The case of Dr. Anthony Tricoli is really one which replicates the story of David vs. Goliath. Anthony is representing all citizens of Georgia, whereas Goliath is the Georgia’s corrupt state government and its ill acting Attorney General. What is at stake here is whether or not state officials may be held accountable in any way by members of the public, under the law, for criminal conspiracies that, according to the legislature, harm the State and its people. One judge said Tricoli has done more than enough to make his case and earn his day in court.
Dr. Tricoli is determined, standing tall and is obstinately facing Goliath with sling and rock in hand. And while he has good, right, truth, integrity and ethics on his side; will he get justice from the criminal justice system in Georgia? Unfortunately, the good guys typically don’t win, especially not here in Georgia. But if he does, its a win for all of us!
The case of Anthony Tricoli provides a critical opportunity for the Georgia Supreme Court to decide whether Watts, Carruth, Tarbutton, Huckaby et al. are immune to claims for a pattern of criminal predicate acts brought under the Georgia RICO statute. That includes claims for a malicious campaign intended to destroy Anthony Tricoli’s livelihood and career, in retaliation for interfering with the illegal use of state funds, by knowingly falsifying state agency reports, broadcasting false claims about state business over the airwaves, and otherwise making knowing misrepresentations of matters under the jurisdiction of the state in felony violation of OCGA 16-10-20.
It should not be forgotten that it was a pattern of RICO predicate acts that wrecked Georgia Perimeter College, as well.
“The novel questions raised by the scheme that targeted Anthony Tricoli, and nearly destroyed an entire state institution offering access to higher education, are the most important this Court could entertain, reaching the most basic precepts of the accountability of the government to the governed. According to the Attorney General, the trial court, and the Court of Appeals majority—the citizens of Georgia have absolutely no recourse against even the most sinister, self-serving schemes hatched by state officials. The malice aforethought and the seriousness of the harm to the individual supposedly do not matter.” Stephen Humphreys
“It is documented and alleged that all this havoc was created by state officials who, as the dissent pointed out, did not merely breach a common law tort duty to Anthony Tricoli, but who committed a pattern of related criminal predicate acts, by abusing the power they held by virtue of their positions within a “governmental entity”—as explicitly prohibited by the Georgia RICO statute.” Stephen Humphreys
This is a case of great gravity and concern to determine whether state officials may be held accountable in any way by members of the public, under the law, for criminal conspiracies that, according to the legislature, harm the State. That is especially true in a case, like this one, where the Attorney General the public might count on to deter such criminal conduct, through criminal prosecution, is instead defending the alleged wrongdoers and arguing that they are immune even if they are guilty of the crimes. That makes sovereign immunity a carte blanche for criminal impunity in the halls of state government. The Georgia RICO Act can provide a remedy that is consistent with our values, as embodied in the very words of our Constitution, that no government official, no matter how powerful, stands beyond accountability to the people under the law, when acting with deliberate intent to harm another. That will not result in a flood of lawsuits against bookkeepers who make an honest mistake. It does not protect a budget official who knowingly falsifies the financials of a state agency to hide the theft of funds. It allows us to guard against a King or Queen of Hearts who can run around shouting “off with their heads,” completely uncontested, as happened, in fact, to Anthony Tricoli.
KUDOS to attorney Stephen Humphreys for writing a beautiful and clear argument. We’ve all heard, “the proof is in the pudding”. If that’s true, then this Petition is some great pudding that would be impossible to refute.
Hang tough Anthony, we are all praying that you win…..for all of us.