Sample Letter Sent to Congressional Leaders
Dear Lee Footer:
I met with you in Washington several weeks ago, and you asked me to summarize my problem in an e-mail to you. I would like an audience with Corrine Brown to discuss a situation of great importance to me and, I believe, Ms. Brown's constituents and Americans in general.
I understand that Ms. Brown was unavailable to meet with me last month. Therefore, I am returning to Washington, DC this month and request a meeting with her on Wednesday, April 24th or Thursday, April 25th. Please, will you assist me in scheduling this meeting? I hope to meet with any other representatives who truly have an interest in helping civilians address serious judiciary transgressions that violate the constitutional rights of Americans.
Corrine Brown has been my representative for twenty years, and I have voted for her in every single election. I am a registered Democrat and have believed, I hope not futilely, that Ms. Brown would appeal to Congress on behalf of her constituency. I now need her to appeal to Mr. Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, for me, and request a House hearing on the matter I describe below.I am a family physician, and have treated medically underserved patients in Alachua, Putnam and Marion counties for twenty years. As you know, the nation needs family doctors now more than ever (a shortage of 64,000 physicians is anticipated by 2014), and the geographic areas east and south of Gainesville, comprising much of Ms. Brown's district, suffer from a dearth of many services, including comprehensive and preventive medical facilities.
On June 16, 2011 my medical clinic, Colasante Clinic, PA, was raided by dozens of SWAT-armed FBI agents. They quarantined my staff for up to eight hours, put guns to the heads of a medical assistant and an elderly patient, locked the doors and wouldn't let employees leave until they had submitted to interrogation, and told me, when I arrived with local counsel, "We'd shut this place down today if the judge would've let us!" No reason was given.
On August 6, 2011, my bank accounts were forfeited, and $400,000 of working capital and assets were taken, leaving me with no means to pay staff and bills. No reason was given.
The local TV station and newspaper were on site from the start of the raid (probably called in by the FBI. for purposes of publicity), reported it in the evening news, and damaged my reputation irretrievably in the community.
My clinic was not a "pain clinic," and I am not aware of any wrongdoing that could have been committed. I am a fastidious doctor, an employer who has managed affairs at my clinic with extreme care and an intricate knowledge of all its activities. My number one priority has been patient care.
It is nearly two years since that raid, yet I have still not been told why the FBI took such drastic action. The 3,000 patient charts hauled off by the agents have not been returned, nor have our personnel documents or the nursing, lab, and other protocol handbooks returned.
I requested a court hearing on the matter, hoping that my patients' records would be returned so I could care for them properly, and asking for the return of working capital so I could pay the clinic's bills. I also requested that the affidavits explaining the reason for the raid be unsealed. My reasoning was that if I were guilty of committing a federal crime, I would like to know what it was, so that I could stop. The hearing too place in Alachua County in September, 2011.
None of my requests were granted at that hearing. Therefore, I am still in the dark as to why the FBI raided me. Meanwhile, government agents must have tipped off federally funded insurance companies to put obstacles in the way of paying me for seeing patients, because Medicare mysteriously and erratically "denied" claims for the services I provided over the next twenty months, ultimately putting me into financial straits that made me decide to close my clinic on January 31, 2013.
Here is a link to the youtube video, "Rampant InJustice." It is a reenactment of a raid on Mountain Pure Water, in Arkansas, and depicts much of what happened at my office, AND IS HAPPENING ALL OVER AMERICA.
Raids like these are being staged by FBI agents at thousands of small businesses across the country. They are costly, dangerous, destructive of morale, and ruinous to businesses. Gibson Guitar is an example of a widely publicized business-under-attack, having suffered two such raids. The owner, Henry Jusckiewicz settled with the government (after years of "investigation") in August, 2012, because litigation was so costly--but Gibson hadn't been indicted, or convicted of any crime.
I have joined with four other business owners who want to do something about this at the congressional level. It is a waste of government time and money for dozens of agents to be flown to locales for raids on small, defenseless businesses like mine--when all they need is paperwork that could easily be obtained with a subpoena or a simple letter. It is wrongheaded and should not go unchecked for FBI agents to wage war on businesses without cause. What the judiciary sector of our government is doing is grossly unjust.
I met with Robert Goodlatte last month between sessions at the Capitol. John Stacks (owner of Mountain Pure Water, and underwriter of the Rampant InJustice youtube video) was with me at that meeting. Mr. Goodlatte had already watched "Rampant INjustice." He listened to my story, and said he "would like to have a House hearing on this matter."
He needs representatives like Corrine Brown to write to him, requesting such a hearing.
Below are the names of other staffers, representatives and senators with whom I have met about this problem. They assure me that they will work together with other staffers and congressional leaders to request an investigation into the matter of overzealous, destructive FBI raids which violate the constitutional rights of American citizens and workers. Please contact these other staffers and offices to coordinate a plea to Congress to look into this problem.
1. Rep. Ted Yoho, 3rd District of Florida
2. Omar Raschid, Legislative Director for Rep. Ted Yoho, FL
3. Rep. Robert Goodlatte, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, VA
4. Clark Flynt, Legislative Staff Assistant for Senator Patrick Leahy (Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee)
5. Stephen Tausend, Counsel, Sen. John Cornyn (Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee)
6. Sen. Mark Pryor (AK)
7. Andy York, Chief of Staff, Sen. Mark Pryor, AK
8. Jason Bockenstedt, Professional Staff Member for Sen. Mark Pryor
9. Ty Mabry, Deputy Policy Director for Rep. Gregg Harper, MS
10. Ian Prince, Legislative Assistant for Sen. John Boozman, AK
11. Clay Martin, Deputy District Director for Rep. Ted Yoho, FL
12. Karen Williams, Legislative Director for Rep. Steve Southerland, FL
13. Tony Frye, Legislative Correspondent for Sen. Chuck Grassley, IA
14. Adam Shapiro, Legislative Correspondent for Sen. John Cornyn, TX
15. Peter Comstock, Senior Legislative Assistant for Rep. Tim Griffin, AK
16. Hampton Ray, Legislative Correspondent for Sen. Marco Rubio, FL
17. Taylor Q. Lam, Homeland Security Fellow for Sen. Thad Cochran, MS
18. Thomas Carlisle, Junior Legislative Assistant for Sen Roger Wicker, MS
19. Rep. Tim Griffin, AK
20. Lee Footer, Senior Legislative Assistant, Corrine Brown, FL
(21. Sen. Bill Nelson, FL, and his staff had no time to meet with me in Washington, though he is my designated delegate.)
Please write to members of the House and/or Senate Judiciary Committee(s) and request a House and/or Senate Hearing on this matter of Judiciary overreach. I am willing to testify, and so are the owners and employees of the five businesses (Colasante Clinic, Mountain Pure Water, Gibson Guitar, Midamar Meatpacking, Duncan Outdoor Sports) who represent thousands of business owners across America, people whose lives and businesses are being ruined by rampant FBI raids, many of which have no discernible cause.
Ona Colasante MD