September 01, 2011
CHARLEVOIX — Criminal charges against former Boyne Falls police chief David Hague are expected to be dropped for lack of evidence.
Hague, 53, of rural Charlevoix County, faced a domestic violence misdemeanor charge after an altercation with his estranged wife in June at his home on M-66 near East Jordan. Charlevoix County’s assistant prosecutor Kerry Zahner filed a motion on Tuesday to dismiss the case because of insufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof, according to court records.
Judge Richard May is expected to sign the motion today, Thursday, Sept. 1.
Charlevoix attorney Chris Turkelson, Hague’s defense attorney, could not be reached for comment, nor could Zahner. The motion calls for the case to be dismissed without prejudice.
Meanwhile, Boyne Falls officials fired Hague from his law enforcement job.
Debra Taylor, village clerk, said Boyne Falls’ leaders terminated Hague’s employment as the village’s sole police officer at their meeting on Aug. 9.
“They decided to stop the police department for a while here, but it doesn’t have anything to do with David being off,” Taylor said.
Hague took a leave of absence from his law enforcement job after his arrest on June 21, she said.
Michigan State Police records show the dispute arose when Hague’s wife returned to the home to collect clothing for their youngest child. The police report also shows she saw and took notes Hague kept about her comings and goings at the house, but he struggled to retrieve them and allegedly pushed her against a wall.
Reports also show the incident continued when she attempted to take things from a child’s bedroom, but Hague blocked her. Finally, police documents show Hague’s wife took and kept for several weeks a backpack with his personal paperwork and his village-issued mobile phone for his police job.
Taylor said that’s why she shut off service to the taxpayer-funded phone.
Later in the day, hours after the physical altercation, Charlevoix County Sheriff’s deputies returned to the home after Hague’s wife crashed her vehicle into the house. Authorities said the crash was not intentional.
Charlevoix County responds to FOIA lawsuit
August 31, 2011
Charlevoix County officials responded to the Petoskey News-Review’s Freedom of Information lawsuit and for the most part denied the newspaper’s allegations.
The newspaper filed a lawsuit Tuesday, Aug. 2, under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act that sought to compel the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners and Prosecutor’s Office to release several emails between commissioner Chris Christensen and prosecutor John Jarema, including any emails sent between the two during a public meeting held at Charlevoix County’s administration building in Charlevoix. The county’s response on Thursday, Aug. 25, denies the newspaper’s allegation that the FOIA denials came as “arbitrary and capricious” decisions by Jarema.
Furthermore, the county denies that emails sent between the two elected officials are even public records. The county’s response identifies one email sent to Jarema during a May 11 meeting that was automatically generated from Christensen’s subscribed MLS account.
Christensen is a local real estate agent with online abilities to email property listings to subscribers, similar to most property brokers.
Charlevoix County also effectively denied that Jarema told newspaper online editor Julie Witthoeft that he would extend the time frame to respond to a FOIA request for a police report about Boyne Falls Police Chief David Hague’s domestic violence arrest even before she filed it, because of editor Jeremy McBain.
More often than not, the county responded to the newspaper’s lawsuit allegations by neither admitting nor denying the facts in play.
Christensen and Jarema separately filed for summary disposition of the case and legal sanctions against the newspaper for specifically naming them in the suit.
Those requested sanctions include a financial penalty to cover legal costs, but do not include punitive damages, according to Michigan law.
McBain said the newspaper is eager for a judge to weigh in.
“We look forward to presenting our case in court,” he said.
Media attorney Robin Luce Herrmann, of Bloomfield Hills, represents the newspaper in the suit. She said the county’s position in its response is “not entirely unexpected” and the newspaper will respond in turn.
“We’ll be filing an appropriate response on behalf of the Petoskey News-Review and look forward to the judge resolving the issues,” she said.
Herrmann also said the newspaper provided the county a copy of its complaint in advance of filing suit, when objections to Christensen and Jarema being named should have been raised.
“They had plenty of opportunity to address that in advance of the filing of this suit or their motion,” Herrmann said.
Petoskey-based attorney Gretchen Olsen represents Charlevoix County in this case, despite Jarema serving as the board’s civil counsel. Olsen is an attorney with the Plunkett Cooney firm in Petoskey.
She declined to comment to a News-Review reporter because the county and the newspaper are pitted against each other in this case, she said.
“Our answer pretty well speaks for itself,” Olsen said.
County clerk’s officials said Charlevoix Agency, the county’s liability insurance provider, retained Olsen as counsel for this case.
However, county commissioners Bob Drebenstedt and Shirlene Tripp — one-third of the board — said they do not agree with the county’s strategy in this legal battle.
Hague criminal charges to be dropped
Charlevoix County prosecutors filed a motion to drop the domestic violence misdemeanor charge against former Boyne Falls police chief David Hague. The motion said there is not enough evidence to meet the burden of proof.
More details on police official's arrest
June 23, 2011
BOYNE FALLS — Boyne Falls Police Chief David Bruce Hague, 59, of South Arm Township, faces a criminal misdemeanor charge of domestic violence following an incident at his home on Monday.
Authorities arrested Hague on Tuesday, when he turned himself in and appeared before 90th District Court Judge Richard May for arraignment.
Hague pleaded not guilty and is free on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. Bond conditions prevent him from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition, court records show.
Hague serves at Boyne Falls’ sole village marshal.
Hague could not be reached for comment, nor could Bill Carson, Boyne Falls village president.
Michigan State Police Sgt. Brett Gooding, of the Petoskey post, said a number of events happened at Hague’s residence on Monday, including his wife colliding her vehicle into the house after being served with divorce papers. The collision ruptured the natural gas line to the home and an emergency crew responded.
“There was some physical altercations there,” Gooding said.
Charlevoix County Prosecutor John Jarema declined to comment.
The Petoskey News-Review filed a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request on Wednesday for police reports associated with this incident. Jarema refused to release the documents until after the five-day waiting period and additional 10-day extension is completed.
Hague will be defended by Charlevoix attorney Chris Turkelson, who could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, police authorities said when they were called to Hague’s home for the alleged domestic assault he agreed to leave the residence. Charlevoix County Sheriff’s deputies later responded to the property damage incident, said Sheriff Don Schneider.
“She did not deliberately hit the house,” Schneider said.
The collision was an accident that happened after she also mistakenly ran over a snowblower, the sheriff said.
“That’s our indication,” Schneider said.
Village trustee Jim English — also Hague’s partner in a security business — declined to comment on the case, but confirmed that Hague surrendered his official police weapon to the village.
Village trustee Gladys “Joann” Bell said she knows Hague very well and a domestic violence charge is out of character for him.
“But you never know what happens behind closed doors,” Bell said. “We will have to wait and see what comes out and what really happened.”
Hague is scheduled to appear in court on July 5 for a pre-trial hearing, court records show.
Boyne Falls village marshal arrested on domestic violence charge
June 22, 2011
By Julie Witthoeft
Northern Michigan Review
The Petoskey News
According to Boyne Falls village clerk Debbie Taylor, David Hague, who was arrested Tuesday, June 21, on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence, is the village marshal in Boyne Falls.
Hague, 59, of East Jordan, was arraigned in Charlevoix County District Court Tuesday and released on a $5,000 bond after being arrested by the Michigan State Police.
He is scheduled to appear at a pre-trial conference at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, in Charlevoix County District Court.
Taylor said at this time the village council has not discussed or changed Hague’s employment status.
However, she said she expects a meeting will be forthcoming.
Boyne Falls Village Marshall Charged With Domestic Violence
Updated: Jun 22, 2011 8:45 AM CDT
9 and 10 News
Boyne Falls Village Marshall David Hague has been charged with domestic violence. Hague was arrested yesterday according to court officials, and is currently out on bond. 9&10 News will bring you the latest details as they become available
Police Chief Arrested
Posted: 06.21.2011 at 7:05 PM
Updated: 06.22.2011 at 2:30 PM
Up North Live
BOYNE FALLS -- A local police chief is on the other side of the law.
David Hague was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with one count of domestic violence. Hague is the Chief of Police for Boyne Falls.
He was arraigned in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released a short time later on a $5,000 bond.
Hague will be back in court for a pretrial hearing on July 5.
7&4 news is working to get more information on this case and will bring you an update once more details are released.