Political activist Charles Grapski is apparently facing a charge of contempt of court.
In an Aug. 25 letter, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was instructed by an Alachua County court to serve Grapski with court documents demanding his presence at a September hearing.
Judge James Nilon signed an order stating that sufficient evidence existed to charge Grapski with criminal contempt for his alleged statements and actions at a June 21 court hearing.
The order states that as Grapski’s case was called for hearing, he approached the podium and told Assistant State Attorney Shawn Thompson to “get a real job.”
At a later hearing on the same day, Grapski allegedly approached the table of Assistant State Attorney Shawn Thompson in an “aggressive manner,” pointed his finger at Thompson and stated to him, “you are a f---ing liar” not less than two times, the order alleges.
Grapski is being ordered to answer for the contempt charge in an arraignment set for Sept. 20 at 3 p.m.
Following the June 21 court incident, Grapski’s public defender, Deborah Phillips, submitted a motion to withdraw as counsel.
In her motion submitted on July 20, Phillips cited an “irreconcilable conflict of interest” as reason for her request.
In the June court hearing, Judge Nilon dismissed charges of probationary violations pending against Grapski. The one-time Florida House and City of Alachua commission candidate had been facing four violations of probation alleged in a March 15 report.
The probationary supervision under which Grapski is currently monitored stems from a case dating back to August 2007. That case didn’t make it to trial until November 2009, more than two years later. After the five-day trial, a jury found Grapski guilty of battering two Alachua Police Department officers during a 2007 arrest. In the days following his arrest, he reportedly also caused an officer at the Alachua County jail to be injured after she was pushed to the ground.
Grapksi may continue federal case
Last month, Federal District Court Judge Maurice Paul denied several motions by the City of Alachua and others defending themselves from a lawsuit filed by Grapski.
The 35-page ruling essentially requires Grapski to file an amended complaint by Friday, Sept. 9. The judge agreed that Grapski’s lawsuit was too ambiguous in many respects, but said he could continue with the case provided clarity is given.
“The plaintiff shall file a second amended complaint by Friday, September 9, 2011, which more clearly articulates the specific conduct and charges applicable to each defendant,” Judge Paul wrote.
Among the reasons the City wanted parts of the case dismissed was that it said Grapski failed to state claims on which relief can be granted.
The lawsuit alleges a host of federal violations including several constitutional abridgments. Grapski is claiming that his rights to freedom of speech, equal protection and against illegal searches and seizures were violated when he was removed from at least one Alachua City Commission Meeting in 2006 and handcuffed on two occasions.
The more than 60-page lawsuit has already been amended by Grapski on at least one prior occasion.
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