As GamePolitics has previously reported, embattled anti-game attorney Jack Thompson faces a sanctions hearing tomorrow before Judge Dava Tunis in Miami.
Tunis, the referee appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to preside over the Florida Bar’s prosecution of Thompson on professional misconduct charges, recently issued a recommendation that the controversial attorney be found guilty on 27 of 31 counts, including "Knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal" and "Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."
For his part, Thompson has been actively seeking to discredit Tunis, including charging that she is not a valid Florida judge due to her state loyalty oath apparently being signed by a clerk without her knowledge.
On May 30th, Thompson upped the ante against Tunis, charging in a document filed with U.S. District Court that the judge had leaked documents to GamePolitics. Although the name of this website is not specified in Thompson’s motion, it is clear from the document’s context that he is referring to GP. Thompson writes:
In the last 36 hours, plaintiff has discovered that the referee in the state Bar "disciplinary" proceedings has leaked documents to a video game industry web site that only she had. This has resulted in more harassment of Thompson by "video gamers" who have been threatening to kill Thompson and his son.
The referee knew to leak these documents, which only she had, to this particular gaming web site because it came out at Thompson’s bar "trial" that this site had filed a Bar complaint against Thompson (which was so bizarre that even this Bar dismissed it) and that this site was in fact orchestrating harassment of Thompson during his trial.
This same site had orchestrated postings at Amazon.com, when Thompson’s Tyndale House book was published, that there was a "Canadian edition" of Thompson’s book in which Thompson disclosed his internal struggles with homosexuality and drug use. Thompson has had no such struggles; there was no "Canadian edition."
There’s just one problem with Thompson’s charge that Judge Tunis leaked anything to GamePolitics: It is not true. I don’t know Judge Tunis. I’ve never spoken to her, exchanged e-mail with her, or had any contact with her. I did call her office once, many months ago, to inquire as to when we might expect a ruling on Thompson’s trial. A staffer referred me to Eunice Sigler, Director of the Office of Government Liaison and Public Relations for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.
GamePolitics has obtained three documents relating to Thompson’s case in recent days. All came from public records requests with court administrators.
On May 20th , GamePolitics broke the news concerning Judge Tunis’s recommendations as to Thompson’s guilt. That document came from the aforementioned Ms. Sigler. I’ve been tracking the Thompson Bar trial since it took place in late 2007. Months ago I contacted Ms. Sigler and made a media request for any developments. As per my request, she forwarded me the recommendations. These were also published in the Daily Business Review, which apparently obtained them via its own public records request.
The following day, in a filing with Judge Tunis, Thompson alluded to having 33 witnesses that he hoped to subpoena for his June 4th sanctions hearing. Curious about these, I asked Thompson for the names. He refused. I contacted Ms. Sigler on May 23rd and made a public records request regarding Thompson’s proposed subpoenas. I received the subpoena document from her on May 28th and published it later that day.
Also obtained via public records request was the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s investigative report into Judge Tunis’s loyalty oath. This document came from Public Information Officer Ed Griffith.
Thompson may not like it, but he has made himself into a very public figure. His case is a matter of public record. His court filings are not sealed, nor are they classified information. They are a matter of public record, readily available through the proper channels.
In a series of e-mails, Thompson demanded several times to know where I had obtained the documents. Being under no obligation to do so, I declined to tell him. Moreover, he is an attorney. He should understand that these are public records.
Regarding his comments that I orchestrated harassment of him or orchestrated bogus reviews of his book, these are utterly false. I’ve addressed his allegations on the book issue in some detail in the past, and I’ve also discussed my filing a 2006 Bar complaint against him. Nor, as Thompson alleges, is GamePolitics a "video game industry web site." Readers need look no further than today’s story on E3 and Gov. Rick Perry to confirm that.
So what will happen at tomorrow’s sanctions hearing?
It’s impossible to know, although Thompson’s e-mails of late have indicated that he expects to be disbarred. In any case, Judge Tunis does not have the final word. That responsibility lies with the Florida Supreme Court.