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Jul-14-2010 05:49printcommentsVideo

State Prison Whistleblower Says Oregon Corrections is Blocking Federal Mail

The first video in our ongoing series on racial corruption, Civil Rights violations and highly integrated government retaliation in Oregon.

William Coleman
Photo and video by Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - Corruption under the color of law is a tough beast. It comes in layers because that is the way it has to be; lies always only lead to more lies, and that is the path some strike out on in order to conspire against their fellow man and the notion of justice itself.

As an Oregon Corrections Officer in the state prison here in Salem, William Coleman was set up, lied about, slandered, faced charges for crimes he didn't commit, framed as a philandering homosexual, and somehow came out on top with his life ahead of him, and his dignity.

He lost his career, but that is OK for a guy who was framed on "cigarette smuggling charges" (that was the best the state could come up with, after they interviewed a thousand inmates trying to find the dirt on this man that ultimately didn't exist) and suddenly found himself no longer a law enforcement officer, but a suspect in a contrived smuggling case.

Even though a state public defender representing Coleman refused to call two of his three witnesses, the ones who could really indict their keepers, he still won a unanimous not guilty verdict by the 11 white and one black jury.

William Coleman Discusses whistleblower retaliation, racism and more recently;
possible federal mail violations at two Oregon prisons.

What he has been feeling is the sharp sting of overt racism so obnoxious and pervasive that it takes on a character of its own. This is the good old boys club, where black men are considered lesser than... but in William Coleman this system is meeting its match.

He has been trying to reach three former inmates who were instrumental in helping him prove his defense against the state by mail, and learned this week that not a single letter he sent, of many, have reached these men.

The state of Oregon appears to be in violation of mail fraud and it is only a matter of time before Coleman and these men are in touch. As you will learn by watching the two-part video, the state has good reason to try to keep them apart, but that is only a part of Oregon's continuing stream of corruption tied to his particular case and many others.

You can't talk about William Coleman's story without taking racism into account, and there is also extremely clear evidence of state collaboration to frame him. If you mention collaboration and corruption, then the historic murder of a prison director who tried to expose corruption ultimately comes up.

The Oregon officials tied up in this series of efforts to thwart accountability over racism in the Oregon State Prison are in many cases, longtime employees.

This is interesting. Many of the people who tried to take down Coleman, were also in place in the late 1980's when Oregon's prisons were so rampant with corruption, that an out of state prison director was hired by then-Governor Neil Goldschmidt, to "clean up the corruption in Oregon's prisons".

William Coleman Discusses the fact that mail to particular inmates involved in his
whistleblower case over racism, are never delivered.

As mentioned in previous reports, Michael Francke, who had cleaned up New Mexico's prisons after deadly riots in the early 1980's, went to work, gaining evidence on various officials from the Dept. of Corrections and the Dept. of Justice, after arriving in Oregon in 1988.

He lasted about one year before he was stabbed to death.

A drug addict's testimony was used to convict a man widely considered to be innocent.

When Francke died, all of his accumulated investigative work; a laptop and computer files, reportedly containing information on Oregon DOC corruption, mysteriously disappeared also. The following twenty years have been a free ride for many. All of Francke's work died with him. This alone should be the clearest signal of all that his Murder was an inside job.

We have advised Oregon Attorney General John Kroger's office of the serious nature of this case. At this point we have been informed that because Mr. Coleman has pending litigation against the state, they can not comment on the story. Once again, it seems like we should be talking about separate issues; one involving liability and the other regarding criminality, in essence totally unrelated.

Coleman like Francke, is a determined individual. He has a stronger moral code than most men I have ever known, and in consideration of his unanimous not guilty verdict against a case we now conclusively know was based on false testimony, only possible because of so many state agencies working together, I see him in a light with men who once fought lions in Rome, and occasionally won.

Previous Installments in this series:

Jul-05-2010 : A Denial of Civil Rights- Oregon's Collaboration in Racism Whistleblower Retaliation - Tim King

Jun-26-2010: Getting Refamiliarized with the Murder of Michael Francke - Tim King

Jun-23-2010: Local Media Downplayed Former Prison Guard's Struggle Against Racism - Tim King

Jun-18-2010: Exposé: Skeletons Falling Out of the Closet of Oregon Corrections - Tim King

Jun-17-2010: Scott McAlister: Child Porn-Related Conviction and Practicing Law - Tim King

Great resources on the Michael Francke Murder:
Michael Francke - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Blue Oregon - Who killed Michael Francke?
Ex-employee supports corruption claims - by Jim Redden Portland Tribune

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address:

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LIAR November 30, 2010 4:02 pm (Pacific time)

I read all the articles that Mr. Coleman's name is associated with, it is clear to me this man is looking for $$$, when it would be best for him to just go look for another job, he claims injury, he claim's mail tamporing, what is next?

 Editor: OK, this has to be addressed point by point.  William Coleman will eventually see large judgments awarded in his name but that is absolutely not why he is so deeply involved in this struggle to expose what is taking place inside Oregon's prison walls.  It never needed to go this far, the people at OSP just needed to follow their own rules.  That is all that was ever required.  

This man who claims to be a whisle blower, I think he was envolved in a staff inmate relationship, to many connections with inmates now, what are they buddies or something?

Editor: Do recall that people have been reading this entire series and Coleman's role has been and continues to be explained in great detail.  It is sad that Coleman found more integrity in some of the inmates than he did in his fellow prison guards.  Fortunately for him, these inmates were there to speak the truth when he was framed by state officials in a case that he easily defeated in court with a unanimous 'Not Guilty' verdict on all counts.  I do love writing that by the way.  So yes, he is close to a small number of inmates who he has known for some time.  He had no more of a 'relationship' with these men than any other prisoners however, when he was in the employment of the state.  Most of this has developed in the wake of that.  The funny part is that when Coleman lodged his complaint about the Hitler movie 'Downfall' being played by DOC staff for the inmates, he was accused of this inmate-staff relationship thing.  It sounds to me like you guys reserve that term for your knee jerk reactions. 

No he was mistakenly hired by DOC, he never worked there long, had a ton of issues, and was fired.

Editor: You crack me up.  Not only was Coleman properly hired; his qualifications are heads and shoulders above many other guards at OSP because he is an academy graduate.  That's right, 13 weeks baby, and I know it is a real accomplishment.  So I guess you are very wrong again.  

And all of a sudden he's this whisle blower, I think not, all that he states about Inmate Howard, Inmate Kaha, both human trash!!!

 Editor:Readers, understand that this is an actively employed Oregon guard writing from a corrections computer, based on the IP.  These are your tax dollars at work.  This guard and others in the past have suggested in comments that the inmates do not deserve to be treated in a legal manner.  It reminds me of Mick Jagger singing, "When all the cops are criminals, and all the sinners saints..."  

Coleman never was sh+t bombed because I am sure that being hired in 05 with that kind of seniority was on grave yard or swing shift, and with such a short work history didn't know anything, yet he alleges to have the entire system figured out. I am sure someone may have called him a name he didn't like or something but nothing more......Salem-news needs to isolate themselves from this lame duck.....if not they may reap what they sew......lies.

Editor: I think William Coleman may be the most honest man in Salem.  I think the record speaks for itself.  The book on Coleman's life as a Whistleblower will contain all of the details.

Anonymous August 3, 2010 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

The corrections side of the State of Oregon has no issues. If you want to be a investigative reporter, check out Oregon corrections enterprises. Where is all the money they make going?

Tim King: Well I don't 'want' to be an investigative reporter, I just am.  I actually like surfing and spending time with my family and driving sports cars!  Seriously, thanks for your comment and of course your are raising a good point about where to look.  I will not be able to agree that corrections has no issues; I would say that there are good people working there who deserve a better work environment and we care about them.    

Douglas Benson July 16, 2010 8:06 pm (Pacific time)

Nothing new about losing the mail in DOC . They will just find a good sucker in the mailroom to blame it on . Rule of thumb allways send it certified ,notorized copy ,any lawyer jailhouse or otherwise knows that .You recieved it I have a copy of what was recieved .This is law library rule #1 . If they screw with that keep filing complaints with the postmaster .This needs to be done from outside the prison or you get no real action .So Mr Coleman document and file as many times as it takes ,once or twice they laugh at you show that it happens on the regular and soon the feds will say WTF ? Peace

billhoner July 15, 2010 12:03 pm (Pacific time)

Dear Tim,

Thanks for the excellent article. As a former chair of the Coalition for Equity for Minorities in Sacramento, California, an all volunteer social justice group monitoring excessive force by the police, my experience was that while many officials in public institutions fear the press, Law Enforcement and Corrections officials fear the public examination of their actions more than most. Their frequent response to criticism is to vilify those who question their behavior.

They are ordinary people with extraordinary power and therefore need to be watched. Thanks again for your fine reporting. Best wishes, Bill Honer, Costa Rica

Tim King: Bill, I sure appreciate that.

Anonymous July 14, 2010 2:04 pm (Pacific time)

Too bad there is not a way to compensate current employees to come forward and speak the truth.

David July 14, 2010 1:11 pm (Pacific time)

Coleman is such a clear and gifted speaker, as per federal law he should have been rehired with back pay. So what's Oregon's problem?

Rob July 14, 2010 9:56 am (Pacific time)

While I believe the level of corruption mentioned in this article to be minor compared to the level of corruption Michael Francke had uncovered, the message here is quite clear. Corruption exists in Oregon's prison system and beyond, and it doesn't matter if it's minor or major. It must not be tolerated at any level. One can only imagine the extremes these people will go to to cover their tracks when we see what they put Mr. Coleman through for simply trying to report racial discrimination. Murder perhaps? Well, I guess we don't have to imagine that now do we?

The DOC is delivering their message loud and clear through Mr. Coleman on what others can expect if they decide to be a whistleblower. They're getting what they want, believe that.

Tim, you mention "The Oregon officials tied up in this series of efforts to thwart accountability over racism in the Oregon State Prison are in many cases, longtime employees. This is interesting. Many of the people who tried to take down Coleman, were also in place in the late 1980's when Oregon's prisons were so rampant with corruption."

Can you name names? If not on the website, then privately?

Also LOL...I was really amused at how you filmed Mr. Coleman mailing his recent series of letters, and showing how he obtained a receipt from the post office of doing such. Will be interesting to see if those letters get delivered now. What about using certified mail also? Can't remember how that works if sending to an inmate. Probably only get verification mail was received from the prison. Still, might be an idea. It at least would provide proof letters made it to the prison and if you were able to prove later on the inmates never received those letters...crossout time.

I'm still somewhat in shock that Mr. Coleman won his case, and with a public defender at that. Is there an explanation of why the PD refused to call two of the three witnesses available?

Also, after watching the videos I noticed the audio was out of sync with the video and that the text frames disappeared to fast to read them. May have somehow got out of sync when uploaded to MySpace video. I had that problem once on MySpace. I assume the actual video file plays ok from your computer. If so, then you might wanna try uploading again or using YouTube.

Bravo to you Mr. Coleman for fighting the good fight. It would be a priviledge to shake your hand.

Tim King: Rob, thanks very much, I am repairing the video problems right now and will have new versions up shortly.  I am constantly dragged into the middle of the night with these projects and it is always unfortunate when there are technical problems.  I will respond to your other questions, thanks!  

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.