This Web page addresses a particular instance where government and the legal profession employed a newspaper, the Fort Myers News-Press, to assassinate the character of a member of the public, Bob Allston, to avoid responsibility for its actions.

I (Bob Allston) had written a PAPER entitled "Institutionalized Corruption in the Lee County Attorney's Office" which I delivered to the Lee County, Florida, Attorney's Office and County Commissioner's Offices on March 23 and 24, 1994. The issue was that the county attorney's office was lying to me about the law. In a COVER LETTER delivered to the County Commissioners, I explained that I was proceeding to go to other county governments and academia to get the truth.

I was arrested on Saturday, March 26, and the next day, Sunday, stories appeared in most of the local media characterizing me as a raving madman threatening to blow up the Lee County Attorney's Office with a pipe bomb.

The largest print media in Fort Myers is the Fort Myers News-Press and two similar STORIES appeared in different places in it. They are characteristic of stories that appeared on all the media; and the character of the story presented to my fellow citizens was totally different from what I had written in order to present the raving madman image needed to justify my arrest, assassinate my character, neutralize me and get me out of the way in jail so I couldn't contact the people I intended contacting to get the truth about the law. And of course even if I did manage to contact anyone from jail, they wouldn't pay any attention to me as a raving madman jailbird. The tactics employed are as follows:

  1. First, the pipe bomb discussion was taken entirely out of context. For, although the discussion of the pipe bomb took up only about three percent of the space in the paper, the remaining 97 percent including the entire character of the paper as a defense of democratic and economic principles was totally ignored.
  2. The few paragraphs about the pipe bomb were misquoted to substantially enhance the "mad bomber" image. Thus my words "dandy shrapnel" didn't sound serious enough for their purposes so it was changed to "deadliest shrapnel". I didn't say anything about killing anybody so they added that I said I was going to kill everybody in the office.
  3. Two county attorneys, Turner and Renner, which as far as I know had nothing to do with my delivery of the paper, were employed to sensationalize the story. It is not of course the province of government (the media does enough of it) to sensationalize stories but to simply give a factual account of the arrest; and their quotes clearly had no factual content nor purpose other than gratuitous character assassination. Such behavior is of course entirely unethical both from the standpoint of a government employee and from the standpoint of a lawyer.


In the plea bargain of June 13, 1997, three out of four of the CHARGES were dropped outright and although the first charge was was not dropped, adjudication was withheld on it; so that I was NOT CONVICTED of anything as the result of a very crooked settlement process that transpired over three years after the charges were brought against me. Clearly, the legal establishment was not doing me any favors. These charges were dropped because they were false; and the legal establishment, including my own lawyer, was well aware they were false from the outset.

This newspaper account scarcely fits such an outcome. As well the single trial of the case resulted an a hung jury (even with a lawyer more interested in supporting the interests of the legal establishment than my interests); another outcome scarcely supporting the character of the News-Press article.

At the same time, this is not what the good old boys had in mind for me during the ten months I was being held on ice in jail, my reputation destroyed, not knowing the charges against me, not having a trial, not offered a plea bargain, and losing everything I owned.

For they were planning on me being desperate enough, after all this time, to accept a conviction on all four of their crooked charges plus accepting five years of probation and community control ---without having to take me to trial (and risk losing and the exposure) ---as the PRICE for my freedom.