Darren Meade Exercises First Amendment Right to Oppose a Public Official
I have a right as a private citizen to challenge a public official, in this case, a local inexperienced prosecutor caught up in solving an old crime.
“The criticism of public officials lies at the heart of speech protected by the First
Amendment.” Williams v. City of Carl Junction, Missouri, 480 F.3d 871, 874 (8th Cir. 2007).
Defendant Ben Smith (“Smith”) is an elected public official; Sac County Attorney for Sac County, Iowa. Thus, criticism of Smith goes to the heart of speech protected by the First Amendment
I believe that Tracey Richter is innocent of the murder charges against her and/or
that Smith’s approach to the case was harming the process of justice. Accordingly, I posted my opinions and information about the case on Ripoff Report (as any member of the public can do).
Ripoff Report is exactly what it sounds It is “an online forum where users can
read and post messages about businesses that purportedly have ripped off consumers in some manner.” It is not the Washington Post, but depends on information from private persons, like Darren Meade, who see an injustice and want to notify other citizens about either business issues or public officials and abuse of power.
I was not a lawyer and approached the evidence of Smith ignoring the Male Suspect and the odd “discovery” of new evidence and his hiding his relationship with the family
of the key witness and/or his burgeoning relationship with the Male Suspect from the perspective of a layperson.
I reported that Richter was an innocent mother, set up by Male Suspect, and
the victim of prosecutorial misconduct. As time went on, I became more and more concerned that the behavior of Smith was not just because of negligence or inexperience, but of some improper connection to the Male Suspect who should have been investigated equally with Tracey Richter and/or because of his conflict with the key witness.
I was confused as to why my efforts to provide information to Smith appeared to be ignored. I called the hotline, I provided Smith with access to many documents
showing motive of the Male Suspect and the connections to the intruder who tried to harm Tracey Richter.
I had the added concerns that Smith was trying to avoid any questions about his discovery of the evidence, his connection to the family of the key witness, or that might
cause him to ask questions about the motives of the Male Suspect.
I also began seeing internet post alleging that if he came to Iowa, Smith would have me (Darren Meade) arrested.