Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sheriff Candidate Lance Laird - Jackson County



In 2012, Lance Laird ran for the position of Jackson County Sheriff. At the time, Laird was on probation for a domestic violence assault [August 28, 2010]. During the campaign, he was jailed for violating the terms of that probation. Laird lost the August 2012 primary for Jackson County Sheriff.



In January 2013, Laird was arrested for transporting $900,000 worth of  cocaine from Texas to Michigan.





"I find your client to be one of the most manipulative and controlling individuals that I have ever run across, according the report, according to the information, and according to the violation."
[Comment Jackson County Judge Mazur made to Lance Laird's attorney during Laird's hearing for the domestic violence charge and violation of bond].













Former Jackson County Sheriff Candidate Busted for Cocaine
By FOX 47 News
CREATED Jan. 30, 2013
http://www.fox47news.com/news/topstories/189007301.html






One of the same people who ran for Jackson County Sheriff last year has been busted for cocaine.


Lance Laird lost the August primary while sitting in jail. He got out, and cops say he was driving one of three vehicles stopped last week in Calhoun County.

More than four kilos were found inside a spare tire. Cops say the cars were coming back from Texas. Eight others are facing charges for possession with intent to sell.







Lance Laird, former candidate for Jackson County sheriff, among those arrested after large cocaine bust
By Danielle Salisbury
The Jackson Patriot
January 28, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Updated January 30, 2013 at 6:43 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/01/lance_laird_former_candidate_f.html




TEKONSHA, MI – A former candidate for Jackson County sheriff was among eight people arrested last week when police found 4.5 kilograms of cocaine in a GMC Yukon near Tekonsha.

Lance Laird, who lost in the August Democratic primary, was driving one of three vehicles stopped Wednesday on M-60 near 19 ½ Mile Road in Calhoun County, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

The vehicles had gone to Texas and were returning to Michigan. Laird, in a Pontiac Grand Prix, was accompanying the Yukon, where police said they found the cocaine inside a spare tire. The tire was attached beneath the SUV, according to the complaint, filed Friday in the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

Laird’s co-defendants are: Juan Guerrero Jr., Robert Paul Villarreal, Julio Cruz Pizano, Gonzalo Ramon Delarosa, Ryan Joshua Nice, Genoveva Pizano Villarreal and Abel Bernardo Villarreal.

Friday, the defendants appeared before a federal magistrate judge, and are in federal custody. A pretrial conference hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

They are charged with conspiring to possess cocaine with the intention of distributing it.

Driving the Yukon was Delarosa, 59, of Blackman Township, according to the complaint. Laird admitted to leaving Delarosa’s home on Rives Junction Road in the Grand Prix and heading to Texas.

Laird, 36, said he had made the same trip about two months ago, the complaint states.

A confidential informant led police to investigate the most recent trip.

The informant told a Lansing police officer that Guerrero, who lives in Lansing, has connections for illegal narcotics in Texas, according to the complaint.

The informant told the officer Guerrero would be planning a trek last week, and the informant gave a cell phone to Guerrero, which police then tracked.

Law enforcement personnel monitored the men's movements and state police first stopped the Grand Prix after it returned to Michigan. A white pickup, accompanying the Yukon and the Grand Prix, swerved at a trooper’s patrol vehicle as the trooper went after the Yukon.

The complaint alleges the pickup was a “bait vehicle,” used by drug traffickers to draw the attention of law enforcement away from the vehicle carrying the drugs, according to the complaint.

Police stopped the pickup and then pursued the Yukon, which had picked up its speed from about 35 mph to more than 60 mph in snowy, icy conditions in an apparent attempt to avoid a stop, the complaint states.

The three vehicles were traveling together, Pizano, 45, admitted to a deputy on the Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team, according to the complaint.

The Jackson team is familiar with Pizano, Laird and Delarosa, said state police Detective Lt. Dave Cook, the team commander.

They are “known targets,” he said Monday.

During the primary in August, Laird was in jail for testing positive for cocaine while on probation for a domestic violence charge. He denied using the drug.

The jail stay was his 14th in Jackson County since 2006, jail records showed.

Lance lost the primary to Jackson reserve officer Kenneth Carpenter, but still earned more than 1,400 votes.

Sheriff Steve Rand, a Republican, beat Carpenter handily in the November general election.

The cocaine found last week has a value of about $900,000, state police reported.

"It's probably the biggest (bust) we have been involved in in a long time," Cook said of the Jackson team.










Election 2012: Reserve officer Kenneth Carpenter wins; jail inmate Lance Laird earns more than 1,400 votes
Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 11:37 PM
Updated: Thursday, August 09, 2012, 8:38 PM
By Danielle Salisbury
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/08/election_2012_reserve_officer.html

JACKSON, MI – Unofficial primary results show Kenneth Carpenter, a reserve officer with the Jackson Police Department, beat a jail inmate, Lance Laird, by 2,071 votes.

Carpenter will be the Democratic candidate for sheriff for the November general election, where he faces Sheriff Steve Rand, a Republican.

Rand, preliminarily, had a large lead over Republican primary challenger Larry Bradley, owner of Larry's Garage and Hanover Township assistant fire chief.

With all precincts reporting, Carpenter was leading his opponent, Lance Laird, with 3,494 votes to Laird's 1,423.

"Like I said from day one, I have come into this race because I want to make a difference with the youth in this county," Carpenter said Tuesday night.

He said he is grateful for the support. " I do want to thank every one who has voted for me and welcomed me onto their front porch or onto their lawn," he said.

Carpenter, too, expressed surprise at Laird's vote count. "I didn't figure that many people would vote for someone running for sheriff in jail."

Laird, is serving a 57-day sentence in the jail the elected sheriff will oversee. Laird, 36, tested positive for cocaine while on probation for a domestic violence charge. The stint in the county lock-up is Laird’s 15th, according to a past report.

Carpenter, a father of five, has worked with the city police department for nine years and has a degree from Jackson Community College in criminal justice. He works at the Ford plant in Saline.

Children are his priority, he repeatedly said. "There is heroin in kids' hands; there is prescription medication. There is crack cocaine in kids' hands because it's cheap. There are guns in kids' hands," he said. "That stuff has to come out of people's hands."







Lance Laird, still on the August ballot but unable to vote for himself
Published: Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 1:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 11:12 PM
By Aaron Aupperlee, MLive
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/08/lance_laird_still_on_the_augus.html

JACKSON, MI — Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird cannot vote for himself in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary.


He cannot vote at all.

Under state law, Laird is not allowed to vote in the primary because he will be in jail serving a sentence. Only inmates incarcerated awaiting arraignment or a trial are allowed to vote, said Jackson County Clerk Amanda Riska.

"A person who, in a court of this or another state or in a federal court, has been legally convicted and sentenced for a crime for which the penalty imposed is confinement in jail or prison shall not vote, offer to vote, attempt to vote, or be permitted to vote at an election while confined," according to state law.

District Judge R. Darryl Mazur sent Laird to jail for 57 days Tuesday for violating probation by testing positive for cocaine. Laird was on probation for a domestic violence charge to which he pleaded no contest. He denied both the domestic violence charge and using cocaine.

Laird will remain on the Aug. 7 ballot where he is challenging Kenneth Carpenter, a Jackson Police Department reserve officer, for the Democratic nomination for sheriff. Despite Laird's recent transgressions and his past criminal history, there are no laws or rules barring him from running for sheriff.

The only qualification to run for sheriff, according to state law, is that the candidate be a "qualified and registered elector," according to statement issued by the state Bureau of Elections to the Jackson County clerk's office. Laird's past or present actions do not disqualify him as an elector.

"The candidate remains on the ballot and votes cast for him should be counted," the Bureau of Elections stated.

However, the Bureau of Elections also stated that "in the unlikely event that he wins, an aggrieved person can file a quo warranto action."

If someone feels there has been fraud or an error in an election, state law allows that person to bring legal action against to municipality — in Laird's case, Jackson County.

Terry Jungel, the executive director of the Michigan Sheriff's Association, agreed with the Bureau of Elections that the chances of Laird winning the primary election behind bars are slim. While the possibilities are fun to entertain, elections for sheriff typically result in the most qualified candidate winning, Jungel said.

In a previous article in the Citizen-Patriot, Laird said, "They think I can't win this election, but you are going to see what the will of the people is about. They want change."
















Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird sent to jail for 57 days for violating probation by testing positive for cocaine
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 10:26 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 2:23 PM
By Aaron Aupperlee The Jackson Citizen Patriot http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/07/jackson_county_sheriff_candida_1.html



JACKSON, MI — Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird will spend the Aug. 7 primary behind bars.


District Judge R. Darryl Mazur sent Laird, 36, to jail for 57 days after testing positive for cocaine while on probation. Laird claimed someone spiked his stuff with something causing the positive test.

"Mr. Laird, I'm not sure whether you're going to make this election for sheriff or not," Mazur said before imposing a sentence in the matter. "Candidly, I doubt it."

Laird, on probation for a domestic violence charge to which he pleaded no contest in March 2011, tested positive for cocaine when tested on June 16, according to information presented in court. The 57-day sentence is the remainder of Laird's 93-day maximum sentence for the domestic violence charge. Laird already spent 36 days in jail for the original charge and other violations.

During his violation hearing Tuesday, Laird accused Tammy Sanders, the woman he allegedly assaulted, of putting something in his stuff to create the positive test. Laird attempted to play a recording of Sanders admitting to "putting stuff in my things," he said. The audio could not be heard by Mazur or anyone else in the courtroom.

Mazur asked Laird what the essence of the recording was, and Laird replied, "She said, yeah, I put stuff in your shit."

Laird never used the words cocaine or drugs in his allegations against Sanders. Sanders was not in court to testify. Laird said she lies and would not be a credible witness. Mazur said it would have been more credible had Sanders come in to testify Tuesday. Laird's attorney was also not present. Laird said she had another hearing.

Kris Putman, Laird's probation officer, said Laird did not show up for tests on June 12 and June 13. Putman called Laird and told him to go test. Laird told Putman he was frustrated with the system. Laird did not provide enough urine on June 15. On June 16, his test was positive for cocaine. Laird requested the sample be sent away for verification. The verification came back positive as well.

Laird claims the initial domestic violence charge was based on lies and made against him because of an on-going custody dispute with Sanders. Photographs taken after the assault show Sanders with a cut lip and a bloody nose. Police reports provided by Laird show that Sanders had reported Laird hit her twice before. She had no marks, and police could not verify that an assault occurred in each. After the third report, when Sanders went to the Jackson Police Department with a bloodied face, Laird was arrested.

He pleaded no contest to avoid spending more time in jail awaiting a trial, he said in previous conversations.

Laird's stint in jail will his 15th, according to jail records. Charges against Laird in previous, unrelated matters, were dismissed, court records show. A jury convicted him of operating while impaired in 2008. He was found guilty of assault and battery in 1994. Laird has been convicted of traffic infractions and having a dog at large, according to court records. There have been eight civil actions filed against him.

He contends the county justice system is corrupt and has fought his probation and previous charges.

Laird has said as sheriff he would throw in jail prosecutors and judges who violate people's rights and use plea deals as instruments of coercion. He believes the county's criminal justice system is overrun with corruption.

"What would you do if you were sheriff?" Mazur asked.

"I don't think that's proper for the court," Laird responded. "I'm not here for my political agenda."

"I'm curious," Mazur said.

"Maybe you should ask me outside of court," Laird responded.

At the close of the hearing, Mazur said, "If you're elected sheriff, go ahead hold us all accountable."

Laird was placed in handcuffs and led out of the courtroom.













Probation violation hearing for Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird expected Tuesday morning
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 8:55 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 2:27 PM
By Aaron Aupperlee
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/07/probation_violation_hearing_fo.html

 
UPDATE: Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird sent to jail for 57 days for violating probation by testing positive for cocaine

JACKSON, MI — A probation violation hearing for Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird is expected Tuesday morning.

Laird, 36, said Monday he would be in court Tuesday for the hearing.

On July 5, Jackson Country District Judge R. Darryl Mazur threw Laird in jail after a drug test came back positive for cocaine. Laird was released from jail and has denied using cocaine.


Evidence Laird expects to present at Tuesday's hearing will show the positive test was an error, he said.

Laird was on probation for a domestic assault charge to which he pleaded no contest in March 2011. He contests the domestic assault, claiming the woman he is accused of assaulting lied to police.

Laird's recent trip to jail was his 14th, according to jail records. Charges against Laird in previous, unrelated matters, were dismissed, court records show. A jury convicted him of operating while impaired in 2008. He was found guilty of assault and battery in 1994. Laird has been convicted of traffic infractions and having a dog at large, according to court records. There have been eight civil actions filed against him.

Laird contends the county's criminal justice system is corrupt, a wrong he will remedy if elected sheriff. He is challenged by Kenneth Carpenter, a reserve officer with the Jackson Police Department, in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary.

                   













Reserve police officer Kenneth Carpenter, Lance Laird face off for Democratic nomination for sheriff
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 8:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 12:52 PM
By Aaron Aupperlee
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/07/reserve_police_officer_kenneth.html



JACKSON, MI — Candidates who have been on opposite sides of the law will challenge each other in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary.

Kenneth Carpenter is a reserve police officer with the Jackson Police Department. Lance Laird, a self-employed construction worker, has been to jail 14 times, most recently for testing positive for cocaine while on probation.

"They think I can't win this election, but you are going to see what the will of the people is about. They want change," Laird said.

"My biggest thing is to stop all the corruption that goes on in law enforcement along with the corruption in the court."

Laird, 36, said as sheriff he would throw in jail prosecutors and judges who violate people's rights and use plea deals as instruments of coercion. He would end what he sees as special treatment to police officers caught breaking the law.

He believes seat belt laws and the workplace smoking ban are unconstitutional and would not enforce them. Police should stop harassing medical marijuana dispensaries and instead uphold the law and go after more dangerous drugs such as heroin, he said. Laird is a medical marijuana card holder. He has a steel rod in his leg and back pain.

Laird has denied using cocaine and said the domestic assault charge for which he is on probation was based on lies and corruption. Most previous charges and violations against Laird have been dismissed.

While in jail, however, Laird talked with fellow inmates and heard about injustices and corruption. He said the public has lost faith and trust in law enforcement, and as sheriff, he would restore it.


Carpenter, 45, said his big passion in running for sheriff is to help children. The father of five, Carpenter has been a reserve officer with the Jackson Police Department for nine years and has a degree in criminal justice from Jackson Community College.


"I want to help the kids out and keep the kids out of jail to save the county money," Carpenter said.

As he has campaigned, many people have been receptive to his proposed programs for children in Jackson County. He does not think the sheriff's office is heading in the wrong direction but would like it to focus more on the youth. He wants comprehensive cooperation between the sheriff's office and local schools. It starts with teaching preschoolers and kindergartners about positive contacts with police and the dangers of strangers. High school seniors would learn about staying safe while away from home at college, the dangers of drinking and drugs and their constitutional rights when it comes to law enforcement.

Carpenter would like to use the Jackson County Jail as a place for rehabilitation. He wants to provide inmates more access to their families and start a program to involve inmates in community clean-up. He knows the budget will be tight for his programs but expects to use reserve officers and other volunteers to accomplish his goals.

Laird also wants to make educating young, potential offenders an emphasis.

                   










Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird denies cocaine use, domestic violence charges against him
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 3:29 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 3:34 PM
By Aaron Aupperlee
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/07/jackson_county_sheriff_candida.html

 
JACKSON, MI — Democratic sheriff candidate Lance Laird denied using cocaine and said the domestic violence charge for which he is on probation is based on lies and a corrupt criminal justice system.

Laird, 36, said one of the reasons he is running for sheriff is to rid county law enforcement of corruption and hold accountable officers, prosecutors and judges.

Jackson County District Judge R. Darryl Mazur threw Laird in jail at the beginning of the month after a drug test came back positive for cocaine. Laird pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge on March 2, 2011.

Laird denied using cocaine. He said his lawyer will present evidence clearing his name at a hearing scheduled for July 27. He said the woman he is accused of assaulting lied to police. Officers, prosecutors and the judge believed her because the criminal justice does not like him, he said.

"They don't like me because I fight all my seat belt tickets; because I fight all the tickets that I think are corrupt," Laird said.

Laird's recent trip to jail was his 14th, according to jail records. Charges against Laird in previous, unrelated matters, were dismissed, court records show. A jury convicted him of operating while impaired in 2008. He was found guilty of assault and battery in 1994. Laird has been convicted of traffic infractions and having a dog at large, according to court records. There have been eight civil actions filed against him.

"If you look at my police record, 90 percent of the things on there have been dismissed," he said.

The 1994 assault was also based on lies, he said.

Laird will face off against Kenneth Carpenter, a reserve police officer, in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary.

                     













Sheriff candidate Lance Laird jailed 14 times in last 6 years, booked Thursday for testing positive for cocaine
Published: Thursday, July 05, 2012, 5:37 PM
Updated: Friday, July 06, 2012, 10:35 AM
By Aaron Aupperlee
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/07/sheriff_candidate_lance_laird.html

   
JACKSON, MI — Jackson County Sheriff candidate Lance Laird is no stranger to the county jail, a facility he would oversee if elected in November.

District Judge R. Darryl Mazur sent Laird, 36, to jail Thursday for testing positive for cocaine and violating his probation. It is Laird's 14th stay at the Jackson County Jail since 2006, according to jail records.

Laird, on probation for domestic assault, tested positive for cocaine during a June 16 drug screen. The results were confirmed on June 23, according to Mazur and Laird's court file.

A bench warrant for Laird's arrest was issued on June 26, records show.

Mazur sent Laird to jail after a show-cause hearing Wednesday at which his attorney, Ina O'Briant, was not present. Laird will stay in jail pending a $838 bond and his next hearing, scheduled for July 24.

Laird pleaded no contest to domestic assault and was sentenced to 18 months of probation plus fines and costs on March 21, 2011.

Laird was accused of assaulting Tammy Sanders on Aug. 28, 2010. The two have a child together, and Laird has custody, according to court records. Photographs taken after the assault show Sanders with a cut lip and a bloody nose.

At a March 14, 2011 hearing, Sanders told Mazur both she and Laird had drug problems. She said Laird was controlling and kept her from seeing their child. Laird would not admit to hitting her, she said.

Mazur was to sentence Laird at the hearing but delayed it a week to wait for a custody hearing in Circuit Judge Susan Beebe's court. Laird, who was in jail at the time on a bond violation, did not speak. O'Briant told Mazur her client was looking forward to his release from jail and putting the charge behind him.

"I find your client to be one of the most manipulative and controlling individuals that I have ever run across, according the report, according to the information, and according to the violation," Mazur said at the hearing.

O'Briant called Mazur's comments unfair and showed a bias by the judge against her client, court records show. Mazur said as a judge, he was allow to form a bias based on the information before him. O'Briant could not be reached for comment Thursday.

On March 21, 2011, Mazur sentenced Laird to 18 months probation. Laird had trouble complying with probation. He missed drug treatment classes. He did not pay his fines and costs as scheduled. He ended up back in jail.

"Does just enough to keep head above water," one report indicated.

On Oct. 26, 2011, Laird tested positive for cocaine and THC, according to probation reports. He claimed that someone put something in a his food in a plot to get custody of his kids. Mazur threw him in jail.

Later reports indicate Laird is a medical marijuana card holder. One report states — in all capital letters and highlighted — that Laird is running for sheriff.

Charges against Laird in previous, unrelated matters, were dismissed, court records show. A jury convicted him of operating while impaired in 2008. He was found guilty of assault and battery in 1994. Laird has been convicted of traffic infractions and having a dog at large, according to court records. There have been eight civil actions filed against him.

Laird registered to run for sheriff by the May 15 deadline, according to county records. Efforts to reach him at the time were unsuccessful.

He was among 12 candidates interviewed in 2007 for the Leoni Township supervisor position left vacant when Jim Phelps retired. Not selected for the appointment, he then was unemployed and reported he previously worked for Pommark, a heating and air conditioning wholesaler. In 2009, he filed a certified business registration with the county for Lance Laird Roofing, according to earlier reports.

Other candidates for sheriff include Steven Rand, the current sheriff; Kenneth Carpenter, a reserve police officer; and Larry Bradley, an assistant fire chief and owner of a towing company.










Lance Laird, candidate for Jackson County Sheriff, in jail after testing positive for cocaine
Published: Thursday, July 05, 2012, 3:01 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 05, 2012, 6:44 PM
By Aaron Aupperlee
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/07/lance_laird_candidate_for_jack.html#incart_river_default

 
JACKSON, MI — Lance Laird, a candidate for Jackson County Sheriff, is in jail after he violated his probation by testing positive for cocaine.

On Wednesday afternoon, District Judge R. Darryl Mazur threw Laird in jail where he will wait for a hearing later this month. Laird, 36, is on probation for domestic assault through Mazur's court.

Laird tested positive for cocaine during a June 16 drug screen administered through the ADAM Drug Testing program, Mazur said. The positive result was verified June 23.

A hearing was scheduled for Wednesday at which Laird was expected to explain why he tested positive, Mazur said. Laird's attorney was out of town for the hearing. Mazur decided to put Laird in jail until a second hearing scheduled for July 24. Laird's bond was set at $838, according to jail records. Mazur said he set bail at the the amount of fines and costs still owed in the domestic assault judgement.

Laird pleaded no contest to domestic assault March 2, 2011, according to court records.

Laird registered to run for sheriff by the May 15 deadline, according to county records. Efforts to reach him at the time were unsuccessful. He was among 12 candidates interviewed in 2007 for the Leoni Township supervisor position left vacant when Jim Phelps retired. Not selected for the appointment, he then was unemployed and reported he previously worked for Pommark, a heating and air conditioning wholesaler. In 2009, he filed a certified business registration with the county for Lance Laird Roofing, according to earlier reports.


                       





Offices of Jackson County prosecutor, sheriff only county-wide contested seats in this year's elections
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 10:00 PM
By Danielle Salisbury
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2012/05/offices_of_jackson_county_pros.html



JACKSON, MI -- The offices of Jackson County prosecutor and sheriff will be the only contested partisan, county-wide seats in this year's elections.

Tuesday was the filing deadline for candidates to appear on the August primary ballot.

Republicans Larry Bradley, a Hanover Township assistant fire chief who runs a tow truck business; and Lance Laird will challenge incumbent Republican Sheriff Steve Rand in August. Kenneth W. Carpenter, a local reserve officer and employee at the Ford plant in Saline, is the only Democrat running for the seat.

Laird, 35, filed most recently and was not included in earlier reports about candidates for sheriff. An effort to reach him Tuesday was not successful.

He was among 12 candidates interviewed in 2007 for the Leoni Township supervisor position left vacant when Jim Phelps retired. Not selected for the appointment, he then was unemployed and reported he previously worked for Pommark, a heating and air conditioning wholesaler. In 2009, he filed a certified business registration with the county for Lance Laird Roofing.

Running for prosecutor are Republicans and local lawyers Allison Bates, Jerry Jarzynka and Craig Pappin. The primary winner will face in November Democrat and attorney Charles Alexander Perlos, who filed Friday as the lone Democratic candidate.

Prosecutor Hank Zavislak announced last month he will not run for a third elected term.

Running unopposed are Clerk Amanda Riska, a Republican; Treasurer Karen A. Coffman, a Democrat; Drain Commissioner Geoffrey W. Snyder, a Republican; and Surveyor Dean R. Gutekunst, a Republican. All four are incumbents.

Riska’s position on the election information is listed as clerk/register of deeds.

Current Register of Deeds Mindy Reilly is not running for re-election and the county earlier discussed combining the two offices as part of an effort to consolidate and reduce spending.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Terrance Kiernan - Ex wife Unadilla Supervisor Linda Walker


Also See:

Terrance Kiernan - Ex wife Unadilla Supervisor Linda Walker [March 17, 2010]












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.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Officer Wedad Elhage - Detroit PD

SERGEANT WEDAD ELHAGE. 2010: AGGRAVATED STALKING CHARGES.

SEE ALSO:
JULY 13, 2005: SERGEANT ELHAGE CHARGED WITH DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2005/07/sergeant-wedad-elhage-detroit-pd.html

2010: SERGEANT ELHAGE CHARGED WITH MISUSE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT NETWORK & STALKING.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2010/01/sergeant-wedad-elhage-detroit-pd.html





*ARTICLES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS STORY [WENDY CLEM OF THE DETROIT CITY BUZZ EXAMINER] ARE LOCATED AT THE END OF THIS POST.*







Gay Detroit cop found guilty in case that still begs closer look (Part 1 of 3)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
March 2, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/gay-detroit-cop-found-guilty-case-that-still-begs-closer-look-part-1-of-3




Holidays, vacations and family gatherings were a large part of the life shared by Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain. Credit: Courtesy of the Elhage Family.

Holidays, vacations and family gatherings were a large part of the life shared by Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain. Credit: Courtesy of the Elhage Family.

A guilty verdict was announced today at the trial for Detroit police officer Wedad Elhage. It’s the case being heard around the world — just not much here in Detroit.

I’ve heard from as far away as Dubai about it, but people here seem woefully unaware. Even those hearing aspects of the trial remind me of the three monkeys: See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. Except when it comes to the beleaguered defendant, that is.

Sentencing will follow later this month, in the stalking case pursued against Elhage due to her connection with former lover and Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Shelley Drain. The two shared homes and a relationship for more than eight years before Drain seems to have dumped her for a male painter, Keith Strange, who worked on their last home in Plymouth. Of course, Drain never actually seems to have broken it off; she still can’t form the words.

What most may not know is that the Drain/Strange relationship secretly bloomed all the while that Drain accepted gifts from Elhage, cashed a $9,000 check from her to have cosmetic surgery, was part of a wedding getaway plan with Elhage to Hawaii, and had Elhage break the law for her — by running Strange’s felonious background through the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), testified Elhage.

The last act brought Elhage up on charges for illegal use of the system. Then Drain, her office and father, 3rd Circuit Court Judge Gershwin Drain, went after Elhage.

And, supposedly, although Elhage and Drain lived together, worked together, traveled together, and spent numerous events and holidays with family/friends of both sides of the family, Drain’s parents somehow did not know their daughter was gay? It’s when that became known, and they purported that it was not Christian behavior, that the world fell in on Elhage.

A quick look at Shelley Drain’s Myspace account, however — established in 2007 — has her leading the lesbian pride parade.

But you will probably only see the details of Monday’s events here. Most of the case has been muffled by media leadership in the city — if mentioned at all — and it is still hard to sort out all facts, given the high-profile people involved. Apparently Detroit has problems with legal proceedings that entail truths and untruths, instead of smoke, mirrors and theatrics as heavy hitters prefer to weigh in on determining any outcome, rather than let justice prevail.

As Special Prosecutor from the attorney general’s office Michael King said during closing arguments Monday, the jury and all spectators were to take the witness testimony of Drain’s father, 3rd Circuit Court Judge Gershwin Drain, as especially important, due to his distinguished position. Oh, really?

Aren’t all witnesses considered equal in the law’s eyes? Should we really be looking at someone with a title as more credible than others, as long as all are committed to tell the truth? Kinda flies in the face of The American Way, wouldn’t you say?

This was an unfortunate case, one that hinged on revenge and punishment. And I haven’t even touched on what Elhage was accused of; I’m just mentioning the prosecution and its tightly stacked case. After all, a case that begins with the complainant’s own office handling the prosecution can’t end well for the defendant.
At least Plymouth District Court Judge Mike Gerou called them on that little detail, asking the state to step in and WCP to butt out, which documentation shows they still refused to do, violating court orders.

Then, King made his appearance at 3rd Circuit A shrill, crusty little man frosted with a shock of white hair over a blustery, red face, he is prone to incessantly interrupt and argue for the mere sake of hearing his own bark. Now retired from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, he led the charge to have media gagged in this case following my columns of commentary two weeks ago. And, I haven’t even mentioned his self-directed Monday tirades about “don’t look to ME to tell you the merits of this case — I don’t know anything!” and dizzying closing references to having forgotten his shoes that morning, as further proof of his own lack of follow-through.

The jury had convened late Monday afternoon for deliberation after the defense wrapped its case and closing arguments were heard – followed by 3rd Circuit Court Daniel Hathaway’s jury instruction. Judge Hathaway, who ruled on denying last week’s gag order, also lent confusion to the case by conveying diametrically opposed views of the bench while hearing this case.

He seemed to be the picture of balance in the gag case, yet exhibited two behaviors Monday. Following the lunch break, he admonished counsel for interruptions and raised voices. Yet, he was often part of the fray earlier, during defense testimony, hurrying Elhage and a witness to answer questions faster and with less detail than they were carefully outlining for specific answers. Not all questions, as people well know, can be answered “yes or no” and after all, the defendant’s future was in the balance. It’s understandable if some much-needed clarification is given.
Is to do otherwise a rush to judgment?

In the meantime, it’s clear that the general public, and much of the law-enforcement community, is not aware of the case’s basic facts. A simple glance at the Detroit Free Press’ stories alone on the ongoing daily trial developments reveal the same type of stupidity in comments that appeared here for the most part, and resulted in them having been shut down. Interesting that those most damning of Elhage for her role in “stalking” think nothing of obscenity, insult, taunting and harassment themselves, which carries its hallmark in the behavior exhibited in this case.

And, I haven’t even mentioned the commenting screwballs who are insistent that Elhage have gender reassignment surgery. Yes. People tend to all be experts when it comes to anonymous insult.






Gay Detroit cop found guilty in case that still begs closer look (Part 2 of 3)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
March 2, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/gay-detroit-cop-found-guilty-case-that-still-begs-closer-look-part-2-of-3




Holidays, vacations and family gatherings were a large part of the life shared by Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain. Credit: Courtesy of the Elhage Family.

Some of Monday’s testimony was hard to hear, including Wedad Elhage’s painfully truthful own indictment of actions she took at the behest of her lover, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Shelley Drain.

Elhage, the suspended Detroit police officer who’s been incarcerated since December 3 when her $500,000 bond was remanded, shared a home, travel and committed relationship for more than eight years with Drain, the chief complainant in the case. When they purchased a second home in late 2008, Drain’s parents and Drain’s new love interest, Keith Strange — who painted some of that home — became major players in the Elhage/Drain relationship, which eventually evolved into recriminations and Elhage’s incarceration.

When Elhage bought tickets for Hawaii in June, 2009, she testified that she and Drain were preparing to marry there. The following month, Drain revealed that she had been involved with Strange and was now attached to Strange’s children from a previous marriage, whom she calls “extended family.”

Although she was continually reluctant to tell Elhage to count out a relationship with her, Drain continued to accept gifts and go on dates with Elhage during late 2008 and throughout 2009, even accepting a $9,000 check from Elhage for cosmetic surgery during that time. The two women also attended relationship counseling together.

Elhage exhibited a steady and calm demeanor during her testimony, complete with her characteristic attention to detail and matter-of-fact truth, despite the oft-unexplained and exasperated outbursts of mercurial Prosecutor Michael King.

Monday’s revelations included testimony that threatening and lurid text messages, alluding to supposed sex acts with Strange’s daughters, originated through a cell phone that was not owned by Elhage. The witness testifying to that owns a business in the 8 Mile and Dequindre area that employed Elhage for after-hours loss prevention/security purposes, and said he owns more than 100 cell phones. Subsequent revelations centered on the texts having been sent to Strange by joshing male employees at the business.

The oddest info to emerge from that is that Strange showed those texts to his daughters.

Wha-a-a? You find them so offensive and threatening that you SHOW them to your kids?
The business owner, originally one of the young people Elhage helped in the past in her police work with troubled youth, claimed he did not want to be present at the trial. He says he was worried, as he had received threats due to the high-profile people involved in the case.

When Elhage took the stand, she recounted how her love relationship suddenly soured on Halloween of 2008 when, after weeks of redecorating then moving into their Plymouth home together, she returned to find the garage door code changed by Drain.

Unable to reach her by phone, Elhage says she worried about safety issues; she subsequently found Drain calmly sitting, staring, in the backyard.

Drain’s parents soon joined the two women to tell Elhage to move out, saying that Drain didn’t want to live with her anymore.

In the years Drain and Elhage spent together sharing family and friends, the judge and Elhage played golf and she affectionately called him “Judgie.” Appealing to him for an explanation of his daughter’s bizarre mood swings, he arrived post-breakup, pulled out a checkbook, and inquired, “What’s it gonna take to get you to leave this relationship alone? Name any amount.”

Elhage says that’s when she told the judge to leave her house.






Gay Detroit cop found guilty in case that still begs closer look (Part 3 of 3)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
March 2, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/gay-detroit-cop-found-guilty-case-that-still-begs-closer-look-part-3-of-3




Holidays, vacations and family gatherings were a large part of the life shared by Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain. Credit: Courtesy of the Elhage Family.

There is another telling trial detail that reveals the character of Shelley Drain — one that entailed yet another previous relationship Drain shared with a man. After that relationship was history, both she and Elhage referred to him as “Looney Tunes Guy,” because Drain claimed he stalked her, says Elhage.

Drain also enlisted Elhage’s help in deterring that ex-boyfriend’s attention after the fact. Part of Elhage’s testimony centered on her helping Drain with that problem.

Despite her own mistreatment, however, Elhage continued to be there for Drain and even nursed her through part of her surgical recuperation, follow-up doctor appointments, and encouraged her to include her parents when Drain had entered the hospital without even bothering to notify her parents.

Hmm. Anybody else see a pattern here? Doesn’t there have to be some culpability for people who repeatedly feign hurt, then bait and hurt others, running for cover under the law?

The sightings of a red Ford Explorer, similar to the vehicle Elhage drives, have figured prominently in the stalking sightings against Elhage when one appeared in the Plymouth neighborhood where Drain — and formally Elhage — lives. Elhage says that although she has no idea who drove the vehicle that was spotted (neither could the prosecution), it wasn’t her — and the president of the Plymouth homeowners’ association also owns one just like it. Meanwhile, a whiskey bottle supposedly thrown into Drain’s driveway and also blamed on Elhage mysteriously disappeared from the evidence.

A chance gas station meeting resulted in Drain again giving Elhage her number and chastising Elhage for not giving her a better hug, says Elhage. As the months passed, Drain continually contacted her, although the latter was ordered to not contact Drain.

An exception, says Elhage, was made when she contacted Strange as a heads up when she realized he received the lurid texts.

Later, he admitted during testimony to setting her up to meet Drain by saying the two of them had broken up and Drain needed to talk with her. That resulted in Elhage violating her bond and being jailed.

King’s allegation that Elhage accosted a police officer following a confrontation fell into one of the many prosecution holes Monday, not supported by charges having been filed or any real evidence against her. Elhage, however, did admit to telling Drain at one point in May 2009, ‘I’m going to f*** with you when I want to.“

Apparently, pushing someone to the breaking point as the Drain contingency did, is not even allowed to be verbally dealt with. Who, then, was the actual abuser here? Apparently the ones who know how to hit and run -- and hide behind the system.

However, there was never a hand raised by Elhage, a weapon brandished, any proof of simmering hatred or violence — and the prosecution couldn’t produce evidence. She was the ultimate whipping post, and it isn’t yet done.

Drain meekly winced in court as the defense spoke during closings about Elhage in constructive terms, it’s obvious she is still putting on a show.

Defense attorney Charles Busse, of Warren/Rochester/Dearborn, wrapped up his trial assessment by calling the case “raised to the level of unusual,” not only for the involvement of so many people in the couple’s “affairs of the heart,” but also the intense effort of the numbers of police agencies expended. He openly shared the following assessment of any of Elhage’s crasser moments in the case:

“We ask these officers to take a badge, take a gun…to shoot things and be shot at…

“We ask them to take those skills out onto the means streets in a mean city…and then are shocked that they might use salty language?”

Funny how not one person has openly held Shelley Drain and her calculating “extended family” responsible for exacerbating this entire case, entrapping a smitten love, and laying waste to yet another “Looney Tunes” who had the gall, and unmitigated bad taste, to love this toxic woman.

There’s more that needs fixing here than a guilty verdict — or mere surgery — can ever manage.












Officer is due back in court in stalking case
COMPILED FROM REPORTS BY GINA DAMRON, CHRISTINA HALL AND PATRICIA ANSTETT
Detroit Free Press
February 23, 2011 ET
http://www.ongo.com/v/459612/-1/C94C8FEB9F92F0C8/officer-is-due-back-in-court-in-stalking-case

Wayne
DETROIT

A Detroit po­lice offi­cer will be back in court today for the con­tinuation of her trial on charges she stalked her ex-girlfriend, who is an as­sistant pros­ecutor for Wayne County.

Wedad Elhage is charged in Wayne County Circuit Court with aggravated stalking for having con­tact with Shelley Drain, vio­lating the terms of her probation in a pre­vi­ous case in which she pleaded guilty to mis­us­ing the Law Enforce­ment Information Network. In that case, Elhage also was fac­ing a stalking charge, which was dropped as part of her plea agree­ment, her attor­ney Charles Busse said.

Elhage is accused of watch­ing Drain's home, call­ing her, fol­lowing her to work and ha­rass­ing a man Drain began dating.









Assistant prosecutor: My ex's stalking terrified me
GINA DAMRON DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Detroit Free Press
February 25, 2011 ET
http://www.ongo.com/v/471534/-1/7C2D75DD5634C5D8/assistant-prosecutor-my-exs-stalking-terrified-me

An as­sistant Wayne County pros­ecutor tes­ti­fied in court Thursday that she feared her ex-girlfriend -- a Detroit po­lice offi­cer -- af­ter she repeatedly stalked her af­ter their relation­ship ended.

Shelley Drain tes­ti­fied in Wayne County Circuit Court that since their sep­a­ration in 2008, Wedad Elhage has ha­rassed her by e-mail, phone calls and text messages, fol­lowed her to work and her boyfriend's home, driv­en by her home repeatedly and ha­rassed her current boyfriend.

Drain tes­ti­fied that she once had to call 911 when Elhage showed up at her boyfriend's house and wouldn't leave. Drain said that lat­er that day, she went to go meet Elhage af­ter she threat­ened to come back and as­sault her boyfriend.
"I was very fright­ened," Drain said.

Elhage, 46, who served more than 20 years in the Detroit
Po­lice De­part­ment, is charged with aggravated stalking, a felony that carries up to five years in pri­son. Her attor­ney, Charles Busse, said he expects Elhage to tes­ti­fy Monday when the trial resumes.

Last year, Elhage pleaded guilty to mis­us­ing the Law Enforce­ment Information Network in a stalking case in­volving Drain. Busse said stalking charges were dropped in that case as part of a plea agree­ment and Elhage was put on probation, which she lat­er vio­lated. Oth­er al­leged con­tacts led to Elhage be­ing charged with aggravated stalking.

Drain tes­ti­fied that the couple met in 2001 and lived togeth­er for sev­en years before she moved out of Elhage's Canton home in September 2008. Drain said Elhage helped her move into her new home in Plymouth Town­ship, but they were no longer dating.

"We did decide to still be friends, but the romantic relation­ship ended," Drain said.
Dur­ing her tes­ti­mo­ny, Drain recounted many in­stances of al­leged ha­rass­ment by Elhage. She eventually went to internal affairs at the Po­lice De­part­ment.

"I can't live like this anymore," Drain said she thought at the time. "Noth­ing is go­ing to stop her. Noth­ing."

The case is be­ing pros­ecuted by a special pros­ecutor as­signed by the state Attor­ney General's Office.






February 25, 2011
BY: Gina Damron
Source: freep.com

http://www.bikernews.net/index.cfm/d/news/p/read/newsid/24091

Michigan - An assistant Wayne County prosecutor whose ex-girlfriend -- a Detroit police officer -- is accused of stalking her is expected to testify in Wayne County Circuit Court today.

Wedad Elhage, who has served more than 20 years in the Detroit Police Department, is accused of following Shelley Drain to work, watching her at her house and harassing Drain's boyfriend. Elhage is charged with aggravated stalking, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is not handling the case; a special prosecutor was appointed by the state Attorney General's Office. Keith Strange, Drain's boyfriend, testified Wednesday that he has received numerous phone calls and sexually explicit text messages from Elhage, including some about his teenage daughters.

Strange testified Elhage, 46, obtained his business cell phone number from his ex-wife. He said Elhage called pretending to be a customer.

Last year, Elhage pleaded guilty to misusing the Law Enforcement Information Network in a stalking case involving Drain. Elhage's attorney, Charles Busse, said stalking charges were dropped in that case as part of a plea agreement.

At that point, he said, Elhage, who had lived with Drain for seven years, was placed on probation. He said she violated terms of that probation by contacting Drain and was then placed on a tether. Elhage eventually had the tether removed, and was again accused of having contact with Drain, which led to the current aggravated stalking charge.

Elhage was spotted during police surveillance on multiple occasions driving past Drain's home in Plymouth Township or watching it from a distance, several officers testified Wednesday.

Strange testified that during a conversation with Elhage, he lied to entice her to violate her probation again, telling her he and Drain had broken up and Drain wanted her to call her, which Elhage did. "She needed to be stopped," Strange said.

Busse said that after that contact, a Wayne County Circuit judge revoked Elhage's bond and she has been in jail since early December. He said she wouldn't have called Drain if she wasn't asked to.

Elhage is on unpaid leave and has submitted her documents for retirement.










Assistant prosecutor says her ex, a cop, stalked her
by Gina Damron
Feb. 25, 2011 11:31 AM
Detroit Free Press
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/02/25/20110225detroit-prosecutor-stalked.html

DETROIT - An assistant Wayne County prosecutor testified in court that she feared her ex-girlfriend - a Detroit police officer - after she repeatedly stalked her after their relationship ended.

Shelley Drain testified in Wayne County Circuit Court that since their separation in 2008, Wedad Elhage has harassed her by e-mail, phone calls and text messages, followed her to work and her boyfriend's home, driven by her home repeatedly and harassed her current boyfriend.

Drain testified that she once had to call 911 when Elhage showed up at her boyfriend's house and wouldn't leave. Drain said that later that day, she went to go meet Elhage after she threatened to come back and assault her boyfriend.

"I was very frightened," Drain said.

Elhage, 46, who served more than 20 years in the Detroit Police Department, is charged with aggravated stalking, a felony that carries up to five years in prison.

Her lawyer, Charles Busse, said he expects Elhage to testify Monday when the trial resumes.

Last year, Elhage pleaded guilty to misusing the Law Enforcement Information Network in a stalking case involving Drain. Busse said stalking charges were dropped in that case as part of a plea agreement and Elhage was put on probation, which she later violated.

Drain testified that the couple met in 2001 and lived together for seven years before she moved out of Elhage's Canton, Mich., home in September 2008. Drain said Elhage helped her move into her new home in Plymouth Township, Mich., but they were no longer dating.

"We did decide to still be friends, but the romantic relationship ended," Drain said.

During her testimony Thursday, Drain recounted many instances of alleged harassment by Elhage. She eventually went to internal affairs at the Police Department.

"I can't live like this anymore," Drain said she thought at the time. "Nothing is going to stop her. Nothing."

The case is being prosecuted by a special prosecutor assigned by the state Attorney General's Office.





Detroit police officer is found guilty in stalking case
JOE SWICKARD AND GINA DAMRON DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Detroit Free Press
March 2, 2011 ET
http://www.ongo.com/v/498574/-1/A113DAD335F35AF5/detroit-police-officer-is-found-guilty-in-stalking-case

A Wayne County Circuit Court ju­ry found a Detroit po­lice offi­cer guilty Tuesday of stalking her ex-girlfriend, a Wayne County as­sistant pros­ecutor.

Wedad Elhage, 46, who served more than 20 years in the Detroit Po­lice De­part­ment, was convicted of aggravated stalking, a felony that carries up to five years in pri­son.

Her sen­tenc­ing is sched­uled for March 15.

Elhage was accused of repeatedly ha­rass­ing as­sistant pros­ecutor Shelley Drain and her boyfriend via text messages, e-mails and phone calls, con­ducting surveillance on Drain's Plymouth Town­ship home and fol­lowing her, including to work.

Drain tes­ti­fied last week the couple sep­a­rated in October 2008. Elhage tes­ti­fied Monday they were in a relation­ship for more than eight years.

In court Monday, Elhage conceded she was in her vehicle in a parking lot near Drain's home, but de­nied she was perform­ing surveillance.

"I paid a high price for loving Shelley," Elhage tes­ti­fied.

Last year, Elhage pleaded guilty to mis­us­ing the Law Enforce­ment Information Network to get information on Drain's boyfriend. Drain began dating the man af­ter she and Elhage sep­a­rated.

Elhage's attor­ney, Charles Busse, said in an inter­view last week that stalking charges against Elhage in that case were dropped as part of a plea agree­ment. She was put on probation, which she lat­er vio­lated, and oth­er al­leged con­tacts led to aggravated stalking charges against Elhage, Busse said.

Busse, who couldn't be reached for com­ment Tuesday, also said last week that Elhage was suspended with­out pay and had submitted her paperwork to re­tire.

On Tuesday, Drain and her moth­er and fa­ther, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge, were in court for the ver­dict.







Jury convicts Detroit police officer of stalking
State Roundup
March 03, 2011
http://www.legalnews.com/detroit/884686

DETROIT (AP) -- A Detroit police officer faces up to five years in prison for stalking an assistant Wayne County prosecutor she says was her ex-girlfriend.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report Wednesday that 46-year-old Wedad Elhage faces a March 15 sentencing. A jury found her guilty Tuesday of aggravated stalking.

Elhage testified she sat in her car near Shelley Drain's Plymouth Township home, but claimed she was not doing surveillance.

Elhage has said she and Drain shared a relationship for eight years before separating in 2008. She was accused of harassing Drain and Drain's boyfriend following the breakup. She pleaded guilty last year to misusing a police database to get information on the boyfriend.

Defense attorney Charles Busse says Elhage is suspended without pay and is expected to retire.






POLICE AND FIRE RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF THE CITY OF DETROIT
MEETING NUMBER 2828
THURSDAY MARCH 10, 2011
http://www.rscd.org/PFM_2828_031011.pdf

SERVICE RETIREMENTS. BY MR. PEGG. SUPPORTED BY MR. BEST.
RESOLVED, THAT THE S E R V I C E R E T I R E M E N T APPLICATIONS WHICH ARE REFERENCED BELOW BE APPROVED:

SERVICE RETIREMENTS
NAME: WEDAD ELHAGE
TITLE, DEPARTMENT: OFFICER - P
RETIREMENT TYPE, PLAN: SERVICE - NEW
SERVICE CR./EFFECTIVE DATE: 22 09 25 01 24 11
YEAS TRUSTEES BEST, BUTLER, GNATEK, JONES, NEARY, PEGG, STEWART
AND CHAIRMAN MOORE 8
NAYS NONE
CONFIRMATIONS BY MR. PEGG. SUPPORTED BY MR. BEST
RESOLVED, THAT THE RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS WHICH ARE REFERENCED AT THE END OF THESE PROCEEDINGS BE CONFIRMED:
YEAS TRUSTEES BEST, BUTLER, GNATEK, JONES, NEARY, PEGG, STEWART
AND CHAIRMAN MOORE
NAYS NONE






Ex-Detroit police officer gets 20 months in prison for stalking ex-girlfriend, a prosecutor
Published: Friday, March 25, 2011, 4:49 PM
Updated: Friday, March 25, 2011, 4:49 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/03/ex-detroit_police_officer_gets.html

A former Detroit police officer has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for stalking her ex-girlfriend, who is a Wayne County assistant prosecutor.

A jury earlier this month found Wedad Elhage guilty of aggravated stalking.

The 46-year-old was sentenced on Friday.

The Detroit Free Press says Elhage was accused of repeatedly harassing Shelley Drain and her boyfriend via text messages, emails and phone calls, conducting surveillance on Drain's Detroit-area home and following her, including to work.

Elhage pleaded guilty last year to misusing a police database to get information on the boyfriend.

Defense attorney Charles Busse (BUS'-ee) has said the accusations against his client were inflated






Former Detroit Cop Sentenced For Stalking
March 25, 2011 7:03 PM
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/03/25/former-detroit-cop-sentenced-for-stalking/

DETROIT (WWJ) – A former Detroit police officer has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for stalking her ex-girlfriend, who is a Wayne County assistant prosecutor.

A jury earlier this month found Wedad Elhage guilty of aggravated stalking. Elhage was accused of repeatedly harassing Shelley Drain and her boyfriend via text messages, emails and phone calls.

Defense attorney Charles Busse said the accusations against his client were inflated.















Michigan Offender Tracking Information System
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: WEDAD DIAB ELHAGE
MDOC Number: 798046
SID Number: 3166546J
Name: WEDAD DIAB ELHAGE
Racial Identification: White
Gender: Female
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Date of Birth: 09/20/1964 (47)


MDOC STATUS
Current Status: Prisoner
Assigned Location: Huron Valley Complex / Women's
Security Level: I
Earliest Release Date: 07/06/2012
Maximum Discharge Date: 11/06/2015

ALIASES
WEDAD ELHAGE
WEDAD DIAB ELHAGE

MARKS, SCARS &TATTOOS
Mark- Center Right Arm
Scar- Chin
Scar- Front Left Calf - gunshot wound
Scar- Lower Left Eye
Scar- Lower Stomach - Surgery


PRISON SENTENCES
ACTIVE

Sentence 1
Offense: Aggrevated Stalking
MCL#: 750.411I
County: Wayne
Conviction Type: Jury
Minimum Sentence: 1 year 8 months 0 days
Maximum Sentence: 5 years 0 months
Date of Offense: 08/23/2010
Date of Sentence: 03/25/2011


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY.
Due to the well known corruption in Detroit, I believe it is my obligation to show the other side of the story in this case, that was presented by Wendy Clem of the Detroit City Buzz Examiner.

Before I came across Clem's articles on this case, I found myself qustioning as to why Elhage had received 20 months in prison for stalking. In the OIDV cases on this site, very few officers ever see the inside of a jail cell after they brutally assault their spouses. So why was Elhage given such a tough sentence, in comparison, I wondered. Why did Shelly Drain [assistant prosecuting attorney] receive such preferental treatment over all the other OIDV victims in Michigan?






Outraged Citizens Alert: Gay Policewoman Jailed on YOUR Tax Dollars (Part 1 of 5)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
February 10, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/outraged-citizens-alert-gay-policewoman-jailed-on-your-tax-dollars-part-1-of-5




Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain were a loving lesbian couple for more than eight years in Detroit.

It was a mutual love for and respect of the law that first brought two professional Detroit women together. And although they were each from very different backgrounds, there were similarities between them. They were, for all intents and purposes, colleagues, best friends and a devoted lesbian couple for more than eight years.

Now it is that very law that they both loved and served that is working to destroy one of them.

This is a story of commitment, ambition, destruction — and love. Hopefully, it will have a happier ending when it all plays out.

Wedad Elhage, 46, is a remarkable figure of a woman. At 6’2” and wearing dark green Wayne County Jail “scrubs,” she is still imposing — tall, strong and articulate, with a command of names, dates and places that undoubtedly arose from her 24 burgeoning years as a Detroit Police Officer.

But she now sits as an inmate behind the jail’s scratched Plexiglas shield, and as she carefully explains her life, she can’t always succeed at keeping her eyes dry.

Her voice is sometimes barely discernible as it drifts through the rusted mesh metal cover in the glass, and her posture occasionally slumps. It’s clear she sees so many aspects of that life as over.

The irony of this is it absolutely does not at all have to be that way.

This is America. This is the land of opportunity, and the home of freedom and democracy. This is the place where despite our personal struggles with race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, most of us have toiled to make acceptance a reality for centuries.

Yes, it’s still a work in progress. But, we remain at that task. We do it because the end result holds promise.

America is the place that the Elhage family, with its 14 children, chose as its adopted home, a refuge in late 1978 from the civil war in Lebanon. And Detroit is the city where the youngest daughter of that family, Elhage, chose to serve and protect, and for which her work was decorated and honored.

Elhage was even the first foreign-born female Arab-American police officer in America.

“Wedad always wanted to be a police officer; she tried other jobs, but this was her ultimate goal,” said her 44-year-old brother, Nezar “Nick” Elhage. “Even as a kid, she would stand up for kids — and to kids — and always liked people. She was soft-hearted and loyal, and if she made mistakes, she did what we all did in our family: She owned up to it.

“But, this case is wrong,” said the Dearborn Heights restaurant cook. “There never should’ve been a bond on her at all; she never hurt anyone, and there is nothing in the records that even claims that. Yet, she is locked up — and unfairly so.”

Nick Elhage says that he has wanted to intervene on behalf of the sister he refers to as “a great person and not a scammer.” After all, he says, he and his sister’s lover, Shelley Drain, were also good friends over the years, and he wants to talk to her to try and “straighten this mess out.”

“But, I was told the same things used to detain my sister would be used on me, too, if I tried to call Shelley or contact anyone connected with her,” he added. “I can’t go to jail. So I backed off.”

Still, he worries about his sister, who is now locked up with some of the very prisoners she was pivotal in helping to arrest.

Being there, she says, makes her “emotional and uncomfortable when they recognize,” her.

And, she is also one of the original officers investigating the Tamara Greene murder/Manoogian Parties case. Now that some of those luminaries are also locked up, Detroit jail is an even tougher place. And, Wedad Elhage knows tough.

“She is very strong, but how much can a person be expected to take?” Nick asked. “She never did anything wrong. She had a loving relationship; she taught law enforcement classes at Wayne State; she lived by the law; she even attended Bible study classes twice a week after her conversion to Christianity in 2005. But, when she refused to accept Shelley’s father’s offer of a large lump sum of money to go away from his daughter, the world fell in.”






Outraged Citizens Alert: Gay Policewoman Jailed on YOUR Tax Dollars (Part 2 of 5)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
February 10, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/outraged-citizens-alert-gay-policewoman-jailed-on-your-tax-dollars-part-2-of-5




Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain were a loving lesbian couple for more than eight years in Detroit.

The shadowy figure in this case seems to be Shelley Drain, who works in the Personal Protection Order (PPO) Division as a Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor in that famous office that worked to help bring down Detroit’s King, Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor and current inmate.

Yet so far, Drain’s self-protective presence is reflected only through the input of her boss and friend, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy — who continues to inject herself into a case she was legally removed from — and Drain’s father, 3rd Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gershwin Drain.

The elder Drain, who points to more than 20 years’ judicial experience in his campaign rhetoric, was re-elected last fall to his position, where he finished in 18th place out of the 19 winning candidates.

As Wedad Elhage tells it, she and Shelley Drain, 41, met while serving as co-mentors at area high schools, where they worked with the young people and served as motivational speakers while Elhage recruited future officers for the police department.

They fell in love, says Elhage, and spent the next eight and a half years sharing a life as family and with family and friends. They bought a house together in 2008, and moved to Canton.

“They spent years together, went on cruises, shared holidays with family and friends, held barbecues — everything couples do,” said Elhage’s attorney Charles Busse, of Warren, and their photos bear that out.

“This is just a tragic, highly unique case in which immense resources have been expended on prosecuting Wedad. And, all she is really guilty of, is loving someone and remaining committed to that love.”

Elhage says problems began in 2008 when Drain and she decided to purchase a second home — this time in Plymouth.

“Shelley said her dad was providing $26,000 toward that purchase, but I didn’t think that was such a good idea,” said Elhage. Complications escalated, she says, when Drain insisted that only her name appear on the mortgage. “It gave me a bad feeling.”
Still, they spent the fall months fixing up and preparing the home, then moved in together during October.

“Then, on October 31, Shelley had her parents arrive at the house and meet with us, claiming that Shelley didn’t want to be with me anymore,” Elhage said.
Confused, Elhage moved out.

By November 11, when driving past the house, Elhage says a strange truck was parked in the driveway. She says she then did something she has since had to answer for: She ran the plate to check the ownership of the vehicle.

It came back as belonging to a man who had been working at the house as a painter, she says. Elhage says the plate check also revealed that he had a colorful history, including a felony warrant out on him. Inquiring of Drain the nature of her relationship with the man, Elhage was told he was merely doing routine work around the house and meant nothing to Drain.

Elhage was further confused, worried for Drain’s safety — and hurt. But, she was still hopeful that all was not lost between them. And, Drain continued to encourage their connection, she says.

After all, Drain still was relying on her both socially and as a confidante and more recently had conferred with her about having a tummy tuck and breast surgery. Elhage says she tried to understand that — and supported Drain, regardless.

“Shelley said the painter was just doing work on the house; she was having the guy do painting in preparation for Thanksgiving, and, anyway, she and I continued to date,” she said. “She accepted gifts from me, things were actually quite good between us. I always understood that she was insecure but, as always, I supported her.”

The man in the picture, however, wasn’t as understanding, says Elhage.

After she bought two tickets to Hawaii with the hope of marrying Drain, he threatened to kill Elhage.

“I called him and told him that that wasn’t such a good idea — threatening to kill a police officer,” she said.

Meanwhile, she says she only visited Drain at her invitation. One day, Drain called her, upset and asking to talk in person. Even though at that juncture Elhage had been court-ordered not to see her, she agreed to a rendezvous in a parking lot.

That’s when Drain’s parents suddenly appeared on the scene and Elhage says Shelley’s dad told Elhage: “Aha! I got you — and I got your job!”






Outraged Citizens Alert: Gay Policewoman Jailed on YOUR Tax Dollars (Part 3 of 5)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
February 10, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/outraged-citizens-alert-gay-policewoman-jailed-on-your-tax-dollars-part-3-of-5




Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain were a loving lesbian couple for more than eight years in Detroit.

Meanwhile, that law that is so revered by Elhage and works so handily for the Drains was busily at work, says Elhage’s attorney, Busse.

“There was such a combination of officers in on this case, from all kinds of departments,” he said. “The Detroit Police Internal Affairs, the Wayne County Sheriff, the Wayne County Surveillance Task Force, the Plymouth Police Department, the Canton Police Department — and, of course, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.”

All the stops were pulled out, and surveillance on Elhage resulted in the epic charge of her being accused of driving down Shelley Drain’s street, leading to a charge of aggravated stalking. A broken bottle found at the end of Drain’s driveway was also blamed on Elhage, although no witnesses ever claimed to have seen her with it or throwing it. Drain’s word is that it came from Elhage, according to documentation.

That led to a $500,000 bond leveled on Elhage, and she was ordered to not have contact with Drain nor any of her associates.

It was then that one of the two men in Drain’s life, the painter, contacted Elhage, appealing to her for help. He told her, she says, that it was a matter of urgency that she call Shelley Drain.

Angsting over the potential consequences to her own future if she made that connection, Elhage nevertheless did just that.

Then, the world really fell in. She was hit with a violation of her bond terms, and that bond was remanded, says Busse.

“(The painter) later admitted on the stand that that call was made so that he could set Wedad up,” Busse said. “Yet, despite that admission, she has been in jail since December 3, held without bond.”

Constant intervention by Drain’s office on Shelley’s behalf have raised this question: Why are so many people fighting so hard to nail Elhage for loving a woman — and one who clearly does not appreciate it? In fact, Drain’s office was serving as the chief prosecution in the case until Plymouth’s 35th District Chief Judge Mike Gerou was made aware that Drain, as the complainant, worked there!

Judge Gerou, citing conflict of interest, took Drain and Worthy’s office off the case, and instead, brought in a special prosecutor, says Busse. Michael King will now oversee the case, having been appointed by the Attorney General’s office. And, although Worthy was ordered to remain hands off, she has since violated that order to intervene again, demanding Elhage’s incarceration for some unproven death threats against Drain, as evidenced by documentation with her official letterhead.

The trial is set for February 22.

For the present, Elhage sits in her cell, remembering dates, names and places, and the one she loved for what has stretched to more than 10 years now.

“I still love her,” she rather sheepishly admits.

Now, lest anyone say this has soft-balled Elhage as a fuzzy little helpless creature, let me address that assumption.

She is now the first to admit she is gay. Yet she had to, by necessity, lead a type of double life at work for many years because of that. Still — gay or straight -- who among us details their sex life at work, anyway?Well, those with any class, that is.

Although she dated other women through the years, including several, she says, from the prosecutor’s office — and later openly lived and traveled with Drain — coming out completely at work was not possible for some time.

Yet she was honest with who she was when they were together, as evidenced by the trail of photos, and she gave her heart willingly and without a hidden agenda.

“I was working in a field with a lot of tough standards and with a lot of tough people who were expected to uphold those standards,” she said. “The men were rough on me — here I was a woman, from another country originally — and I was tall, and I took a lot of teasing for it. I had to take it all in stride. And even though I was doing my job to the letter of the law, if I didn’t respond to their advances or innuendoes, they did what many men do to women who don’t flirt back in the workplace: They accused me of being a lesbian.”

Except, she adds with a laugh, she was a lesbian. So, she learned to roll with the roughness of her job and went along with the double life for the time being.






Outraged Citizens Alert: Gay Policewoman Jailed on YOUR Tax Dollars (Part 4 of 5)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
February 10, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/outraged-citizens-alert-gay-policewoman-jailed-on-your-tax-dollars-part-4-of-5




Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain were a loving lesbian couple for more than eight years in Detroit.

Meanwhile, Elhage earned her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Wayne State, and finished her master’s in law enforcement from the University of Phoenix in July, 2010. She planned to teach, reaching out to affect as many people in the classroom that she had during her years on the streets of working with kids.

Countless times, her brother and attorney recount, she saved kids from drugs, prostitution, crime and other unsavory futures with her common-sensical approach and one-on-one street savvy at deterring their focus.

Academically, she consistently tested very high on departmental exams, and was one of the top 15 people out of a group of 300 there, she says.

“The department was very segregated when I first started in 1987,” she said. “People were grouped by gender and color — black male officers here, white ones there, black female officers here, white ones there. And here I came along — Lebanese-American, female, gay — where did I even begin to fit in? I’ll tell you how: I treated everyone with respect, colleagues and people on the street, and I earned respect that way. I worked hard, became educated, gradually made headway, moved up through the ranks, and eventually became a sergeant.”

There were rough patches, too, and the equality-minded Elhage was outspoken, sometimes to her own detriment — especially during political regimes in the police department. She says she was disgusted by the number of political appointees predominant, leftovers of previous mayoral staffs, some too lazy to even do the job but who gained and advanced because of who they knew, not what.

Especially put off by the controversial Former Police Chief Jerry Oliver, who she accuses of not respecting officers properly or being fair in his treatment of them, she blew up one day on the job, and leveled a racial epithet at him.

“It was not right to have said what I did, but at the time, I was just fed up with the environment and him,” she said. “Also, I was having some medical problems and was not myself to have acted that unprofessionally.”

Elhage, who was born without ovaries, was suffering from a hormone imbalance. The medical prescription of supplemental estrogen threw her body into a type of toxic state, and helped to induce deep depressions. It was not a good time for her, she says quietly.

The Oliver incident resulted in a rank demotion, followed by mandatory therapy and some rather pointed tracking that is apparent in the minutes of the Police Board of Commissioners meetings. There is a clear effort to label her in those reports, but there does not seem to be a provision for her to have sufficient input in her own case.

Reverberations and miscues followed and at the time of her incarceration, she was assigned to the uniform department.

Still, the girl who recognized that she was gay when she was about 14 was finally coming to grips with her sexuality.

“I had always been a tomboy,” Elhage said, with a laugh. “I began to realize that when I was more interested in the girls on the beach than the boys.”

She was good in sports, particularly distance running, and she focused on becoming a cop early on. It was all she ever wanted to do.






Outraged Citizens Alert: Gay Policewoman Jailed on YOUR Tax Dollars (Part 5 of 5)
Wendy Clem
Detroit City Buzz Examiner
February 10, 2011
http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-detroit/outraged-citizens-alert-gay-policewoman-jailed-on-your-tax-dollars-part-5-of-5




Wedad Elhage and Shelley Drain were a loving lesbian couple for more than eight years in Detroit.

Over her years in the Detroit Police Department, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell adage was beginning to wane for Elhage, and it seemed that her personal life was coming together, too. She thought she found the love of her life in Drain, and their acceptance by family and friends was further proof that they were to belong together. That was no small feat, given that she came from a Muslim family with traditional values, but even her religious conversion to Christianity was accepted by the Elhage family, she says.

Her brother echoes that assertion.

“Our family is a combination of people — a real blend,” he said. “Some of us are Muslim, some are Christian, we are straight, yet we still love our gay sister; some of us are tall and some are very short. But we are a family; we love one another, no matter what. We support each other, and those are the values my sister was raised with — that is why she risked everything to be there for Shelley.”

Wedad Elhage maintains that she still loves Drain. She tears up when she speaks about her, and her worry for Drain is evident, even more so than for her own safety and future.

“Her dad’s approval is key,” she said, in an attempt to explain the seemingly inexplicable. “It means everything to her.”

Two weeks ago, Elhage submitted her resignation from the force. Busse expands on that decision by saying that she stands to lose her pension if the trial goes badly. She is, understandably, afraid of losing all that she worked, and served nobly for, for so many years.

So, Detroit loses a caring and competent officer for — what, exactly?
I thought about trying to reach Judge Drain and his daughter, Shelley, or Kym Worthy — who I have always highly respected — for comments on this article, but then I asked myself: Hasn’t their side already BEEN told? It resounds, surely, in the unending suspensions without pay of Elhage, the jailing, the stupendous bond, the utter harassment of a woman who never harmed anyone but herself by loving someone.

I really don’t think I need another opinion here, and I have researched this and certainly formed my own. It comes down to this: Since when does someone who DRIVES DOWN A STREET lose their job, career and all but their life — all because other people refuse to accept certain sexual orientation?

This is the highest outrage, and we, as citizens, need to stand up and be counted in this case. After all, this is how YOUR tax dollars are being spent!

Although Busse tactfully offers, “The people involved did the best to discharge their jobs accordingly,” he is being WAY too fair to people who have been on a witch hunt unequalled in modern times.

And, Elhage has had far more distance running in this race than she ever ran in school.

Stay tuned for more; I plan to follow up.

And you should, too.




Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence