Friday, March 26, 2010

Deputy Nick Cavanaugh - Terminated - Otsego SD



On March 26, 2010, Otsego County Sheriff Jim McBride dismissed Deputy Nick Cavanaugh from the Sheriff Department for "a major policy violation". It was not the first time Sheriff McBride had reprimanded or dismissed Deputy Cavanaugh.



ALSO SEE:
DEPUTY NICK CAVANAUGH, OTSEGO COUNTY SD. February 14, 2004:
domestic violence incident; drunk driving; loaded gun.



DEPUTY NICK CAVANAUGH, OTSEGO COUNTY SD. August 2003:
Reprimanded for taking confiscated fireworks for own personal use.











Sheriff’s deputy fired for ‘major violation’
April 06, 2010
By Michael Jones, Staff writer
Petoskey News
http://articles.petoskeynews.com/2010-04-06/road-patrol-deputy_24094016

GAYLORD - Less than one week after the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) fired 11-year veteran deputy Nick Cavanaugh March 26 for “a major policy violation,” Sheriff Jim McBride said his department received a letter from Cavanaugh stating his intention to seek arbitration to get his job back.

Because of the pending request for arbitration McBride said he could not comment on the reason for the dismissal of the 35-year-old deputy, who had been placed on a paid administrative leave March 9 prior to his March 26 termination with the department.

McBride did say he had reviewed the personnel issue incident involving Cavanaugh with the prosecutor’s office before making his decision to terminate the road patrol deputy. The sheriff said the issue concerning Cavanaugh’s dismissal was not a criminal matter.

He indicated the firing had nothing to do with Cavanaugh’s credibility as a witness in a recently completed trial heard by Judge Janet M. Allen in 46th Circuit Court. The trial, which began March 16, resulted in a mistrial March 29 when jurors were unable come to reach a verdict in the assault with intent to murder against defendant James Platte Jr.

Cavanaugh was a witness for the prosecution in that trial.

This is not the first time Cavanaugh has been in trouble with the OCSD nor the first time he has been fired by McBride.

In 2004, McBride terminated Cavanaugh after reviewing a police report relating to an alleged off-duty incident in Gladwin involving the deputy.

According to a February 2004 incident report from the Gladwin City Police, officers allegedly found Cavanaugh in possession of his department-issued handgun while intoxicated inside a parked vehicle at a private parking lot in Gladwin. The weapon was allegedly located by officers on the backseat floor of the vehicle under a jacket.

The four-page report was later forwarded to the Gladwin County prosecutor’s office for review. Gladwin County Prosecutor Thomas Jones declined to bring charges against Cavanaugh for the alleged incident, indicating there was not sufficient evidence to bring charges.

According to the incident report, Cavanaugh allegedly blew a .17 on a preliminary breath test. The report indicated Cavanaugh had not been arrested and authorities reportedly transported him to an area motel. In a Feb. 25, 2004 letter, Jones questioned numerous procedural matters found in the report as part of the basis for his decision not to charge Cavanaugh.

After the OCSD was informed of the incident the deputy was placed on administrative leave and then fired two days later. Despite not being charged in the February 2004 incident, McBride indicted Cavanaugh’s alleged behavior was sufficient grounds for termination and had been preceded by several other incidents during Cavanaugh’s then five-year tenure with the department.

In the summer of 2003, Cavanaugh had been suspended for his alleged involvement with another deputy for keeping confiscated fireworks for their own personal use. The other deputy, Jeffrey Brecheisen, was fired from the department as a result of the incident.



Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Terrance Kiernan - Ex wife Unadilla Supervisor Linda Walker

Terence Kiernan held his ex-wife, Linda Walker [Unadilla Township Supervisor] at gunpoint. The gun was later found to be unloaded. He is now serving out a at a 13 year prison sentence.


Meanwhile, Michigan police officers, who commit more severe acts of domestic violence involving the use of firearms, do not serve prison terms. Instead, police officers facing felony domestic violence charges are having their cases pled down under MCL 769.4a. Under MCL 769.4a [Michigan's loophole to the Lautenberg Amendment], an officer serves no prison time, and the officer's felony domestic violence charge is expunged after one year and the officer can re-join his police department.

The felony domestic violence case against Officer Steele [Detroit PD], comes to mind:
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2008/03/officer-gary-steele-detroit-pd-030408.html


Faced with multiple felony dv charges and a possible life sentence, Officer Gary Steele had his case plea bargained down under MCL 769.4a. Officer Steele is currently back on the Detroit Police Department.

If MCL769.4a wasn't intentionally amended to become a loophole specifically for police officers facing felony domestic violence charges...then why wasn't this plea bargain available to Terence Kiernan? Why is Kiernan behind bars for thirteen years and Officer Steele is not only a free man, but is once again wearing the badge?





Terrance Shawn Kiernan




Unadilla Township Supervisor, Linda Walker













Charges changed in case of Unadilla woman held at gunpoint
BY LISA ROOSE-CHURCH
DAILY PRESS and ARGUS 
March 24, 2010
http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20100324/NEWS01/100324012/Charges-changed-in-case-of-Unadilla-woman-held-at-gunpoint

The Livingston County prosecutor’s office revised charges against a Unadilla Township man accused of holding his former wife at gunpoint at her law office in Fowlerville.

Terence Shawn Kiernan, 52, was initially charged in Livingston County District Court with assault with intent to commit murder for allegedly holding his ex-wife, Unadilla Township Supervisor Linda Walker, at gunpoint at her law office on Grand River Avenue in Fowlerville.

However, Prosecutor David Morse revised the charge today to extortion after learning the weapon was not loaded.

Morse said to prove the assault charge he would have had to show that Kiernan had intent to kill Walker, but without a loaded gun that intent disappears.

Kiernan also is charged with felonious assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, carrying a concealed weapon, drunken driving and possession of a firearm under the influence of alcohol.

Kiernan, who is being held in the Livingston County Jail on a $1 million bond, returns to District Court on April 14 for an exam conference.

Walker said she had just returned from lunch March 17 when Kiernan came into her law office shortly after 1 p.m., and pointed a revolver at her. She said she begged him “not to kill me,” and wrestled with him for the gun, but he knocked her to the ground and held the gun at her head.

Walker said Kiernan was angry with her because she receives a portion of his pension benefits through their divorce agreement. She said Kiernan demanded that she return the benefits.










Cops: Divorce deal provoked assault on Unadilla Twp. official
The Detroit News
Valerie Olander
Last Updated: March 20. 2010 1:00AM
http://detnews.com/article/20100320/METRO/3200328/Cops--Divorce-deal-provoked-assault-on-Unadilla-Twp.-official

Fowlerville --The newly ex-husband of Unadilla Township's supervisor is accused of threatening her at gunpoint this week after a divorce settlement gave her half his pension.

Terence Shawn Kiernan, 52, was in the Livingston County Jail on $1 million bond Friday, one day after he was charged with assault with intent to murder and a host of other charges.

Fowlerville Police Chief Tom Couling said Kiernan confronted Linda Walker, who is a lawyer and the Unadilla Township supervisor, at her office about 1 p.m. Wednesday and threatened to kill her.

"He had a handgun pointed to her head and threatened to kill her unless she gave back his pension money," Couling said.

The divorce settlement was finalized last week in Livingston Circuit Court.

At one point, Walker grabbed the gun and a short scuffle ensued, Couling said.

Kiernan left after she agreed to let him have the money.

She called 911.

Unadilla Township Police stopped Kiernan a short time later and found the weapon, a semiautomatic handgun, in his car.

He also was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, Couling said.

Police are not saying whether the gun was loaded.

Walker did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Kiernan is charged with assault with intent to murder, felonious assault, felony firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of a firearm while under the influence.

Kiernan returns Wednesday to 53rd District Court for an exam conference.






Man points gun at ex-wife over divorce dispute, police say
The Detroit News
Valerie Olander
Last Updated: March 19. 2010 7:02PM
http://www.detnews.com/article/20100319/METRO04/3190412/1015/rss04

Howell -- A Unadilla Township man is being held in the Livingston County Jail today on $1 million bond after being charged Thursday with allegedly holding his ex-wife at gunpoint at her Fowlerville law office.

Terence Shawn Kiernan, 52, was angered by a divorce settlement finalized last week and walked into the law office with a gun shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, Fowlerville Police Chief Tom Couling said.

His ex-wife, Linda Walker, a local attorney and Unadilla Township supervisor, had been awarded half of his pension in the settlement.

"He had a handgun pointed to her head and threatened to kill her unless she gave back his pension money," Couling said.

At one point, Walker grabbed the gun and a short scuffle ensued, Couling said.

Kiernan left after she agreed to let him have the money. She called 911.

Unadilla Township Police stopped Kiernan a short time later and found the weapon, a semi automatic handgun, in his car. He was also arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, Couling said.

Police are not saying whether the gun was loaded.

Kiernan is charged with assault with intent to murder, felonious assault, felony firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of a firearm while under the influence.

Kiernan returns to 53rd District Court March 24 for an exam conference.




Local Attorney and Township Supervisor Held at Gun-Point By Ex-Husband
March 18, 2010
WHMI 93.5 FM Radio Station, Livingston County MI
http://www.whmi.com/news/article/9858

A Unadilla Township man is jailed and awaiting charges for allegedly holding his ex-wife at gunpoint Wednesday.

52 year old Terence Shawn Kiernan was arrested by Unadilla Township Police after his ex-wife, Fowlerville Attorney and Unadilla Township Supervisor Linda Walker, called 911 and said he had attacked and threatened to kill her.

Walker says that when she returned to her law office shortly after 1pm, Kiernan came in the back door and pulled out a gun. Walker reportedly wrestled with Kiernan for the gun but he knocked her to the ground and held the gun to her head, threatening to kill her. Kiernan was allegedly angry because Walker received a portion of his pension benefits through their divorce agreement. He then fled the office after Walker agreed to return the pension benefits. As soon as he left, Walker called 911.

Fowlerville Police Chief Tom Couling tells WHMI that a be-on-the-lookout alert was issued and Tiernan was arrested a short time later by Unadilla Township Police on Donahue Road. Couling says a small handgun was recovered and they are seeking charges of felonious assault against Tiernan, who remains lodged in the Livingston County Jail. (JK)



Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

Monday, March 1, 2010

Judge Lynda Tolen - Berrien County [retired]


Also See: Arrested for domestic violence
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2011/12/judge-lynda-tolen-berrien-county-retired.html



Retired Berrien County Judge Lynda Tolen: Arrested for a second drunk driving offense in 2010, while on probation for first drunk driving offense.


2010: Arrested and charged for drunk driving. Placed on probation.

2010: Arrested for a second drunk driving charge while on probation for first DUI. Setenced to 20 days in jail.

November 30, 2010: State of Michigan suspended Tolen's license to practice law for 180 days [due to her DUI convictions].

December 22, 2011: Arrested for domestic violence.









Former judge in front of bench again
Lynda Tolen arraigned on domestic violence charge
Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 12:00 am
Herald Palladium
http://www.heraldpalladium.com/localnews/former-judge-in-front-of-bench-again/article_4aa0a047-5eb1-5bac-b81c-aa597392e046.html

ST. JOSEPH - Retired Berrien County Trial Court Judge Lynda Tolen, who has faced drunk driving charges in the past, was back in court this week on charges of domestic violence.

Tolen, 60, of Stevensville, who retired in 2008 after 21 years as a judge, was arraigned Tuesday on the misdemeanor charge, according to a report from WNDU-TV.

The complaint, which Chief Assistant Prosecutor Michael Sepic showed to The Herald-Palladium, stated that Tolen had assaulted a woman named Lisa Brasseur.

The complaint lists Brasseur as a resident or former resident of the same household as Tolen.

Tolen was arrested Dec. 22 and released the next day on a $1,500 bond. On conviction, the charge carries a sentence of up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500,000 fine.

In 2010, while she was on probation for impaired driving in Leelanau County, Tolen was arrested in St. Joseph for drinking and driving.

Police reported she had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit.

That case was moved to St. Joseph County, and Tolen served 20 days in jail after being convicted on the charge.

Sepic told WNDU-TV that he has petitioned the state attorney general's office to disqualify his office from the most recent case because of Tolen's previous position with the court.