Trial: Take this testimony and shove it - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Trial: Take this testimony and shove it

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Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 8:44 am

COEUR d’ALENE — No more jokes, not on Thursday anyway.

Things returned to normal on the fourth day of the election challenge trial — that’s to say, chippy.

It’s challenger Jim Brannon vs. incumbent Mike Kennedy for the seat 2 City Council seat in the courtroom and a verbal exchange between a pair of attorneys during testimony caused First District Judge Charles Hosack to interrupt the back and forth by saying stop it already.

“I’m well aware the counsels can’t stand each other,” the judge said, seemingly frustrated that he had to remind them that the chest bumping wouldn’t factor into a decision based on facts. “It makes absolutely no difference with me.”

The exchange happened when Coeur d’Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley was on the stand. Brannon’s attorney, Starr Kelso, was asking Gridley a line of questions that had to do with Gridley’s contact with Kennedy’s attorneys during the months of pending litigation.

The city’s correspondence with the defendant’s side was allegedly more so than Brannon’s, Kelso said, stating that wasn’t neutral for a city attorney.

The judge called the tone of the questioning argumentative.

Gridley said no, the city had defendants named and needed to defend them but the questions seemed to attempt to illustrate that Brannon’s side had been stonewalled during the investigation. Kelso even asked Gridley if he contributed to Kennedy’s campaign fund during the incumbent’s bid for re-election.

That drew objections.

But during the testimony Kelso and Gridley were shoulder to shoulder at the stand looking over the same document at one point.

Kelso looked up suddenly and said: “Let the record show the witness said if you have anything else, you can shove it up your ass.”

That’s when Hosack interjected. He also told Kelso to stop that line of questioning.

Gridley, outside the courtroom, said that wasn’t exactly the exchange the two attorneys had. He said he told Kelso in unspecified terms to stop the behavior during the questioning, adding that Kelso had tossed one of the paper exhibits at him instead of just handing it.

“You don’t treat a witness that way,” Gridley said. - Tom Hasslinger

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Mary Souza posted at 8:03 pm on Sun, Sep 19, 2010.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    Thanks, Sharetheplanet, I appreciate your kind words. We all must stand against this type of obvious misuse of our election system. Those who are involved in the problem use ridicule to try to divert attention and make the questioner the target. It's like Yonda, who tries to say that I'm at fault, somehow, as an observer, because City Attorney Mike Gridley was completely unprofessional in the courtroom!

    This tactic is frequently used and we have to keep our eyes on the prize, which is our system of voting. It is worth all the hard work and any nasty names to make sure our election system is honest and accurate.

  • sharetheplanet posted at 5:03 pm on Sat, Sep 18, 2010.

    sharetheplanet Posts: 809

    Mary, I would like the extend my most sincere thanks to you, Dan, Bill and last but definitely not least, Mr Brannon for standing up to the obvious corruption in our local government.

  • Yonda posted at 12:41 am on Sat, Sep 18, 2010.

    Yonda Posts: 15

    Mary, you are a truly priceless source of humor. I sincerely hope that when this whole silly, regrettably expensive court case wraps up tomorrow, you'll find a new hobby to direct all that angst toward. Something productive, with an actual, tangible, direct benefit to our community...

  • Mary Souza posted at 10:24 pm on Fri, Sep 17, 2010.

    Mary Souza Posts: 808

    Gridley told Starr to shove it up his a**. I was in the room but couldn't hear the exchange, but I have TWO reliable sources who heard it clearly. Surpisingly, my sources are both gentlemen with hearing aids who also request the hearing assisted devices available in the court room. They tell me it gives them highly sensitive hearing!

    Also, two other people told me that, right before he blasted Starr with his nasty comment, Mike Gridley, city attorney of CdA, who gets paid more than $120,000, took the papers Starr gave him and intentionally dropped them on the floor while Starr had turned away for a second. When Starr turned back, Gridley said they "fell".

    I'm embarrassed by this type of juvenile behavior from the Head of our city's legal department. The Mayor and City Council should insist on his resignation.

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