10 03 03  4pm Final word of steve on the Citizens fund and Depo remarks  


Statement of Steve Wilson

As you know, John, more than 70 depositions were conducted in the pre-trial process . 
 I personally conducted many of them and was in attendance for every one.  My own deposition
 was taken at least twice, as was Jane’s.  The point is the fact the deposition at issue was nearly 
four years ago, it is not unusual that my memory of every precise detail could have been a little hazy 
when I attempted to provide you responses before I had a chance to review the record.

Let me respond to each of your questions:

1.  Do you still maintain that this was an off-handed remark without a basis in reality?  

Again, the deposition which you asked me about is four years old.  I first gave you my recollection
 of an event that I haven’t committed to lifelong memory.  The fact I didn’t recall whether it was McDaniels
 or Anderson asking the question is proof of that.

Nonetheless, even in my initial response to you—the one that began “it’s been a long time but as I recall…
”—not even in that response did I ever maintain the remark about putting money under my mattress was
 “without a basis in reality.”  What I said to you earlier was:

“Out of exasperation, I suggested maybe I stuffed it under my mattress.  Words on a transcript page may 
be interpreted by you now to suggest something that no one in the room at the time would have concluded 
was a serious response.”

I didn’t mean to imply by that—and I don’t think any fair-minded person would conclude—that I maintained 
then nor do I maintain now that there was “no basis in reality” to the fact that I once took money out a bank
and kept it in an unconventional place.  I have always and consistently admitted it...and it is certainly no evidenc
 of any misappropriation of funds.  To the contrary, it was an effort to safeguard those funds.

2. “If it is an off-handed remark without your intent to be serious, did you
tell the truth in this sworn deposition?  Mr. McDaniels clearly takes your
testimony seriously. How does this square with the earlier statement that
you provided me?

Look, I freely and honestly admitted withdrawing the money and the response that I put it under a mattress 
was indeed meant to be a flip response, regardless of how you read it.  I note on Page 17, beginning on Line 4 
that I freely admitted “The check that came out that day is a cashier’s check.  It remains under the mattress at my house.
  I think that’s where it is.  We may have stuck it somewhere else.”

The relevant point here is that I testified truthfully and honestly that I withdrew money and kept it outside the bank. 
 What I told you squares well with my earlier statements.

3. “What happened to the $5,000, and do you have documentation? If you have documentation, will you provide it?”

"What happened to the money and why" was thoroughly covered in the deposition.  See Page 17, Lines 3 through 24.
  The testimony shows that I swore under oath the money was never spent but was withdrawn in the form of a cashier’s
 check and was held in that form until that very check was endorsed and re-deposited less than six months later on
 November 8, 1999 back into the same account from which it came.

Bank records were provided prior to the deposition and should be attached to that document.  If your Fox friends 
did not provide you with a complete copy of the document, I’m sure they would send it along if you ask.  My copies
of those records, if I still have them, are in storage 1,000 miles from where I am presently working.

4. Do you have documentation that the lawn care expenditure was returned to the Citizens Fund? Will you provide it?

Again, those bank records were produced to the defendants, verified and discussed under oath, and should be
 available to you from the defendant who provided you with what you have.  I have already sworn to this under oath. 
Are you prepared to suggest I perjured myself over $30?

5. Do you contend that hiding money that might properly belong to the IRS is ethical and legal?

There is no factual basis to support your conclusion that Jane or I ever hid money that might properly belong to 
the IRS.  Again, I urge you to read the transcript.  See Page 15, starting at Line 15.

Under oath, I explained my concern that the defendants, through interrogatories and depositions, had expressed 
a great deal of interest in my tax-paying practices over the last few years.  Frankly, given the fact private investigators
 were caught going through my garbage and I could only conclude they were hired directly or indirectly by the 
defendants, I did not believe the defendants were above using what they learned to cause me problems with the IRS.

At the time, we had not yet filed certain tax returns.  After admitting that honestly in response to a question 
from the defendants’ counsel, we were advised that if that fact was brought to the attention of the IRS, the
 agency could move to freeze our personal accounts until a return was received.  That would have made it
 difficult not only to pay our bills but also to finance the ongoing and expensive litigation—a primary benefit to 
the defendant which made us suspect they might well take such action.

Even though we expected not to owe any additional taxes and were working to file the returns, we considered
 it prudent to withdraw money and hold it outside a bank to alleviate any possibility those funds could potentially 
be frozen.  The return was ultimately completed and filed and within six months, the uncashed check was returned
 to the bank and funds re-deposited.

Under these circumstances, we believed then and believe now there was nothing unethical, much less illegal, about
 holding our money in any manner we see fit.

Here’s the bottom line: we promised to use the money on direct expenses related to the lawsuit.  I think I told you
 we have taken great pains to keep that promise.  As I have previously admitted, some of the money was briefly
 withdrawn and held to safeguard it, and a computer error resulted in misallocation was discovered and rectified. 
 Indeed we have kept our promise to donors and contributed funds have ultimately been used for exactly the purpose
 for which they were accepted.