Friday, June 23, 2006

Deputy Mayor Rick Csapo - Traverse City

June 23, 2006: Traverse City Deputy Mayor/Former Sheriff Deputy Ricky Csapo



 Deputy Mayor / Commissioner Ricky Csapo [left], with his defense attorney.













ALSO SEE:
VIOLATION OF NO- CONTACT ORDER








Csapo fined for domestic violence
He has already sought counseling since June dispute
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By VICTOR SKINNER 01/11/2007
http://www.record-eagle.com/2007/jan/11csapo.htm




Former Traverse City deputy mayor Rick Csapo, left, accompanied by his attorney Clarence Gomery, is overcome with emotion while addressing 86th District Court Judge Thomas Phillips at his sentencing at the Robert P. Griffin Hall of Justice in Traverse City. Record-Eagle/Tyler Sipe



TRAVERSE CITY — Former Traverse City commissioner Rick Csapo must pay $750 in fines and court costs and attend counseling sessions but received no additional jail time for assaulting his wife on a downtown street after a night of drinking.

District Court Judge Thomas J. Phillips sentenced Csapo Wednesday to three days in jail with credit for three days already served following the June 23 altercation along West Front Street.

Philips also ordered Csapo to stay out of bars. "The important thing is you learn from this so it doesn't happen again,” Phillips said.

Jurors found Csapo guilty of domestic violence Dec. 4 after only 35 minutes of deliberation. Witnesses testified they saw him argue loudly with his wife before he pushed her head against a window.

Csapo's attorney, Clarence Gomery, pointed out that Csapo has voluntarily sought treatment and counseling since the incident.

Csapo has already suffered publicly for months and "has done everything possible to apologize,” Gomery said.

"He has lost his job. He has lost his political position. I think that he has gone far and above,” Gomery said.

But Assistant State Attorney General Erin House countered that Csapo has never admitted to assaulting his wife and deserved more jail time.

"He talks about making an error in judgement. He never once admits in his public apology that he assaulted his wife,” House said.

"His behavior is appalling.”

An emotional and tearful Csapo talked about his alcohol problems and his struggle to overcome them, but did not apologize for the assault.

"I have not touched a drop of alcohol since June ... nor do I want to,” he said. "I accept my responsibility for that night. I was found guilty by a jury and I accept that.”







Breaking News
Csapo resigns from TC commission
12/11/2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/dec/11resign.htm
TRAVERSE CITY — City commissioner Rick Csapo resigned from the commission Monday morning following his conviction on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

Csapo submitted a letter to city Clerk Debbra Curtis tendering his immediate resignation from the commission and other related posts including vice-chairman of the Grand Traverse County Board of Public Works, and chairman of the county's Solid Waste Planning Committee.

"Elected to this office by the citizens of Traverse City has been both an honor and a privilege,” Csapo said in his letter. "I am saddened to resign, but the events of last six months compels me (to) submit this letter.”

He also delivered a written statement apologizing for the incident and for his statements to city police and witnesses during the June 23 incident. Csapo was convicted by a District Court jury last week on a charge of domestic violence stemming from an altercation with his wife on a downtown street. He's scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 10.

A special city commission meeting scheduled for Monday night to discuss a possible request from other commissioners for Csapo's resignation was canceled following Csapo's resignation letter. A commission study session will go on as scheduled.

The commission will discuss filling Csapo's vacancy at its regular meeting Dec. 18 at the Governmental Center.







Officials want an apology
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By Vanessa McCray
December 07, 2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/dec/07csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — City Commissioner Rick Csapo should apologize for profane comments he allegedly made about city police during a fracas that resulted in Csapo's domestic violence conviction, several of his fellow board members said.

A jury found Csapo guilty Monday for assaulting his wife during an argument on a downtown street. Police said Csapo appeared intoxicated during the incident.

A city police report recounted how a loudly profane Csapo railed during the June 23 incident against police and a group of young people who witnessed the commissioner push his wife's head into a plate glass window on West Front Street.

Csapo, a retired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy, was first elected to the commission in 2001. He did not return repeated calls for comment. Csapo maintained his innocence throughout the trial and said he didn't assault his wife, but tried to calm her.

Mayor Linda Smyka and city commissioners Scott Hardy and Ralph Soffredine said Csapo should apologize for his comments.

Smyka called the remarks "very inappropriate” and said there appears to be a "huge discrepancy” between what Csapo "recalls happening and what people report.”

"I was hopeful myself that there would be an apology forthcoming, and that hasn't happened,” she said.

Smyka said Csapo's comments were "inappropriate for anyone ... let alone a city commissioner.”

"There's no excuse for that, in my opinion,” she said.

"I think he owes those officers an apology,” said Soffredine, the former city police chief.

Soffredine termed the statements "unfortunate” and the situation "difficult.” He said he's never heard Csapo make derogatory comments about city police in the past.

"I would agree that if any of us, sober or not, makes statements that are derogatory towards any of city staff, we ought to apologize for those,” said Hardy. "I do think an apology is in order, but, again, that is something else we can't mandate. That is up to Rick.”

Csapo deserves time to sort out how he will respond to the verdict, but should react soon, Hardy said. The commission could have an "ethical responsibility” to release its "public position” on the matter, depending on how Csapo responds, Hardy said.

A city elected official is not removed from office because of a misdemeanor conviction, said city attorney W. Peter Doren.

"There's nothing in the charter ... that talks about what happens when someone is convicted of a misdemeanor,” he said.

Commissioners would be removed from office if convicted of a felony. Thus far, city commissioners have not called for Csapo to resign.

"I am really struggling with it personally because it's been a very difficult thing to go through,” Smyka said. "I haven't really reached any kind of decision in my own mind.”

Soffredine said resignation is a decision for Csapo to make.

Csapo served as mayor pro tem at the time of the incident, but commissioners in November appointed Hardy to that second-in-command post. Csapo is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 10. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.






Rick Csapo, left, and defense attorney Clarence Gomery listen to assistant state attorney general Erin House at Csapo's trial in 86th District Court. Record-Eagle/Tyler Sipe





Csapo guilty of domestic assault
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By VICTOR SKINNER
12/05/2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/dec/05csapo.htm
TRAVERSE CITY — Jurors needed only 35 minutes of deliberation after a daylong trial to find Traverse City Commissioner Ricky Edward Csapo guilty of domestic violence for assaulting his wife during an alcohol-fueled encounter on a downtown street.

Prosecution witnesses on Monday said they saw Csapo, 52, and his wife, Cynthia Csapo, argue loudly on West Front Street the evening of June 23 before he pushed her head against a window and she yelled for help.

"She said, 'call 911.' She was afraid,” said witness Kimberly Ayres, 20. "You can't grab someone's face with the palm of your hand and blatantly shove it into a window.”

Csapo declined to comment after the verdict. Csapo was also absent for Monday night's city commission meeting and could not be reached by phone for comment.

Csapo's lawyer, Clarence Gomery, said Csapo and his wife continued to deny the assault.

"It was their belief that this incident did not happen. They have always maintained there wasn't any assault,” Gomery said. "The jury entered a verdict and we will have to accept that. This matter has dragged on way too long and they are glad that the matter is finally closed and they can go on with their life.”

Csapo is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 10. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Gomery argued throughout the trial that Csapo tried to calm his wife after she had a panic attack brought on by a combination of alcohol, medications and stress.

But Traverse City Police officers at the scene said Csapo was highly intoxicated, uncooperative and yelled profanities, police reports show.

"He appeared to be very irrational,” Traverse City officer Mike Peters testified. "In my opinion, Mr. Csapo was more intoxicated that Mrs. Csapo.”

Csapo testified that he didn't yell at his wife, but instead tried to calm her. He said he grabbed her cheeks with both hands to look her in the eye and never pushed her into the window of a vacant building.

"I could have been stone sober and I would have done the same thing,” Csapo said.

Erin House, a special assistant state attorney general, asked Csapo why several witnesses said they saw the window behind his wife shake.

"I have no idea what hit it,” he said. "My personal belief was it was probably my bag on my shoulder.”

Both Csapos testified that Cynthia never left her husband's side during the duration of the incident, but witnesses and police told another story.

"She started running away and said (call) 911,” said witness James Mang.

Csapo initially was to face another misdemeanor charge for disturbing the peace, but District Court Judge Thomas Phillips dismissed the charge at Gomery's request.

Csapo was first elected to the city commission in 2001.











Judge rejects motion to dismiss Csapo case
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
By VICTOR SKINNER
November 30, 2006
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/nov/30csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — City Commissioner Ricky Csapo will go to trial for domestic violence and disturbing the peace after a district court judge denied a motion to dismiss the case.

Csapo's attorney, Clarence Gomery, argued that a prosecutor's dismissal and refiling of charges on Sept. 21 violated Csapo's right to due process and should be considered harassment.

"Those new charges were only brought to bolster her case she wasn't ready for at the time,” Gomery said Wednesday. "This is the whole fundamentals of justice we are talking about here.

"When there is no added evidence or no added facts and then they recharge, that is considered harassment,” he added.

District Judge Thomas Phillips dismissed the case without prejudice in September because the defense was notified too late of an additional charge of disturbing the peace. Erin House, a special assistant state attorney general, said in September she was prepared to try both charges but didn't want to try just the domestic violence count.

"The issue here is the prosecution is allowed to amend charges up to the presentation of evidence,” House said at Wednesday's hearing.

House also argued that trying both charges in one trial, instead of trying Csapo again for the disturbing the peace charge, is more efficient.

"Obviously, I am very disappointed with the judge's decision. The harassment was very obvious,” Csapo said after the hearing. "Now we have to go through the wasted time and expense of a jury trial.”

Csapo was charged with domestic violence after a June 23 incident in which witnesses said he argued with his wife, Cynthia Csapo, as they walked down Front Street in downtown Traverse City. Csapo allegedly forced the back of his wife's head into a window, was loudly profane and appeared intoxicated, police reports show. He was not arrested or tested for alcohol.

Csapo was first elected to the city commission in 2001 and could face up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine if convicted. The jury trial is scheduled for Dec. 4.












Charges Re-filed against Traverse City Mayor Pro-tem Rick Csapo
WPBN-TV, MI - 21 hours ago
9/21/06
http://www.tv7-4.com/Global/story.asp?S=5443755&nav=1vrj

Domestic violence charges have been re-filed against Traverse City mayor pro-tem Rick Csapo. Csapo is accused of slamming his wife's head into a storefront window in June. The charges were dropped Wednesday. But on Thursday the original charge was re-filed, along with a new charge of disturbing the peace. Csapo has not been taken back into custody.












Charges refiled against Csapo
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
09/21/2006
Mid-Day Update: 1:57 p.m.
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/sep/21csapo2.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — City deputy mayor Ricky Csapo once again faces misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and disturbing the peace.

Prosecutors refiled the two counts in 86th District Court after the case against Csapo, 52, was dismissed without prejudice Wednesday. A jury trial had been scheduled Wednesday, but potential jurors never heard the case.

The charges stem from a June 23 incident during which witnesses said Csapo and wife Cynthia Csapo argued as they walked down West Front Street in downtown Traverse City. Ricky Csapo allegedly forced the back of his wife's head into a large plate glass window. Police reports alleged Ricky Csapo was loudly profane and appeared intoxicated, though he wasn't tested for alcohol or arrested that night. Csapo, a retired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy, was first elected to the city commission in 2001.

The domestic violence charge carries a 93 jail sentence and/or $500. The disturbing the peace charge is punishable by 90 days in jail and/or $500.














Csapo's charges are dismissed
Prosecutor plans to refile misdemeanor charges
September 21, 2006
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
BY VANESSA MCCRAY
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/sep/21csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — A prosecutor planned to refile two misdemeanor charges against the city's deputy mayor after charges against Ricky Csapo were dismissed.

Csapo, elected to the city commission in 2001, was to begin a jury trial Wednesday, but the case was dismissed without prejudice at the last minute in a dispute over the second charge.

Csapo had pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from an alleged assault of his wife during a June 23 argument on West Front Street in downtown Traverse City.

Erin House, a special assistant state attorney general, said Wednesday afternoon she expected misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and disturbing the peace would be refiled in 86th District Court today.

Potential jurors showed up Wednesday at the courthouse in Traverse City, but never heard the case. House sought to amend the original complaint to add a disturbing the peace charge, paperwork she said she prepared two weeks ago.

But defense attorney Clarence Gomery said he didn't receive notice of the additional charge until Sept. 13.
"The judge indicated out of fairness and due process to deny the amended complaint," Gomery said.

Judge Thomas Phillips told House she "should be ready to try" the domestic violence charge. But House said she wanted to proceed on both charges and not just try the domestic violence charge.

"It's not that we are unprepared today," House said.

Said Gomery: "She could have chose to go forward on the domestic violence, but evidently she just wishes to pile on charges to strengthen her domestic violence case."

Csapo, a retired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy, was not arrested during the incident. Witnesses said they saw Csapo and wife Cynthia Csapo walking along West Front Street. The two allegedly argued, and Csapo allegedly forced the back of his wife's head into a large plate glass window. Police reports alleged Ricky Csapo was intoxicated and loudly profane, though he wasn't tested for alcohol.

Csapo, after an arrest warrant was issued in June, called the charge a "total misunderstanding of the facts."

Gomery said House has the "right to go forward with charges," but said he will file a motion to dismiss them.

"How many bites of an apple should you be allowed?" Gomery said.

Csapo stood next to his wife after the court hearing.

"I'm happy it's over with," he said.

But House said Wednesday's dismissal is not the end and hoped for a jury trial on the refiled charges "within the next two months."






Deputy Mayor / Commissioner Rick Csapo hugs his wife, Cynthia, outside the courtroom.











Conversation lands Csapo in jail
Chat with wife apparently violated court order
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
07/13/2006
BY IAN C. STOREY
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/jul/13csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — A conversation between Ricky Csapo and the woman he is charged with assaulting landed the Traverse City mayor pro tem behind bars for violating a court order.

Csapo, 52, was led to the Grand Traverse County Jail in handcuffs Wednesday after 86th District Court Judge Thomas Phillips ruled Csapo violated a no-contact order with his wife, Cynthia Csapo, before he was scheduled to meet with special assistant state attorney general Erin House.

House requested a hearing Wednesday after several court employees alerted her to the contact between the Csapos, a violation of an order issued by Phillips last week.

Phillips ruled after an hour-long special hearing that there was enough evidence to revoke Ricky Csapo's bond and sent him to jail until Friday morning.

Cynthia Csapo testified under oath that she had no direct contact with her husband, that she was instead talking through a friend who accompanied her to the courthouse.

"The court had a hard time believing that today," Phillips said of her testimony.

Ricky Csapo was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after he allegedly assaulted his wife during an argument June 23 on West Front Street in downtown Traverse City.

Witnesses told police Csapo and his wife argued along West Front Street and Csapo allegedly forced the back of her head into a large plate glass window.

House called several court employees, including herself, to testify during the hearing before Phillips.

"It appears clear to me that it was a blatant violation, chit-chatting with his wife in the hallway as if the order didn't apply to him," she told Phillips.

One of the witnesses, Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Lt. Bryan Marrow, said he was at the courthouse to post legal notices when he saw the couple talking.

"It was obvious they were speaking," he said.

Defense attorney Clarence Gomery argued during the hearing that the contact was "incidental" and said the Csapos maintain separate residences and haven't had any other contact since the original court order.

"We are here about the victim," said Gomery. "What (witnesses) saw and believe they saw isn't what happened."

Csapo is a retired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy who was elected to the city commission in 2001.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and told the Record-Eagle the incident was a "misunderstanding of the facts."

Csapo wasn't arrested that evening nor required to submit to tests to determine whether he'd consumed alcohol, despite witness statements that he was inebriated.

Both Traverse City police Capt. Steve Morgan and another officer reported Csapo was profane and appeared "highly intoxicated."

But Morgan "concluded" there wasn't enough evidence at the scene to merit an arrest and allowed Csapo and his wife to walk home, according to his report.

House testified Wednesday that she saw the Csapos talking repeatedly in the district court lobby while she was conducting pre-trial hearings nearby.

"They were engaged in a conversation, which seemed to be light-hearted," she said.

Gomery asked House what exactly she had heard.

"You don't know who was saying what or what was being said?" Gomery asked House on cross-examination.

But Phillips said the testimony of the witnesses made it clear that the contact was not "incidental" and, though it did not appear threatening, was still a violation of his order.

"Occasionally, incidental contact we overlook," he said. "It happens. This was beyond incidental contact."













Csapo jailed after violating order
Traverse City Record Eagle, MI
Jul 12, 20060
7/12/2006
Breaking News: 12:32 p.m
BY IAN C. STOREY
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/jul/12csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — City commissioner Ricky Csapo was jailed Wednesday after a district judge ruled the mayor pro-tem violated a non-contact order with his wife, whom he is charged with assaulting.

Csapo, 52, was led to the Grand Traverse County Jail in handcuffs after 86th District Court Judge Thomas Phillips ruled Csapo violated a no-contact order with his wife, Cynthia Csapo, as he awaited a pre-trial hearing with assistant state attorney general Erin House.

"This was beyond incidental contact," ruled Phillips, who revoked Ricky Csapo's bond and sent him to jail until Friday morning.

Csapo was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after he allegedly assaulted Cynthia Csapo during an argument June 23 on West Front Street in downtown Traverse City.

Witnesses told police Csapo and his wife argued along West Front Street and Csapo allegedly forced the back of her head into a large plate glass window.

House requested the hearing Wednesday after several court employees alerted her to the contact between the Csapos, which violated an order issued by Phillips last week.

"It appears clear to me that it was a blatant violation, chit-chatting with his wife in the hallway as if the order didn't apply to him," House told Phillips during the hearing.

House called several court employees, including herself, to testify during the hour-long hearing before Phillips.

One witness, Lt. Bryan Marrow of the Grand Traverse County sheriff's office, said he was at the courthouse to post legal notices in circuit court when he saw the couple talking.

"It was obvious they were speaking," he said.

Csapo is a retired Grand Traverse sheriff's deputy who was elected to the city commission in 2001. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, which he told the Record-Eagle was a "misunderstanding of the facts."

Defense attorney Clarence Gomery argued during the hearing that the contact was "incidental" and said the couple hasn't had any other contact.

"It was a couple of words back and forth," he said.












Csapo pleads not guilty
No contact with wife ordered
Traverse City Record-Eagle
BY IAN C. STOREY
07/05/2006
Mid-Day Update: 12:15 p.m.
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/jul/05csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — City commissioner Ricky Csapo must submit to daily breath tests, not consume alcohol and have no contact with his wife after being charged with domestic violence.

Csapo, 52, pleaded not guilty today to a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence following a June 23 incident in downtown Traverse City.

Witnesses told police Csapo and his wife argued along West Front Street and Csapo allegedly forced the back of her head into a large plate glass window.

During Csapo's arraignment today defense attorney Clarence Gomery asked 86th District Court Judge Thomas Phillips to remove an order prohibiting Csapo from having contact with his wife.

After reviewing police reports, Phillips asked to hear from Csapo's wife.

"He never assaulted or hurt or hit me, ever," she told Phillips, but assistant state attorney general Erin House said a "number of witnesses" allege Csapo's wife attempted to run away and urged them to call 911.

But House told Phillips of the existence of past allegations against Csapo.

"There have been police interventions between him and a former spouse," House said.

Phillips denied Gomery's request to drop the no-contact requirement.

"We take this very seriously," Phillips said. "I will continue the no-contact provision until we have no fear for the safety of the alleged victim."

Csapo is a retired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy. He was elected to the city commission in 2001, and last week said the alleged incident was a "misunderstanding of the facts."

Csapo wasn't arrested that evening, nor required to submit to tests to determine whether he'd consumed alcohol, despite witness statements that he was inebriated.

Both Traverse City police Capt. Steve Morgan and another officer reported Csapo appeared "highly intoxicated."

But Morgan "concluded" there wasn't enough evidence at the scene to merit an arrest and allowed Csapo and his wife to "continue their walk home," according to his report.

Police Chief Michael Warren said Csapo's political position didn't influence the decision. State police are now leading the investigation.

"There was a warrant issued for his arrest," Warren said. "If he had all kinds of influence, then maybe he wouldn't have been charged. We don't play the game that way."

"The only time we test is if there is a driver involved, underage drinking or to determine there is a medical issue because the person could be so highly intoxicated," said Warren.

Warren said he wouldn't review Morgan's decision not to arrest Csapo.

"I am very satisfied with the decision he made," he said.













Deputy mayor is charged in fight
Rick Csapo faces misdemeanor after dispute
07/01/2006
BY IAN C. STOREY and VANESSA McCray
http://www.record-eagle.com/2006/jul/01csapo.htm

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City's deputy mayor faces a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for allegedly slamming his wife's head into a window of a downtown building during what police said appeared to be a drunken public dispute.

But Traverse City police did not arrest city commissioner Ricky Csapo, 52, during the incident late June 23, despite eyewitness accounts of the alleged physical encounter outside the former Grand Traverse Auto building on West Front Street.

Nor did police demand that Csapo submit to a preliminary breath test for alcohol, despite indications he'd been drinking.

An arrest warrant was issued for Csapo Friday, according to 86th District Court records.

Csapo commented only briefly when contacted by the Record-Eagle on Friday.

"There's been a total misunderstanding of the facts," said Csapo, a retired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy who was first elected to the city commission in 2001.

Brett Lyons, of Mt. Pleasant, said he was one of about 20 young people who witnessed the alleged assault and told police, but to no avail.

"I was absolutely infuriated that he was not arrested," he said. "He had 20 some kids saying he hit his wife and we were all dry sober. You don't scream 'call 9-1-1' and run away from your husband when you are playing around."

Police said they responded to a crowd located near Front and Pine streets just before 10:30 p.m. to find Csapo in a "heated" argument with several younger people.

Two witnesses told police they saw Csapo and his wife walking along West Front Street, arguing back and forth, before Csapo allegedly grabbed his wife's face and forced the back of her head into a large plate glass window.

An officer who spoke with Csapo at the scene reported "it was obvious" the deputy mayor was "highly intoxicated" and very agitated.

The officer reported that Csapo during the interview asked "why aren't you doing something about these (expletive) kids out on the street? You (expletive) city police don't do (expletive)," according to records.

Despite witness testimony to the contrary, city police Capt. Steve Morgan said he "concluded" there was not enough evidence of an assault to make an arrest. He allowed the couple "to go on their way and continue their walk home," according his report.

Morgan reported that during his discussions with the wife she said she was "in no way" assaulted by Csapo and didn't appear to be injured, "distressed or upset" in any way.

Another officer's report said the woman did not deny witness statements that she'd been assaulted.

Csapo repeatedly denied the assault during his discussions with police on the scene, according to records.

Erin House, an assistant state attorney general who handles domestic violence cases in northern Michigan, said her review of the witness testimony warranted the charge despite Morgan's conclusion.

"People believe there are mandatory arrest laws for domestic assault when police respond, but that is not true," said House.

Traverse City attorney Clarence Gomery said witnesses' "perception" was not based on all the facts of the situation.

Gomery also said Csapo denies he was "highly intoxicated" and police did not document or take evidence to prove he had been drinking.

Lyons, the witness from Mt. Pleasant, said Csapo was "obliterated."

"Mr. Csapo would state that it is unfortunate that this family, mutual family argument took place in public," said Gomery. "We need the opportunity for the parties to clarify the facts that happened that night, not the initial police interpretation."

The misdemeanor count against Csapo, who works as an independent representative for the Police Officers Association of Michigan police union, is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Csapo would not say if he planned to resign his seat on the city commission.

"What kind of question is that?" he asked.

City attorney W. Peter Doren said there is nothing in the city charter that details what happens if a city commissioner is charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor.

The seat would be vacated if the commissioner is convicted of a felony, he said.

The city charter discusses a commissioner's activities "inside the operations of the city" but not "with a person's private or business life," Doren said.

"I don't think that there is anything in the city charter that deals with this," he said.

Mayor Linda Smyka said the city manager notified her of Csapo's troubles on Thursday. Smyka declined to say if she thought Csapo should resign.

"You know this has been a very unfortunate situation, and it is very hard to pass judgement on it when you do not know any of the details," she said. "I would hope that the mayor pro tem would do the right thing, and I have seen him do that in the past."







FROM CITY WEBSITE
Rick Csapo, Mayor Pro Tem
Dec 2001 to Nov 2009
Residence: 218-XXXX
Having dedicated over 30 years of my life to public service, it is both an honor and a privilege to continue serving the citizens of Traverse City.
As your City Commissioner, I pledge to be a solid individual with the highest ethical standards and a force for positive change. Have two daughters and two grandsons.
Retired Deputy Sheriff from Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office. Currently a Business Agent with the Police Officer's Association of Michigan. A graduate of Davenport University with a BAS degree in Business. Served on numerous boards and committees. Enjoy reading, golf and most importantly interaction with people.





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