|Jefferson Banner - Opinion
John Foust - JDC
|January 26, 2000
Dear Mr. Olsen,
I am extremely dismayed by your continued personal harassment. I believe you are attempting to discourage my open records requests. Your behavior on Wednesday, January 19, in my office was bizarre in the extreme. It showed a complete absence of professional demeanor and social grace.
You came to my office unannounced to acknowledge that you had received my request for JDC minutes and to claim that you'd faxed me the JDC agenda. I printed a fax log that showed it was not received at the time and date you claimed to have sent it. This exchange proceeded and concluded reasonably well with the exception of your inability to admit that the fax wasn't properly delivered.
Next you asked if my wife was in the office. I said "No." You asked if she'd be back. (It was already after 4 p.m.) I said no, she'd already left for the day. I saw you turn for the door, so I entered the hallway to return to my back office.
I heard you call out asking if she was at home. I walked back out of the hallway.
I raised my voice. I asked if you needed some kind of explanation. I said she was feeling ill and went home to rest. I asked you not to disturb her there, but you continued to insist you would call her at home.
You plainly saw that I was growing more agitated at your bull-headed and inexplicable insistence to disturb her at home. In a loud and clear voice, I repeated "No, Dave, do not call her at home." I said that any normal person would obey this simple request of a husband about his wife, and that I understood that our home phone number was in the telephone book and that you had fingers that could dial.
You continued to insist you'd call her at home. The conversation concluded when I asked if you were "a fucking idiot" and I walked across the room to open the door, ordering you to leave my office.
Your statement to the police purposefully exaggerates my behavior. It greatly exaggerates my use of profanity, which I tend to use quite sparingly and precisely. Your statement leaves out important details such as my explanation of why you shouldn't call her at home. Your statement offers no explanation of your bizarre, repeated insistence to oppose my simple request. Your statement intends to mislead.
I made no threats. I made no aggressive movements. I was more than arm's length away at all times. In terms of sheer size, you're four inches taller and at least a hundred pounds heavier than I. You were not acting within the bounds of normal social discourse. It was clear you intended to provoke me, so I ordered you out of my office. As of today, you have not yet contacted my wife regarding any pressing Rotary matter. What was so important?
I do not regard it as funny that you'd pull my chain in this fashion, especially in a setting related to a perfectly legal open record request. Throughout the past year, I and others have been aware of your persistent attempts at character assassination carried out in your private conversations with people in Jefferson, as well as statements made in public places such as the incident last July in the Depot tavern, in which I was told that you loudly declared that "everyone on the JDC and Council thinks Foust is crazy."
You've done your best to investigate, disrupt and co-opt the downtown revitalization efforts that I organized last spring. You instigated another police investigation in mid-July, claiming that I was stealing bricks from the road construction even after I'd told you several times that I had taken them with the prior approval from both the City Engineer and Mann Brothers.
This January 19 incident is very similar to what happened on December 22, where after concluding official business in an unannounced visit to my office you made the parting remark "You've got way too much time on your hands. That's what everybody's saying, you know," as I described in a previous letter.
I regard all these incidents as continued personal harassment to discourage my open record requests. I demand that it stop. Please supply copies of this letter, the police report and your statement to the police to the JDC and Chamber Boards. I believe they need to be well-informed of your actions and that they should take corrective action.
John J. Foust