Mayor Jeff Washburn is using a personal news Facebook page as the de facto City of Dresden page to share updates and tornado recovery information. Personal/private accounts are inappropriate for governmental communications in that they skirt official record-keeping requirements and Freedom of Information requests.
This is an end run around the City Board’s temporary deactivation of the City’s Facebook page. We arrived here because Mayor Washburn misused the City’s social media to attack citizens and the press, disproportionately women, who dared to question his decision-making or demand accountability. Worse, the Mayor is blocking those of us on his personal “enemies list” from receiving city updates and tornado recovery resources. This is not only petty and a Nixonian embarrassment for our city, but an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment rights.
He cannot block us all.
Take a stand for freedom of speech, the free flow of information about our city’s recovery, and freedom of expression either for or against the policies of our elected leaders. Please do your part to support our First Amendment rights, fought for by the million-plus fallen service members we honored this past weekend.
Has Mayor Jeff Washburn placed you or someone you know on his personal “enemies list”? Has he attacked you on social, digital, or in print media? Has the Mayor blocked you from viewing or commenting on the City pages or his personal accounts? Has he hampered your ability to receive City updates and tornado recovery information and resources?
Have you been followed or otherwise intimidated by the City of Dresden Police Department after publicly questioning or challenging the Mayor? Have they staked out your house? Have the wires been pulled out of your car battery?
All of these acts violate the First Amendment and are illegal. Public officials who willfully infringe upon constitutional rights may be federally prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code § 242 for DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW.
Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
Anyone whose constitutional rights Mayor Jeff Washburn violated is urged to report this information to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (select Option 6), or submitting a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. The FBI will then investigate for possible prosecution through the U.S. Department of Justice. Information may be reported anonymously.
Please also report Mayor Washburn’s constitutional violations to the State of Tennessee Attorney General’s Office at (615) 741-3491.
You may also pursue civil damages or other relief for these violations in federal court pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983 – Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights.
Express your concerns by contacting the Board of Aldermen:
Vice Mayor Gwin Anderson
Alderwoman Sandra Klutts
Alderman Lyndal Dilday
Alderman Kenneth Moore
Alderman Ralph Cobb
Alderman Willie Parker
City Hall Email: email@example.com
City Hall Phone: 731-364-2270