I have been trying to avoid writing this letter for a long time, but feel I no longer have a choice.
While I do my best to keep positive and stick to doing my time, there are things out in the world that do affect me here. I have not felt this depressed and upset since first entering federal prison. I cannot describe what it is like to be in prison, you have to experience it for yourself to understand, but I hope you never have to experience it!
The reason I have been feeling so stressed is because a person I placed a great deal of trust in has let me down. I have mixed feelings because this person, Kari Boiter has shown me kindness in the past and has worked as my advocate for the past 22 months. And for those efforts I am extremely grateful.
However, I am now equally shocked and disappointed by her lack of integrity and lack of professionalism. I feel as though Kari has been manipulating me and undermining my efforts to apply for clemency/ commutation.
Even though she claims to have my best interest at heart, our communication has eroded to the point of Ms. Boiter’s side of communication coming through attorney Douglas Hiatt. It is confusing to me why a friend and advocate now has to communicate through an attorney and to me shows a clear sign of manipulation. I am not relying on an attorney to communicate with anyone, aside from the courts.
At worst, communication with Kari Boiter has been psychotic and threatening. This is the LAST thing I need while I am sitting in prison helpless to control anything on the outside.
I have enough stress trying to be a good father while in prison, and trying to get through what has been the most difficult time of my life. I am also trying to apply for clemency/commutation, with hopes of getting out of prison sooner than later. At the end of the day I want what every person in prison wants, to get home to my family and friends as soon as possible.
When communication started to break down between Kari Boiter and I , she herself made the following suggestions:
1. She wanted to terminate/revoke the power of attorney that I signed to her in case my son needed medical care before he turned 18.
2. She requested that I find someone else to manage my P.R and represent me.
3. She recommended that I have someone pick up the personal possessions and legal paperwork that was stored for me at her home.
These recommendations happened in May/June 2014.I agreed these would be good changes as I wanted to reduce the stress that the breakdown in communication had created. Since this time I have communicated with Kari Boiter and Doug Hiatt about my wishes on numerous occasions. They still have NOT accomplished the few things that I have asked for.
To make matters even worse Ms. Boiter has since reserved 3 URLS in my name (FreeChrisWilliams.com, .org and .info) without my permission and Mr. Hiatt has tried to validate these actions, with half-truths.
I only have a few simple requests. They do not seem unreasonable. Up to this point she and Mr. Hiatt have refused to get these things done. They have also avoided communicating with my new representatives Cheri Sicard and Kristin Flor. Please note that despite anything you might hear otherwise from Ms. Boiter’s camp, Kristin Flor and Cheri Sicard are acting in accordance with MY wishes.
I am hereby PUBLICLY REQUESTING THAT KARI BOITER:
1. Delete the Free Chris Williams Facebook page. While we would have preferred to keep this page up and running, Ms. Boiter refused to give my new advocates access to this page in any way shape or form (in fact she has even blocked Cheri Sicard from interacting with the page at all). Ms. Boiter claims she has rights to this page for her resume and other personal interests. This is unprofessional, immature, and undermines my efforts at public support and clemency.
2. Transfer the ownership of the 3 URLs she registered on June 21st (FreeChrisWiliams.com, .org, and .info) to my new representative Cheri Sicard. I did not authorize the purchase of these URLs and they were done as an act of vindictiveness when I fired Ms. Boiter as my advocate. According to Mr. Hiatt and Ms. Boiter these URLs were reserved for me by Ms. Boiter and the November Coalition. This is NOT TRUE and it was not done with my knowledge. If in fact they were reserved for me then complete control should be transferred to Cheri Sicard immediately along with a copy receipt of the date of original purchase.
3. I would like an accounting record of all funds raised by Ms. Boiter in my name through PayPal, as I know there were deposits. I would like an accurate accounting of these funds and how they were used. I also need her to stop any and all fundraising efforts in my name.
4. I would like Ms. Boiter or her attorney Mr. Hiatt to mail me the notarized termination of the power of attorney that I previously assigned to Ms. Boiter. I am aware that Ms. Boiter thinks she needs to keep the original POA for protection against some other legal action, but I would at least like a copy of the original power of attorney.
5. I would like the correct login ID and password to my personal Facebook page (which Ms. Boiter has changed since I have been incarcerated) also sent to my new advocate Cheri Sicard.
I appreciate that Ms. Boiter and Mr. Hiatt have worked to get my possessions stored at a place other than Ms. Boiter’s home. I know that I still have some items stored at Ms. Boiter’ s mother’s home in Montana. I will have those picked up as soon as it is convenient. I do not wish to be any more of a burden on Ms. Boiter or her family. This is all very difficult to manage from prison.
I do not want to create more conflict. I feel like superego and self-interest have created many divisions in both the cannabis and prison reform communities. What has been going on is way too much unproductive politics and drama that distracts everyone from the larger goals. However, I do believe I have the right to control my own life and do not feel I am asking for anything unreasonable. I am truly sorry it had to be done in this manner, but I have exhausted all other options. I am asking my friends and supporters to please help me during this transition. I sincerely thank you for your continued interest and support.
Editor’s note: Kari Boiter, a former contributor to Toke Signals whom we have known for years, was asked for her response, and we still have received no answer a day later.
But Cheri Sicard, who was asked by Williams to help him with his advocacy efforts, did talk to us.
“I had nothing whatsoever to do with this situation, did not even know about or know who she was or what she had been doing for him,” Sicard told Toke Signals. “I only got involved because Chris Williams reached out to me because he needed help, was at wit’s end, and knew I worked with other prisoners (those serving life sentences for marijuana).
“He asked me if I would consider helping and taking over advocacy efforts for him as things with Ms. Boiter had deteriorated badly, and he didn’t know what else to do,” Sicard said. “I have no dog in the race, I am not part of this controversy or whatever happened between them. I am only interested in helping a prisoner who asked for help, because he was helpless to do anything about his situation from the confines of a federal prison.
“Following his wishes and speaking for him in the manner which he thinks best is my sole interest in this unfortunate situation,” Sicard told us. “I work with many prisoners, and without someone they can trust on the outside, life for them is far harder. For whatever reason, trust between Chris Williams and Kari Boiter has deteriorated. I don’t care why that is, but I do care that one of our most respected cannabis POWs is going through unnecessary stress and hardship. He asked me to help; I agreed.
“I have been corresponding with Chris off and on for about a year, just every now and then, as I do with many cannabis POWs, but I was not involved in any real efforts for him (like I am for Paul Free, Randy Lanier, and Craig Cesal, for whom I do websites, social media and PR). Chris and I always had a good rapport but I am honored that he feels comfortable enough with me to give me this trust, especially in light of his recent troubles.
“I take that trust extremely seriously, as I do for all the prisoners I work with,” Cheri said. “They truly are at the mercy of the world without someone on the outside that they can trust to work on their behalf.”