Bogus disciplinary hearing and sanctions

Wednesday March 3rd at 1:28pmEST:

I am being rushed into a bogus disciplinary hearing before biased disciplinary hearing officer D. Matthews. This is in regards to my attempt to write to Walter Pavlo regarding the unconstitutional conditions of confinement last summer. I am being deprived the adequate representation of a staff rep. We've had no time to prepare, secure documents, etc. I am being railroaded again in violation of due process. It may be quite some time until I am able to communicate again without fear of unlawful reprisal. I need zealous civil legal representation in The Southern District of Indiana.


Wednesday March 3rd at 2:36pmEST:

The bogus discplinary hearing is over almost as soon as it began. Once again I need competent legal representation in The Southern District of Indiana.

I've already exhausted the available administrative remedies. Some can be found on the dockets of Brown v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 19-cv-02795 (RBW) (D.D.C.), others can be found on the docket of Gottesfeld v. Lammer, 2:20-cv-00012-JRS-MJD (S.D. Ind.) Further, a prisoner of ordinary firmness in my position would be intimidated against filing further remedies. Id. Indeed, I've refrained from doing so for more than a year now.

Removing all doubt, audio footage, and, if necessary, witness testimony, shall reveal that during the hearing Alternative Discipline Hearing Officer (ADHO) D. Matthews openly acknowledged that I am being punished because the BOP dislikes the critical nature of my correspondence to outsiders. I shall request forthwith the preservation of this audio footage for use in litigation in U.S. district court. It may also be available under FOIA. The hearing took place in the communications-management unit (CMU) dining hall at roughly 1:29 P.M. today, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Present were myself, ADHO D. Matthews, and staff representative Correctional Officer (CO) S. Harvey.

ADHO D. Matthews improperly wore his mask, covering neither his mouth nor his nose---as camera footage shall reveal.

Prior to the hearing I and my staff representative were denied all access to key evidence---including copies of the letter to Walter Pavlo. Having learned of the hearing minutes before it was held, my staff repersentative was unable to gather statements from the relevant staff as well. Though the FCI legal department is headed in fact, if not in name, by Attorney Katherine Siereveld, and the author of the incident report conceded therein that the legal department was involved in every aspect of writing the incident report (a copy of which appears on the docket of Gottesfeld v. Lammer, supra), the legal department refused to make its records or Ms. Siereveld available for the hearing. This is because as an attorney Ms. Siereveld has violated her ethical obligations by taking part in clearly illegal and vindictive conduct in direct violation of U.S. Const. amend. I. My staff representative was unable on such a short timeline to secure the written communications between the author of the incident report and the legal department, which would've implicated Ms. Siereveld on the record.

The hearing, once again, was little more than an ambush. Cf. Gottesfeld v. Lammer, supra. My staff representative requested an extension of time to confer with me and secure documents but ADHO Matthews denied this request with the clear purpose of preventing I and my staff representative from preparing a written defense.

The UDC hearing of this incident report was untimely. UDC hearings are to take place within five business days of the delivery of the incident report. This one was more than a week later. Tardiness may be excused only by timely notice of an extension, signed by Warden Brian Lammer. In this instance the purported extension was both sought and secured after the five-day limit. Allowing such late extensions completely swallows the five-day limit. This is a due process issue.

I expressly cited Jordan v. Pugh (D. Colo.) (prisoners have the First Amendment right to publish articles), McGown v. U.S. (2d Cir. 2016) (same), and Procunier v. Martinez (prisons may not censor prisoner mail for complaints about conditions of confinement). Indeed, the letter in question expressly cites these authorities. Qualified immunity is manifestly inapplicable given these citations.

Once again, however, it was like talking to a wall. Gottesfeld v. Lammer, supra, dkt. 1. The DHO was uninterested in anything that spoke against imposing discipline. Id. He found that by sending writing to Walter that Walter may publish I violated Bureau of Prisons policy. This is flagrantly untrue and unlawful. Even non-lawyers know this, the BOP has issued guidance on this matter (see McGown v. United States, supra) and the courts have made this very clear in the aforecited authoritative decisions.

In April 2019 I personally provided former Intelligence Research Officer (IRO) Ms. Evelyn Keller a written request to staff containing a law-library print out of The Second Circuit's decision in McGowan. Ms. Keller assured me she sent it to Ms. Siereveld.

Moreover, the claim that I attempted to circumvent monitoring by writing to Walter, a journalist, because he might publish my letter, is patently unlawful. Jordan v. Pugh, supra.

The timing is also very suspect, coming as it does in a retaliatory time frame after the filing of my direct-appeal reply brief and The Intercept's publication this month of my article. See also Gottesfeld v. Hurwtiz, et al.; First motion for injunctive relief after The Intercept's February 3, 2019, publication of another article of mine (S.D.N.Y. 2018).

Regardless of the above and the clear wording of BOP regulations allowing prisoners to communiate with journalists---and the agency's express statement in the Federal Register that CMU placement is not meant to preclude contact with journalists---ADHO D. Matthews a) suspended my phone privileges for 90 days; b) fined me $50.00; and c) took 27 days of earned good-conduct time (GCT).

I declare the foregoing is true and correct under the penalty of perjury under the laws of The United States. Executed Wednesday, March 3, 2021.