Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Letter to Congressional Representatives & Staffers

                                 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


  1. I don't believe an FBI agent drew his gun in your office. Will your patient corroborate your employee's claim? Most FBI agents go their entire careers without drawing their sidearm.

    1. Are you a seer? I find it odd that you “believe” that Dr. Colasante is not being truthful when you have no first-hand knowledge of the event or the people involved. It seems to me that your absurd post is meant to disparage and belittle. Who told you that ‘most FBI agents go their entire careers without drawing their sidearm’? The Internet?

    2. Possible seer? I sincerely and perhaps respectfully doubt it. You are most likely correct in your assessment, and I am truly fed up with the stupidity and ignorance of our supposed protectors (leaders????). Who is the boss and more importantly who is the leader, as in the imitate boss? Justice is blind, not stupid or ignorant or moronic. Am I wrong? Wake up America, get your heads out of the sand, you are not that stupid, I have faith.

    3. Tim, I don’t have as much faith as you do in the average American citizen. I say that because I think that for most people in this complicated and conflicted world there are too many distractions. Most of us have a problem just keeping afloat with what issues are right in front of us.

      If I can digress, I’ll relate to you when that observation came to me. Years ago, I stopped at a service station in Concord, MA. While waiting on the attendant to fill my vehicle and check the air and oil, I stepped over to the produce stand on the adjacent property. I said to the farmer, “You’ve worked here as long as I can remember.” He replied, “I’ve worked this stand for the last 25 years.” While I was there a vehicle pulled up and just the driver got out. He walked up to the farmer behind the counter and asked for directions to the Minute Man Statue. The farmer said he didn’t know, never heard of it. Then the driver inquired about Emerson, Thoreau and Alcott. The farmer looked perplexed. “No, I don’t think they were from around here’, he said. I thought to myself, “that farmer WAS the average American” but kept mum. I’ve been stuck with that impression ever since.

      Our power is our vote. People voting blindly, without knowledge about the issues, need to refrain from voting. Going into a voting booth and making a selection based upon name recognition is not serving the best interest of the American people.

  2. Dr. Colasante did not see it happen and it is a ridiculous claim, a claim that would result in the firing of the FBI agent or U.S. Marshall if it could be corroborated by witnesses. I doubt the patient would support that story. My claim about FBI agents is true. There are many FBI agents and there are very few federal laws against violence, that is the state's realm. Consequently, arrests and collections of evidence under warrant are usually pedestrian affairs. Maybe Colasante is a seer, she is making claims about things she did not witness.

    1. Dr. Colasante got her account of the incident, on the same day as the raid on her work place, from her employee and patient who were assaulted. Where did you get your claim? Was it the FBI agent or is it just a hunch, a gut feeling on your part?

      FBI agents are in the federal realm, not the state realm.

      It is apparent to me that FBI agents are involved in violence against American citizens. I’d be willing to wager that details of the gun incident would come out during the discovery process. The gun incident is just one of the issues that would prove to be problematic for the prosecution. A firing could still happen and along with it a prison sentence for the assaults.

  3. Can you read? Most violent crimes are covered by state law. Consequently, most FBI work does not involve cases that pose much of a risk to agents. In the course of a year, a town of 20,000 will have more arrests for violent offenses than federal arrests in the entire country. FBI agents rarely draw their weapons, gathering evidence for a fraud case is pretty low risk. I do not believe the claim of Colasante's employee and I doubt the patient corroborated the story. Does Colasante care to confirm that the patient corroborated the employee's story?

  4. Here's what happened, according to my medical assistant, who was a witness to the scene. It's true, I was not an eyewitness. However, I don't know why my patient and medical assistant would lie about such a thing. The rabid nature of the raid on my office was such that I was inclined to believe the story these two individuals told.
    When the raid on Colasante Clinic was underway, and before patients and employees who were seated or working in closed exam rooms were aware of the ruckus, a medical assistant was drawing blood from an elderly patient. The patient was a woman who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer thirty years prior, and had been in remission all that time, following successful early treatment.
    The exam room door was opened, with unaccustomed violence, and two agents were at the door. The medical assistant's back was to the door, as she was leaning over the patient's outstretched forearm, around which had been applied the customary pre-phlebotomy tourniquet, and into which had been placed a needle attached to a vacutainer or butterfly device.
    An agent shouted, "Take that out, now!"
    The medical assistant said, "I can't, there's a needle in her arm, and a vacuum device."
    The agent shouted, "I said, 'NOW!'"
    The patient was in shock.
    "What's going on?" she asked.
    The medical assistant turned around to see two FBI agents with their guns drawn, one aimed at the patient's head, the other aimed at the medical assistant's head. They had not done as told, it seemed, soon enough.
    The medical assistant is available to corroborate the story.
    The patient, however, died several weeks ago. Within months of the raid she began to experience stomach pain and bloating. Eventually, it was determined that her ovarian cancer had returned and metastasized. Multiple heroic efforts at treatment failed. At her subsequent visits to the office, this patient had repeated the story and attempted to understand what had happened. I was never able to explain why she had to be subjected to this kind of treatment, or why my clinic was raided.
    I am not accustomed to questioning the veracity of my patients' stories in cases where there would be nothing for them to gain from lying. This patient had been "shocked," and while it would be impossible to make a connection between the recurrence of her ovarian cancer and the alarm she experienced on that day, every medical practitioner knows that certain kinds of stress lead to medical problems in sensitive, vulnerable individuals.
    While it may be the case that FBI agents are taught to refrain from pulling out their guns during raids, highly adrenalized groups such as the one beefed up to attack my clinic (they were prepped in a huddle at the CVS 7 blocks away, the morning of the raid, according to one patient who saw them) can act in ways that are out of character and defy their training. FBI agents are prone to panic, too, I would guess, when things don't go as they expect, or when people don't obey their commands with lightning speed. Panic triggers erratic, irrational actions. FBI agents have been known to kill civilians without just cause. The Virginia optometrist killed by an FBI agent (mentioned in a previous post) is one example.

  5. I appreciate your response. Anybody in law enforcement should be shocked by this story. It is so exceptional that I feared that it might result in somebody questioning your credibility. I am curious why the agent reacted as he did as not following a lawful order is unlikely to result in that kind of response, normally limited to an officer thinking he was at risk in some way. I'm no fan of federal law enforcement which has abused their power with their violent raids. Oddly, the FBI is usually much more restrained (more educated, better trained, less violent offenders) than the ATF or DEA.

    1. I agree with your assessment of the FBI, perhaps being better trained, though with the psychology testing our law enforcement officers go through, I would not allow most of them to carry a gun...and most gun owners perhaps would agree with me, though I could be wrong. In my opinion most in law enforcement are to wrapped up in being the power, or in control, why else so many cases of domestic abuse by officers of the law? Duh... FBI people are no different, even though more educated, perhaps, as in able to bluff any obvious contenders to their perhaps so called intelligence. In other words I would not give a gun to 90% of law enforcers. I would rather have guns in the hands of civilians, which is why the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America stated it the way they did. Wake up America.!

  6. Guns allow people to act violently on impulses that, given time, would be attenuated and amenable to rational thought. This is a violent nation, by the standards of most first-world nations. Owning a gun puts a person in touch with innate violent tendencies. When I did pre-medical coursework at University of New Orleans I lived in a neighborhood with a very high crime-rate. Three doors down from the duplex I was renting, a woman was killed in a random robbery. Three days later, I purchased a 32-Magnum and learned how to use it. The gun both frightened me and made me feel empowered. I got in touch with hypothetical anger--"If anyone tries to mess with me, I'll blow them away!" This was a most uncharacteristic aspect of my waking personality, and I didn't know how to relate to it. I wasn't sure how I'd respond if a drug addict looking for goods to sell broke into my place and, wild-eyed, saw me there. I kept the gun and was able to sleep better at night because of it. But I was glad to sell it when I moved out of that neighborhood, too. I liked my nonviolent personality better than the violence-in-potentia that surfaced when I owned a gun. People who own guns must be very sure about how and when they'd use them, if it came to it. I'm in favor of background checks for gun-owners: no one with a history of erratic behavior, domestic abuse or poor impulse-control should own a gun.

  7. You are correct on all counts, and most gun owners would agree, at least the honest ones'.

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