Friday, October 19, 2007

Deputy Scott Ford - Emmet SD




Deputy Scott Ford [Emmet County Sheriff Department], misused the Department's LEIN system to stalk his former girlfriend [October 19, 2007]



On December 07, 2008, while Deputy Scott Ford [Emmet County Sheriff Department] was on duty he had sex with a victim of stalking.

Sheriff Pete Wallin fired Deputy Ford within fifteen hours of learning of the allegations. Wallin then forwarded the case to the Michigan Sheriff's Association to complete a criminal investigation.


The investigation revealed that Deputy Scott had illegally used the Department's LEIN system to obtain information on his former girlfriend on October 19, 2007.

During the summer of 2008, the investigation also discovered, that Deputy Ford had sexually assaulted a woman during traffic stops.

The investigation also uncovered that Deputy Ford had done drugs while he was on duty.

Deputy Ford was prosecuted in 2009.




                                    



ORIGINAL CHARGES: Two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of obstructing justice, five felony weapon charges for committing crimes in uniform while armed with his service pistol; two counts of refusing to aid the sheriff; false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of the LEIN computer network; and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime.


 
 
 
 
ALSO SEE:
DEPUTY SCOTT FORD, EMMET COUNTY SD [Summer 2008]
Sexually assaulted a woman during traffic stops
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/06/deputy-scott-ford-emmet-county-sd.html



DEPUTY SCOTT FORD, EMMET COUNTY SD [December 07, 2008]
Misconduct while on duty.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/12/deputy-scott-ford-emmet-county-sd.html


Former DEPUTY SCOTT FORD, EMMET COUNTY SD [May 05, 2010]
Violation of Probation [exposed himself in a sexual manner to female jail inmates]
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2010/05/former-deputy-scott-ford-emmet-county.html




Former Deputy to Serve Jail Term
WJML News- Traverse City
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
http://wjmlnews.blogspot.com/2010/01/former-deputy-to-serve-jail-term.html

A former Emmet County Sheriff’s deputy, Scott Harold Ford, will serve at least six months in jail as the result of his plea agreement on charges he used law enforcement resources to access personal information of an ex-girlfriend. Ford, who was fired just 15 hours after Sheriff Pete Wallin learned of the allegations, will also perform 200 hours of community service.














Former sheriff’s deputy sentenced to 11 months in jail
Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 ·
Updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 10:35 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/breaking_news/article_58bf6f10-ffc4-11de-81e2-001cc4c03286.html

Former Emmet County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Harold Ford wept openly in 57th Circuit Court today, Tuesday as Judge Charles W. Johnson sentenced him to 11 months in jail, two years probation and 200 hours of community service.

The 39-year-old Carp Lake resident was being sentenced for three charges he pleaded guilty to in October 2009, which included one count of unauthorized access of a computer network (Law Enforcement Information Network), a five-year felony; and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff, both of which are 90-day misdemeanors.

During sentencing, Johnson stipulated that Ford would be required to spend the first six months of his sentence in jail, with the opportunity for tether if he exhibits good behavior.

He is being granted work release during the entirety of his sentence.

Ford served as an Emmet County sheriff’s deputy for nearly nine years, and admitted during a plea hearing in October 2009, to unlawfully accessing the Law Enforcement Information Network on Oct. 18, 2007, to access the personal information of an ex-girlfriend, who alleged that she and her children suffered psychological harm from his conduct.

During Ford’s sentencing, Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said that he had no tolerance for this type of behavior, and subsequently fired Ford on Dec. 18 — 15 hours after Wallin said he became aware of Ford’s misconduct.

“Mr. Ford was a citzen’s worst nightmare — a man with a badge and a gun who abused his authority,” Wallin said. “I have always strongly believed that a man makes the badge and the badge does not make the man — Mr. Ford has tarnished what that badge was supposed to stand for.”

Wallin stated that Ford’s misconduct has caused his department incalculable harm.

“Mr. Ford is a classic case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; the administration and his fellow deputies thought Mr. Ford was doing what he was sworn to do — protect and serve,” he said. “We found out later, his true nature was to violate the rights of the very people he was sworn to protect.

“(Ford’s) actions have cast a cloud of doubt in the public’s view of law enforcement officers in Emmet County. It may take quite a while until that cloud clears.”

Ford made a tearful attempt, toward the end of today’s hearing, to apologize to those he had hurt during this ordeal.

“To my wife, Heather, she doesn’t deserve the pain and embarrassment I’ve caused her ... and yet she continues to stand by my side — I will spend the rest of my life making it up to her,” he said. “To Sheriff Wallin ... my former colleagues ... I let you down with my conduct and the choices I made; I considered you my friends and I apologize for the choices I made.

“To the court and to my community, I know what I did was wrong, and I apologize deeply.”














Ford evidentiary hearing/sentencing delayed a second time
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 11:50 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer · 0 comments
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_7fb7e466-e99a-11de-9126-001cc4c002e0.html

The sentencing for a former Emmet County Sheriff’s deputy has been delayed for a second time in 57th Circuit Court.

Scott Harold Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff’s Department in December of 2008 for allegedly committing several acts of misconduct while on duty, was originally scheduled for sentencing for one felony and two misdemeanor charges on Dec. 7.

This sentencing date, however, was moved today, Dec. 15, as a result of Ford’s request for an evidentiary hearing to look more closely at his sentencing variables.

According to Duane Beach, chief assistant prosecutor for Emmet County, the Michigan Department of Corrections had come back with a sentencing recommendation for Ford, before his Dec. 7 sentencing, that he did not agree with.

Originally, Ford faced nine charges for having unlawfully accessed the Law Enforcement Information Network on Oct. 18, 2007, to obtain the personal information of an ex-girlfriend, as well as allegedly sexually assaulting and soliciting a female for drugs during a pair of traffic stops during the summer of 2008 and having consensual sex with a victim of an open stalking complaint while on duty Dec. 7, 2008.

As a result of an agreement between Ford and the prosecutor’s office, six charges against him were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized access of a computer network (Law Enforcement Information Network), a five-year felony; and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff, both 90-day misdemeanors.

Prior to Ford’s evidentiary hearing and sentencing, which was rescheduled for today, Tuesday, Ford and his attorney submitted paperwork to circuit court, which stipulated that they would be introducing the results of two polygraph examinations Ford took during the investigation into his conduct.

On Dec. 10, the prosecutor’s office issued a response to this potential submission, saying “(The polygraph examinations) are argued to show or bolster the credibility of (Ford).”

In its response, the prosecutor’s office has requested that Ford submit to an independent polygraph examination relating to allegations of sexual assault and narcotics use.

“The matter is one of fairness,” reads the prosecutor’s response. “If (Ford) is going to assert a polygraph examination, the people should have the right to an independent polygraph of (Ford).

“There is no jeopardy here because (Ford) has already reached a plea regarding these matters.”

To date, Ford has refused to take an independent polygraph examination.

On Dec. 11, Ford and his attorney, Joe Kwiatkowski, filed paperwork in circuit court to adjourn Ford’s Dec. 15 evidentiary hearing and sentencing — on the grounds that they did not have time to prepare a response to the prosecutor’s office most recent request.

That same day, Judge Charles W. Johnson ordered an adjournment on Ford’s evidentiary hearing and sentencing, which has now been rescheduled for 2 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010.

















Ford sentencing delayed
Posted: Friday, December 4, 2009 ·
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2009, 8:06 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer ·
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_77c3dd00-e107-11de-83ef-001cc4c03286.html

The sentencing for a former Emmet County Sheriff’s deputy has been delayed in 57th Circuit Court to make way for an evidentiary hearing.

Scott Harold Ford, a 39-year-old Carp Lake resident, was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff’s Department in December of 2008 for allegedly committing several acts of misconduct while on duty.

On Oct. 19, he pleaded guilty in circuit court to one count of unauthorized access of a computer network (Law Enforcement Information Network), a five-year felony; and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff, both 90-day misdemeanors.

Ford was originally scheduled to face sentencing for these charges in circuit court at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, however, according to Duane Beach, chief assistant prosecutor for Emmet County, Ford requested an evidentiary hearing once the Michigan Department of Corrections came back with a sentencing recommendation for him.

“He requested the evidentiary hearing to look at the scoring of the sentencing variables,” Beach said. “(The Michigan Department of Corrections) scored some things Ford didn’t agree with.”

Ford is now scheduled for a two-hour evidentiary hearing at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15, in circuit court.














Former sheriff's deputy Scott Ford takes plea agreement
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2009 ·
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009, 5:14 pm
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/breaking_news/article_bc900a1b-be7f-5b8d-9b9e-8341a8939f40.html

A former sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty today in 57th Circuit Court to three of the nine charges against him.

Scott Harold Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff's Department in December of 2008, for allegedly committing several acts of misconduct while on duty, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of unauthorized access of a computer network (Law Enforcement Information Network), a five-year felony; and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff, both 90-day misdemeanors.

In exchange for this plea, the Emmet County Prosecutor's Office dismissed the remaining six charges against Ford, which include one count of false certification - impermissible use of personal information, a five-year felony; one count of using a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony; two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, both two-year, high-court misdemeanors; and two counts of obstructing justice, both five-year felonies.

Ford, who was an Emmet County deputy for nearly nine years, was alleged to have unlawfully accessed the Law Enforcement Information Network on Oct. 18, 2007, to access the personal information of an ex-girlfriend, which he admitted to Monday in circuit court.

Ford was also alleged to have sexually assaulted and solicited a female for drugs during a pair of traffic stops during the summer of 2008, as well as had consensual sex with a victim of an open stalking complaint while on duty Dec. 7, 2008.

Charges related to both of these allegations have been dismissed.

Joseph Kwiatkowski, Ford's defense attorney, said he believes what his client pleaded to Monday was "fair."

"We appreciate the fact that the prosecutor made the offer he did … we felt that the plea offered was fair," Kwiatkowski said. "We felt that taking responsibility was appropriate, (Ford) was clearly acknowledging accessing LEIN was wrong."

Jim Linderman, Emmet County prosecutor, said his reaction to Ford's plea Monday was "bittersweet."

"I'm happy he accepted responsibility for his actions, but on the other hand, we still have the overall issue of the cloud this hangs over law enforcement officers - they shouldn't be painted with the same brush," he said. "(Ford's) done acts as a police officer that he shouldn't have .. we expect police officers to obey the law."

Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said he wants to let the public know that his office was quick to react regarding the allegations against Ford.

"When all this stuff surfaced, some people wondered why it took so long … the day we found out about the allegations (Dec. 18), we investigated it right away, found out it was substantiated, and we fired him the next day (Dec. 19)," Wallin said.

The News-Review contacted Ford's defense attorney, Joseph Kwiatkowski, earlier today for comment, but have not yet heard back.

Ford is currently scheduled for a pre-sentence investigation in circuit court, and is expected to be sentenced within the next six weeks, however, no date has yet been set.
















Ford’s third attempt to disqualify local judge is denied
Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_a2759bc8-e239-5a45-a66e-2cd0ae47473a.html

A third attempt to disqualify Judge Charles W. Johnson from hearing two cases against a former Emmet County sheriff's deputy has been denied.

The first motion was presented to Johnson on Aug. 12 in 57th Circuit Court by Joe Kwiatkowski, defense attorney for 39-year-old Scott Ford of Carp Lake.

Ford, who was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff's Department on Dec. 19, 2008, is alleged to have committed several acts of misconduct while on duty, and is set to appear in circuit court for jury trials in both November and December.

According to an affidavit in circuit court, it is alleged that on Oct. 18, 2007, Ford unlawfully accessed personal information of an ex-girlfriend using the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).

It is also alleged that he sexually assaulted and solicited a female for drugs during a pair of traffic stops during the summer of 2008, as well as had consensual sex with a victim of an open stalking complaint while on duty Dec. 7, 2008.

During the first motion for disqualification on Aug. 12, Kwiatkowski - on behalf of Ford - requested that Johnson disqualify himself from hearing both cases against the former deputy on the grounds that one of Johnson's court administrators, Julie Wallin, is married to Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin - Ford's former employer who will be a witness in his case and may speak in the matter of allocution.

Johnson denied this initial motion to disqualify, stating that he had no "significant social relationship" with either the sheriff or his court administrator, and believed that he could move forward impartially.

Once this decision was handed down, Kwiatkowski requested a "de novo" (meaning a "new beginning" in Latin) review of Johnson's denial of the motion.

The review was then forwarded on to Charlevoix County Circuit Court Judge Richard M. Pajtas, who on Sept. 2, also denied Ford's motion, stating: "There has been no showing whatsoever of actual bias or prejudice on the part of the court based on the fact that the court's court administrator is the wife of the sheriff."

Kwiatkowski did not stop here.

On Sept. 21, he sent Pajtas a motion for reconsideration of his previous decision. Kwiatkowski's motion stated that Ford believed the court made an error by not granting a de novo hearing.

Pajtas went on to deny this motion on Sept. 25, stating in his decision and order that: "the motion is devoid of any merit and should be denied."

Pajtas stated in his Sept. 25 decision, that he conducted Ford's initial motion as a de novo hearing - which is defined by Black Law's Dictionary 7th Edition as a reviewing of a court's decision of a matter anew, giving no difference to a lower court's findings; as well as a new hearing of a matter, conducted as if the original hearing had not occurred.

"That is exactly what this court did," Pajtas stated. "It gave no deference to the lower court's findings and reviewed the record as if the original hearing had not taken place.

"There were no disputed questions of fact."

The News-Review made several attempts during the past two days to contact Kwiatkowski for comment about Ford's case, however no calls were returned as of press time today.

Ford is scheduled for his first jury trial Nov. 9-10 in 57th Circuit Court, and is facing three charges, including false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network and using a computer to commit a crime.

His second trial is scheduled for Dec. 14-17, where he faces six charges, including two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff.














Motion to disqualify judge denied a second time
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 ·
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009, 5:10 pm
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_744a0460-f858-5042-af02-57f86614a499.html

The motion to disqualify 57th Circuit Court Judge Charles W. Johnson from hearing both cases against former sheriff's deputy Scott Ford has been denied for a second time.

Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff's Department Dec. 19, 2008, is alleged to have committed several acts of misconduct while on duty, and is set to appear in circuit court for jury trials in both November and December.

During the first trial - which is now set to take place Nov. 9-10 - Ford is facing three charges, including false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network and using a computer to commit a crime.

In the second trial, which is now scheduled for Dec. 14-17, Ford is facing six charges, including two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff.

On Aug. 13, Judge Johnson was presented with a motion from Ford's attorney, Joe Kwiatkowski, to disqualify himself from both cases against Ford, on the grounds that one of his court administrators, Julie Wallin, is married to Sheriff Pete Wallin, Ford's former employer.

Johnson denied the motion stating that he had no "significant social relationship" with either the sheriff or his court administrator.

Johnson went on to say during his summary that he had not discussed the case with either the sheriff or his court administrator, and would never consult with his court administrator for the purpose of forming judicial decisions.

"This court has no doubt it can impartially move forward … it will have no impact whatsoever on the court's decision making," Johnson said.

After this hearing, Kwiatkowski requested a de novo (meaning a "new beginning" in Latin) review of Johnson's denial of the motion to disqualify.

The review was forwarded to Charlevoix County Circuit Court Judge Richard M. Pajtas, who on Sept. 2, also denied Ford's motion to disqualify Johnson from both cases.

In his order denying Ford's motion to disqualify, Pajtas states: "There has been no showing whatsoever of actual bias or prejudice on the part of the court based on the fact that the court's court administrator is the wife of the sheriff."

Kwiatkowski said now that he has received Judge Pajtas' decision, he is unsure whether or not he will continue to pursue the motion to disqualify.

Duane Beach, chief assistant prosecutor for Emmet County, said Ford has the right to appeal the decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

"At this point, I've received the decision, and I understand the decision," Kwiatkowski said. "I continue to believe there should be another trial judge."















Judge in neighboring county to decide if Johnson will preside over ex-deputy's trials
Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Steve Zucker News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_ebb61672-c3cc-5f66-802a-0bd26fb2d52c.html

A judge in a neighboring county has been assigned to decide if Emmet County Circuit Court Judge Charles W. Johnson should preside over the upcoming trials of former sheriff's deputy Scott Ford.

On Tuesday, the Michigan State Court Administrator's Office assigned the matter to Charlevoix County Circuit Court Judge Richard M. Pajtas after Ford's defense attorney, Joe Kwiatkowski, filed a request for another judge to consider his motion seeking to have Judge Johnson disqualified from the case.

On Aug. 12, Judge Johnson denied Kwiatkowski's motion to remove himself from Ford's case. Kwiatkowski's based his motion on the grounds that Johnson's court administrator, Juli Wallin, is the wife of Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin. Sheriff Wallin is Ford's former boss and is included on the list of possible witnesses for the trial.

In denying the motion, Judge Johnson said he does not consult with the court administrator on judicial decisions and he does not have a social relationship with her.

Johnson said he "has no doubt (he) can impartially move forward (with the case)."

Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff's Department Dec. 19, is accused of committing several acts of misconduct while on duty, and is set to appear in circuit court for jury trials on Sept. 14-15 and Nov. 9-12.

Officials with the Charlevoix County Circuit Court said Judge Pajtas will likely make his decision sometime within the next week.

In the first trial, Ford is facing three charges, including false certification-impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network and using a computer to commit a crime.

In the second trial, Ford is facing six charges, including two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff.
















Johnson denies motion to disqualify himself from hearing Ford's cases
Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009 ·
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009, 5:06 pm
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_b7a87512-e778-55ec-9ae5-d264220a6cf9.htmll

The defense attorney for Scott Harold Ford, a former sheriff's deputy who is facing two trials this fall, requested Wednesday that 57th Circuit Court Judge Charles W. Johnson disqualify himself from hearing both cases.

Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the Emmet County Sheriff's Department Dec. 19, 2008, is alleged to have committed several acts of misconduct while on duty, and is set to appear in circuit court for jury trials on Sept. 14-15 and Nov. 9-12.

During the first trial, Ford is facing three charges, including false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network and using a computer to commit a crime.

In the second trial, Ford is facing six charges, including two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff.

In his motion to disqualify Wednesday, Joe Kwiatkowski, Ford's attorney, argued that one of Johnson's court administrator's, Juli Wallin, is the wife of Emmet County Sheriff Peter Wallin - who will be a witness in the case and may speak in the matter of allocution.

Kwiatkowski argued that, at first, he was not aware that Sheriff Wallin would be a witness in the case.

"He was not a witness at the (preliminary examination), and I didn't expect him to be involved at all in the trial … I didn't anticipate he had any role," he said.

Kwiatkowski said on July 20, he first learned that the prosecution was amending its witness list to include Wallin, which he believed was a significant change.

"Now that we have a case where the prosecution intends to use the husband of a court administrator for a witness and allocution, I believe that does give us grounds for this motion (to disqualify)," he said. "I have the utmost confidence in this court … but it's my firm opinion … the court should consider recusal."

Duane Beach, chief assistant prosecutor for Emmet County, said he did not believe his office amending the witness list to include Wallin was a significant change.

"Our position was that it was not 'new' - (having Wallin testify) was obvious," he said. "The prosecution has the right to amend its witness list by law."

Johnson said in his decision that he appreciated Kwiatkowski's work and due diligence, however, he would deny the motion to disqualify.

"For the record, the court takes no offense (to the motion), on the contrary, I appreciate this was done because it gives the court the opportunity to show the circumstances and its ability to handle this case impartially," he said.

Johnson first addressed the issue of Wallin's wife being his court administrator.

"The court administrator is a long standing member of this staff - she was here when I took office about 14 years ago, however, the court never consults with the court administrator for its judicial decisions," he said.

"This court has no significant social relationship with Sheriff Wallin … I may have attended a staff Christmas party with him once or twice, but that would be the only occasion I would have been in his home … we don't socialize outside of the court in any significance.

"I have not discussed this case with the sheriff, or the court administrator, and I don't intend to."

Johnson said he believed he could move forward impartially in both of Ford's cases.

"In summary, this court has no doubt it can impartially move forward … it will have no impact whatsoever on the court's decision making," he said.

Kwiatkowski said after the hearing that he respected Johnson's decision to deny his motion.

"I have the highest regard for this court, and I respect his opinion, though I may have a different one," he said.

Kwiatkowski said he may decide to have another judge look at his motion to disqualify Johnson, which he would have to do within the next six days. At press time, no decision had yet been made.













Former sheriff's deputy faces two jury trials
Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_17d577f3-a17a-5928-8bd5-5b90c4472908.html

A former Emmet County sheriff's deputy will face two jury trials this fall.

Scott Harold Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the sheriff's department Dec. 19, 2008, after having worked for the county for almost nine years, is alleged to have committed several acts of misconduct while on duty.

He is set to appear in 57th Circuit Court Sept. 14, for a two-day trial on three charges, including false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network and using a computer to commit a crime.

Ford is also scheduled for a four-day trial, beginning Nov. 9, facing six charges, including two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of refusal to aid the sheriff.

According to an affidavit in district court, it is alleged that on Oct. 18, 2007, Ford unlawfully accessed personal information of an ex-girlfriend using the Law Enforcement Information Network.

It is also alleged that he sexually assaulted and solicited a female for drugs during a pair of traffic stops during the summer of 2008, as well as had consensual sex with a victim of an open stalking complaint while on duty Dec. 7, 2008.

Less than two weeks after this incident, Ford was fired.

This case was investigated by the Michigan Sheriff's Special Investigation Network, which uncovered the pair of sexual assault allegations against Ford. The victim of these alleged assaults has prior convictions for check, prescription drug and retail fraud. She also alleges that she and Ford snorted morphine while he was on duty.















Ford's position on K-9 unit replaced
Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Noah Fowle News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_d4ccdbba-3952-57c0-a286-d3bc3abdcef1.html

The Emmet County Sheriff's Department will no longer have a deputy devoted to patrolling area parks in the summer, a decision handed down from county controller Lyn Johnson last week.

The sheriff's department operated with 17 road deputies last year, however Johnson described the deputy overseeing the parks as a part-time position.

"We used to have one police officer for five months at the park, we've moved that officer back to the sheriff's department," Johnson said. "I would argue the department is down to 16 and a half officers."

Last December, the department fired its K-9 unit director, deputy Scott Ford, after he reportedly had consensual sex with the victim of an open stalking complaint.

Following his termination, Ford was the subject of a Michigan Sheriff's Association investigation and now faces multiple felony charges in 57th Circuit Court. Ford's lawyer maintains his client's innocence.

"The union told us they were going to file a grievance over Ford's dismissal,"

Johnson added. "So, until that process plays out we haven't decided what to do."

In the spring, Sheriff Pete Wallin assigned deputy Robert Poumade to head up the K-9 unit. However, Wallin said he is still coping with a reduced police force, made up of 16 road deputies, five supervisors, plus undersheriff Timothy Roth, and himself.

"We do the best we can with the numbers we got," he said. "We're no longer (patrolling) the parks like we used to."

Johnson pointed out that there will still be law enforcement at the parks with Sgt. Tim Rodwell living at the house on the grounds of Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga and deputy Roger Cassidy living at the lighthouse property at the Headlands.

"We still have a police presence," he said. "We just don't have a deputy assigned specifically to the parks."

Johnson said the decision to add another officer to the department would ultimately lie with the board of commissioners.

"It's a possibility, but it depends on the economy," he said. "There are other positions that become vacant and we are taking a hard look at them. Our revenues are not looking real good for next year."
















Former deputy's case is bound over to circuit court
Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Christina Rohn News-Review Staff Writer
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_317009e1-4bcb-5bc8-a1e9-ad6eddd7a660.html

Nine out of 16 charges against a former Emmet County sheriff's deputy have been bound over to 57th Circuit Court.

Scott Harold Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, who was fired from the sheriff's department Dec. 19, 2008, after having worked for the county for almost nine years, has been alleged to have committed several acts of misconduct while on duty.

Initially, Ford was arraigned April 8, 2009, in 90th District Court for two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of obstructing justice, five felony weapon charges for committing crimes in uniform while armed with his service pistol and two counts of refusing to aid the sheriff.

During his preliminary examination on June 4, four additional charges were brought against Ford, including motor vehicle code - false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network (LEIN - Law Enforcement Information Network) and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

Monday, during the continuation of Ford's preliminary examination, Judge Richard W. May ruled that he would drop all felony firearms charges against the former deputy, including one obstruction of justice charge and bind over both fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, two obstructing justice charges, two counts of refusing to aid the sheriff, the false certification impermissible use of personal information charge, one count of unauthorized access of a computer network and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

According to an affidavit in district court, it is alleged that on Oct. 18, 2007, Ford unlawfully accessed personal information of an ex-girlfriend using the Law Enforcement Information Network.

It is also alleged that he sexually assaulted and solicited a woman for drugs during a pair of traffic stops during the summer of 2008, as well as had consensual sex with a victim of an open stalking complaint while on duty Dec. 7, 2008.

Less than two weeks after this incident, Ford was fired.

This case was investigated by the Michigan Sheriff's Special Investigation Network, which uncovered the pair of sexual assault allegations against Ford. The victim of these alleged assaults has prior convictions for check, prescription drug and retail fraud. She also alleges that she and Ford snorted morphine while he was on duty.

A scheduling conference for this case - which will determine whether Ford will plea or go to trial - is set for 10 a.m., July 3 in circuit court.














Ford charged with four more felonies
Posted: Monday, June 8, 2009 ·
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009, 5:07 pm
Petsokey news
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_f5ad095e-06f9-5be9-a7ae-2bdb7f7216d3.html

Former Emmet County Sheriff's deputy Scott Ford was charged with four additional felonies on Thursday in 90th District Court.

Ford was in court for a preliminary examination on a string of misconduct charges, including a pair of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. However, Judge Richard May ruled he needed additional time to review prior statements made by a witness.

According to an affidavit, Ford unlawfully accessed personal information of an ex-girlfriend on Oct. 18, 2007. He is being charged with four felonies: false certification impermissible use of personal information, unauthorized access of a computer network and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. If found guilty of these charges, Ford could face a maximum of seven years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Ford is alleged to have had consensual sex with a victim of an open stalking complaint while on duty on Dec. 7, 2008. He was fired less than two weeks later by undersheriff Tim Roth.

The case was then forwarded to the Michigan Sheriffs Special Investigation Network, which uncovered a pair of sexual assault allegations. The victim of those alleged assaults has prior convictions for check, prescription drug and retail fraud, and is currently enrolled in drug rehabilitation program. She also alleges she snorted morphine with Ford while he was on duty.

During the preliminary examination, the alleged victim admitted her use of drugs impaired the accuracy of her memory and that she was scared to initially come forward with her story.

"I was afraid. I didn't know what he could do to me," she said. "I was using drugs at the time too."

The woman with the open stalking complaint who had consensual sex with Ford said she did not think Ford had done anything wrong.

"I take responsibility for my part in it," she said.

The News-Review is withholding her identity because she attempted suicide following her encounter with Ford and because of the events surrounding her initial stalking complaint.

Undersheriff Roth detailed a series of hearings where he told Ford that his level of misconduct rose to a criminal nature.

"His jaw hit the ground," Roth said.

Roth added that he did not think it was possible for Ford to have committed misconduct while performing his regular police duties.

"But apparently he could, embarrassingly so," he said.

Ford's attorney Joseph Kwiatkowski said there is not enough evidence in the case to convict his client.

"He is innocent," he said.

Ford is due back in court at a date to be determined, where May will conclude the preliminary examination to decide if a trial is necessary and formally arraign Ford on the new charges.

Ford remains free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.













Former sheriff's deputy Scott Ford arraigned
Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Noah Fowle News-Review Staff Writer · 1 comments
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_6a1b79b2-8646-5c53-9211-9b355a71ce39.html

Scott Ford was arraigned in Emmet County's 90 District Court today, Wednesday.

The 39-year-old former Emmet County Sheriff's Department deputy is alleged to have committed a host of illegal acts, all while in uniform last year.

"My client categorically denies the charges," said Ford's attorney Joseph Kwiatkowski. "That's what trials are for. We don't try people in the court of public opinion."

Ford is facing two fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct charges, two obstruction of justice charges for misconduct in the office, four felony weapon charges for committing the crimes in uniform while armed with his service pistol, and a pair of charges for refusal to aid the sheriff.

If convicted, Ford, an employee with the department for almost nine years, faces up to 7-years in prison and $14,000 in fines.

He is scheduled back in court on May 4.







Former deputy facing multiple charges
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009, 12:00 am
PETOSKEY NEWS
By Noah Fowle
http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/article_6b97ff42-eda3-50f8-b1a5-c986c5c928b1.html

A former Emmet County Sheriff's Department deputy was arrested on Tuesday on six felony counts and four misdemeanors in connection with a string of offenses he allegedly committed while on duty.

Scott Ford, 39, of Carp Lake, is facing two fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, two obstruction of justice charges for misconduct in the office, four felony weapon charges for committing the crimes in uniform while armed with his service pistol, and a pair of charges for refusal to aid the sheriff. The allegations and charges are detailed in an arrest affidavit on file in 90th District Court.

Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said that upon learning of allegations of misconduct by the deputy, he fired Ford on Dec. 19, 2008. Wallin then forwarded the case to the Michigan Sheriffs' Association to complete a criminal investigation.

During that investigation, a pair of criminal sexual conduct charges were leveled against Ford, who was employed by the sheriff's department for almost nine years, for sexually assaulting a female during a pair of traffic stops over the summer.

"Misconduct as is alleged will not be tolerated by this office and is not a reflection of the other fine men and women that continue to serve the citizens of Emmet County," said Wallin. "We accept and acknowledge that members of the Emmet County Sheriff's Office, and all other law enforcement officers, are accountable for their actions - just like the citizens that we serve."

The Michigan Sheriffs' Association regularly performs internal investigations using a special unit of seasoned investigators known as the Michigan Sheriffs Special Investigation Network and usually calls in officers from separate counties to ensure an objective report. Sgt. Randy Baerlocker, of the Crawford County Sheriff's Department, and Sgt. Thomas Fredlund, of the Alpena Sheriff's Department, oversaw Ford's investigation and arrest.

"It's important we do these types of investigations to maintain the public's trust. We are prepared to investigate anyone, even our own," said executive director Terry Jungel. "Anyone who breaks the law has to be investigated fairly and equally."

According to the affidavit, the misconduct which led to Ford's dismissal took place Dec. 7, 2008, when Ford is accused of having consensual sex, while on duty, with an Emmet County woman who had an open stalking complaint under investigation by the sheriff's department.

According to the affidavit, Ford's criminal sexual conduct took place on two separate traffic stops which were never entered into Ford's daily log. According to the victim, Ford made unwanted sexual advances towards her and requested drugs on one occasion while her young son was sleeping in the back seat of the car. She also alleges that she and Ford crushed and snorted morphine together on at least one occasion.

The Emmet County Sheriff's Department does have a drug testing policy in addition to administering psychological evaluations of its employees. The Petoskey News-Review has requested a copy of Ford's personnel file under the Freedom of Information Act in order to learn whether or not he ever failed a drug test or received an evaluation.

If convicted, Ford faces up to seven years in prison and $14,000 in fines.

Ford is free on $10,000 personal recognizance bond, posted on the day of his arrest. He is scheduled for arraignment on the charges Wednesday, April 8.







Former Emmet County deputy facing weapons, sexual misconduct charges
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 ·
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009, 5:16 pm
PETOSKEY NEWS
A former Emmet County Sheriff's Department deputy was arrested on Tuesday on six felony counts and four misdemeanors in connection with a string of offenses he allegedly committed while on duty.

Scott Ford, 39, is facing two fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct charges, two obstruction of justice charges for misconduct in the office, four felony weapon charges for committing crimes in uniform while armed with his service pistol, and a pair of charges for refusal to aid the sheriff. The allegations and charges are detailed in an arrest affidavit on file in 90th District Court.

Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said that upon learning of allegations of misconduct by the deputy, he fired Ford, on Dec. 19, 2008. Wallin then forwarded the case to the Michigan Sheriff's Association to complete a criminal investigation.

During that investigation, a pair of criminal sexual conduct charges were leveled against Ford for sexually assaulting a female during a pair of traffic stops over the summer.

The misconduct which lead to Ford's dismissal took place Dec. 7, 2008, when Ford is accused of having consensual sex, while on duty, with an Emmet County woman who had an open stalking complaint under investigation by the sheriff's department.

If convicted, Ford, who was employed by the sheriff's department for almost nine years, faces 14 years in prison and $14,000 in fines.

Ford is free on $10,000 personal recognizance bond, posted on the day of his arrest. He is scheduled for arraignment on the charges Wednesday, April 8.


Deputy David Glover - Washtenaw SD



October 19, 2007: Deputy David Glober, Aggravated stalking and probation violation





Also See:
February 26, 2008: Deputy David Glover. Sentenced.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/02/deputy-david-glover-washtenaw-sd.html

October 19, 2007: Deputy David Glover. Aggravated stalking and probation violation.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/10/deputy-david-glover-washtenaw-county-sd.html

August 28, 2007: Deputy David Glover. Sentenced.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/10/oidv-offender-update-david-glover.html

February 10, 2007: Deputy David Glover. Domestic violence.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/02/deputy-david-glover-washtenaw-county-sd.html

February 10, 2007: Deputy David Glover. Assault or Assault and Battery.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/02/deputy-david-glover-washtenaw-sd.html

February 10, 2007: Deputy David Glover. Cut, break, tap wire or cable.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/02/deputy-david-glover-washtenaw-sd_10.html

2004. Deputy David Glover. Domestic violence.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2004/01/deputy-david-glover-washtenaw-county-sd.html






.













Ex-deputy sentenced to jail for stalking
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 8:31 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 8:38 PM
By Susan Oppat
Ann Arbor News
http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2008/02/exdeputy_sentenced_to_jail_for.html

A former Washtenaw County sheriff's deputy was sentenced to one year in jail Tuesday after he was found intoxicated and carrying a knife and gloves outside his ex-girlfriend's home last October.

David Glover, 39, was given credit for 129 days served and may be released to an in-patient substance abuse treatment center. He was convicted of aggravated stalking and violation of probation.

Glover was an 11-year sheriff's deputy when he was arrested a year ago on charges of home invasion, assault, domestic violence and phone tampering. In that case, he was accused of breaking into his former girlfriend's Ypsilanti Township home and assaulting her.

Glover pleaded no contest to the lesser charges and was sentenced in August to 18 months of probation. He resigned from the sheriff's department the same month.

Two months later, Glover was arrested on new charges of stalking and violating the terms of his probation, which forbid contact with the woman. He has been held in the jail, isolated from other inmates, since then.

He pleaded guilty to violating probation and no contest to the stalking charge.
"I know my behavior has not reflected my personality of the 11 years" before his arrest, Glover said Tuesday.

Circuit Judge Donald E. Shelton called Glover "an example of a person who can do good things in this world when you're not drinking, and who can do bad things when you are."

He also placed Glover on two years of probation after his release, and ordered Glover not to have contact with the woman and not to use alcohol or drugs.






Ex-deputy to undergo psychiatric evaluation
Published: Friday, November 02, 2007, 7:07 PM
Updated: Friday, November 02, 2007, 7:17 PM
By Art Aisner
Ann Arbor News
http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2007/11/exdeputy_to_undergo_psychiatri.html

The preliminary hearing for a former Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy charged with aggravated stalking was adjourned Thursday so he could submit to a psychiatric evaluation, court records show.

David Glover, 39, was ordered to undergo a competency review at the Forensic Center for Psychiatry to determine his understanding of criminal responsibility, records show. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 3.

Police said Glover was found intoxicated with a knife and gloves outside an Ypsilanti Township woman's home on Oct. 19, in violation of his probation.

In August, Glover was sentenced to 18 months probation after pleading no contest to charges involving the same woman. He resigned after 11 years as a sheriff's deputy.

A parole violation hearing was adjourned to December, records show. Glover remains in the Washtenaw County Jail on $25,000 bond.















On probation, ex-sheriff's deputy faces new stalking charges
Convicted of assault earlier, officer had knife, prosecutor says

Friday, October 26, 2007
BY SUSAN L. OPPAT
The Ann Arbor News
http://www.mlive.com/news/annarbornews/index.ssf?/base/news-25/1193407891136340.xml&coll=2

Police were called back to the woman's Ypsilanti Township home on Oct. 19, authorities said.

Washtenaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Burke told Shelton Tuesday that Glover was on the woman's porch Oct. 19. He said Glover had a knife and black gloves in his back pocket and admitted he had been drinking, in violation of his probation.


In addition to the incident in February that led to the probation term, Burke said Glover had also been convicted of malicious destruction of property for smashing a window in his girlfriend's car while she was in it.

Glover, an 11-year Sheriff's Department employee, resigned in August.

Following his arraignment this week, Glover was held on 10 percent of a $250,000 bond on the stalking charge. He was also being held on $25,000 cash bond in the probation violation case, pending an Oct. 30 hearing.

Glover's preliminary hearing in the stalking case is set for Thursday.














Ex-deputy back in court on stalking charge
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 3:43 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 3:49 PM
By Susan Oppat
Ann Arbor News
http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2007/10/exdeputy_back_in_court_on_stal.html

Less than two months after being placed on probation in a domestic violence case, a former Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy was back in court Tuesday, charged with violating probation and aggravated stalking.

David Glover, 39, was sentenced on Aug. 28 to 18 months probation after he pleaded no contest to assault and battery, domestic violence and phone tampering. He was accused of forcing his way into his girlfriend's house last February and assaulting her.

"It's a sad day for all of us, Mr. Glover. Good luck to you," Judge Donald E. Shelton had said at sentencing.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputies were called back to the woman's Ypsilanti Township home on Oct. 19, authorities said.

Washtenaw County Chief Assistant Prosectuor Joseph Burke told Shelton that Glover was on the woman's porch that day, with a knife and black gloves in his back pocket, and admitted he had been drinking, in violation of his probation. He said that, in addition to the incident to which he admitted to in August, Glover had also been convicted of malicious destruction of property for smashing a window in his girlfriend's car while she was in it.

Glover, an 11-year Sheriff's Department veteran, resigned in August.

Glover was held on 10 percent of a $250,000 bond at his arraignment at the Washtenaw County Jail on the stalking charge, and on $25,000 cash bond in the violation case, pending an Oct. 30 hearing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

C.O. Ronald Mielcarek - Sentenced - Buena Vista

Also See:


Correctional officer Ronald Mielcarek shot and injured wife:

     

Officer Robert Vargas - Sentenced - Lansing PD



DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST EX-GIRLFRIEND:


STALKED/HARASSED OFFICER WHO ARRESTED HIM ON DV CHARGE:








Lansing police officer sentenced to probation for stalking officer in Jackson County
by Danielle Quisenberry
Jackson Citizen Patriot
Thursday May 28, 2009, 3:27 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2009/05/lansing_police_officer_sentenc.html

A former Lansing police officer convicted of stalking a Blackman Township public safety officer was sentenced Thursday to five years probation.

As a condition of his probation, Robert Vargas, 39, is not to have any contact with Officer Joseph Merritt or his family, said Jackson County Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson.

A jury convicted Vargas, who recently retired as an officer after he was given a duty disability pension, of misdemeanor stalking and acquitted him on a charge of malicious use of a telephone.

Merritt testified at the trial that Vargas twice called him and made threatening statements after Merritt arrested Vargas in 2007 on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and telephone harassment.

In that case, Vargas was convicted of telephone harassment and was sentenced in October 2007 to 15 months probation.

Four days after his probation ended, Vargas first called Merritt and said, "You are going to need an attorney ... you're dead," according to testimony.

Thursday, Vargas turned to Merritt, who was sitting in the courtroom, and apologized. "Joe, I am truly sorry that things got to this point," he said. "I wish you all the best in the future."

His lawyer, Fred Blackmond, said Vargas is "changing his life."

Merritt said it did not seem as though Vargas had gotten over Merritt arresting him.

According to you, I have some general disdain for you. That's not true," Merritt said.

He said he never wanted to arrest a police officer, but had to make a difficult decision, which, as a former police officer, Vargas should understand.

Merritt said Vargas deserved jail time, but asked Wilson not to send him to jail. "I would ask Mr. Vargas to move on with his life and get past all this."

Wilson said he had planned to order Vargas to jail for "impact purposes," but did not.

A few years down the road, if Vargas has done well, Wilson said he may consider taking Vargas off probation.

Vargas was placed on paid administrative leave from the police department after he was first charged with crimes in 2007. Since then he was granted the pension.

In April 2004, Vargas was shot four times and killed one suspect during what authorities said was a robbery in progress.













Officer found guilty of verbal abuse
Lansing policeman on trial for incidents with ex-girlfriend
Lansing State Journal, MI - 1 hour ago
Kevin Grasha
Published September 11, 2007
http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070911/NEWS01/709110326/1001/news

A Lansing police officer has been found guilty of being verbally abusive toward his former girlfriend over the telephone.

But he was found not guilty of a domestic violence charge.

Robert Vargas, 39, was arrested after a May 22 fight at the woman's Blackman Township home.

They had recently broken up, police said. Both charges are misdemeanors. Vargas, who has been on paid administrative leave since the incident, faces up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Jackson County District Court.

Vargas' attorney, Fred Blackmond, did not return calls seeking comment. Vargas' telephone number is not listed.The verdict came Friday after a jury trial before Jackson County District Judge R. Darryl Mazur.

A few days after the woman broke off the relationship, Vargas went to her home, yelled at her, and at one point, pinned her to a bed, according to trial testimony. On the stand, Vargas admitted lying to a superior when he at first denied being at the woman's home.

An internal investigation continues, Police Chief Mark Alley said Monday.
He could not say when it would be completed."Discipline could include, but is not limited to, termination of employment," Alley said. "Whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony, we look at the facts surrounding the incident on a case-by-case basis and make a determination from there."

Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Schwalm, who handled the case, said the county's elected prosecutor, Henry Zavislak, instructed him not to offer Vargas a plea deal.

"He wanted to make sure (county residents) know we enforce the law equally with everyone, regardless of position," Schwalm said.

Vargas has worked for the department about a decade.

In 2004, Vargas was shot four times when he interrupted a robbery.

After being wounded, he shot and killed one of two men involved in the break-in. It was determined that Vargas' use of deadly force was justified.












Lansing police officer charged with domestic assault
Evening update
Lansing State Journal
Kevin Grasha
Published May 23, 2007
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070523/NEWS01/705230387

A Lansing police officer, who was arrested Tuesday night on a domestic assault charge, was placed on paid administrative leave today.

Rob Vargas, who has been with the department about a decade, was arrested in Blackman Township in Jackson County.

Vargas could not be reached today for comment.

Lansing Chief Mark Alley said Vargas also will face an internal affairs investigation, "where he could face anything from exoneration to termination.""We do not tolerate criminal misconduct by any member of our agency," Alley said.

In 2004, Vargas was shot four times when he interrupted a robbery at a south Lansing townhouse. After being wounded, he shot and killed one of two men involved in the break-in. Prosecutors determined Vargas' use of deadly force was justified.

The incident was the first time in more than a decade that a Lansing officer was shot in the line of duty.





MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. - Sentenced - Fruitport FD


Also See:

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. charged with domestic violence [June 02, 2007]


 

Fire captain pleads to domestic violence charge
Posted by mlive.com
From local reports
October 11, 2007 01:27AM
http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/10/fire_captain_pleads_to_domesti.html

FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP -- A Fruitport Township fire captain has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence for punching his 16-year-old son in the nose.

Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., 43, entered the plea Tuesday before 60th District Judge Michael J. Nolan. Nolan sentenced Thoma to probation, fines and costs and anger-management class.

According to a police report, Thoma and his 16-year-old son got into an argument June 2 that escalated into an assault at their home at 3148 E. Pontaluna. The son called 911.

Police said Thoma punched the teen in the nose three times.

It's not Thoma's first criminal conviction. In June 2003, Thoma was arrested for ramming his truck into an acquaintance's house and vehicle in Muskegon Township while attending a party there.

He eventually pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and 24 months of probation.









Fireman's job depends on anger management
Posted by Heather L. VanDyke
October 24, 2007 22:32PM
http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/10/firemans_job_depends_on_anger.html

A Fruitport Township fire captain convicted of assaulting his son will keep his job as long as he completes anger management classes, according to the fire chief. "He continues to work with the department," Fire Chief Ken Doctor said Wednesday.

Jerry Thoma Jr., 43, pleaded guilty last week to the misdemeanor domestic assault charge and was sentenced to anger management classes, probation and fines and costs.

The assault stemmed from a June incident involving his 16-year-old son. Police arrested Thoma June 2 after they said he punched his son in the nose three times at their home at 3148 E. Pontaluna following a heated argument.

Township officials decided they wouldn't review his job status until after his sentencing.

On Monday, the township board of trustees held a closed session -- requested by Thoma -- to review the issue. Thoma was not present, but Doctor was. Doctor said Thoma will remain on the job as long as he "successfully completes the court's requirements."












Fire captain again faces a criminal charge
Muskegon Chronicle
By Heather L. VanDyke
Friday, August 03, 2007
 http://www.mlive.com/news/chronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1186155959184030.xml&coll=8

A Fruitport Township fire captain with a criminal record has been charged with domestic assault for allegedly punching his 16-year-old son.

Gerald Paul Thoma Jr., 43, was charged with the misdemeanor stemming from a June 2 incident in which he is accused of punching his son in the face during an argument.

Fire Chief Ken Doctor said Thursday that Thoma, who has been on the department for more than 20 years, is not suspended from his job and will continue to work as a fire captain on a full-time basis "for now." He declined further comment.

According to the police report, Thoma and his son got into an argument just before 11 p.m. that escalated into an alleged assault at their home at 3148 E. Pontaluna. The argument apparently was over whether the son could go to a skate park with friends, said Police Chief Paul Smutz.

Thoma's wife, Geraldine Thoma, told police she was at the home when the incident occurred but did not witness it, Smutz said.

The son called 911.

The veteran fire captain -- who is 6 feet 1 inch tall, and weighs 230 pounds -- is accused of punching the teen in the nose three times, Smutz said. When officers arrived at the scene, "they saw blood coming from (the son's) nose, and it was swollen," Smutz said.

Township Supervisor Ron Cooper said Thoma's job is not in jeopardy at this time because he is "not convicted of anything.""If he is found to be guilty, then that could have an effect on his job," Cooper said. "I don't see why we would take a man's job away from him because he's been accused of something."
Cooper said he had not read the police report."It's an accusation," he said of the punching allegations."The kid may have fallen on the floor, for all I know. It's a domestic thing. It's a discipline thing."

It was not clear whether the teen indicated he wanted to press charges against his father, but in domestic assault cases, if there is physical evidence to support it "an arrest has to happen," Smutz said.

Thoma was arrested and lodged the same night in the Muskegon County Jail.

A jury trial is slated for 9 a.m. Aug. 20 in 14th Circuit Court.

Thoma's June 2 arrest came about four years after his last run-in with the law. In June 2003, Thoma was charged with a five-year felony for malicious destruction of a building causing more than $1,000 in damages.

Connie Smith, who was township supervisor at the time, did not take the incident lightly. Thoma was placed on a 30-day unpaid suspension and had to sign a "last chance agreement" to keep his job The agreement indicated Thoma couldn't use illegal substances or alcohol or become involved in any criminal activities for the "lifetime of his career" at the Fruitport Township Fire Department.
It also required Thoma to continue a substance abuse treatment program he began after the June 14, 2003, incident.

Cooper said he has looked at that agreement, but other township officials agreed no action should be taken at this time.

Thoma was arrested for ramming his Dodge truck into an acquaintance's house at 1479 S. Mill Iron in Muskegon Township. He also rammed the acquaintance's vehicle that night and returned to the same home days later to offer the victim money to "settle the matter" to reduce his criminal charge, police said.
Thoma pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors: operating a vehicle while impaired and malicious destruction of property causing $200 or more in damages stemming from that incident. He was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and 24 months of probation and was ordered to pay court costs and fines.