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November 5, 1998

Rogue notary public brought to trial
State vs. Shannon Bjorkman begins Friday

BOSTON — This Friday, the first in a series of court proceedings will begin in the case of State vs. Mr. Shannon Bjorkman. Bjorkman, a notary public, was arrested last weekend for notarizing a series of illegal documents.

Also being arraigned as a co-conspirator is Leonard Hertz.

According to the police report, Hertz paid a sum of money for Bjorkman to notarize a document that read, ‘From now on I don’t have to pay for anything.’ A day later Hertz visited Tower Records on Newbury Street, picking out several CD box sets including The Jeff Healy Band and Trixter. Hertz walked to the counter, produced his document and did not have to pay.

"What? It was notarized," says Monty Schlid, the cashier at the time.

Following the record store incident, Hertz went on to have Bjorkman notarize a series of documents, including ones that read "I can have pizza for breakfast," "I get to punch the Chinese," "You are sexually interested in me," "My other car is a BMW," "I can travel through time and teleport myself to Canada," and "I dare you to eat this" — in addition to others.

"I was trapped," Bjorkman said. "I initially met Hertz in his dimly lit basement apartment. He handed me a stack of papers and screamed for me to get to work.

"I began notarizing at once, but then stopped after realizing how ridiculous the documents were. I told him that I wouldn’t work anymore. That’s when he showed me the first document that I notarized and had forgotten to read.

"It said, ‘Guess what? You have to notarize whatever I want. Ha ha.’"

"We got a call that a naked Leonard Hertz was spotted riding a horse down Boylston Street," the police report stated.

"We sent Officer Rodney Pendelherst down to check it out. Hertz showed him a notarized document that simply read, "It’s okay, I’m Lady Godiva. P.S., you’re not allowed to arrest me."

Says Pendelhurst: "I was baffled at first because it was notarized. I was going to let him go. Then he pulled out a note that read, ‘You are sexually interested in me.’

"That’s when I got really confused, because until then I had always labeled myself a Chinese heterosexual. Next thing I know, we’re making out.

"I wake up the next morning in bed with Hertz and he’s eating pizza. An hour later he vomits, then dares me to eat it.

"I figured that there was something strange, so I tried to apprehend him, but he punched me and escaped to his other car which was not a BMW. I finally cuffed him as he was attempting to ‘teleport to Canada.’"

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