By Edward Snook
Franklin County, Idaho – Beginning in May of 1997, The Oregon Observer started its in-depth coverage of an abusive situation in Franklin County Idaho concerning the most blatant example of corruption in local government that the Observer has witnessed to date.
Neil Butler, owner of Butler Trailer Manufacturing began speaking out against corrupted public officials in this Southeastern Idaho community, and has reaped unconscionable attacks, not to mention lies, maliciousness attempts to falsely prosecute him and an illegal search and seizure, all coupled with proven hatred from the supposedly “religious officials” in his community.
Franklin County Prosecutor, Jay McKenzie, with the assistance of numerous county and state officials (including a “hit man” from Attorney General Alan Lances’ office) made repeated attempts to falsely prosecute Neil Butler and Butler defeated those attempts on November 5, 1997, when Judge Don L. Harding granted him full acquittal.
Butler then filed a civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court in Pocatello, Idaho on February 2, 1998…prompting continued lies and denials by the defendants.
On February 27, 1998, defendants Scott Shaw, Don B. Beckstead, Jay B. Heusser, Mark Beckstead, Ned Robert Burton and Jay R. McKenzie filed an answer to Butler’s lawsuit through their attorney, Blake G. Hall of Idaho Falls, in which they denied all charges. The State of Idaho has assigned another attorney to represent defendant Eric Elle (investigator with the Idaho Transportation Department).
In examining a few of the lies contained in the defendants answer we find the usual denials which clearly expose the standard trademark of corrupted and abusive individuals.
Much of the defendants’ answer contains the term “without knowledge.” These denials are clearly blatant lies as the documents which were illegally seized were investigated with a “fine tooth comb” by the defendants and the other charges in Butler’s complaint are backed up by irrefutable evidence. In short, the defendants know exactly what they have done and they definitely have full knowledge of their actions.
In paragraph 14 of the defendants answer, Blake Hall claims, “the defendants deny that plaintiffs suffered any damages as a result of any actions taken by these defendants.” What Blake Hall and his defendents would have us believe is that Butler’s business didn’t suffer any damage when “detailed order specifications” for trailers were illegally seized, causing a delay in delivering an order from a major company as well as causing some of the trailers to have the wrong accessories.
In paragraph 21 of defendants answer Blake Hall claims, “these defendants deny the making of any defamatory statement.” This denial is the most blatant lie contained in the defendants answer as defamatory statements have been made by defendants to Oregon Observer investigators as well as numerous individuals in the community.
Blake Hall continues his attempted protection of the corrupted by claiming, “Plaintiffs actions and claims are barred by the Doctrines of Qualified Immunity, Absolute Immunity, and Prosecutorial Immunity.” Hall continues, “These defendants are immune from liability pursuant to the Idaho Tort Claims Act.” The truth (something the defendants and their attorney apparently have a tough time dealing with) regarding these claims is that the defendants are not immune.
In the defendants “tenth Defense,” Hall claims, “Plaintiffs damages, if any, are a result of Plaintiff conduct. Further, Plaintiffs conduct. Further, Plaintiffs have failed to mitigate their damages, if any.” Unbelievable. We are now to believe that public officials have the right to “want a person dead,” make false allegations against that person, falsely and maliciously turn a person into federal and state agencies in their attempt to destroy him, repeatedly lie about him, attempt to destroy his business and most destructive of all, blatantly attempt to take away his freedom by filing false charges against him; all because he chose to exercise his 1st Amendment right to speak out against corruption.
Blake Hall closes his answer by asking the court to award the defendants costs and attorney fees incurred in defending against Plaintiffs complaint and “For such other relief as the court may deem just and proper.” The truth is that there is nothing “just or proper” associated with these defendants. They can only be likened to cockroaches (who can’t stand the light of day) for the depraved and deplorable actions which they have initiated against Neil Butler in their all out attempts to destroy him; in retaliation for his exposing the unlawful and illegal actions of Franklin County public officials.
The defendants lies and reprehensible actions aren’t going to work this time and they will be held accountable.
An important fact for Southeastern Idaho residents to face is that the officials involved in this attempt to destroy a citizen’s life have no business (or right) holding any office, anywhere. If they can take such blatant actions against Neil Butler, any prudent person must conclude that no one is safe from them. We must all ask ourselves, how many innocent victims has Jay McKenzie and his “team” of corrupted officials falsely persecuted, coerced, or extorted from? How many lives are ruined as the result of getting on the wrong side of these dictatorial and corrupted “leaders?”
In a recent interview with Neil Butler he stated, “Every time I leave my home for even a couple days, I expect to come back and find it burnt down or find that the police have been in and gone through my property again.” Butler continued, “I have had more than one person tell me to be real careful because the defendants would find a way to get me. The officials in Franklin County have ruined this place for me. I used to think I would spend the rest of my life here and now I can’t even go to town or walk to my shop and feel safe.” The Oregon Observer has strong evidence that some of the defendants indeed want Butler dead, so we must conclude that his fears are well founded. We must also ask the citizens Franklin County, Idaho; How can you allow such morally depraved individuals to continue running your county and further, how could you elect them in the first place?
The Oregon Observer is continuing to investigate the Butler case. We are currently looking into conflicts of interest concerning those in the federal court system who will have any connection to this case. We have had several reports that some of the defendants or those seeking to protect them have attempted to intimidate witnesses.
This case and the evidence against the defendants is building and this investigator can promise them one thing at the very least; Americans in all fifty states and seventeen foreign countries are reading about you and your criminal actions.
Due to numerous requests, the Oregon Observer has put together a package containing all of the articles written on the Neil Butler case. Starting with the May, 1997 edition of the Oregon Observer you can now order and possess the entire history of this case. From allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Preston Mayor, Jay B. Heusser, to perjury by Franklin County Sheriff, Don B. Beckstead, to Butler’s full blown acquittal, right on to his civil rights lawsuit, the reader will be left with only one simple question. If the articles aren’t the absolute truth, why haven’t any of the defendants filed a libel suit against the Oregon observer?