Activists Honor Prosecutor and Law Enforcement Watchdogs

The 2014 mid-year Restore Integrity Awards go to Beverly P. Sharpe, Director of the Consumer Assistance Program of Tennessee’s Board of Professional Responsibility; the Center for Prosecutor Integrity; and former deputy sheriff Mark P. Lipton of Sevier County, Tennessee. All three impact a national movement to ensure that America's criminal justice system is not a handy tool for retaliation against whistleblowers.
 
2014 Innocence Summit hosted by the Center for Prosecutor Integrity
2014 Innocence Summit hosted by the Center for Prosecutor Integrity
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. - June 30, 2014 - PRLog -- "America’s criminal justice system was transformed into a handy tool for whistleblower retaliation through a potent synergy of certain lawyer disciplinary rule loopholes, the dynamics of wrongful convictions, and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions" says attorney Zena Crenshaw-Logal, spokesperson for a national grassroots campaign to turn that situation around. Crenshaw-Logal, an attorney before the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, helps administer POPULAR (Power Over Poverty Under Laws of America Restored), the national legal reform organization spearheading that campaign. POPULAR also issues bi-annual Restore Integrity Awards.

According to George Stokes, Sr., co-administrator of the Restore Integrity Award (RIA) program, "twice each year since June of 2009, POPULAR has selected a RIA winner under the categories of public sector, private sector, and/or grassroots advocacy."  Stokes explains, "this mid-year award aligns with our public awareness and reform campaign highlighting the legal difficulties of former Tennessee deputy sheriff Mark P. Lipton."  Press releases and documents posted to a related online newsroom characterize Lipton as a whistleblower. In a press statement released earlier this month, Lipton's supporters claim he “was prosecuted based on laughable assault charges, only months after he attempted to secure a federal investigation of his former boss, a popular Tennessee sheriff, for obstructing a DUI arrest.”

Both Dr. Andrew D. Jackson and Mr. Stokes are RIA program administrators. Jackson reports that “all of POPULAR’s award recipients have taken one or more specific measures to eliminate inequity, waste, fraud, abuse, or other public and/or private sector corruption in America.”  The group defines corruption as "any illegal or unethical conduct contributing to the systemic malfunction of government, commerce, and/or democracy in America as contemplated by the U.S. Constitution."

The 2014 mid-year RIA recipients are as follows:

Public Sector Category:

Attorney Beverly P. Sharpe, for confirming in her capacity as Director of the Consumer Assistance Program of Tennessee’s Board of Professional Responsibility that serious unethical conduct is implicated by credible allegations that a prosecutor derided without necessarily violating or circumventing whistleblower protection laws;

Private Sector Category:

Sevier County, Tennessee resident and former deputy sheriff Mark P. Lipton for seeking a federal investigation of his former boss, a popular Tennessee Sheriff, for allegedly obstructing a DUI arrest, which allegation was subsequently corroborated by polygraph examination;

Grassroots Advocacy Category:

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity for refining its "Roadmap for Prosecutor Reform" and becoming America's premier prosecutor accountability advocate as of the organization's 2014 Innocence Summit held in Washington, D.C. at which the Campaign Fact Sheet featuring fellow award recipient Mark P. Lipton was circulated.

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POPULAR will mail its 2014 mid-year RIA recipients an encased certificate, commemorating their award except that Mr. Lipton will receive his award during a rally in Brentwood, Tennessee on July 17, 2014.

POPULAR will announce its next round of RIA recipients in December 2014.  To learn about previous award recipients and/or nominate one or more RIA award recipients, visit popular4people.org/Restore_Integrity_Awards.html

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POPULAR is committed to helping poor and other disadvantaged people access affordable and competent legal representation, appropriate judicial oversight, and important civil and criminal justice system reforms.  To learn more, visit www.popular4people.org

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