Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12312008 - Statewide Michigan OIDV Cases - 2008 - Calendar



CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE LISTING OF 2008 OIDV CASES BY DATE


12312008 - Statewide OIDV Cases In Michigan - 2008

[Updated last on: September 20, 2008].


Case to keep your eyes on: 3/04/08 dv assault by Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD]. Officer Steele was Officer Brian Vieau's partner [murdered his ex-wife Tracy 2/08/07].

Thank you to Hometown Life for this valuable information.


January 03, 2008: Ballistics tests returned from shell casings retrieved from 12/24/07 dv shooting scene [Officer Adam Horne, Detroit PD]. Casings from scene match up to Officer's Adam Horne's gun. [Detroit Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

January 03, 2008: Officer Adam Horne [Detroit PD], supsended from police department without pay for dv shooting incident on 12/24/07. [Detroit Police Commissioners meeting minutes].

January 03, 2008: Detroit Police Commissioners Board concurs on Officer Adam Horne's [Detroit PD] suspension without pay, for 12/24/07 dv shooting incident. Arguments on suspension reserved until Police Commissioners Board meeting in two weeks [1/17/08]. [Detroit Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

January 04-January 06, 2008: During the last weekend she was alive, according to divorce Attorney Holly Verdrum, Lori DeKleine told people, "if anything happens to me, make sure they investigate [Officer] Ken [DeKleine, of the Holland PD]. [WWMT-TV News]
January 10, 2008: Officer Chris Clark [Niles PD], arrested for domestic violence assault. [WSBT-TV News]

January 10, 2008: Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD], violated the PPO his ex-wife Lori had against him [1/31/07], and broke into her garage at 3:00 a.m., and hid there until the children left for school in the morning. [Holland Sentinel].

January 10, 2008: After his children left for school in the morning, Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] obtained access into the house, and strangled/murdered his ex-wife, Lori DeKleine. After murdering Lori, Officer DeKleine hung Lori body, to appear as though she hung herself/committed suicide.[WOOD TV- News]

January 10, 2008: After murdering his ex-wife/Lori DeKleine, Officer Ken DeKleine, reported to work at the Holland Police Department, at 3:45 pm. [WOOD-TV News]

January 10, 2008: Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] left the body of Lori DeKleine hanging from the rafter in the basement for his teenage children to find. At 6:45pm, Lori's teenage son arrived home and found his mother's body. [WOOD-TV News].

January 10, 2008: Lori DeKleine's divorce attorney [Holly Verdrum] contacted the Prosecutor's Office and told them of Lori's fear that Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] would murder her. [Holland Sentinel]

January 11, 2008: An autopsy was performed on Lori DeKleine [ex-wife of Officer Ken DeKleine of the Holland PD]. The Autopsy confirmed that Lori was murdered, and that she did not commit suicide. [Grand Rapids Press]

January 11, 2008: Police interviewed Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] on the murder of his ex-wife, Lori DeKleine. During his third interview, Officer Ken DeKleine confessed to murdering his ex-wife/Lori DeKleine. [Grand Rapids Press]

January 11, 2008: Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife, Lori DeKleine and lodged in the Ottawa County jail, after his confession. [Grand Rapids Press]

January 11, 2008: Former Firefighter Enrique Torres [Mt. Morris FD] was formerly charged for the murder of his wife, Rebecca Torres [12/27/07]. Torres was charged with murder; two counts of using a gun in a felony; and assault with intent to murder [shoot-out with police following Rebecca's murder. [Flint Journal]

January 11, 2008: Officer Chris Clark [Niles PD] was arraigned for 1/10/08 dv assault. Officer Clark was released on bond and suspended from the Niles PD with pay, pending an internal investigation. [WSBT-TV News]

January 12, 2008: An arrest warrant on open murder charges was obtained against Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] for his murder of his ex-wife, Lori DeKleine. [Holland Sentinel]
January 14, 2008: Officer Ken DeKleine's [Holland PD] arraignment in district court on open murder charge of his ex-wife, Lori DeKleiene [1/10/08]. DeKleine was denied bond. [WWMT-TV News]

January 14, 2008: The Holland Police Department placed Officer Ken DeKleine on an emergency unpaid suspension, following his confession of murdering his ex-wife Lori DeKleine on 1/10/08; Officer DeKleine being arrested for murdering Lori DeKleine; Officer DeKleine being charged with open murder of Lori DeKleine. OFFICER DEKLEINE WAS SUSPENDED ...NOT FIRED FROM THE DEPARTMENT, AFTER HE CONFESSED TO MURDERING LORI DEKLEINE. [WWMT-TV News]

January 17, 2008: Scheduled Detroit Board of Police Commissioners hearing for Officer Adam Horne [Detroit PD], for 12/24/07 dv shooting incident. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

January 18, 2008: Scheduled case trial for Officer Chris Clark [Niles PD] for 1/10/08 dv assault. [WSBT-TV News]

January 18, 2008: Arraignment of former Firefighter Enrique Torres [Mt. Morris FD] for his murder of his wife, Rebecca Torres [12/27/07]. Defense requested a forensics evaluation to determine if Torres was competent for trial/criminally responsible for his murder of Rebecca Torres. 3/25/08 control date set on the case/forensics evaluation of Enrique Torres. [The Flint Journal]
January 21, 2008: Officer Chris Clark [Niles PD] resigned/submitted his resignation to the Niles Police Department [1/10/08 dv assault and arrest]. [WSBT-TV News]

January 24, 2008: Officer Chris Clark [Niles PD] pled no contest to dv charges [1/10/08 dv assault]. Sentenced to 1 year probation; 90 days on a tether; and ordered to pay medical bills for injuries victim sustained in dv assault. [Tribune]

January 24, 2008: Board of Police Commissioners scheduled Officer Adam Horne's [Detroit PD] suspension hearing for January 31, 2008 [12/24/07 dv shooting]. Adam requested a closed session. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes].

January 25, 2008: Preliminary hearing for Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] on open murder charge [1/10/08 murder of Lori DeKleine]. Case bound over for trial on open murder. [Chronical News]
January 26, 2008: Deputy Gregory Williams [Kalamazoo SD] pointed a loaded gun at his ex-wife, during a dv. [Kalamazoo Gazette]

January 26, 2008: Deputy Gregory Williams [Kalamazoo SD] filed a police report with the Portage PD [1/26/08 dv gun incident], and Deputy Williams was arrested. [Kalamazoo Gazette].
January 28, 2008: Deputy Gregory Williams [Kalamazoo SD] was arraigned/charged with misdemeanor dv [1/26/08 dv gun incident]. [Kalamazoo Gazette]

January 28, 2008: Kalamazoo County Sheriff Department began an internal investigation into Deputy Gregory Williams for the 1/26/08 dv gun incident. Deputy Williams remained on active duty/ was not supsended.[Kalamazoo Gazette]

January 28- March 10, 2008: A Calhoun County judge, refused to issue an emergency PPO for Deputy Gregory Williams' [Kalamazoo SD] victim. The Calhoun County Judge cited his reason for denying Ms. Williams a PPO: "...only one incident..." [1/26/08 dv incident involved Deputy Williams aiming a loaded gun at Ms. Williams]. [Calhoun County Court Records]

January 30, 2008: Detroit Police Department Internal Affairs interviewed the school psychologist for Officer Collin Eaton's [Detroit PD] step-daughter, regarding 12/14/07 sexual assault. The school psychologist stated that Officer Eaton's step-daughter had told her that Eaton had sexually abused her. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

January 31, 2008: The emergency/ex-parte' PPO that Lori DeKleine obtained against Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD], on 1/31/07, expired...twenty one days after Officer DeKleine murdered her [1/10/08].
January 31, 2008: Scheduled closed door session with Detroit Board of Police Commissioners, regarding Officer Adam Horne's [Detroit PD] suspension without pay, following 12/24/07 dv shooting. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]


February 01, 2008: Officer DeKleine [Holland PD] signed a written waiver of arraignment, stating his plea of not guilty DeKleine's jury trial scheduled for June 24, 2008 [1/10/08 murder of Lori DeKleine]. [Grand Rapids Press]

February 04, 2008: Scheduled circuit court arraignment for Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] on open murder charge for 1/10/08 murder of Lori DeKleine. [Grand Rapids Press]

February 07, 2008: Scheduled bench trial court date for Lori and Officer Ken DeKleine's [Holland PD] divorce and child custody issues. Officer Ken DeKleine murdered Lori 28 days prior to thier final divorce court hearing. [Grand Rapids Press]

February 11, 2008: Deputy Dale Van Wert [Bay County Sheriff Department] pled no contest to attempted sexual assault [12/06/06 CSC charges]. Sentencing hearing scheduled for 3/06/08. Van Wert was orginally charged with three counts of first degree CSC [life sentence] and three counts of second degree CSC [15 year sentences]. [Bay County Times]

February 19, 2008: Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD] held a gun to his wife's head [Officer Nicholle Quinn/Detroit PD] during a dv assault. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 19, 2008: Officer Nicholle Quinn [Detroit PD] reported her husband/Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD] 2/19/08 dv assault/gun incident to the Detroit Police Department Internal Affairs Unit, and made a police report. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 20, 2008: Officer Mitchell Quinn's [Detroit PD] son told Wayne County prosecutor's office that he witnessed his father point a gun at his mother [Officer Nicholle Quinn] and push her down. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 20, 2008: Felony charges were issued against Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD] for 2/19/08 dv/gun incident. Officer Mitchell Quinn was charged with one count of felonious assault and one count of felony firearm. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 20, 2008: Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD] was suspened from the department without pay, following the 2/19/08 dv/gun incident. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 20, 2008: Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD] was arrested on felony charges in connection with 2/19/08 dv/gun incident. Officer Mitchell Quinn was arraigned, and released on $5000 personal bond; no contact provision. Preliminary exam was scheduled for 3/04/08. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 22, 2008: Criminal charges were filed against Officer Collin Eaton [Detroit PD] for December 14, 2007 CSC. Eight felony charges were filed against Eaton: 6 counts of first degree CSC, and 2 counts of second degree CSC. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 22, 2008: Officer Collin Eaton [Detroit PD] was suspended from the Detroit Police Department, with pay [8 felony CSC charges, from 12/14/07 CSC]. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 22, 2008: Officer Collin Eaton [Detroit PD] was arrested and arraigned on eight felony CSC charges [12/14/07 CSC]. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 26, 2008: DV Charges against Deputy Gregory Williams [Kalamazoo SD] were dropped [1/26/08 dv assault w/gun]. Victim was unable to obtain a PPO against Deputy Williams.

February 27, 2008: Officer Craig Flocken [Ann Arbor PD] was acquitted by a directed verdict [Judge Richard Colin/Washtenaw County] of 11/21/07 dv charges. Judge Colin felt the prosecution did not sustain burden of proof. [Ann Arbor News]

February 28, 2008: Detroit Board of Police Commissioners reviewed Officer Collin Eaton's [Detroit PD] 12/14/07 CSC case. Commissioners concurred with Officer Eaton's suspension from the department; suspension changed from with pay, to without pay; and Eaton was charged with conduct unbecoming an officer. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 28, 2008: Detroit Board of Police Commissioners reviewed Officer Mitchell Quinn's [Detroit PD] 2/19/08 dv assault with a gun [against wife/Officer Nicholle Quinn]. Commissioners concurred with Officer Mitchell Quinns unpaid suspension; and charged Officer Mitchell Quinn with conduct unbecoming an officer. Officer Mitchell Quinn requested a close door session for review of case on 3/06/08. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

February 28, 2008: Officer Gene Petty [Muskegon Heights PD] pled guilty to first offense dv [7/04/07 dv assault while on duty]. No criminal conviction on record if Petty completes counseling and commits no further offenses during probationary period; sentenced to 93 days in jail= suspended; 6 months probation; court ordered counseling; and court ordered to pay $500 in court costs. [Muskegon Chronicle]

February 28, 2008: Officer Gene Petty [Muskegon Heights PD] who was on unpaid suspension from the department, following 7/04/07 dv assault, was fired from the Muskegon Heights PD after he pled guilty to dv charges. [Muskegon Chronicle]

March 03, 2008: Scheduled preliminary examination for Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD] for 2/19/08 dv assault with gun. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

March 04, 2008: Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] beat and tortured his ex-girlfriend; and discharged a firearm during a dv assault. [The Detroit News]

March 04, 2008: Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] was arrested for 3/04/08 dv assault. During his arrest, Canton police officers recovered one gun from Steele's person/holster, and four guns from the trunk of Steele's car. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioner meeting minutes].

March 04, 2008: Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] was suspended with pay from the Detroit Police Department, following his dv arrest for 3/04/08 dv assault. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

March 04, 2008: Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] made a threatening phone call to his wife. [Allegan News]

March 04, 2008: Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] was arrested for 3/04/08 dv threat. [Allegan News]

March 04, 2008: Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] was charged with misdemeanor malicious use of a phone [3/04/08 dv phone threat]. Haan was released on bond; ordered to have no contact with the victim; and ordered not to consume alcohol. [WOOD-TV News]

March 04, 2008: Following his arrest and criminal charges for 3/04/08 dv threat, Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] was suspended from the Allegan County Sheriff Department, with pay. [Holland Sentinel]

March 06, 2008: Scheduled Detroit Board of Police Commissioners closed door session/hearing for Officer Mitchell Quinn [Detroit PD], for 2/19/08 dv gun assault. [Detroit Board Of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

March 06, 2008: Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] was arraigned and charged for the March 4, 2008 dv assault. Steele was charged with seven felonies: felony torture with intent to murder; felony assault with intent to murder; felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder; two counts of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon; and felony weapon/firearm discharge in or at a building; and felony firearm. Steele's bond was set at $5,000,000. [Hometown Life]

March 06, 2008: Scheduled sentencing hearing for Deputy Dale Van Wert [Bay SD] for 12/06/06 CSC assaults. Van Wert was sentenced to 3 years probation; court ordered to register as a sex offender; court ordered to undergo sexual abuse treatment; and court ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 17, without supervision. Van Wert was orginally charged with 3 counts of first degree CSC [each charge a life sentence] and 3 counts of second degree CSC [each count a 15 year prison setence]= plea bargained down to 3 years probation. [Bay City Times and Saginaw News]

March 06, 2008: Deputy Gregory Williams' [Kalamazoo SD] hearing for PPO against him [1/26/08 dv assault with gun]. During the PPO hearing, Deputy Williams admitted to the Judge that he did in fact pull his loaded weapon out of his holster and aim it at the victim on 1/26/08. The victim was finally granted a PPO against Deputy Williams, 44 days after she was held at gunpoint by Deputy Williams. [Court transcripts]

March 13, 2008: Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] violated the conditions of bond [3/04/08 arrest for dv threat]: contacted his wife and consumed alcohol. [Allegan News]

March 13, 2008:Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] was arrested for violating the terms of his bond [3/04/08 dv threat]. Second arrest for Haan in nine days. [WOOD-TV News]

March 13, 2008: Kalkaska County SD secretary Jan Gualtiere [wife of Undersheriff Bruce Gualtiere] was suspended without pay for covering up a weapons possession incident at the school, involving her seventeen year-old son. [Discover Petoskey.Com]

March 13, 2008: Arrest warrant issued for former Officer Tracey House [Burton PD], for February 2005 stalking incident and misuse of state LEIN system. [Flint Journal]

March 14, 2008: Former Firefighter Matthew Cook [Wayland FD] was found guilty of third degree CSC; two seven-year felonies; and one fifteen-year felony [June 2003 CSC]. Sentencing hearing for Cook is scheduled for April 04, 2008. [Thank you Marion McDonnell]

March 15, 2008: Officer Mark James Sigler [Litchfield PD], arrested for assaulting / blooding his girlfriend's nose. [Hillsdale Daily].

March 16, 2008: Officer Mark Sigler [Litchfield PD], suspended w/o pay from the department, for four weeks, for March 15, 2008 OIDV assault. [Hillsdale Daily].

March 17, 2008: Scheduled preliminary hearing for Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD], charged with seven felonies for 3/04/08 dv assault. Hearing postponed until April 11, 2008. [Hometown Life]

March 17, 2008: Detroit Board of Police Commissioners review of Officer Gary Allen Steele's [Detroit PD] suspension for 3/04/08 dv assault. Officer Steele's suspension was changed from paid suspension, to unpaid suspension. [Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting minutes]

March 19, 2008: Scheduled arraignment for former Officer Tracey House [Burton PD] for stalking and felony misuse of state LEIN system [February 2005 stalking incident]. [Flint Journal]

March 24, 2008: Deputy Gregory Williams [Kalamazoo County SD] was suspended from the department for two weeks for 1/26/08 dv assault with a weapon. [Deputy Williams' own statement at divorce hearing]

March 25, 2008: Control date set by court for former Firefighter Enrique Torres for forensic evaluation [12/27/08 murder of Rebecca Torres]. [Flint Journal]

March 26, 2008: Former Special Deputy Alan Trimue [Genesee County SD] pled no contest to 2 counts of third-degree CSC; 2 counts of attempted kidnapping; and 1 count of felony firearm possession [6/20/07 CSC]. Trimue was orginally charged with 17 felonies: 11 counts of first-degree CSC; 2 counts kidnapping; 2 counts of impersonating a police officer while committing a felony; and 2 counts of felony firearm possession. [Flint Journal]
March 27, 2008: Allegan County SD's internal investigation of Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] for 3/04/08 dv threat and 3/13/08 bond violation arrest. Deputy Haan, who was originally on paid leave from the department, was placed on unpaid suspension. [Holland Sentinel]

March 28, 2008: Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD] was arrested by Berry County SD for drunk driving [Deputy Haan's third arrest in 24 days]. Deputy Haan is now facing criminal OUIL charges, and violation of terms of 3/04/08 bond [consumption of alcohol]. [WOOD-TV News]

March 2008: Officer Mark Sigler [Litchfield PD], resigned from the department [March 15, 2008 OIDV assault]. [Hillsdale Daily].April 2008: Officer Robert Vargas [Lansing PD] completed probation for May 2007 charge/conviction of mailicious use of a phone, involving his ex-girlfriend. [WILX News].

April 2008: Upon completing probation for May 2007 OIDV charges, Officer Robert Vargas [Lansing PD], who had been on paid administrative leave since May 2007 OIDV arrest, filed for medical pension, prior to the Lansing PD conducting their internal investigation of him. [WILX News].

April 2008: Lansing Police Department puts a hold on their internal investigation of Officer Robert Vargas [May 2007 arrest for OIDV], due to Vargas filing for medical pension and pending medical review. [WILX News]

April 2008: Officer Robert Vargas [Lansing PD] began stalking and harassing the officer who had arrested him in May 2007 for OIDV. [WILX News]

April 01, 2008: Lieutenant Steve Junewick [Little River Band of Ottawa Indians- Manistee PD], arrested for dv. [TV 7 News]

April 04, 2008: Sentencing hearing for former Firefighter Matthew Cook [Wayland FD] for June 2003 CSC. [Thank you Marion McDonnell]
April 07, 2008: Scheduled Allegan County Sheriff Department Review Board hearing for Deputy Kevin Haan: 3/04/08 arrest for dv threats to wife; 3/13/08 arrest for violations of bond: contacting wife and consumption of alcohol; 3/28/08 OUIL arrest; 3/28/08 bond violation/consumption of alcohol. [Holland Sentinel]

Arpil 07, 2008: Deputy Kevin Haan [Allegan County SD], resigned from the department [03/04/08 arrest for dv threats to wife; 3/13/08 arrest for violatons of bonds; 3/28/08 OUIL arrest and bond violations]. [MLive/Chronicle News Service]

April 08, 2008: Pretrial conference hearing for former Firefighter Enrique Torres [Mt. Morris FD] for 12/27/08 murder of Becky Burden Torres. [Thank you Heather Linseman/cousin of Becky Torres]

April 11, 2008: Preliminary hearing for Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] for 3/04/08 dv assault. Disclosed during victim's testimony that Officer Steele was Officer Brian Vieau's partner [murdered ex-wife Tracy, 2/08/07]:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2007/02/officer-brian-vieau-detroit-police.html /Officer Steele made reference to relating to Vieau murdering Tracy, while he was assaulting his victim/ex-girlfriend. [Hometown Life]

April 11, 2008: Preliminatry exam of Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] for 3/04/08 dv assault. Judge refused to drop charges & refused to lower Steele's $5,000,000 bond. Bound over on 7 felony counts [ felony torture; felony assault w/intent to murder; felony assault w/intent to do great bodily harm; 2 counts of felony assault w/a weapon; felony weapon/fireamr discharge; and felony weapon/firearm]. Circuit Court arraignment scheduled for April 25, 2008. [Hometown Life]

April 12, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] beat his wife; broke her nose; held her at gunpoint, and threatened to kill her. [Macomb Daily]

April 12, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] was arrested for dv [4/12/08 dv assault]. [Macomb Daily]

April 14, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] was arraigned for felonious assault and aggravated dv [4/12/08 dv assault]. Bond was set at $20,000/10% cash bond; ordered to be placed on an electronic tether; ordered not to posses firearms. [Macomb Daily]

April 14, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] was placed on paid suspension from the department [4/12/08 dv assault]. [Macomb Daily]

April 14, 2008: Shelby Township Police Department began its internal investigation into Officer David Essad's 4/12/08 dv assault. [Macomb Daily]

April 15, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD/arrested and suspended for 4/12/08 dv assault] appeared in court to testify in CSC criminal case against former Shelby Junior High School teacher, Michael S. O'Hanian. [Macomb Daily]

April 16, 2008: Former Officer Phillip Bal's [Iron Mountain PD] arraignment on CSC and home invasion charges [4/25/05 CSC]. Bal pled not guilty. Jury trial set for 9/04/08. [Iron Mountain Journal]

April 18, 2008: Plea agreement for former Officer Tracey House [Burton PD] for February 2005 stalking incident. House pled no contest to misdemeanor stalking; House agreed to not seek employment as a police officer again; felony charges of misuse of the state's LEIN system were dropped. [Flint Journal]

April 19, 2008: Arrest of Vincent Smothers, hitman that Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] hired to kill his wife, Rose Cobb on 12/26/07. [Click On Detroit]
April 20, 2008: Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] was arrested for hiring a hit man/murder of his wife Rose Cobb [12/26/07]. [Click On Detroit]

April 21, 2008: Vincent Smothers, suspected hitman in Rose Cobb's 12/26/08 murder, (wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] ), was arraigned for June 21, 2007 murders and wounding of a third person. Smothers was charged with two counts of first degree murder; and one count of assault with intent to murder. [Detroit Free Press]

April 21, 2008: Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] was suspended from the department, with pay, following his 4/20/08 arrest for the murder of his wife Rose Cobb on 12/26/08. [Detroit Free Press]
April 21, 2008: Scheduled sentencing hearing for former Special Deputy Alan Trimue [Genesee County SD] for 6/20/07 CSC charges. Trimue sentenced to 6 years, five months to 15 years; 2-5 years for attempted kidnapping; and 2 years for felony firearm. [The Flint Journal]
April 22, 2008: Scheduled arraignment of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] for the murder of his wife, Rose Cobb on 12/26/07. [Detroit Free Press]

April 22, 2008: Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] was released from custody at 6:00am. Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy refused to sign a warrant charging Cobb with murder. Worthy stated, "there is no admissible evidence to charge him at this time...". [Detroit Free Press]
April 22, 2008: Vincent Smothers was arraigned on murder charges, [12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/wife of Officer David Cobb of the Detroit PD]. Smothers was charged with first degree murder; being a felon in possession of a firearm; and possession of a firearm during a felony. [WOOD TV, Grand Rapids MI]

April 22, 2008: Marzell Shawn Black was arraigned on murder charges, [12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/wife of Officer David Cobb of the Detroit PD]. Black was charged with first degree murder and solicitation of murder. [WOOD TV, Grand Rapids MI]
April 22, 2008: Scheduled arraignment of Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] for 4/12/08 OIDV assault. [Macomb Daily]

April 24, 2008: Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD], suspended from department without pay, pending an internal investigation, following his 4/20/08 arrest for the murder of his wife, Rose Cobb [12/26/07]. [Detroit News]

April 25, 2008: Scheduled circuit court arraignment for Officer Gary Allen Steele [Detroit PD] on 3/04/08 dv assault. [Hometown Life]

April 25, 2008: Scheduled hearing for former Firefighter Enrique Torres [Mt. Morris FD] on murder charges for 12/27/07 murder of Rebecca Torres. [Thank you Heather Linseman/Becky's cousin]

April 25, 2008: Former Firefighter Enrique Torres' [Mt. Morris FD] hearing on murder charges of Rebecca Torres was canceled/rescheduled to May 05, 2008. Reason for rescheduling of hearing: Enrique became out of control on 4/24/08 and had to be drugged [remember, Enrique is trying to claim he is incompetent to stand trial/be held criminally accountable for Becky's murder]. [Thank you Heather Linseman/Becky's cousin].

April 30, 2008: Scheduled court date for Lt. Steve Junewick [Little River Band of Ottawa Indians PD], on April 01, 2008 dv charges. [TV7 News]
May 01, 2008: Scheduled preliminary exam for Vincent Smothers, hitman in the 12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD]. [WOOD TV, Grand Rapids MI]

May 01, 2008: Scheduled preliminary exam for Marzell Shawn Black, for the solicitation of the 12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD]. [WOOD TV, Grand Rapids, MI]

May 01, 2008: Preliminary hearings for Marzell Black and Vincent Smothers, in the murder of Rose Cobb/wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD] were postponed to 5/19/08. [Detroit News]

May 01, 2008: Deputy Richard Rodden [Livingston County SD] resigned from the department [5/14/07 dv assault]. [Detroit News]
May 05, 2008: Scheduled hearing for former firefighter Enrique Torres [Mt. Morris FD] on murder charges of his wife, Becky Torres [12/27/07]. Murder charges bound over to circuit court. Arraignment set for May 12, 2008. [Thank you Heather Linseman/Becky's cousin]
May 06, 2008: Pre-exam conference scheduled for Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] for 4/12/08 dv assault. [Mirror News]

May 10, 2008: Officer Renny Shelby [Detroit PD] arrested for breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home; assaulting ex-girlfriend; and holding ex-girlfriend at gunpoint. [Detroit Board of Commissioners Meeting minutes]

May 11, 2008: Oakland County Prosecutor's Office issued a felony warrant against Officer Renny Shelby [Detroit PD] for second-degree home invasion and assault with a deadly weapon [May 10, 2008 OIDV].. [Detroit Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutues]

May 11, 2008: Officer Renny Shelby [Detroit PD], was arraigned on home invasion and assault charges [May 10, 2008 OIDV], and released on $50,000 bond. [Detroit Board of Commissioners meeting minutes]

May 11, 2008: Officer Renny Shelby [Detroit PD], was suspended from the department [May 10, 2008 OIDV]. [Detroit Board of Commissioners meeting minutes]

May 12, 2008: Scheduled circuit court arraignment for former Firefighter Enrique Torres [Mt. Morris FD] on murder charges of Becky Torres [12/27/07]. [Thank you Heather Linseman/ Becky's cousin]

May 15, 2008: Former Firefighter Enrique Torres stood mute on murder charges of Becky Torres [12/27/07]. Pretrial scheduled for August 05, 2008. [Thank you, Michelle].

May 15, 2008: Scheduled pre-examination for Officer Renny Shelby [Detroit PD], for May 10, 2008 OIDV charges. [Detroit Board of Commissioners meeting minutes]

May 15, 2008: Officer Renny Shelby [Detroit PD], was formerly suspended from duty, without pay. [Detroit Board of Commissioners meeting minutes]




May 19, 2008: Preliminary hearings for Vincent Smothers in the 12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD]. Smothers bound over for trial: First-degree murder; felon in possession of a firearm; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. [MLive]

May 19, 2008: Preliminatry hearing for Marzell Black in the 12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/ wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD]. Black bound over for trial: First-degree murder and solicitation of murder. [MLive]

May 26, 2008: Scheduled Circuit court arraignment for Vincent Smothers in the 12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/ wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD]: First-degree murder; felon in possession of a firearm; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. [MLive]

May 26, 2008: Scheduled Circuit Court arraignment for Marzell Black in the 12/26/07 murder of Rose Cobb/ wife of Officer David Cobb [Detroit PD]: First-degree murder; and solicitation of murder. [MLive]
June 17, 2008: Scheduled pretrial hearing for Officer David Essad [Shelby PD], for 4/12/08 OIDV assault. [Macomb Daily].
June 17, 2008: Kent County Commissioner, James Vaughn, arrested for OIDV/aggravated assault. [Grand Rapids Press].
June 17, 2008: Kent County Commissioner, James Vaughn released from jail less than six hours after he was arrested, under Kent County 'Fast Track' release policies. Kent County 'Fast Track' release policies clearly state that those arrested for aggravated assault and domestic violence charges are not eligible for fast track release. [Grand Rapids Press].
June 19, 2008: Police questioned Judge Benjamin Logan's fast track release of James Vaughn [Kent County Commissioner], within six hours of his 6/17/08 OIDV arrest. [Grand Rapids Press].
June 21, 2008: Sheriff Larry Stelma [Kent County SD] publicly questioned Judge Logan's release of Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn under the 'Fast Track' release policies which Vaughn was not eligible for [6/17/08 OIDV assault]. [Grand Rapids Press].

June 24, 2008: Scheduled jury trial for Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD], for 1/07/08 murder of his ex-wife/Lori DeKleine. [Grand Rapids Press]
June 26, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby PD] was fired from the Shelby Police Department for 4/12/08 OIDV assault/arrest. [Macomb Daily]
June 28, 2008: Undersheriff Bruce Gualtiere [Kalkaska SD] reportedly assaulted his seventeen year-old step-son. [Traverse City Record-Eagle]
June 29, 2008: Undersheriff Bruce Gualtiere [Kalkaska SD], placed on paid administrative leave following 6/28/08 OIDV incident. [Traverse City Record-Eagle]

July 01, 2008: Officer Robert Vargas [Lansing PD] was arrested for stalking/harassing officer who had arrested him for May 2007 OIDV. [WLJA News]

July 03, 2008: Officer Robert Vargas [Lansing PD] was arraigned for stalking/harassing officer who arrested him on May 2007 OIDV. Vargas was charged with felony aggravated stalking and malicious use of telecommunications. [WLJA News]

July 08, 2008: Trial for Officer Ken DeKleine's [Holland PD], murder of ex-wife Lori DeKleine [January 10, 2008].
July 08, 2008: Domestic violence charges filed against Undersheriff Bruce Gualtiere [Kalkaska SD] for 6/28/08 OIDV incident. [Traverse City Record-Eagle]
July 08, 2008: Kalamazoo Gazette disclosed Kalamazoo District Court Judge candidate Jeffrey Gagie's OIDV past [sworn in as a Kalamazoo Magistrate in 1997; arrested for dv hours later; and dismissed as magistrate after OIDV incident/arrest].


July 09, 2008: Undersheriff Bruce Gualtiere [Kalkaska SD] arraigned on one count of misdemeanor domestic violence [6/28/08 OIDV incident]. Gualtiere stood mute and is free on a personal recognizance bond. [Traverse City Record-Eagle]

July 10, 2008: Sentencing hearing for former Officer Tracey House [February 2005 stalking; misuse of state LEIN system]. House was sentenced to 18 months probation and agreed to never seek a job as a police officer again. [Flint Journal]
July 11, 2008: Officer Ken DeKeine [Holland PD], found guilty of first-degree murder of Lori DeKleine.
July 15, 2008: Scheduled pre-trial conference for Officer David Essad [Shelby PD], for 4/12/08 OIDV assault. [Macomb Daily]

July 21, 2008: James Vaughn [Kent County Commissioner] formally charged with aggravated assault [6/17/08 oidv assault]. [Grand Rapids Press]
July 22, 2008: Former Deputy Jeffrey Lutz 's[Eaton County SD] appeal on felony conviction of filing a false police report and firing at a police car [3/20/06], was denied. [Michigan Court Of Appeals]
July 24, 2008: Officer Antonio Barber [Flint PD] held his girlfriend and her two children hostage during an OIDV. [Flint Journal].
July 24, 2008: Officer Antonio Barber's [Flint PD] girlfriend and children escape, after police respond to OIDV/hostage call. [Flint Journal].
July 24, 2008: Officer Antonio Barber's [Flint PD] stand-off with the police lasts throughout the day and into the night. [Flint Journal]
July 24, 2008: At about 11:00pm, police found Officer Antonio's [Flint PD], body inside his apartment...dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound. [Flint Journal]

July 29, 2008: Scheduled preliminary hearing of Officer Robert Vargas [Lansing PD] for stalking/malicious use of telecommunications against officer who arrested him for May 2007 OIDV [WLNS News].

July 30, 2008: Deputy Robert Dakin [Newaygo SD], arrested for 2002 CSC assault on reserve officer. [Grand Rapids Press]

July 30, 2008: Deputy Robert Dakin [Newaygo SD], arraigned on one count of third-degree CSC [August 2002 incident]. Dukin free on $100,000 bond. [Grand Rapids Press]

July 30, 2008: Deputy Robert Dakin [Newaygo SD], placed on paid administrative leave following arrest/arraignment for 2002 CSC incident. [Grand Rapids Press]

August 2008: James Vaughn's [Kent County Commissioner] preliminary hearing. Vaughn pled not guilty to dv and aggravated assault charges [6/17/08 oidv assault]. [Grand Rapids Press]
August 05, 2008: Scheduled pretrial for former Firefighter Enrique Torres [murder of Becky Torres 12/27/07]. [Thank you, Michelle].

August 05, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] pled guilty to two counts of aggravated domestic violence [4/12/08 OIDV assault]. [Oakland Press].
August 05, 2008: Officer David Essad's [Shelby Township PD], defense attorney stated to the press, that with the felony dv charges dropped, Officer Essad will be able to continue working as a police officer. [Oakland Press]

August 07, 2008: Deputy Robert Dakin's [Newaygo SD] scheduled preliminary hearing for 7/30/08 arrest for 2002 CSC. [WZZM News]

August 07, 2008: Deputy Robert Dakin [Newaygo SD] waived preliminary hearing [7/30/08 charges for 2002 CSC]. Case bound over to trial in circuit court [Grand Rapids Press]

August 08, 2008: Former Officer Mark Sigler [Litchfield PD], in a plea bargain, pled no contest to March 15, 2008 OIDV assault. Sigler was given a deferred sentence. [Hillsdale Daily].
August 13, 2008: Scheduled jury trial for Officer Gary Steele [Detroit PD], for March 04, 2008 OIDV arrest. Trial was rescheduled to December 15, 2008. [Home Town Life].August 18, 2008: Scheduled sentencing hearing for Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD], for first-degree murder of ex-wife Lori DeKleine.
August 23, 2008: Officer Kenneth Pappas [Sterling Heights PD] arrested for oidv assault. [Detroit News].
August 24, 2008: Officer Kenneth Pappas [Sterling Heights PD] posted $25,000 personal bond and was released from jail for 8/23/08 oidv assault. [Detroit News]
August 25, 2008: Officer Ken DeKleine [Holland PD] was sentenced to life in prison for the January 10, 2008 murder of his ex-wife, Lori Meulman-DeKleine.
August 25, 2008: Officer Kenneth Pappas [Sterling Heights PD] was arraigned on misdemeanor dv/assault charges for 8/23/08 oidv assault. [Detroit News]
August 25, 2008: Officer Kenneth Pappas [Sterling Heights PD] was suspended with pay from department for 8/23/08 oidv assault/arrest. [The Source]

August 28, 2008: CSC charges against former Officer Phillip Bal [Iron Mountain PD] for April 2005 CSC were dropped by Florence County [WI]prosecutor, pending decision of Bal's appeal on May 2007 conviction of 4/2004 csc/home invasion in Dickinson County. [Iron Mountain Daily News]

September 02, 2008: Pretrial conference for James Vaughn [Kent County Commissioner] for 6/17/08 oidv assault. [Grand Rapids Press]

September 04, 2008: Scheduled jury trial for former Officer Phillip Bal [Iron Mountain PD] on 4/25/05 CSC and home invasion charges. [Iron Mountain Journal]

September 05, 2008: Kent County Commissioner James Vaughn claimed to the media that his privacy was violated by public disclosure of sex toys that were found in his house after the 6/17/08 dv assault. [Grand Rapids Press].

September 09, 2008: Scheduled sentencing hearing for Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD], for 4/12/08 OIDV assault. [Oakland Press]

September 09, 2008: Officer David Essad [Shelby Township PD] sentenced to two years probation for each count of aggravated assault [4/12/08 oidv assault]. Essad cannot carry a firearm, except for his employment. [Source Newspapers]

September 11, 2008: Undersheriff Bruce Guiltiere's [Kalkaska SD] trial for 6/28/08 dv assault of stepson. Guiltiere was found not guilty. [Traverse City Record-Eagle].

September 12, 2008: Sheriff Bill Artress [Kalkaska SD] announced that the investigation of Undersheriff Bruce Guiltiere's 6/28/08 dv assault was closed and that Undersheriff Guiltiere was back to work at the Kalkaska SD. [Traverse City Record-Eagle]

September 24, 2008: Decision due in on former Officer Philip Bal's [Iron Mountain PD]appeal on May 2007 conviction for April 2005 csc/home invasion charges in Dickinson County. [WLUC TV6]

September 24, 2008: Former Officer Philip Bal's [Iron Mountain PD], May 2007 conviction for April 2005 CSC/home invasion charges was affirmed by.

September 26, 2006: Sgt. David Cobb [Detroit PD],who was under investigation for the death of his wife Rose's murder [12/27/07], was found hanged. {Detroit News/Detroit Free Press].

September 28, 2008: Firefighter Joel Abernathy [Sterling Heights FD] got into an argument with his wife at a bar. Abernathy left the bar, went home and to the bar in uniform and with his gun. From behind, Abernathy mistook a woman sitting at the bar as his wife, and held his gun to the back of the woman's head. [Click On Detroit].

September 28, 2008: Police arrested Firefighter Joel Abernathy [Sterling Heights FD] for 9/28/08 assault. [Click On Detroit]

September 29, 2008: Firefighter Joel Abernathy,[Sterling Heights FD} was arraigned for 9/28/08 assault. Abernathy was charged with felonious assault and a firearms offense. Abernathy was still being held on a 10% of $10,000 bond. [Detroit Free Press].

September 29, 2008: Firefighter Joel Abernathy [Sterling Heights FD] was placed on administrative leave. [Detroit Free Press].

September 29, 2008: Scheduled court hearing for Officer Kenneth Pappas [Sterling Heights PD] for 8/23/08 oidv assault. [The Source]

September 29, 2008: Judge Douglas Shephard dropped charges against Officer Kenneth Pappas
[Sterling Heights PD] for the 8/23/08 oidv assault, when the victim failed to show up for court. [The Source]

September 29, 2008: Officer Kenneth Pappas was reinstated with the department, following the dismissal of charges [8/23/08 oidv assault]. [The Source]

December 15, 2008:
Scheduled jury trial for Officer Gary Steele [Detroit PD], for March 04, 2008 OIDV arrest. [Trial had originally been scheduled for August 13, 2008]. [Home Town Life].








Sunday, December 7, 2008

12072008 - Deputy Scott Ford - Emmet County SD








On December 07, 2008, while Deputy Scott Ford [Emmet County Sheriff Department] was on duty he had consensual 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.







ALSO SEE:
DEPUTY SCOTT FORD, EMMET COUNTY SD [October 19, 2007]
Misuse of Sheriff Department LEIN system to stalk ex-girlfriend.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/03/deputy-scott-ford-emmet-county-sd.html




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



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






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.







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.




Friday, December 5, 2008

12052008 - Magistrate J. Michael James - DUI - Van Buren County


On December 05, 2008 South Haven District Court Magistrate J. Michael James was charged with driving while intoxicated to Allegan General Hospital to be with his injured wife. James' wife had suffered severe head and upper torso trauma, in what James only explained as 'a fall'.

Magistrate James later plead guilty to impaired driving.



Ex-magistrate pleads guilty to impaired driving
Published: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:28 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 12:31 AM
By Paula M. Davis
Kalamazoo Gazette
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/02/exmagistrate_pleads_guilty_to.html

ALLEGAN -- A former Van Buren County magistrate who retired after his arrest for drunken driving pleaded guilty Monday to driving while impaired.

J. Michael James, 61, of Bloomingdale Township, was originally charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated but pleaded to the lesser charge of impaired driving. Both violations are misdemeanors.

James was sentenced to three to six months of probation.

As part of his sentence, Allegan District Judge Joseph Skocelas ordered James to submit to random alcohol testing and substance-abuse assessment. James also is expected to pay $815 in fines, court costs and other fees, a court official said.

Police arrested James Dec. 5 after he followed an ambulance carrying his wife to Allegan General Hospital. Police were called to the hospital on reports that James was being disorderly in the waiting room.

James' wife was treated at the hospital for severe trauma to the head and upper torso area, according to a police report. James told an officer that she was injured in a fall, the report said.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz has been appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the injuries to James' wife.

Paul Hamre, chief judge of the Van Buren County Circuit Court, suspended James with pay after his arrest in December. James then retired, effective Monday.

                   









Ex-magistrate pleads guilty to impaired driving
By Mickey Ciokajlo
MLive
February 10, 2009, 12:28AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/02/exmagistrate_pleads_guilty_to.html

ALLEGAN -- A former Van Buren County magistrate who retired after his arrest for drunken driving pleaded guilty Monday to driving while impaired.

J. Michael James, 61, of Bloomingdale Township, was originally charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated but pleaded to the lesser charge of impaired driving. Both violations are misdemeanors.

James was sentenced to three to six months of probation.

As part of his sentence, Allegan District Judge Joseph Skocelas ordered James to submit to random alcohol testing and substance-abuse assessment. James also is expected to pay $815 in fines, court costs and other fees, a court official said.

Police arrested James Dec. 5 after he followed an ambulance carrying his wife to Allegan General Hospital. Police were called to the hospital on reports that James was being disorderly in the waiting room.

James' wife was treated at the hospital for severe trauma to the head and upper torso area, according to a police report. James told an officer that she was injured in a fall, the report said.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz has been appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the injuries to James' wife.

Paul Hamre, chief judge of the Van Buren County Circuit Court, suspended James with pay after his arrest in December. James then retired, effective Monday.

                 









Former magistrate pleads guilty
James gets six months probation and $815 fine for Dec. 5 driving while impaired arrest
Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:00 am
Updated: 8:16 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
By ANDREW LERSTEN
H-P South Haven Bureau The Herald-Palladium
http://www.heraldpalladium.com/localnews/former-magistrate-pleads-guilty/article_1ed35edc-ff86-5593-a67d-09bbc6f53fb7.html

SOUTH HAVEN - Former Van Buren County magistrate J. Michael James pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge in an Allegan County drinking and driving case.

James, 61, had been charged with driving while intoxicated Dec. 5 in the city of Allegan. He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of driving while impaired, Allegan District Court officials said.

James had been on paid administrative leave from his magistrate's job since his arrest, but late last month announced his resignation, which was effective Monday. He had been the District Court magistrate at the South Haven courthouse for 20 years.

He was sentenced to three to six months of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $815. He was ordered to have substance abuse counseling and refrain from alcohol. He will also have to participate in a victim impact panel through the courts.

James told Allegan police he had been drinking the night of Dec. 5 before he drove to Allegan General Hospital, where he was arrested. His wife had been taken to the hospital by ambulance that night with severe trauma injuries, and he followed in his car, police said.

The Jameses live near Gobles, about 6 miles from the hospital.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the hospital visit to see if domestic assault charges may be warranted against James.

Allegan police said James' wife claimed she had fallen at home, causing her injuries, but officers said they weren't sure if her injuries were consistent with a fall.

Fitz was assigned the case after Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps recused himself. Fitz said he may make a decision on his review later this week.

                   








Temporary magistrate David Hill appointed to district court in South Haven
By Ed Finnerty
The Kalamazoo Gazette
February 05, 2009 at 12:04 AM
Updated February 05, 2009 at 12:18 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/02/temporary_magistrate_david_hil.html

PAW PAW -- Van Buren County commissioners have appointed David Hill as temporary magistrate of the Seventh District Court West Division in South Haven, replacing J. Michael James, who is retiring after his arrest in December for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

James, 61, is stepping down effective Monday, which is the same day he is scheduled for a pretrial conference on the drunken-driving charge, according to the Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph. He previously pleaded not guilty.

James is also being investigated in a related case of alleged domestic violence. Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz was assigned by the state attorney general's office to conduct the investigation, after Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps asked for a special prosecutor because of his longtime working association with James.

Van Buren County Chief Circuit Judge Paul Hamre suspended James from his position with pay after his arrest, which occurred after James followed an ambulance carrying his wife to Allegan General Hospital in early December. An Allegan Police Department report said an officer administered three breath tests to James, each showing a blood-alcohol level of more than Michigan's 0.08 level for drunken driving.

James said his wife was injured in a fall. The Allegan police report, however, indicated the victim, who was not named in the report, suffered severe trauma to the head and torso and that doctors considered having her taken by helicopter to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.

James was appointed magistrate in 1981.

               










Charged magistrate resigns
Posted: Friday, January 30, 2009 12:00 am
Updated: 8:05 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
Charged magistrate resigns By ANDREW LERSTEN
H-P South Haven Bureau The Herald-Palladium
http://www.heraldpalladium.com/localnews/charged-magistrate-resigns/article_5b37c72a-7f94-5b5b-9619-63ca6d51cb7f.html

SOUTH HAVEN - Long-time Seventh District Court Magistrate J. Michael James, facing both a drunk driving charge and a domestic assault probe, is resigning.

James, 61, of Bloomingdale Township, has been magistrate at the South Haven courthouse since 1989, and had been a Van Buren County assistant prosecutor before that. His resignation is effective Feb. 9.

"He has been a dedicated and loyal employee of ours," County Administrator Douglas Cultra said of James Thursday.

The County Board of Commissioners this week week voted unanimously to approve the temporary appointment of David Hill to fill James' duties in South Haven. Action was recommended by the Seventh District Court judges.

Hill had been appointed magistrate by the state Court Administrators Office after James was placed on paid administrative leave last month after he was arrested for investigation of the drunk driving charge in Allegan County on Dec. 5.

Hill had been a county probation officer, and is also a former state police officer. James will continue to be paid by the county until his last day of work on Feb. 9, Cultra said.

James was charged by Allegan city police with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. A pretrial conference in the case has been scheduled for Feb. 9. James earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Meanwhile, the state Attorney General office in Lansing has appointed Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz to serve as special prosecutor in the related domestic assault investigation of James. Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps asked for the special prosecutor because of his long-time working relationship with James.

At the request of Allegan police, Van Buren County Sheriff's detectives investigated whether James may have beaten his wife on Dec. 5. His wife was taken by ambulance to Allegan General Hospital that night with severe trauma injuries, and Allegan police said they did not know whether the injuries were consistent with the couple's statements that there had been an accidental fall.

J. Michael James admitted driving to the hospital that night after drinking some vodka tonics, and was arrested at the hospital after police were called to investigate. A preliminary breath test at the hospital showed he had a blood alcohol level of .127, more than 50 percent higher than the state's legal limit of .08, police said.

Contacted at home Thursday, James said he was resigning due to the police investigation, "which is a bunch of baloney." He declined to further comment.

                     







In brief
Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:00 am
Updated: 8:06 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
The Herald-Palladium
http://www.heraldpalladium.com/localnews/in-brief/article_17ba567e-57e1-5404-a620-2b88f286214d.html

VB magistrate faces February court date
ALLEGAN - The next court hearing in the case of Van Buren District Court Magistrate J. Michael James, charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated last month in Allegan County, has been adjourned until Feb. 9, court officials said.

James had pleaded not guilty to the charge. The pretrial conference had been scheduled for Jan. 9, court officials said earlier.

James is on paid administrative leave from his post at the South Haven courthouse.










Court official charged with DUI
Police: Magistrate drove to Allegan General Hospital while intoxicated
Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:00 am
Updated: 7:51 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
H-P South Haven Bureau The Herald-Palladium
http://www.heraldpalladium.com/localnews/court-official-charged-with-dui/article_c14a3ac1-0193-5e6b-9c8c-3458b57ebbd8.html

SOUTH HAVEN - A veteran Van Buren County court magistrate finds himself on the wrong side of the law after being arrested for drunk driving in Allegan County.

And he may be facing additional criminal charges. Van Buren County authorities are also investigating whether J. Michael James assaulted his wife earlier that day.

James, 61, of Bloomingdale Township is the magistrate at Seventh District Court in South Haven and a former assistant Van Buren County prosecutor.

He was arrested on Dec. 5 at Allegan General Hospital in Allegan, according to the city police report.

James pleaded not guilty to the charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated during his arraignment in Allegan County District Court, according to court staff.

Chief Van Buren County Judge Paul Hamre has placed James on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the case, and the state court administrator's office has appointed a magistrate to fill his duties at the South Haven court for now, officials said Tuesday.

According to the police report, James appeared intoxicated at the hospital.

A preliminary breath test at the hospital showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.127, more than 50 percent higher than the state's legal limit of 0.08.

Patrolman Jay Gibson said James told him he had been drinking vodka tonics and admitted he drove about 6 miles to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps said Tuesday he is asking for the state Attorney General's office to appoint a special prosecutor from outside Van Buren County to investigate an allegation that James assaulted his wife that night.

The woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance, with a black eye, a bleeding face and bruising to her face, neck and upper torso.

She and her husband both maintained she had fallen in their home, but Gibson said he wasn't sure the injuries were consistent with a fall.

Due to loss of blood and trouble maintaining her blood pressure, she was taken by helicopter to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.

Van Buren County sheriff's detectives last week concluded their investigation into the assault allegation, and turned their report over to Kaps for review, Detective Gabrielle Rought said.

Due to his long-time working relationship with James, Kaps is asking the Attorney General's office to appoint another prosecutor to the case.

James was an assistant Van Buren prosecutor from 1981 to 1989, when he was appointed magistrate.

A pretrial conference has been set for Jan. 9 on James' drunken driving charge.


                   










Van Buren County magistrate, J. Michael James, suspended after arrest
By Sarah Crone Kalamazoo Gazette
December 30, 2008, 12:08PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2008/12/van_buren_county_magistrate_j.html

ALLEGAN -- A Van Buren County court magistrate was arrested earlier this month for allegedly driving while intoxicated to Allegan General Hospital to be with his injured wife, according to a police report.

Magistrate J. Michael James has been suspended with pay from his job, said Paul Hamre, chief judge of the Van Buren County Circuit Court.

A report from the Allegan City Police Department shows that a separate investigation was to be conducted into whether James' wife had been assaulted or whether her injuries were the result of an accident.

The woman, who is not named in the report, suffered severe trauma to the head and upper torso area. The report says doctors considered airlifting her to Bronson Methodist Hospital for treatment, although it does not state whether that occurred.

James told police his wife sustained the injuries in a fall, the report says.

He is scheduled to have a pretrial hearing Jan. 9 on the misdemeanor drunken driving charge.

The Gazette was unable to reach James, 61, for comment Monday.

He is the magistrate and administrator at Van Buren County's 7th District Court East Division in South Haven. He was first appointed magistrate in 1981.

According to the police report, James followed an ambulance that was carrying his wife to the hospital in early December.

Police were dispatched to the hospital on reports of a disorderly person in the waiting room who appeared to be drunk, urinating in his pants and, at one point, passing out.

Allegan police officer Jay Gibson wrote in the police report that James smelled of alcohol and told the officer that he'd had vodka tonics that evening.

According to the report, Gibson conducted three separate breath tests that showed James had a blood-alcohol level of 0.127 percent in one test and 0.13 percent in two subsequent tests. The legal limit for driving in Michigan is 0.08 percent.

The report said that a Van Buren County Sheriff's Department deputy was dispatched to the hospital to investigate the injuries to James' wife. The Allegan report does not say whether that occurred.

Hamre said the Van Buren County Judicial Council, composed of the county's judges and headed by him, is expected discuss the suspension and reason behind it at a future date that has not yet been determined.

The case also could be addressed by the state Judicial Tenure Commission and/or the State Court Administrative Office, Hamre said.