Thursday, March 24, 2005

Officer Joanne Buiwitt-Shafer - Sentenced - Ann Arbor PD

Also See:

Officer Joanne Buiwitt-Shafer arrested for domestic violence

Fired officer placed on probation for domestic assault
Kalamazoo County jury finds her guilty of attacking boyfriend
Saturday, March 26, 2005

A fired Ann Arbor police officer has been placed on 12 months probation by a Kalamazoo County judge for aggravated domestic assault in the criminal case that led to her termination.

Joanne Buiwitt-Shafer, 39, was also ordered to pay a fine and court costs of $795 after being convicted by a jury Thursday of assaulting her boyfriend following a confrontation at a bar in Vicksburg, near Kalamazoo. The 17-year veteran officer was fired from the Ann Arbor Police Department following an internal investigation into the Nov. 14 incident.

A related charge of larceny less than $200 against Buiwitt-Shafer was dropped earlier after the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office determined that charge didn't fit the case. She was accused in that charge of taking the cell phone from the boyfriend that she was convicted of beating.

According to police reports of the incident, Buiwitt-Shafer and a 48-year-old man identified as her boyfriend were at the Hide-Away Bar when he became upset with her and left. He told police she found him, tried to get him into her car and then began punching and kicking him while dragging him toward the car, the reports said.

Buiwitt-Shafer said Friday that she is appealing the verdict. She told The News in January that the police reports contained inaccurate information, but declined to comment further about the decision or her testimony in court.

A witness told police that he was across the railroad tracks from the parking lot and saw a person lying on the ground and someone above that person kicking and punching him, reports said. The witness said he yelled at them to stop fighting, then ran to Buiwitt-Shafer's car, grabbed the keys to prevent her from leaving before police arrived, and went to a nearby party store to call 911, reports said.

Reports said that Buiwitt-Shafer yelled that the witness who was holding her keys had gotten into her car and stolen the keys and her purse. The witness was handcuffed for a short time and placed in a police cruiser after Buiwitt-Shafer accused him of stealing her purse, reports said.

Authorities said in January that they believed the witness had not taken Buiwitt-Shafer's purse, and that she made the claims to divert attention from the assault.

Kalamazoo County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Klein said Buiwitt-Shafer admitted on the stand that she lied when she said the witness had taken her purse.

"This case says something important about domestic violence - that it does not matter who you are or what your occupation is, domestic violence is not appropriate," Klein said.

Ann Arbor Police Chief Daniel Oates called the incident a sad chapter in the department's history and said the department took swift action.

"We hold our officers to a very high standard in their on- and off-duty conduct," Oates said. "This incident showed she was not worthy of being a member of our department."

Aggravated domestic violence, which requires a serious or aggravated injury less than great bodily harm, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

C.O. David Dorland - Antrim SD

Ex-corrections officer sentenced to prison
Week in review :ANTRIM
September 25, 2005

BELLAIRE - A former Antrim County corrections officer who confessed to having sexual contact with up to nine female jail inmates will himself experience years behind bars.

David R. Dorland was sentenced to three years and four months to five years in prison Monday. Thirteenth Circuit Judge Thomas Power exceeded state sentencing guidelines, which he said "do not adequately address the abuse of authority that occurred here."

Dorland, 44, of Torch Lake Township, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, and two counts of gross indecency. Conditions of Dorland's plea agreement included that he resign as an Antrim corrections officer, where he had been suspended without pay; that he register with the state as a sex offender; and that he give a full disclosure to the Michigan State Police of his inappropriate actions with inmates, county prosecutor Charles Koop said.

Former Antrim County officer will go to prison
David Dorland had sexual contact with inmates
September 20, 2005
Record-Eagle staff writer

BELLAIRE - A former Antrim County corrections officer who confessed to having sexual contact with up to nine female jail inmates will himself experience years behind bars.

David R. Dorland was sentenced to three years and four months to five years in prison Monday. Thirteenth Circuit Judge Thomas Power exceeded state sentencing guidelines, which he said "do not adequately address the abuse of authority that occurred here."

Dorland took advantage of a position of trust, victimizing women, damaging the reputation of the sheriff's department and corrupting morale inside the jail, Power said.

"When I send somebody to jail, I certainly don't send them for the purpose of being molested. This is very distressing," Power said.

Dorland, 44, of Torch Lake Township, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, and two counts of gross indecency. Conditions of Dorland's plea agreement included that he resign as an Antrim corrections officer, where he had been suspended without pay; that he register with the state as a sex offender; and that he give a full disclosure to the Michigan State Police of his inappropriate actions with inmates, county prosecutor Charles Koop said.

Koop said Dorland granted favors to female inmates who consented to sex acts with him, such as making them jail trustees, giving them increased family visitation time, and gifts of cigarettes and soda pop.

Dorland's attorney, Joseph Aprea(*) of Traverse City, noted that each of Dorland's victims "indicated they willingly participated in this sexual conduct," and at least one of the situations was a "reciprocal romantic relationship" that continued after the inmate left the jail.

Koop, however, said a truly consensual relationship with the women was impossible, given Dorland's position of authority over them, and the inmates' reliance on their jailers for all necessities and privileges.

"Mr. Dorland used the county jail as his personal harem," Koop said. "He selected vulnerable women and exploited them."

Dorland sobbed as he apologized to Power and to one of the victims in attendance, who also wept. Dorland also apologized to members of the county sheriff's department and his fellow corrections officers, several of whom were present, grim-faced, in the courtroom."I let you down," Dorland said.

Clearing the RecordBecause of a reporter’s error, this story wrongly identified Dorland’s attorney. His attorney was James Aprea of Traverse City.

Jail guard pleads guilty to felony sex counts
Week in review: ANTRIM
August 21, 2005

BELLAIRE - An Antrim County corrections officer pleaded guilty to three felony counts related to inappropriate sexual contact with jail inmates.

David R. Dorland, 44, of Torch Lake Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of gross indecency and one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, each felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, county Prosecutor Charles Koop said.

Antrim Administration and County Services Committe
May 5, 2005

7. Sheriff Department Grievance

Mr. Garwood and Sheriff Johnson briefed the Committee on the Grievance filed on behalf of Corrections Officer David Dorland.

The Committee met with Patrick Spidell, Business Agent, and Jim School, Chief Steward, for the Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM). Mr. Spidell presented the Union’s position on the grievance.

After a caucus the Committee returned to the table with the Union representatives and informed them that the grievance will be denied. The Committee and the Union representative verbally agreed once the written denial was delivered to the Union an agreement would be made to extend the time periods for filing for arbitration until court action regarding officer Dorland has been concluded. Mr. Spidell will draft the agreement and send it to Mr. Garwood for review and finalization.

Antrim corrections officer arrested in connection with sex crimes
Traverse City Record-Eagle
March 22, 2005

BELLAIRE - An Antrim County corrections officer is in jail for alleged sexual contact with a female inmate.

David R. Dorland, a corrections officer with the Antrim Country Sheriff's Department since 2000, was arrested by state police Monday on a five-count warrant.

Dorland's arrest followed a two-month state police investigation, said Antrim County Prosecuting Attorney Charles Koop.

Dorland has been suspended since Jan. 18, said Antrim Sheriff Terry Johnson said.

"As soon as we found out we took action and began investigating immediately," Johnson said.

"We're totally embarrassed and humiliated over it."Koop said the allegations against Dorland emerged when another sheriff's department employee raised concerns to the sheriff about Dorland's behavior.

Johnson said he doesn't know of any other department employees who were involved in the alleged incidents.

The complaint includes three felony counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one misdemeanor indecent exposure charge and one misdemeanor count of assault and battery involving touching without consent, Koop said.

Dorland, of Torch Lake Township, allegedly had sexual contact with a female inmate at the Antrim County Jail between November 2002 and January 2003 and had sexual contact with the same woman when she was a probationer during the fall of 2003.

Johnson said there are surveillance cameras in the jail but the recording system was not in place during the time in question.

"If there are other victims out there, we certainly want to know about it," Johnson said.

Dorland's arraignment was scheduled for today. Koop and Johnson would not comment on whether he had prior disciplinary problems with the department.

Anyone with additional information about the case should contact Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Gwen White-Erickson at (231) 347-8102.

St. Clair County Jail:
Times Herald

Corrections officer Scott Andrews was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly inappropriately touching two female inmates. Sanders was sentenced to six months in jail and three years probation for sexually abusing the inmates.

Scott Andrews, a second officer at St. Clair County Jail, was also under investigation regarding a charge of sexual misconduct for having inappropriate sexual contact with a female county jail inmate. Andrews pleaded guilty to a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to three years probation. (Times Herald 03/01/05 ; 06/14/06; 06/21/05)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Deputy Justin Revnell - Charges Dismissed - Grand Traverse SD

Domestic violence charges against Deputy Justin Reveell [Dec 30, 2004] were dropped when the victim / witness 'disappeared' after Sheriff Scott Fewin [Deputy Revnell's uncle] spoke with the victim on three different occassions.

Also See:

Deputy Justin Revnell [Sheriff Scott Fewin's nephew] - Charged with domestic violence

Detective Justin Revnell was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and was suspended from the Grand Traverse County Sheriff Department, in January 2005.

Criminal charges against Detective Revnell were dropped, when the victim / witness failed to appear to testify at a March 2005 hearing.... 

 appeared as though the victim / witness had vanished....

....According to Assistant State Attorney General Erin House, the victim's / witnesses's disappearance was "Concerning....she's taken steps that go well beyond what a domestic violence victim would normally do in a case like this... She stopped speaking to a lot of people that she's been close with over the years."

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.

Assault charge against detective dropped after witness vanishes
Revnell will be back to work on Monday
Record-Eagle staff writer
March 11, 2005

TRAVERSE CITY - Instead of sitting in a courtroom as a defendant next week, a Grand Traverse County sheriff's detective will be back on the job.

County prosecutors dismissed a misdemeanor domestic assault charge against Justin Revnell, a six-year officer and nephew of Sheriff Scott Fewins.

Revnell has been suspended without pay since mid-January, when prosecutors charged him with assaulting his live-in girlfriend.

Prosecutor Alan Schneider said he dismissed the case after consulting with Erin House, an assistant state attorney general who handles domestic violence cases in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Antrim counties.

Prosecutors said their case fell apart when their primary witness, Revnell's 26-year-old ex-girlfriend, left the area and couldn't be located to testify at Revnell's trial that was expected to begin March 16.

House said the woman has taken "extraordinary" measures to avoid testifying in the case, and that authorities have been unable to locate her to serve a subpoena compelling her to testify.

"It's concerning ... because she's taken steps that go well beyond what a domestic violence victim would normally do in a case like this," House said. "She stopped speaking to a lot of people that she's been close with over the years."

Because domestic violence victims are sometimes uncooperative with investigators, prosecutors are allowed to use "hearsay" evidence such as 911 calls or previous statements made to police. But Schneider said there was insufficient "third-party" evidence to pursue the case.

"We were depending on the victim coming around," Schneider said. "She's just not going to come through."

Revnell, 26, was charged following a Dec. 30, early-morning complaint taken by Michigan State Police. The woman told troopers she was pushed to the ground after confronting Revnell about his alcohol use.

During that interview, she also told police she was assaulted a few months earlier when Revnell put her in a "headlock" and knocked her feet from under her and put her face-down on the floor. That alleged incident prompted the charge.

Revnell told troopers there was no argument and denied the woman's accusations. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Schneider said there was no effort to deter his office from pursuing the case.

"I don't want anybody to think there's any pressure coming from somewhere else," he said. "He was charged rather ambitiously ... we tried everything we could to put this case together."

Fewins accused prosecutors of pursuing the case too aggressively. On Thursday he said he believed Revnell was charged because he was a police officer.

"Nobody else would have been charged, based on what I saw," Fewins said. "I never felt charges were justified."

House disagreed.

"The facts of this case are similar to facts we charge on everyday," she said. "If it was unfounded, we never would have charged him."

House said the woman also may have been influenced by the media attention to the case, and by members of Revnell's family.

"I know she talked with them about what could happen to (Revnell)," she said.

House also said the case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the charge could be re-filed if the woman is found.

Revnell's attorney, Clarence Gomery, said his client and family had nothing to do with the woman's disappearance.

"My client or myself have no knowledge as to her whereabouts, or her reasons for lack of contact (with prosecutors)," Gomery said.

A police report indicated that when troopers interviewed Revnell, a preliminary breath test indicated his blood alcohol level was .08 percent - legally intoxicated in Michigan.

Revnell underwent an alcohol assessment after being charged, Fewins said, and has taken daily breath tests over the past two months but hasn't been ordered to attend alcohol counseling. The sheriff said he's satisfied Revnell does not have an alcohol problem.

"Absolutely," Fewins said. "I would be shocked if he had a drink in the last 60 days."

Fewins said Revnell will be reimbursed for almost two months of back pay and will be assigned to the department's detective bureau upon his return to work Monday.

Revnell had worked as a school liaison officer at Traverse City West Junior High School but won't return for now; the current school officer will finish out the year, Fewins said.

Officer's trial date set for March 16
He allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend
Record-Eagle staff writer
February 5, 2005

TRAVERSE CITY - A trial date has been set for a Grand Traverse County sheriff's detective charged with assaulting his former girlfriend.

Justin Revnell, 26, has been scheduled for a jury trial in 86th District Court on March 16. He faces one count of misdemeanor domestic assault after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend at the couple's home a few months ago.

Revnell pleaded not guilty to the charge during his arraignment before Judge Thomas Phillips on Jan. 12.

State police took a complaint from Revnell's ex-girlfriend on Dec. 30 after she told police Revnell pushed her when she confronted him about his alcohol use. During the interview, the woman told police months earlier Revnell had put her in a "headlock" before knocking her feet out from under her, then pushed her face into the floor, prompting the misdemeanor assault charge.

The day after his arraignment, Revnell was removed from paid administrative leave and put on unpaid suspension from his post as a school liaison officer at Traverse City West Junior High.

"That is probably where this will stay until the criminal part of this is over," said Sheriff Scott Fewins, also Revnell's uncle, after the suspension. "Then we will close our internal investigation at that time and make a decision if there are any other sanctions that need to be imposed."

As a condition of bond, Phillips ordered Revnell to surrender his personal firearms, restricted him from contacting the alleged victim, and ordered him to submit to daily alcohol tests.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 14. If convicted, Revnell could face a maximum of 93 days in jail and fines.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Assist. Police Chief Walter Martin - Detroit PD


On March 05, 2005, Scott had been arrested for ramming his vehicle into his ex-girlfriend's car, as she was driving [with thier child in the backseat]. Scott was arrested for felonious assault.

Instead of having to wait for an arraignment before a Judge, Uncle Walter Martin [a.k.a. the Detroit Assistant Police Chief], called the jail and had Bennie Scott released within hours of his arrest.

The March 5th arrest for domestic violence was not the first time Bennie Scott had been arrested and charged with a domestic assault. In 2002, Scott was arrested and charged with two counts of felonious assault and one count of using a firearm in commission of a felony, in another domestic violence assault against another woman.

Cop says superior abused his power
March 18, 2005
Detroit Free Press

A Detroit police officer filed a departmental complaint Thursday against Assistant Police Chief Walter Martin, claiming Martin used his rank to get his nephew out of jail recently.

Officer Reginald Crawford of the aviation unit is asking the Police Commission to investigate the matter internally.

"This type of behavior is the epitome of corruption and abuse of power," Crawford said.

Martin called the 11th (Davison) Precinct lockup March 5 after learning his nephew, Bennie Scott, was being held on a domestic violence-related charge. Officers released Scott after Martin said he did not think there was probable cause to hold him.

Prosecutors charged Scott with assault with a motor vehicle, a felony, a day later

By Ben Schmitt
Free Press Staff Writer
March 10, 2005 Bennie Scott sat in a Detroit police lockup Saturday, prepared to spend the night on a felony allegation of ramming his car into his ex-girlfriend's vehicle as she drove in it with their young child.

Then his uncle called.

Before long, Scott walked out of his cell, a free man.

His uncle: Detroit Police Assistant Chief Walter Martin, the department's second-in-command.

On Wednesday, Martin -- who has risen rapidly through the department's ranks -- defended his actions, insisting he did not use his clout to get Scott out of jail.

Though Martin was not at the scene, he said, an officer read him the report over the phone. He concluded there was not probable cause to hold Scott.

Prosecutors came to another conclusion.

They interviewed the woman the following day and issued a charge of felonious assault with a motor vehicle.

Scott, 32, of Detroit turned himself in and was arraigned Monday in Detroit's 36th District Court. He posted 10 percent of a $75,000 bond to be released.

"Personally, I say that I did not do anything wrong," Martin said Wednesday. "Domestic violence cases are very tricky. I'm not going to release someone and jeopardize the safety of the young lady."

Nonetheless, the woman, 24, called police Sunday morning to report that Scott had begun calling her home after his release. She told police she did not answer the phone, but he continued to call and she feared for her safety.

The woman declined comment and asked that her name not be published.

The incident began with two police runs Saturday afternoon.

Police went to the woman's northeast Detroit home on a disturbance call from a neighbor at 12:30 p.m. because of an argument between Scott and the woman after Scott dropped off their 23-month-old son.

The woman told police she wanted Scott to leave. Police told him to do so, and he obeyed. Officers then left.

Less than 20 minutes later, the woman called police from her cell phone and said that Scott had rear-ended her 1999 Ford Taurus, which she told prosecutors was transporting the child. No one was injured. Police met the woman at Van Dyke and Outer Drive and advised her to call Scott.

Scott drove to the intersection and was taken into custody.

Police towed his 2002 Chrysler Sebring and noted there was no damage to either vehicle.

Assistant Chief Martin said his sister, Scott's mother, called him about the arrest.

Police logs obtained by the Free Press show that Martin called the 11th (Davison) Precinct, where Scott was being held, at 10:45 p.m. Saturday and spoke to an officer on duty.

"I was looking at probable cause," he said. "Based on what was read to me, this did not look like a felonious assault with a motor vehicle. There was no damage done to either vehicle."

The logs indicate Scott was to be released after Martin called. But there was one holdup: Scott owed $420 in unrelated traffic tickets. By 11:25 p.m., another family member paid the tickets and Scott left the lockup.

Scott declined comment Wednesday.

Maria Miller, spokeswoman for Prosecutor Kym Worthy, explained that staff members interviewed the woman, which is office protocol for people suspected of being domestic violence victims.

Worthy declined comment Wednesday.

Martin, speaking Wednesday of his nephew, said: "He's charged now. He's going to have his day in court. I'm trying to fight crime. I'm not trying to be involved in personal incidents with my family."

In 2002, Scott was charged with two counts of felonious assault and one count of using a firearm in commission of a felony in another incident with another woman. A Wayne County Circuit Court jury later acquitted him.

Martin, who joined the force in 1978, has prospered since Ella Bully-Cummings took over as police chief in November 2003.

In April 2004, he was promoted from the rank of inspector to commander. Seven months later, after Assistant Chief Harold Cureton retired, Martin skipped the rank of deputy chief and was promoted to assistant chief.

He has worked as a project manager for a new police headquarters and as a City Council liaison. He has reformatted the department's computer statistics forum known as CompStat.

Martin oversees the investigations portfolio, which includes major crimes, internal affairs and narcotics.

The department usually has two assistant chiefs, but Walter Shoulders retired last month and has not yet been replaced.