Daye Speaks Candidly About Fetzer Case
Posted July 8, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — The woman accused of stalking Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer said that no one has been willing to listen to her side of the story.
Thursday night Valerie Daye sat down with WRAL'sBill Lesliefor an exclusive one-on-one interview.
Daye claims that she has been slandered by the media, portrayed as a crazy woman and in the process seen her life crumble.
Now, she wants a chance to be heard and to balance the story. Leslie: "How are you holding up?" Daye:"Well, I'm praying a lot and I'm believing that in the end that everyone will see the pain in this whole situation for everyone. I'm believing that I won't continue to be slandered in the press. I'm believing that people's hearts will open up and they will realize that real human beings are in this situation, and that it hurts, it really hurts." Leslie: "Do you feel that you have done anything wrong?" Daye:"If you had asked me that question yesterday, I would say no. And I guess if you ask it today, then it is no with a reservation. From the hearing this morning I learned that places that I was invited to I shouldn't have been there. I wasn't supposed to be there, but I didn't know that. I think that any time someone doesn't want to be bothered with someone, and they are bothered with someone, then something wrong has occurred. So in that sense, if Tom Fetzer did not want to be bothered with me and if he felt bothered by me, then something was wrong. And that wrong was somewhere on this end." Leslie: "Do you think you are guilty of stalking?" Daye:"No, absolutely not. From everything that I read in the complaint, the allegations of the complaint for the most part are not true. The little truth to the allegations would not rise to the level of stalking in anyone's mind." Leslie: "Could you tell us some things about your relationship with him?" Daye:"Well, I consider Tom a friend since I've known him, and I also consider that we share a commonality in terms of our politics. I have thought that in terms of my political experience in Washington before I moved here, I consider that my experiences in Washington were positive experiences that I could share. I have worked with a lot of politics including his. I worked with the Wake County Republican party, and a lot of other candidates. But I've considered that the contribution that I had to him, and the contribution that I've had to a lot of people, is having different political experiences that I can share." Leslie: "Why were you attracted to him?" Daye:"Tom is a likable person. I don't think that anyone who's met him could say he's not a likable person. When I first met him we would communicate over the phone and in person, and I just enjoyed the conversation. I think that he is an intelligent person. I think there was a time when we shared some books. I have shared with him a lot of political articles. I've done political research.
"I just think that he is an intelligent person and that has little to do with him being a politician, but probably more to do with intelligent people finding other intelligent people that they can communicate with on a lot of different areas. A level of comfort arose when I communicated with him that I had not experienced here very often." Leslie: "Are you angry with him now?" Daye:"I haven't had an opportunity to process that. I'm hurt more than I am angry. I'm very hurt, and that hurt goes to him as well as the press." Leslie: "What about the press has disappointed you?" Daye:"Everything they have said. The fact that they have had such a callous disreguard for the human being on the end of the charges for stalking. From the beginning, I have been convicted of stalking. They have challenged my mental competency totally. They reportedly have medical records, which I certainly have never given anybody, but access to information has been obtained. The information that has been obtained is false information. It is not even real, period. On terms of me being treated by someone that wasn't treating me, I have not been on any kind of medication.
"In 1994 it was discover that I was diabetic and that I was having some episodes. The doctor treated my diabetes aggressively at that time, and the decision was made that I should not be on anything but diabetes medication. When I got my diabetes under control, and that was a hard process, I have not been on any medication, nor has there been a recommendation by a doctor that I be on medication.
"So I'm reading the paper two or three times a week and I'm listening to the news, and hearing the press say that I am required to have some powerful psycho-trophic medication and that I am refusing to take it, and it's not true. That kind of allegation or slander in the paper, what that does is it ruins my reputation so badly that there's not a whole lot places that I can go, or a whole lot of things that I can do." Leslie: "Did you ride by his house? Did you call him repeatedly? Did you show up at the city council meetings?" Daye:"I have never called him at his office in my life. I have never been to any of his offices in my life. If someone has been calling him continuously and repeatedly and saying that its me, and he told that person to stay away, he didn't tell me because I haven't been calling him. I have not been to every city council meeting, but I have consistently gone to the Tuesday night meetings. I watch the whole interaction of everyone." Leslie: "Did you ever drive by his house?" Daye:"No, but I did political research...and I would put that information in his mailbox. I also did news research and put those news clippings in his mailbox on a pretty regular basis. I did do that. I thought I was being helpful. I thought that was a positive thing that I was doing." Leslie: "Are you still attracted to him?" Daye:"Right now I am not attracted to anyone." Leslie: "Did you ever had any mood swings related to manic depression?" Daye:"I don't get angry. Anger is not something that you see coming out of me. I didn't understand what was going on because he said that you've been calling me everyday and I hadn't. But he said it and he yelled at me. I felt helpless, and I cried." Leslie: "Have you ever taken any medication?" Daye:"In 1980, something was going wrong with me and I didn't know what it was. At that time it was concluded that it was psychological, and I was given some medication. In 1991, my brother got his leg shot off, and I fell apart then. I did have some medication at that time. In 1994, a doctor told me I was diabetic." Leslie: "How do you feel about being in court today?" Daye:"I have a cloud over the whole case. While I've not been adjudicated incompetent, I am incompetent to ever appear and address the criminal charges. So I have a cloud." Leslie: "Do you think you will have to go out of state?" Daye:"I will never let my family take care of me for a any long period of time." Leslie: "So you are saying that you may have to leave." Daye:"I won't put any kind of burden on my family." Leslie: "And how are they doing?" Daye:"Well they're trying to keep me in good spirits. Everyone knows how much I am hurting. You have to be purely blind, which I thinkThe News & Observerhas to be, but you have to be purely blind not to see how much this hurts." Leslie: "How are you holding up?" Daye:"I'm taking it one day at a time. Today, I don't feel good because I believed today that things would be resolved, and I see that they are not going to be resolved. I was holding on to some hope that today would be the end of it for me, but today's not the end of it for me. This cloud will not go away. So I am not doing as good today as I was yesterday." Leslie: "Are you going to fight it or just leave it?" Daye:"Well, that is something I am going to have to think about because what I would be fighting for me is the clearing of the slander and all the things that have been said that aren't true. The only way I can fight it is in a case that I don't want to be in. I don't want to appear before Tom and even deal with this. If understanding that most of the allegations aren't true, and he doesn't want me in his space, and he's communicated that to me, which did occur today for the first time, then I don't want to go to court on this, but I don't see another vehicle for me to clear my name."
"I would like to have an opportunity to confront my accusers. From what I've gotten, his family has accused me of a lot of stuff, but by the same token, I'm kind of up against a bigger force than I could ever possibly be. So I don't have the answer. Right now at this moment, I don't see the point of fighting. I have been a fighter my whole life, but right now I don't want to fight. I know that there are a lot of other variables involved in this situation, the fact that all those things happened with my law practice before and everything is coming together for a beautiful ugly picture of me."
"I know there are a lot of other variables besides Tom Fetzer and Valerie Daye. I know that politics is involved. I know that I have made a lot of inroads in my legal work, and while I have had a lot of positive results, I have angered a lot of people. I don't have any animosity towards Tom because I didn't do much of the things that the complaint says I did. If those things were done, then maybe he should be angry with that person, and that person should be angry at him, but I didn't do it."
"He signed a verified complaint saying that these are true allegations. They just aren't, so I don't see a way out for me. Everything I have in my life has come through hard work. I didn't come from privilege. Everything, from college on, working two and three jobs just to get there, and I've lost everything." Leslie: "What have you lost?" Daye:"Everything. My home, my practice, my reputation. At this point I don't feel comfortable going to a restaurant because he might be there and if he's there I might get arrested."
Daye said that she is angry about being sent to prison for several weeks and housed in cramped quarters with convicted murderers and drug dealers. Daye is also worried about her future.