Undercover informant Karen Sullivan may be subpoenaed

Will undercover infiltrator Karen Sullivan have to answer questions in court?
Will undercover infiltrator Karen Sullivan have to answer questions in court?

An undercover government agent known as Karen Sullivan spent two and a half years infiltrating local peace groups. Then she vanished, and the people who thought she was their friend were subjected to early-morning FBI raids and subpoenas to testify before a secret grand jury.

Now one of the activists wants to return the favor. He's introduced a motion to subpoena the agent known as Karen Sullivan and make her take the stand in a court of law.

Mick Kelly is one of the Minneapolis peace-activists who had his home raided by FBI agents last September, and he's also been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Chicago investigating terrorism.

But Kelly is also involved in federal lawsuit against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis over an incident during the 2008 Republican National Convention when police shot Kelly in the stomach at close range with a 40-mm "marking round."

Kelly suit alleges battery, false imprisonment, and violations of his first- and fourth-amendment rights.

The federal judge hearing the case threw out some of his claims last October, but sustained others, and the case has been in a holding pattern ever since.

Sullivan and her supposed girlfriend "Daniela Cardenas"
Sullivan and her supposed girlfriend "Daniela Cardenas"

Now Kelly wants to use his lawsuit to put Karen Sullivan on the stand. After all, she was there when the activists were planning their non-violent march, and she was there at the march itself. Yet when Kelly's case was going through the discovery process, law enforcement made no mention of the fact that an undercover agent had been watching the entire time.

"We're petitioning the court to reopen discovery process of the lawsuit and compel law enforcement to talk about spying that took place before the RNC, at the RNC, and afterwards," Kelly says. "The state and law enforcement agencies have an obligation to say everything they know about that day and the events leading up to it."

Kelly's lawyer, Ted Dooley, says Sullivan may be able to explain why Kelly was targeted to be shot that day. But that's not the only reason he wants her on the stand:

"I want to see what she's like," Dooley says. "What kind of person is it who will befriend folks for two and a half years, share communion in essence, share your children and your heart and your dreams and then so despise them and the friendship and I suppose even herself? What the fuck is she about?"

The woman known as Karen Sullivan hasn't been seen since she skipped town shortly before the raids, and Dooley couldn't cite any cases in which anonymous undercover agents have been successfully dragged back to testify in other cases. But he says it's worth a shot.

"If everyone on the other side can get up under oath and say 'She wasn't mentioned in discovery because we didn't know she was here, we didn't know anything about it,' then fine," Dooley says. "But i want it under oath, because frankly, it stinks."

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