October 22, 2018, was just another Monday beginning my work week. At least that’s what I thought that day until three days later when two FBI Agents and a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Criminal Investigator showed up at my home and claimed they and others thought I was a domestic terrorist. It took months to uncover enough information that gave a clearer understanding of why the government was trying to make me into a domestic terrorist. I was one of the whistleblowers who was screwed over by the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP). Even though an investigation was conducted in 2019, which revealed OAWP was retaliating against the very whistleblowers it was enacted to protect, more in-depth investigations into OAWP’s malfeasance are needed. There are still many pieces to this story that are missing. I continue to pursue obtaining an investigation and accountability into everyone who was involved in silencing my whistleblower disclosures.
However, it appears the congressional House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) isn’t interested in providing oversight for the VA’s privacy violation epidemic, or the falsifying of reports by VA police, or by other egregious government misconduct committed by high-level officials.
The whistleblower motto is: “Expose it – to end it.” So until a government entity steps up and holds the VA accountable, I and others will continue to exercise our First Amendment rights to warn the public, especially Veterans and VA employees.
Like any other typical workday at the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Santa Rosa, California, I accessed my computer on the morning of October 22, 2018, from an assigned room shared by coworkers, who are all on the same team. The Santa Rosa CBOC is an outpost of the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC). I worked as a social worker with an interdisciplinary team in the Home-Based Primary Care(HBPC)department that provided health care to US military veterans in their homes. The territory I was responsible for extended from Santa Rosa to as far as eighty miles north at Willits, California.
I grabbed my government car keys stored in our team’s administrative staff’s office and headed to Willits. I had three appointments I needed to complete that day, which I did, and returned to the clinic to drop off the government car. Although the clinic closed to the public at 4:30 PM, many staff were still present, including a customarily stationed security guard, who remained on duty until 7:00 PM. I entered the building and dropped off the government car keys and returned home.
Since I worked part-time, the next time I’d be back at the office would be on Thursday, October 25, 2018. However, I never made it back to work. While I was seeing patients in their homes on October 22, 2018, the VA Central Office (VACO) in Washington DC launched an Officer Safety Information bulletin, referred to as a ‘bolo’ for short.
The bolo was a warning to VA staff that I was a “potential threat” to the safety of Oakland VA Regional Office staff. It included my picture from my Veterans identification card, other identifying information, and misinformation. The bolo was sent to multiple VA sites across Northern California and Nevada. Unlike the internal VA Issue Briefs, nowhere on the bolo did it say I was a threat to the safety of OAWP Whistleblower Specialist Brandon Coleman. Coleman was the person responsible for initiating the abusive and vindictive launch of red flag laws against me because I had criticized him on Twitter. Coleman took my tweets out of context and made them into something they were not. Coleman claimed in emails and later in a deposition that he feared for his safety. Coleman lives and works on the east coast. I live and work on the west coast.
Brandon Coleman gained notoriety in 2015 when he purported to have been retaliated against for disclosing to the press that suicidal veterans had been eloping from Phoenix VA facilities. In August 2017, Coleman had been hired as a Whistleblower Specialist for the new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP), another department of the VA, based on the new law that President Trump had signed in June 2017.
It was apparent I was not considered a threat to my veteran patients either, since I was never called back to the clinic, and no one was waiting for me when I returned to the clinic to drop off the government car. While I was with patients in their homes, the FBI and a VA Criminal Investigator came to the clinic but had just missed me. Instead of waiting for me, they interviewed some of my coworkers and managers and then left before I returned. While at work I carry a government phone. In the past, I had been telephoned to come back from the field to the clinic for various reasons, but no one called me to tell me VA police and FBI were looking for me because there were concerns I allegedly was going to kill people. Law enforcement did not stay at the clinic to wait for my return, and it would take them three days to find me.
On Tuesday, October 23, 2018, the FBI and a VA Criminal Investigator searched for me at an old apartment I no longer lived. Despite so many people being alerted, I still had not received a phone call. They ended their search and went home. One would have thought that if they had any real concerns that they would have put more effort into finding me. My employer knew how to contact me and knew where I lived.
On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the FBI and a VA Criminal Investigator again returned to the apartment to search for me and eventually spoke with the apartment manager, who gave them my forwarding address. It took them three days to find me even though the VA knew how to reach me.
Even though by Wednesday, the VA had received a response from the Office of the US Attorneys, under the Department of Justice (DOJ/AUSA) that my Internet posts were not credible threats, the VA police continued to pursue conducting a 902 interview with me in my home, along with FBI.
Title 38 US Code 902 interviews are investigations by the VA Police Department off VA property. They can only be approved by the Office of Operations, Security, and Preparedness (OSP), Office of Security and Law Enforcement (OS&LE) in VA Central Office (VACO). All approvals must be documented in the daily police journal and resulting uniform-offense report.
The US Code (USC) are Federal laws passed by the US Congress. Title 38 pertains to all of the functions of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sections 901 through 905 relate specifically to VA police and are a “delegation of authority” from Congress to the Secretary of the VA to promulgate regulations for law enforcement on Department property. No federal agency can make regulations that have the force and effect of law without such a delegation from Congress.
So for three days, why did no one from the VA contact me?
Why did the VA allow me to work with patients in their homes?
Why did it take three days for law enforcement officials to find an alleged domestic terrorist?
Because they never believed I was, they were only creating evidence to use against me in a court of law.
Some say, their visit was intended to frighten me, harass me, and strong-arm me into silence.
The VA Criminal Investigator, named Lucas C. Coulter, and FBI Special Agents Brett Friedman and Rachael Hamilton came to my home on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, in the late afternoon to ask me to take down my tweets. I had been exercising my First Amendment rights to call out VA corruption on the Internet for a year, and nothing I ever wrote or said was a threat of violence, nor did they meet the legal criteria for a threat.
The tweets they wanted me to remove contained a meme (a picture with words) that had been posted multiple times since March 2018 that Oakland VARO staff did not like because it drew attention to the fact that several Oakland VARO staff were committing various violations of law and ethics, including privacy violations.
Robert Hill, a Rating Veterans Service Representative (RVSR) out of Oakland VARO had brought my Internet posts to the attention of VA leadership starting in May 2018, demanding that I be forced to take down my Internet posts about him. Robert Hill is one of Coach Dennis Uldricks minions, together they had illegally accessed my records and were using the government system disguised as official business to retaliate against me for my whistleblower disclosures from 2008 and 2012. The Internet posts Hill wanted to remove was the same meme Brandon Coleman now claimed I was allegedly using to target him and Oakland VARO staff with violence.
I officially joined the ranks of other whistleblowers who OAWP worked against to protect the people who had committed wrongdoing.
But before OAWP became involved, VA leadership and VA Regional Counsel told Robert Hill they would take no actions to have me remove the material from my website and the Internet. Instead, Hill was advised to take personal legal action or to take it up with my local employer, which Hill did on July 9, 2018, and to my Human Resources Department on July 9, 2018.
For six months, no one ever told me that Robert Hill he feared for his safety. If someone had said to me that Robert Hill was scared for his safety, I would have removed the meme, because it was never my intention to scare anyone.
But it’s not believable Robert Hill was fearful of his safety, this is just another example of an excuse wielded as both a sword and a shield. The only thing Robert Hill and Dennis Uldricks, or anyone else who gets caught breaking the law, are afraid of accountability.
Robert Hill is a musician and regularly advertises where he will be publicly playing around the San Francisco Bay Area. He did not stop advertising or performing in public during this time. Robert Hill is not believable. He is a coward who hides behind the government while he abuses his position. Hill has access to over thirty years of information about me, which he can view from a government laptop in his home. I caught him and others illegally accessing my private records and other abuses.
Instead of the VA holding lawbreakers accountable, they force other VA officials to break more laws to cover-up wrongdoing. It’s not about if that crossroad will come for a VA employee, it’s about when. The crossroad forces the VA employee to choose between their job and their integrity. Some VA officials have no integrity, so it is these officials who rise in the ranks because they are willing to do the bidding of upper management no matter how unethical or illegal it is. Others do not actively participate in it except to observe it, which still makes them complicit. No action is still action.
Multiple people had vetted all of the memes I created, and if just one person had commented that someone could potentially misconstrue the meme as something threatening, I would have never used it. No one ever mentioned to me that the meme appeared threatening, nor did anyone flag it on social media where it had been posted hundreds of times for six months.
I knew Coulter and Friedman were violating my civil rights, so I initially negotiated with them that I would take the tweets down after Oakland VARO misconduct was investigated. I explained at length how Oakland VARO staff had been retaliating against me as a veteran, because of my whistleblower activities.
Many of the people who I had testified against were illegally accessing my Veteran’s records, trying to cut my VA benefits, and claimed I owed the VA money I didn’t owe. The most upsetting to me was that my conversations with my doctors were not private, including my therapy records. I feel extremely violated and betrayed by those who know what Oakland VARO officials are doing is illegal but refuse to stop their activities. I am not the first person who has filed complaints regarding Oakland VARO’s unauthorized access to Veterans’ records of VA employees and whistleblowers.
Robert Hill, along with several other Oakland VARO staff and other VA officials, had been named by me in the complaint I had filed with OAWP. Several VACO leaders were also aware since July 2017 that I had named people who were illegally accessing and weaponizing my Veteran’s files disguised as official business. I had even submitted a statement to the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC)in January 2018 detailing the harassment and retaliation.
It didn’t matter that Robert Hill and other Oakland VARO staff were illegally accessing and weaponizing my Veteran’s files from their government laptop in their home. Robert Hill knew where I lived, along with decades of information about me, including my very private and sensitive health and therapy records.
Yet, the FBI Agent Brett Friedman claimed I was stalking Robert Hill, and told me that people thought I was going to commit a mass shooting at the Oakland VARO. Lucas Coulter said that people thought I was also going to commit a mass shooting at the clinic where I worked. After hearing how the people, who I reported had broken laws to retaliate against me, were now the victims of extraordinarily absurd and unfounded claims, I had a panic attack, as would any reasonable human being.
While I was composing myself in another room, my husband told our visitors that he would have me take down the Internet posts, which was sufficient for them at the time, and they left. And my husband and I thought it was over.
It wasn’t over, though. I left home to go to work to tell my coworkers what had happened and to check on my dad, who had become collateral damage to my whistleblower activities. While I was out, my husband called me to tell me that the local sheriff was at our home and wouldn’t leave until I came back, so I did.
I called a few friends on the drive back to alert them about a very strange wellness check. When I finally arrived home, I was not allowed to return to the inside of my home. I told the sheriff everything that had happened, while he waited for the Sonoma County Mobile Support Team (MST) to arrive. I told Sonoma County officials I experienced a panic attack after hearing some outrageous claims. I have a long history of panic attacks, which does not make me or anyone mentally unstable or violent. A panic attack is a flight/fright response, not a violent reaction. The FBI Agents and Lucas Coulter had contacted Windsor police because they were allegedly concerned about my mental status.
Their concerns were bullshit because in documents I obtained later showed Friedman and Coulter gave Sonoma County officials a fake mental health diagnosis of me and false evidence. Friedman and Coulter knew that the DOJ/AUSA had cleared all my internet posts as not credible threats. Yet, they still told Sonoma County officials I allegedly was going to commit a mass shooting at the Santa Rosa CBOC.
I can understand how county officials could feel pressured by the federal government to do something even if it is unethical and illegal. The federal government can and does behave like bullies towards local governments. But no one stood up for my civil rights in my local government to protect me from corrupt federal officials. They all knew if the FBI really thought I was a domestic terrorist, I would have been arrested. Instead, Sonoma County officials went along with the absurd accusations and propagated more lies, which freaked out my husband and me.
It was irresponsible and negligent what Sonoma County officials did. If I truly had been mentally unstable, Sonoma County did nothing to stabilize a crisis. Instead, they said and did things to make my husband and I feel terrorized.
I later learned I was only required to be assessed by the Sonoma County MST because the sheriff had prevented me from re-entering my home. None of the law enforcement officers had obtained a warrant. I would not have been subjected to questioning or an assessment if I had already been in my home when county officials arrived. As long as an individual does not leave the boundaries of their house, such as stepping out the door or into a garage, officials without a warrant cannot force a person to do anything.
Unfortunately, I came back to my home, and I was prevented from re-entering my home. Three Marriage Family Therapists arrived with the Sonoma County MST. Two therapists questioned my husband separately inside our home, and the third questioned me with the sheriff in my driveway.
Many counties have Mobile Support Teams, who partner with local police departments to provide field-based support to requesting law enforcement officers responding to a behavioral health crisis. The goals of Mobile Support Teams are to promote the safety and emotional stability of community members experiencing behavioral health crisis, minimize further deterioration of community members experiencing a behavioral health crisis, help community members experiencing crises to obtain ongoing care and treatment, and to prevent placement in settings that are more intensive, costly, or restrictive than necessary and appropriate. Staff who are assigned to Mobile Support Teams are supposed to be trained in providing evidence-based assessments that assist in determining if the individual should be placed on an involuntary hold, and to provide interventions to individuals experiencing a crisis.
Mobile Support Teams usually receive government funding through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). Sonoma County MST also received funding through the Investment in Mental Health Wellness Act of 2013 (SB 82) “Triage Grant.” The purpose of the triage grant is to increase the number of personnel to provide crisis intervention, crisis stabilization, mobile crisis support, and intensive case management and linkage to services. These funds provide the opportunity for counties, counties acting jointly, and city behavioral health departments to reduce the costs associated with long stays in emergency departments, link to services for those released from jails, and reduce the time spent by law enforcement on mental health crisis calls.
At the conclusion of Sonoma County MST’s assessment, I was told I was going to be placed under a 5150 hold, which in California is an involuntary 72-hour psychiatric hold for people who are a danger to others, or a threat to themselves, or are psychotic or delusional. I asked the Marriage Family Therapist (MFT), named Charles Alarie, who had been allegedly assessing me, why he was placing me under a 5150 hold because I clearly did not meet criteria. He refused to tell me, which he was legally obligated to do so, but instead asked me to trust him.
I was not in crisis, I was not a threat to anyone, yet Alarie went against his clinical training and broke the law to have me involuntarily committed.
Since my day had already been so weird, I agreed to go along. Not that I had any choice in the matter. It would have been absolutely futile to argue with Charles Alarie and the sheriff in the driveway of my home.
The sheriff drove me to the Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) for an assessment. The sheriff thought it would take about an hour, and then I would be released. But I wasn’t. I had to stay the night. I only went through an intake conducted by another Marriage Family Therapist (MFT) because the on-duty Sonoma County CSU psychiatrist, Dr. Michael F. Kozart, had refused to evaluate me. I was transferred to Travis Air Force Base (AFB) for evaluation the following evening. I disagreed with the transfer because psychiatric hospitalization was not appropriate. I clearly was not in any state of crisis. None of what was happening to me at the time was making any sense. It didn’t make any sense because I was being framed.
Typically what happens to community members, who are 5150’d, can remain at Sonoma County CSU for the remainder of the 72 hours or released before if doctors cleared the patient. However, I was not allowed this option because my primary care health care provider was the VA, who had refused to authorize payment to Sonoma County CSU for further treatment.
Many veterans use private health insurance in conjunction with their VA health care benefits, and so had I. I had a federal employee Blue Cross & Blue Shield health care plan, which was used by the VA. The advantage I received by doing this was that the VA used my private insurance plan to pay for most things, while the VA paid for my co-payments. But this also meant the VA was the gatekeeper.
The VA was refusing to authorize any payment to a non-VA facility. I had refused to go to the closest VA health care facility (SFVAMC) because the facility was also my employer. The VA sent instructions to Sonoma County CSU to have me transferred to the next closest facility, which was Travis Air Force Base (AFB).
The following night I stayed as an inpatient at the Travis AFB psychiatry unit, and was cleared by a panel of doctors, and was released late in the day on October 26, 2018, less than forty-eight hours later since I had been placed on the involuntary hold.
While I was placed under an involuntary hold, VA police updated their issue brief, knowing full well where I was being detained on October 24, 2018. And they never told my immediate supervisor who, along with my coworkers, had become alarmed when I did not show up or call to explain my absence the following morning. My husband was contacted, and he informed my immediate supervisor where I was.
The contrast was profound. The VA called me when I was thirty minutes late to work on October 25, 2018, but absolutely no one called me to tell me they thought my internet posts made me dangerous.
The Issue Brief, which VA uses to document events and to communicate with VACO, stated on October 24, 2018:
“The VA Investigator and two FBI agents interviewed the employee and her husband in her home on 10/24/18. The employee stated she has never been violent and only posted the image to get attention because of her long-standing struggle with the Oakland VARO. After a lengthy interview, both the VA Investigator and FBI agents do not believe that the employee is a risk to others or herself. It is the statement of the AUSA, FBI, and VA Investigator that there is no reason she should not be allowed to report to duty. She will return to duty tomorrow.”
FBI Agent Brett Friedman had been in contact with the sheriff later that evening after he had detained me. He was a Windsor Police Deputy (WPD). The Windsor Police Department contracts with the Sonoma County Sheriff Department. The sheriff had informed Brett Friedman on October 24, 2018, at about 8:22 PM that I had been placed on a 5150 hold up to 72 hours and thought that I would be out of the Sonoma County CSU in about one hour.
While I was being held at Sonoma County CSU, my husband and I were told some very outrageous claims. According to Sonoma County CSU staff, I had been placed under a 5150 hold to ‘save me’ from getting arrested by FBI for domestic terrorism, and that the officers who had been in my home had to withdraw their weapons and almost used deadly force on me. Sonoma County officials didn’t ‘save me’ from anything.
These outrageous claims came as a complete shock to my husband and I. We were in utter disbelief.
According to Sonoma County CSU staff, the FBI did not have the jurisdiction to arrest me, that only the sheriff could arrest me. As a compromise with the FBI, the sheriff placed me under a 5150 hold for psychological evaluation. Among other outrageous things, I was told if I walked on any federal land, I would be arrested, which included the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stationed at all airports.
My husband and I became even more alarmed and terrified. At no point during the FBI’s and VA Criminal Investigator’s visit did anyone withdraw a weapon, nor did anyone almost use deadly force. These were all lies.
I spoke to two different seasoned attorneys with law enforcement experience about what Sonoma County officials had told my husband and me. Both attorneys reported they had never heard of a case like mine and found the details of the events very peculiar. Both agreed that if the FBI thought I was a domestic terrorist, they could arrest me despite what local law enforcement thought of me. I didn’t need to be on federal land to get arrested. Basically, the information Sonoma County CSU staff gave me was grossly inaccurate, misleading, and abusive. FBI has jurisdiction to arrest individuals for domestic terrorism allegations, but the VA could not because it was out of the VA’s jurisdiction, not the FBI’s.
The first attorney I consulted had over thirty years of experience working as a district attorney. He questioned if the people in my home were even really FBI agents, and requested I have my local police department conduct an investigation. I had seen badges hanging from the FBI agent’s necks, but I had not looked at them closely. Both FBI agents did not leave a business card; only the VA Criminal Investigator Lucas Coulter did.
I tried contacting Lucas Coulter to find out the names and badge numbers of the two FBI agents, but he never returned my communication. I also made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI to obtain the report but received notification that no report existed.
I also reached out numerous times to the Sonoma County MST and spoke with one of the therapists who had been at my home. He told me he needed to get authorization from his supervisor before he could release any information about the FBI agents. Over a period of several weeks, I kept calling this therapist, who kept stalling. He reported he kept missing communication with his supervisor. Eventually, he and the other MST therapists refused to return my communication.
I contacted their supervisors, such as Client Care Manager Karin Sellite, who also refused to return my communication. I went to a Sonoma County Mental Health Board meeting and told them about my difficulties in reaching officials. I was referred to the new Behavioral Health Division Director Bill Carter, who told me there was no oversight entity for the Mobile Support Team, but gave me the number to the SmithWaters Group, a Patient Rights Advocate (PRA) organization, who had been hired by Sonoma County to manage its PRS services. Even the SmithWaters Group was given the runaround and was unable to obtain the 5150 (DHCS 1801) document I was seeking.
Since I wasn’t getting any information about the FBI agents from the VA, the FBI, or Sonoma County officials, I followed the advice of the attorney who questioned whether or not they had been FBI agents. I went to my local police stationed to file a report requesting an investigation. The Windsor Police Department deputy thought my request was strange and told me he was not familiar with such a request. He told me he would look into it. While I was still in the parking lot of the Windsor Police Department, I received a call from the deputy, who reported that indeed the people who had come to my home were FBI agents but did not know their names. I politely asked how the station verified that the people who called into the station to request a welfare check of me were FBI agents.
The response he kept repeating was that “criminals do not call police stations.”
I walked back into the station to request a copy of the station’s protocols for verifying outside law enforcement agencies who call into the station. The deputy who had spoken with me came out to the front lobby in a very defensive stance, puffed up his body carriage, and made a dramatic move with his arm and hand to turn on his body camera fixed to his chest. The deputy reported he had spoken to his supervisor, and the only thing I needed to know was that the people who had been at my home were FBI agents. The Windsor Police Department, along with Sonoma County officials and the VA were refusing to give me the FBI agent’s names.
While standing in the Windsor Police Department lobby, the deputy told me my “beef was with the FBI” and that I “shouldn’t have threatened to kill my patients and coworkers at the Santa Rosa VA clinic.” I told him I never made any threats to anyone ever. I explained how my husband and I were terrified because what we had been told and accused of was not true. We were worried we would be further fraudulently accused and framed for something we did not do, or worse, our safety and lives were in jeopardy.
He didn’t care. To him, I was not believable. The VA had successfully discredited me in my community, which puts me in further danger because people will not believe me no matter how credible I am. He reported he could only investigate after a crime had been committed, which was what I was reporting to him. But when a law enforcement officer commits a crime against citizens by making fraudulent claims, those crimes are not considered an offense. Law enforcement behaves like a group of thugs when they protect their own from accountability.
My husband, for the first time, started smoking. He usually is very down to earth. But the events that kept unfolding made us extremely on edge. We had a security system with cameras installed at our home, and any little noise woke us up at night. Every time I heard a siren or saw a law enforcement car, I panicked. I was also terrified to come to the front door. Nothing made any sense to us. I have several friends and family who are or were in law enforcement, and everyone reported what happened to me was not standard protocol. I was told that it appeared someone had used back channels known as applying the “federal grease” to make things happen that were not above board or part of any regular operation.
Lucas Coulter did not like the email I sent to him on November 14, 2018, requesting the names and contact information of the FBI agents, including other questions I had regarding a status update on his report, and the investigation I had requested of Oakland VARO staff who were retaliating against me. While Lucas Coulter was in my home on October 25, 2018, he told me he wasn’t aware of the harassment by Oakland VARO staff but would look into it.
After I sent Coulter the email on November 14, 2018, he spoke with FBI Special Agent Brett Friedman. According to the FBI’s unofficial report, Friedman’s entry dated November 14, 2018, stated he learned from Coulter that I had not been terminated from my job and that I would be allowed to return to work.
Friedman and Coulter began covering up what they had done to me. On October 25, 2018, they had not objected to me returning to work. Per VA’s Issue Brief, all three law enforcement officers had agreed that I was not a risk to others or myself.
Only when I started investigating how I was illegally involuntarily committed did their tune change. Coulter and Friedman started building a fraudulent case to claim I was mentally unstable and dangerous. SFVAMC leadership was expecting me back to work upon the conclusion of my FMLA leave, but Coulter and Friedman were working on creating a false case for why they should not allow me to come back.
There are many inconsistencies between the VA police report, the FBI’s unofficial report (there is no official FBI report), other VA reports, and Sonoma County’s report. It was apparent they were having a hard time keeping their cover-up stories straight. It is probably one of the reasons the FBI attempted to have the unofficial FBI report permanently sealed from the public during legal proceedings with the US Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) over the termination of my job.
After I had been released from the involuntary hold on October 26, 2018, I took medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, because my husband and I were quite distraught over what was happening to us. Also unbeknownst to me at the time, I was suffering from a severe side-effect to a prescription medication I had been taking for panic attacks, called Duloxetine, a generic form of Cymbalta.
I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are several signs and symptoms associated with PTSD, which include anxiety, panic disorder, and other physiological and psychological responses, such as gastrointestinal disturbances. However, what I didn’t realize at the time was the way Duloxetine was wreaking havoc on my body. I had assumed that the tremendous stress I had been under was inflaming my irritable bowel syndrome and causing my migraines.
Since the VA was my primary health care provider, I had no access to any medical treatment, unless I dared to walk on federal property. According to Sonoma County officials, I would be arrested for domestic terrorism. I was trying to find the right attorney to represent me before I walked on any federal land. Over a month later, the VA issued me a letter claiming I could only receive treatment if I was escorted by the same police who were fabricating evidence against me.
Meanwhile, I spoke with my immediate supervisor weekly, who expected I would be returning to work as soon as I felt better. Yet, Coulter and Deputy Chief of Police Martin Sizemore, along with Santa Rosa FBI, were busy little beavers building a case for SFVAMC leadership with all the reasons why I should not be allowed to come back to work.
Sizemore sent an email to the local Santa Rosa FBI office supervisor SSA M. Vanek on November 30, 2018:
“I have been communicating through Lucas Coulter in ref to Jamie Fox. Since early morning, I have been working with the hospital leadership conveying our agencies joint concerns regarding her mental instability and potential for violence. I am hoping for anything written from you or your agents asap sharing the same concerns so we can take the necessary steps to mitigate the risk.”
This email has nothing to do with my alleged “mental instability” or “potential for violence.” Instead, it has everything to do with retaliating against a whistleblower. Only licensed doctors can conduct psychological assessments, not law enforcement officials, yet SFVAMC’s lugnut Deputy Chief of Police Martin Sizemore was allowed to travel way outside his job description lane.
Where was SFVAMC’s Chief of Police, Robert Baczek, while his underlings plotted against me?
Lucas Coulter sent his statement via email to Deputy Chief Sizemore on November 30, 2018, which contradicted his October 25, 2018 statement:
“Concerning the investigation of Jamie Fox, a VA employee at the Santa Rosa Clinic. Based on the investigation by myself as well as Special Agent Brett Friedman of the FBI we believe Fox is a threat risk. The original tweet with her face photoshopped over a movie actors holding a firearm and specifically naming the Oakland VARO is troubling and of grave concern. After a joint interview of Fox where she refused to acknowledge the cause for concern and exploded into a rage we believe Fox should not be allowed to return to work. Please contact myself of SA Friedman if anything else is needed.”
Coulter and Friedman are clueless when it comes to witnessing a panic attack, which any normal human being would have given the same situation. Their logic was if I didn’t remove the tweet/meme from the Internet, that meant I was allegedly going to commit a violent crime in the future. Even if I had exploded into a rage as they claimed instead of the panic attack, I had every right to do so, because they were guests in my home make outlandish claims. They had no warrant and no authority to make me do anything. Exploding into a rage is not indicative of future violence. The officers were in my home, violating my civil rights. By law, my tweets/memes never met the legal criteria for a threat and were never intended to be a threat.
They didn’t like the fact that I accused them of being pawns used to harass me in my own home. As a female working in male-dominated fields in my previous careers (ie, military), weak men react violently when females bruise their little egos.
The people who committed violence were the Coulter, Friedman, Sizemore, Coleman, Hill, and all those who violated the law to violate my rights.
Coulter, Friedman, and Sizeman were working with the Veterans Affairs Central Office (VACO) to silence me. Coleman had initiated the plan but used Robert Hill as their excuse. As I have said previously, Hill had tried for months to get many VA officials, including VA leadership, to make me remove the tweets/meme since May 2018. No one had been concerned about the tweets/meme until OAWP and Coleman fabricated a plan to make people concerned.
Friedman told me in my home that Hill had been too scared to go to work and had been working from home. Yet, Hill’s regular schedule had him teleworking from home four days per week anyway. And he never stopped performing in public. Among other absurd claims, Hill stated he thought other Oakland VARO employees who I was friends with were conspiring against him to harm him.
Further egregious government misconduct showed multiple SFVAMC and VISN 21 staff falsifying reports, such as the Issue Brief. An email went out on December 11, 2018, bringing it to the attention of top leadership, pointing out the inconsistent reports and that they needed to be changed to match.
The Issue Brief Initial entry 10/24/18: The VA Investigator and two FBI agents interviewed the employee and her husband in her home on 10/24/18. The employee stated she has never been violent and only posted the image to get attention because of her long-standing struggle with the Oakland VARO. After a lengthy interview, both the VA Investigator and FBI agents do not believe that the employee is a risk to others or herself. It is the statement of the AUSA, FBI, and VA Investigator that there is no reason she should not be allowed to report to duty. She will return to duty tomorrow.”
The Issue Brief for 10/24/18 changed on 12/11/18 to read:
“On 10/24/18, a VA Criminal Investigator and two FBI Special Agents interviewed the employee who confirmed that she was the author of the threatening meme. The meme included an image of, who the employee believed was the Oakland VARO employee responsible for allegedly accessing her benefits file inappropriately. During the interview, the employee became enraged and was no longer willing to cooperate, and the interview was concluded. Immediately after the interview, the Investigatory and Agents contacted the local county mental health and conveyed their concerns about the employee’s erratic behavior. County mental health professionals responded to the employee’s location, completed an independent mental health assessment, and placed her on an involuntary mental health hold. At this time, SFVAHCS leadership was told that the threat did not appear to be credible.”
But I was not given an independent mental health assessment by the Sonoma County Mobile Support Team. The Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit shipped me off to Travis AFB, instead of evaluating me. A panel of doctors at Travis AFB evaluated me, and I was released less than 46 hours later. If I had been mentally unstable, I would have remained at the facility, but I wasn’t. And if I had been considered dangerous, I would have been arrested, but I wasn’t.
It took me five months to obtain the 5150 (DCHCS 1801) document Charles Alerie used to place me under a psychiatric hold illegally. I had to write to the board threatening to sue Sonoma County if they did not give me the document, which they were legally obligated to provide me with, but were withholding. I finally received the document a few days after I wrote to the Department of Health Care Services, Mental Health Services Division in Sacramento, Sonoma County’s Mental Health Board Executive Committee, and the Board of Supervisors, threatening to sue Sonoma County.
I was shocked to learn that Charles Alerie admitted on the 5150 (DHCS 1801) that he had not evaluated me, which was his legal obligation to do. He didn’t say it in those exact words; rather, he wrote that the FBI thought I was mentally unstable.
So why did they need Charles Alerie to evaluate me if the FBI had already determined I was mentally unstable?
What purpose does the MST serve if all they are going to do is do what law enforcement tells them to do?
This isn’t advising law enforcement when clinical staff is being dictated to by law enforcement. It’s called government official cover-up harassment because all these people are protected by immunity when they involuntarily commit someone.
Ignoring all of his clinical skills and training, Alerie took orders from the FBI and VA to write this on the 5150 (DHCS 1801):
“FBI agent (Friedman) reports individual presented with severe paranoia & escalation when confronted about threats made on social media to shoot coworker. Individual refused to remove post on social media & nearly required deadly force due to level of escalation. FBI agent reports clear belief based on risk assessment individual will harm her coworker.”
“Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department & FBI report individual is posting messages & images on social media threatening to kill past coworker due to beliefs she is being spied on by him as retribution for past employment action.”
There is no evidence to support the claims Alerie wrote on the DHCS 1801 Form. The FBI didn’t even write this information in their unofficial report, nor did the VA police.
Only the VA police reported: “SA Friedman took a position of tactical advantage covering the kitchen while agents closed the interview with [husband] who was still in the living room at approximately 1515 hours. Agents retreated out of the home to their vehicles and safely left the area.”
But Friedman wrote in his FBI report:
“SA’s Friedman and Hamilton, out of concern for the safety of the Agents, stood up from the couch and began to move towards the front door to exit the residence.”
Sonoma County officials told me that the FBI had sent out two inexperienced desk jockeys and that I had allegedly frightened them when I had a panic attack. My husband reported they weren’t scared at all, no weapons were drawn, and no tactical position was taken. Instead, they told him to check on me in the other room, but my husband said I would be okay. They continued the conversation and left when my husband said he would have me take down the tweets. My husband firmly believes that if he had gone into the kitchen to check on me, they would have shot us both, and that’s why he also became terrified.
We have since learned trying to get help from corrupt officials is nearly impossible. It’s becoming all too commonplace for law enforcement to kill innocent people, and they are rarely ever held accountable.
VA police reported to VA officials three weeks after October 24, 2018, the reason they thought I was mentally unstable and a danger to others had to do with Sonoma County’s determination. Yet all the while, they were trying to hide the fact that VA police and FBI had given Sonoma County officials fraudulent information, and Sonoma County was helping them to hide how they framed me by refusing to give me the 5150 DHCS 1801 Form.
These officials played the blame game to cover up their malfeasance. No one in all the thousands of documents I have obtained has ever taken responsibility. Sonoma County said I was mentally unstable and dangerous because the FBI told them I was. FBI and VA Police claimed I was mentally unstable and dangerous because Sonoma County claimed I was.
Are you beginning to see how cover-ups work?
According to the unofficial FBI report, Friedman expressed to Sonoma County officials that they had ‘grave concerns’ I could still legally purchase a firearm and that if I had access to a firearm, I would be a threat to the safety of myself and others. So VA police, in conjunction with FBI and Sonoma County, had me illegally involuntarily committed so they could take away my legal right to buy a gun based on false evidence and accusations. Yet despite Friedman having this conversation with Sonoma County officials on October 24, 2018, it was never mentioned in the VA Issue Brief.
Even though they took away my Second Amendment rights, which according to them, made me dangerous, they still were trying to make the case that I was dangerous as the reason for preventing me from returning to my job. And still, not sure how firing me would make me less dangerous and mentally unstable, since SFVAMC was my primary health care provider. None of the reasons they used and the actions they took justified or remedied anything. Their goal was to punish me for speaking the truth.
An individual who has been placed on a 72-hours involuntary hold loses their right to purchase or possess a firearm for five years. I have also read that it is very difficult to get Second Amendment rights re-instated even after the five-year probation.
FBI and VA were allowed to take away my First Amendment rights to free speech, my Second Amendment rights, and my right to Due Process with the help of Sonoma County officials.
The VA then re-submitted their new fabricated evidence to DOJ/AUSA on December 3, 2018, hoping to have me prosecuted for a federal crime I did not commit. Coulter was working with an unnamed VA Regional Counsel attorney, most likely James Byrne, who was recently fired from the VA in February 2020. Byrne has been accused of retaliating against other VA whistleblowers. Coleman worked with Kirk Nicholas, the OAWP Executive Director, at the time who left the VA in early 2019. Nicholas works now as a federal consultant. Peter O’Rourke was working as a Senior Advisor at the time; the new VA Secretary named Robert Wilkie replaced him in August 2018. O’Rourke left the VA in December 2018 and is currently the head of the Florida GOP.
O’Rourke, Nicholas, and Coleman have been implicated and accused of whistleblower retaliation. Many VA whistleblowers continue to push for more in-depth investigations, but HVAC has not been interested.
Ultimately, the DOJ/AUSA declined to prosecute me for the fake crime. After all, they had determined back in October 2018 that the Internet posts were not credible threats. And a bunch of law enforcement thugs pretending to be doctors and falsifying evidence would not have stood up in court before a jury of peers.
The VA eventually settled with me before going to the MSPB hearing for the loss of my job. The settlement is confidential and admits no fault on behalf of the VA. I can say the VA issued a letter for me to bring to the Windsor Police Department and Sonoma County officials, which states the VA never found any evidence that I threatened to kill or harm anyone. But I have been too afraid to bring it to the station since I was treated so horribly by them. I don’t trust them.
Veterans Affairs Unlawful Detention Schemes
The Veterans Affairs illegal detention schemes are not new. It’s just these cases don’t seem to get much attention from mainstream media. However, a few cases have been reported on such as the case of officer Liam Davis who refused to falsify documents and evidence involving a Veteran who was falsely accused of actions he never took. The Daily Caller has been one of the leading media outlets that report stories about Veterans.
Jonah Bennett’s article dated August 21, 2015, “BREAKING: Police Corruption At Phoenix VA By Same Officer Who Raided Whistleblower’s Office,” reported that VA Police Officer Liam Davis had been pressured to write a citation by a supervisor in order to justify their prolonged unlawful detention of a veteran. Davis stated the veteran never made any threats, threatening movements, or made any statements referencing harming [redacted] or others. Davis stated the veteran never became loud or agumentative or did the veteran fail to follow the instructions of officers.
“The Daily Caller just unearthed an outrageous violation of the law and VA ethics called out by one VA police officer, Liam Davis. The Caller found a report showing Mueller was linked to the scheme as the Criminal Investigator. The officer claims Mueller pressured him to create a falsified report and issue an unlawful citation for disorderly conduct.”
The citation was used to justify an unlawful detention of a veteran. Davis wrote a few days later that the citation should be voided because he was pressured to write it to justify their prolonged unlawful detention of the veteran.
Davis explained how Mueller bullied him into lying:
“I protested this citation and the detention to the supervisor in the presence of the physical security specialist. Further, I was told by the criminal investigator to lie and include false statements in the PC statement. The criminal investigator told me to include statements that were false three times in the presence of my supervisor and the department’s secretary.”
In another bizarre case involving Veteran Keith Roberts, who was wrongly imprisoned based on false evidence by the Veterans Affairs and later cleared, instead of the Department of Justice going after the agency, they went after the Veteran because he pissed off the wrong people at the VA. “Roberts’ prosecution for wire fraud was based on thin evidence primarily supported by an incorrect denial of a better PTSD retroactive date,” said Krause.
According to Krause, this all came about when the VA engaged in a witch hunt to show veterans commit fraud on a regular basis when seeking PTSD claims. Roberts blew the whistle on VA for manipulating evidence – an act that would result in a veteran’s benefits being fraudulently withheld, so in retaliation, the VA claimed Roberts committed wire-fraud for a disability the VA had legally granted him. Krause explains the details of this tragic story well here.
Sonoma County – Mobile Support Team
How can anyone trust the Sonoma County Mobile Support Team when they were willing to write a fraudulent 5150 (DHCS 1801) to have me illegally involuntarily committed?
How many other innocent people were illegally involuntarily committed?
What they did to me was never about safety for me or the public. The Sonoma County Mobile Support Team is being illegally abused by law enforcement to punish community members who exercise their First Amendment rights to expose corruption. And that should scare everyone, not just in Sonoma County, but where-ever there is a Mobile Support Team. Punishment disguised as care is deceiving and a betrayal of public trust.
Robert Wilkie, Secretary of the VA – August 2018 to present
James M. Byrne, Former VA Deputy Secretary (September 2019-February 2020), General Counsel 2017 – September 2019
Peter O’Rourke, Former VA Senior Advisor (Aug 2018-Dec 2018), Acting VA Secretary (March 2018-July 2018), OAWP Executive Director (June 2017 – March 2018)
Kirk Nicholas, Former OAWP Executive Director (March 2018 – Jan 2019)
Brandon Coleman, OAWP Whistleblower Specialist (Aug 2017-present); former VA Phoenix VA Health Care System Substance Abuse Counselor – Peer Support
Dennis Uldricks, Oakland Regional Office Coach
Robert Hill, Rating Veterans Service Representative (RVSR)- Oakland Regional Office, musician
Brett Friedman, FBI Special Agent – Santa Rosa, California
Robert Baczek, Chief of Police, San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC)
Martin B. Sizemore, Deputy Chief of Police, SFVAMC
Lucase C. Coulter, Criminal Investigator, VISN 21
Charles Alerie, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT) License # 97280, Sonoma County, Mobile Support Team