Ever read a story in the newspaper that was so outrageous that you wanted to fling the entire paper across the room?  I did in last week’s Morrison County Record, the January 13, 2008, issue.  The headline says it all – “Wheeler brings $1 billion lawsuit against the state”.  (That’s the headline in the paper version, not the online version of the story.)

For those of you who haven’t been following the Gordon Wheeler saga, this is the latest in a long process that involves Wheeler’s businesses outside the gates of Camp Ripley, including the Camp Bar, Krazy Rabbit and Lookin’ Fine Smut and Porno.  Wheeler was found guilty of prostitution-related offenses in his Camp Bar business and sentenced to 90 days in jail.  Further, the County Board denied him a liquor license.  By following the string of lawsuits he has filed against the county, county employees, and now the State of Minnesota, it’s obvious that he’s steaming mad.  (Links to articles at the end of this post.)

In the article about his suing the State, a list of the offices Wheeler is targeting with this lawsuit includes the Attorney General, Dept. of Natural Resources, Governor, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Health, Public Safety, Military Affairs, Insurance Commissioner, Human Services, Board on Judicial Standards and Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.  What?  No MNDOT?  No Secretary of State?

Wheeler and his wife Kathleen are citing “crimes against humanity” in their case against the State.  In the words of Kyle Broflovsky’s mom on South Park – “What, what, WHAT!?!”  Exactly how is being held accountable for illegal activities considered “crimes against humanity”?  Shouldn’t that designation be reserved for something like genocide?

Kim Slater submitted a letter to the editor of the Record this week that expresses her outrage over the Wheeler matter and she brings up many of the things I’ve been thinking  about the issue.  She says the following:

“I would like to see a “landmark case” brought against you [the Wheelers] for wasting taxpayer dollars and the time of the judicial system once again.”

I concur with you, Kim.  Class-action lawsuit, anyone?  Frankly, though, I’d like to see the Wheelers’ lawyer included in such a lawsuit.  Does this person not have a shame bone in his/her entire body?  Dumb question, I know.  This is precisely the sort of thing that gives lawyers a bad name.

I’d like to give the Wheelers a little advice, but I’ll start with one of Dr. Phil’s stock questions.  “How’s that workin’ for ya?”  Rather than wasting your money (and MINE!) by suing everyone you lay eyes on, why don’t you move to Nevada, where prostitution is legal, and start over by running the business you’d like to run?  Of course, there are laws there that you’d have to follow, but at least you wouldn’t have to work to get a really big one changed.

Here is a list of articles and documents related to the legal issues the Wheelers have had:

Findings of Fact, Conclusions & Recommendation from the State of MN – Office of Administrative Hearings – for Morrison County in the matter of the non-renewal of the liquor license of Gordon K. Wheeler, Sr., d/b/a the Camp Store/Bar/Cafe

Court document related to Gordon K. Wheeler’s request to dismiss or stay proceedings related to non-renewal of liquor license

By typing Gordon Wheeler into the Morrison County Record’s search feature, I got 33 hits between  January 1, 2005, and January 20, 2008 (the current issue).  Here are the stories relevant to the case.

Six arrested for prostitution

Prostitution suspects arrested

Formal charges filed in Camp Bar prostitution case 

Commissioners discuss Camp Bar liquor license

Court order prohibits adult use business

Hearing on liquor license for Camp Bar is postponed

Camp Bar owner, dancer arrested

Commissioners approve three month liquor license for Camp Bar
Commissioners deny Camp Bar liquor license

County pursues injunction against Camp Bar

Commissioners deny liquor license to any Camp Bar applicant

County to seek outside help in Wheeler appeal

Commissioners approve outside council in Wheeler appeal

Dancers, bar owner, testify as prostitution trial gets underway

Wheeler trial breaks new ground for Morrison County

A travesty of justice for Wheeler

Wheeler drops liquor license appeal

Wheeler gets 90 days for prostitution-related crimes

Camp Bar closed

MN court of appeals rules against dancing lounge

Commissioners prepare to reject Wheeler liquor license

Commissioners reject liquor license

Wheeler restraining order petition tossed

Wheeler petitions appeal to supreme court

County discusses new facets to adult use ordinance

County board keeps Krazy Rabbit’s doors sealed

Liquor license precedent set by County Board

Former bar owner claims county corruption

Lawsuit against Morrison County dismissed

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just from reading through those headlines.  If you find a link that doesn’t link up to the proper story, let me know and I’ll fix it.

The shame bone’s connected to the guilt bone,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

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