Balance of Testimony

Sunday, September 25, 2005

William Danielson
Bloomington, IL 61702-XXXX

Richard Trende
Chief of Police
Hudson Police Department
Hudson, Wisconsin 54016

Re: Accounting of the events at the Hudson School Board Meeting of June 14th, 2005.

The following was written by me on June 14th, 2005 and published on the internet via the OnTheBorderline web log. It represents my virtually contemporaneous, first hand, and eye-witness recollection of the events which transpired earlier in the evening of June 14th.

It should be noted that I arrived at the June 14th meeting shortly after the meeting commenced and sat down in the rear of the auditorium, initially alone, but in full and unobstructed view of all who were in attendance as well as the comings and goings of any persons into or out of the auditorium. I was subsequently joined later in the meeting by Curt Weese and, briefly, Mark Pribonic in seats next to where I was located.

Relevant excerpts, as published on June 14, 2005 in the OnTheBorderLine web log:

“Two local citizens were forced to leave a public school board meeting tonight by two Hudson Police officers. In an episode that I will regard as "Gestapo tactics", a local school board has resorted to calling in local police to remove citizens whose views are inconsistent with their own.

Neither man was uttering any foul language, epithets, or otherwise speaking to issues unrelated to the operation of the school district - their manner comported completely with any reasonable interpretation of the board's own guidelines for citizen participation. In fact, both men were recognized by the board to speak for a period of no more than five minutes.

One of the citizens, Curt Weese, rose during the citizen's request to speak period to address several matters relevant to the district. During his allotted five minute time to address the board, Mr. Weese was interrupted not due to his manner (which was direct and very cogent), but rather the content. It could not have been clearer that the school board chairman, Annette Cook, simply could not bear to listen to this citizen directly rebut another board member's recent letter to the editor of the Hudson Star Observer. A letter admonishing citizens for what he described as frivolous requests for information.

After several interruptions (and some brief interchanges) of Mr. Weese by the board chair, and at least one other board member, the board moved to take a five-minute adjournment in order to stifle Mr. Weese who was simply trying to complete his presentation. It should be noted that Mr. Weese was highlighting several pieces of information that has been obtained from records requests. Quietly, and without incident, Mr. Weese left the mic to return to his seat even before all the board members had risen for the brief adjournment.

During this adjournment period, one of the school board members, Cindy Crimmins, apparently called her husband who is a police officer for the City of Hudson (also has been the police liaison to the school district). Officer Crimmins showed up at the school board meeting with two other officers, including an officer by the name of Hartman.

The officers arrived just after the brief adjournment, standing at the back of the auditorium as another citizen was addressing the board on a separate issue (that will undoubtedly surface on this blog). At this point in the proceedings, everything was business as usual(total attendance, including board members and police, was approximately 35 in an auditorium that holds several hundred) and the meeting was going along without interruption or disruption. Mr. Weese noticed the officers arrival and got up from his seat and approached the officers in the back of auditorium, chatted briefly with them, and then sat down again.

At this point in the meeting another citizen, Marion Shaw, was recognized to speak for five minutes to the board. Mr. Shaw was immediately interrupted during his presentation regarding his concerns about district expenses by several board members. When he tried to finish his presentation (Shaw was reading from a prepared statement so as to be able to present all of the information within the time allotment), the board chair called him out of order, made a signal to one of the officers, who then escorted Mr. Shaw out of the auditorium without incident.

Subsequently, the other uniformed officer, Hartman, approached Mr. Weese, who was seated next to me, and asking him to leave the premises to "answer some questions." Mr. Weese asked why? He also asked if he was being arrested. The officer told him after some discussion that he (Weese) was reported to have been "disruptive" in a complaint by Crimmins and was now being asked to leave - the officer told Weese he could either walk out peacefully or he would be "physically injured" by the officer on the way out.

Folks, I was sitting right next to Mr. Weese when he was threatened by this pathetic character who found it necessary to also berate as well as threaten Mr. Weese (calling him "infantile"). ….”

The above information is presented for purposes of clarification as regards a joint statement previously submitted by Mr. Curt Weese which contained a statement by me indicating agreement with his recollection. I think it becomes rather obvious, given the contemporaneous timing of the above accounting, that my statements are utterly consistent.

I hope this further clarifies matters in your investigation of the events of the evening of June 14th, 2005.


William Danielson


The Five Life Principles

1. Do no harm
2. Make things better
3. Respect others
4. Be fair
5. Be loving

These came from the column "Ask The Ethics Guy" by Bruce Weinstien in the 6/13/2005 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Weinstein says the secret to living a rich, satisfying, happy life is to be found in these five simple principles. He says we've known about these principles for 5,000 years. Every religious tradition in the world teaches them, as do parents in every country.Without them, civilization would be impossible, because there would be nothing buyt chaos everywhere. These principles have a transforming effect on who we are and where we go in life...