parody." I could hardly wait to hear what was said between the officers and Pete The Pedophile, but I was glad somebody with a JACC title told me, "Go! Find out what's up!" so I wouldn't look too eager to snoop.
It was hard not to feel some sympathy for Pete, whose face was red as he left the courtroom, like a teenager caught whacking off to...to...OH MY GOD, WHY ARE YOU WHACKING OFF TO SOMETHING LIKE THIS?!!!
McDonald did most of the talking, saying stuff like, "You can't go sit next to a person you filed a harassment order against." This apparently alludes to some neighborhood dispute. Pete the Pedophile had the nerve to stand toe-to-toe with McDonald (a man who has more power over Pete than many people have over their LIVESTOCK) and say, well, the harassment order is to keep that guy from coming on my property. I can still TALK to him, I can still be in the same room...
WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! McDonald wanted to know. Why are you sticking your nose into this?
Pete said how he was very concerned about his neighborhood (I would be, too, given the number of Level 3 Sex offenders) and so he was coming to court to watch what was up with the neighborhood assocation--
THIS IS NOT A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETING! McDonald said. This is a "pissing match" between two groups, one that used to be in power and one that still thinks it's in power. (Or words to that effect, and a pithy accurate summary it was)
McDonald continued that Pete was allowed to go to JACC meetings but he was "just this close" (making a gesture the size of something small and shriveled) to getting kicked out of those JACC meetings, too.
"You are to have no contact with the JACC board except the meetings...and you're about to get barred from those!" McDonald said, while the two other officers stood by, arms crossed, fully prepared to take Pete out by force.
You would think a Level Three Sex Offender would skulk and slink and cower at a moment like this, but Pete gestured back in my direction and whined some words like, "This guy is writing it down so he can harass me on the internet!"
I guess it depends how you define "harass." In Pete's mind--a mind which the law of the land has officially judged to be sick, deviant, and a danger to society--maybe "harass" is defined as "writing about the role Pete is playing on his own initiative in high-profile judicial matters where--wonder of wonders--each time Jerry Moore's name comes up in the proceedings. Yes, the same Jerry Moore who got $5k skimmed off in a fraudulent real estate transaction from seller Keith Reitman who happens to be--guess what?--Pete the Pedophile's landlord, by Pete's own statement."
As I watch Pete argue, up against McDonald, I realize Pete is not a man who is STUPID and he's not a man who feels compelled to stand on assertions of a god-given right to satisfy his inquiring nature by popping into random court hearings. No, Pete The Pedophile argued with Will McDonald with the intense desperation of a man who is defending his MEAL TICKET, his LIVELIHOOD.
And you have to ask yourself...why? And really, who would be interested in the insights somebody like Pete could gather from these hearings? Hmmmmmm.
McDonald told Pete that "You're to stay away from Kip Browne, and his wife Kelly" and also, "You keep doing it. You come back and you're going directly to jail."
So, yeah, watching Pete the Pedophile get ejected from Porter's court room was pretty cool.
New Majority Secretary Anne McCandless took the stand (since Jackson and Moore weren't present) and did the kind of bang up job you'd expect from a former police officer quite experienced in giving testimony. Steve Jackson came into court later. And(providing a kind of comic relief in the absence of Pete The Pedophile) a guy came into court dressed in a lavender "pimp style" suit and matching lavender fedora.
He was oh-so-careful to remove the fedora as he entered the court room of Charles Porter, proof that while clothes may make the man, true pimp attitude has to come from within.
Don Samuels--who reportedly celebrated his 60th birthday recently--came to court, and was warmly greeted by members of the New Majority. Word on the street is that last night Samuels apologized "on behalf of humanity" to Kip and Kelly and other members of the New Majority, who spend their time getting sued in court for trying so hard to turn a troubled neighborhood into something so much better.
I guess Kip accepted the apology. And then everybody drank.
Oh, yeah, and Jill Clark said the words "Johnny Northside" in court today, so Kip Browne has promised to buy me a drink.