Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Police chief retaliates against “Impeach Obama” Tea Party activist

In a bizarre turn of events, Gregory Luce found himself the target of harassing e-mails and phone calls as a result of retaliation by Campbell, Wisconsin Chief of Police Timothy Kelemen. Luce was targeted for retaliation after he spoke out against a city ordinance which prohibits citizens from displaying the American flag and wearing t-shirts that call for the impeachment of President Barack Obama on a pedestrian highway overpass managed by the town.

Luce is a devout Catholic and member of the Tea Party.  He opposes President Obama on several issues, including the President’s stance on abortion.

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, represents Mr. Luce in a federal lawsuit challenging the ordinance. The lawsuit named the town as well as the chief and a police officer as defendants.  However, on Friday, June 6, 2014, TMLC attorneys filed an amended complaint after an investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators revealed that Chief Kelemen used his police department and home computers to sign Luce up for a series of unwanted solicitations including solicitations from homosexual oriented pornography and dating websites.  Luce is a married, heterosexual man.

TMLC attorney Erin Mersino, a frequent FOT guest, who is the principal attorney on the
TMLC Attorney Erin Mersino
case commented, “All citizens should be free to exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of retaliation—especially retaliation at the hands of individuals, such as the head of law enforcement, who hold so much power in our communities.”

After initially denying any involvement in the harassment of Luce, the chief ultimately admitted the harassment as an attempt to “get back at” Luce after detectives told him they had traced the unwanted solicitations to his IP addresses at the police department and his home. Detectives have referred their investigation to the Monroe County District Attorney for criminal prosecution under Wisconsin law.  On the civil front, TMLC amended its complaint to add counts of retaliation, invasion of privacy, and civil Identity Theft.

Chief Kelemen used Gregory Luce’s personal information, including home address, telephone number and e-mail address, to create profiles and accounts on numerous pornographic and dating websites featuring homosexual men, insurance companies, and the “Obamacare” website healthcare.gov. The accounts created by Kelemen resulted in Luce receiving approximately 15 phone calls in a single day regarding the profiles made using his information.

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