Deputy Justin Revnell [Sheriff Scott Fewin's nephew] - Charged with domestic violence
The Traverse City Record-Eagle disclosed that Grand Traverse Sheriff Scott Fewin spoke with the victim / witness in the case against Detective Revnell on three different occassions, after Revnell was charged with the assault...and before the victim / witness disappeared...AND THAT SHERIFF FEWIN WAS DETECTIVE REVNELL'S UNCLE.
Detective's case raises concerns over conflicts
Traverse City Record-Eagle
March 30, 2005
Say what you want about Julius Caesar, the guy understood public opinion.
When his wife, Pompeia, became entangled in an alleged sordid affair, he divorced her, telling his advisers that while there was no solid proof of her unfaithfulness "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion."
Fast forward a couple of millennia to Grand Traverse County, where an officeholder somewhat less exalted than emperor - the county sheriff - finds himself in a no-less-embarrassing situation.
Sheriff Scott Fewins is learning the hard way that it's not always good public service to employ a relative, in his case a nephew.
Justin Revnell, 26, is one of his uncle's detectives, and until he was accused of manhandling his ex-girlfriend he was a junior high school liaison officer. He apparently also has more than a passing familiarity with the grape.
The woman told authorities the detective, on one occasion, threw her to the ground during an argument and another time held her in a headlock. She also said his judgment was affected by his drinking. He was legally drunk when state police interviewed him shortly after the alleged incident.
He denied the accusations, saying she was having a difficult time dealing with their breakup.
Fewins, showing a judgment lapse of his own, spoke directly with the woman about her allegations against his nephew. It was an odd situation for the sheriff to allow himself to be placed. Here the sheriff-uncle of the detective-nephew was talking with the ex-girlfriend-accuser of the detective-nephew. Talk about conflict.
Whatever else they talked about, Fewins said that during their three conversations, the woman said she would not testify or make a complaint against Revnell.
Interestingly, that's exactly how the case concluded.
The woman disappeared. Dust to the wind.
The investigative prowess of law enforcement was useless against the wile of a 26-year-old alleged abuse victim.
Not to worry, though, the public was assured there had been an exhaustive search. But because it was fruitless, charges against the sheriff's nephew would have to be dropped. After all, without a witness what could be done?
The whole affair does nothing to instill confidence in the county's legal system, still recuperating from a couple of body blows to its judiciary.
The sheriff should have stayed out of the case against his nephew. It should have been entirely turned over to the state police and the state attorney general's office for a full investigation and detailed report to the people.
"Above suspicion" applies to cops as well as emperors' wives.