City of Boise Threatens to Seize Property and Assets of Brandi Swindell and Bryan Fischer
BOISE, Idaho, June 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a letter sent to Brandi Swindell and Rev. Bryan Fischer, the City of Boise states they each have until July 15, 2008, to pay $10,000 in legal fees stemming from a court case concerning the removal of the Ten Commandments Monument from Julia Davis Park.
The City of Boise also has put a lien on the property and assets of Ms. Swindell and Mr. Fischer.
"The recent actions by Mayor (Dave) Bieter and the Boise City Council to go after a former Pastor and a single woman, who both run non-profit organizations, is deeply disturbing on many levels," said Keep the Commandments Coalition co-founder Brandi Swindell. "Forcing peaceful citizens to pay legal fees, 4 1/2 years after the court case, is vindictive and clearly a tactic designed to punish citizens who freely embrace their constitutional right to engage in the political process."
The Mayor and City Council have given Fischer and Swindell only three weeks to pay $10,000 (and interest) or they will proceed against them. Swindell and Fischer each received a certified letter that read, "This is to inform you that we have filed the above referenced judgment with the Ada County Recorders Office which places an automatic lien against all real and personal property under your individual names. This judgment will remain on your credit record until the debt is paid in full." Go to www.keepthecommandmentsidaho.com to see the entire letter.
"It is important to note that we never went after the City of Boise for the legal costs of our Historic Idaho Supreme Court Case - that we won - giving citizens of Boise the right to vote on the public posting of the 10 Commandments," Swindell said. "Every taxpayer in Idaho should be horrified and outraged that the local government in our States capitol would try to threaten and punish their own citizens who dare speak out against them."
"Whether you were for or against the public posting of the 10 Commandments in Julia Davis Park, all should agree that the Boise City Council does not have the right to crush our freedom of speech. The actions by the City of Boise are not only an attempt to intimidate Bryan Fischer and myself but also an insult to the 19,000 citizens that signed the Keep the Commandments petition, the over 40% of Boise residents that voted in support of placing the 10 Commandments in Julia Davis Park and every citizen of Idaho. These fear tactics serve as a threat against every American that believes our government is 'For the people, by the people'. These tactics only strengthen my resolve to continue to be a voice for the people of Boise to express their freedom of speech and to engage in public policy without intimidation or harassment."
Bryan Fischer states, "Ms. Swindell and I both work for small non-profit organizations and thus have limited means. The city of Boise, on the other hand, has an annual budget of $479 million, and thus is certainly in a position to waive this judgment. Yet the city's mayor is still determined to come after us for $10,000. This is a sad indication of what this city is prepared to do to its own citizens who do nothing more than exercise their right to freedom of speech and to seek redress for their grievances. The city has made no effort to contact us for these last 4 ½ years about this matter, and the very first communication we had from them on the subject came in the June 23 letter, in which we were informed that city leaders were dropping the hammer on us."
For more information, please call Brandi Swindell (208) 867-1307 or Bryan Fischer (208) 841-2546.