Deputy Ryan Salisbury [Grand Traverse SD]: December 12, 2012 domestic violence assault:
Attorney: Grand Traverse deputy to fight his termination
BY ART BUKOWSKI
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:10 AM EST
TRAVERSE CITY — A fired Grand Traverse sheriff’s deputy will fight his termination, his attorney said.
Sheriff Tom Bensley fired Ryan Salisbury on Wednesday. The move came about a month after Salisbury, a roughly 10-year veteran of the department, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace for his role in a Dec. 6 incident at Union Street Station in Traverse City.
Salisbury’s attorney, Craig Elhart, said Salisbury already contacted a union attorney for arbitration.
“He’s been punished enough by the courts,” Elhart said. “I think his employer has gone way overboard in reaction to what he did.”
Salisbury, 35, declined comment through Elhart.
He initially was charged with disturbing the peace and a misdemeanor count of domestic violence, but the latter charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal. A judge sentenced him to one year of probation, and his conviction will be vacated if he successfully completes that probation.
Bensley said the decision to fire Salisbury came after administrators met with Salisbury and reviewed the department’s rules.
“Because of Deputy Salisbury’s actions .... which were in violation of general orders of the sheriff’s office, we feel that the separation from employment was appropriate,” he said in a statement.
When reached for comment by a Record-Eagle reporter, Bensley declined additional comment about his firing decision or the upcoming arbitration process. The entire situation took a toll on the department, he said.
“Unfortunately, these situations do occasionally occur,” he said. “It does suck a lot of energy out of the staff at the sheriff’s office.”
Salisbury’s girlfriend was at the bar with a few others when Salisbury came in. Authorities said Salisbury struck his girlfriend on the neck with his elbow and made a punching motion toward her face, and he also had physical contact with a man sitting near Salisbury’s girlfriend.
Antrim County Prosecutor Charles Koop, who handled the case as a special prosecutor, said the man had been sending Salisbury’s girlfriend texts over a period of time.
In late 2011, Leelanau County assistant prosecutor Doug Donaldson declined to issue a domestic violence charge against Salisbury for an alleged assault on a different woman in Grand Traverse County. That woman, Salisbury’s then-wife, asked Donaldson not to charge.
Fired Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputy to challenge termination over arrest at Traverse City bar
The Grand Rapids Press
February 14, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Updated February 14, 2013 at 7:07 PM
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — A Grand Traverse sheriff's deputy fired over an arrest at a Traverse City bar intends to challenge the department's decision.
The sheriff's office terminated Ryan Salisbury, 35, for violations of the "General Orders of the Sheriff's Office," according to a news release from the department. Salisbury will file a grievance against the sheriff's office through his union, said Craig Elhart, Salisbury's lawyer in the criminal case against him.
"He's extremely disappointed the sheriff would take the action that he has," Elhart said Thursday, Feb. 14. "At the worst case scenario, he was being loud in a bar."
Elhart spoke to Salisbury Thursday but is not representing him in the employment-related matter. A union attorney will be handling the employment matter, Elhart said. Efforts to reach Salisbury and a union representative were unsuccessful.
Salisbury was arrested early on Dec. 7 at Union Street Station in Traverse City after reports that he had a physical altercation with a woman inside the bar. Elhart said there was no assault inside the bar, and the woman allegedly assaulted repeatedly told investigators she was never touched.
Salisbury was arrested and charged with domestic violence. He was supsended with pay from the department. He pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace on Jan. 9, received a delayed sentence and assessed $425 in fines and costs, according to court records. The domestic violence charge against Salisbury was dropped.
Elhart advised Salisbury not to take the plea deal offered by prosecutors. Salisbury's actions in the bar did not even constitute disturbing the peace, Elhart said.
"The only reason that he entered the pleas was that he wanted to end this," Elhart said.
Salisbury expected to maintain employment with the sheriff's office after the criminal case was settled.
The sheriff's office stated it would not comment further due to the expected challenge by Salisbury.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff's deputy fired for alleged assault Traverse City bar
The Grand Rapids Press
February 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM
Updated February 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — The Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office has fired a deputy who pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace after a December arrest at a Traverse City bar.
Ryan Salisbury, 35, was relieved of his "duties, responsibilities and employment," according to a Thursday, Feb. 14, news release from the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office fired Salisbury after conducting an internal investigation into his actions on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at Union Street Station, 117 S. Union St.
Salisbury had a "physical altercation" with a woman early on Dec. 7 at the bar, according to reports. A dog handler on the sheriff's K-9 team, Salisbury was arrested and charged with domestic violence. He pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace on Jan. 9, received a delayed sentence and assessed $425 in fines and costs, according to court records. The domestic violence charge against Salisbury was dropped.
The sheriff's investigation found Salibury's actions at the bar were in violation of General Orders of the Sheriff's Office, according to the release.
"We feel that the separation from employment was appropriate," the release stated.
Salisbury was suspended with pay after his arrest. The sheriff's office expects Salisbury to contest their decision.
GT deputy fired
By Art Bukowski
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:46 AM EST
TRAVERSE CITY - A Grand Traverse sheriff’s deputy convicted of disturbing the peace has been fired.
Sheriff Tom Bensley on Thursday confirmed the dismissal of Ryan Salisbury, 35, from the sheriff’s department.
Salisbury worked for the department for about 10 years. He pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace for his role in a Dec. 6 incident at Union Street Station in Traverse City.
Salisbury was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, but he denied striking the woman. He accepted a plea agreement resulting in a conviction of disturbing the peace. Salisbury received probation as part of a delayed sentence.
If he completes court-ordered terms during the next year, the conviction will be vacated, said Antrim County Prosecutor Charlie Koop, who handled the case as a special prosecutor.
Bensley declined further comment.
Decision coming soon on whether to discipline deputy
BY ANGIE JACKSON
Fri Feb 08, 2013, 06:48 PM EST
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse sheriff's officials said they'll soon decide whether to discipline a deputy convicted of disturbing the peace.
Sheriff Tom Bensley said authorities planned to speak with Deputy Ryan Salisbury today as part of an internal investigation and then will determine their next step.
Bensley would not say when Salisbury's fate will be decided, but said it will happen "soon."
"We're meeting with him (today) to go over the internal investigation and his side of the story," Bensley said.
Salisbury, 35, has been with the sheriff's department about 10 years. He was placed on unpaid suspension on Jan. 2, and this week received a delayed sentencing in district court and a year probation for a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace.
Salisbury initially was charged with domestic violence after a Dec. 6 incident at Union Street Station in Traverse City.
If Salisbury completes court-ordered terms during the next year, the conviction will be vacated, said Antrim County Prosecutor Charlie Koop, who handled the case as a special prosecutor.
Authorities said Salisbury struck his girlfriend with an elbow to the neck and made contact with a man who sat next to her in the Union Street bar.
Koop earlier said it appeared Salisbury's girlfriend was not a target; rather, he shoved her aside as he confronted a man who had sent her text messages. Witnesses provided conflicting accounts during the investigation, Koop said.
Eighty-Sixth District Judge Thomas J. Phillips ordered Salisbury to have no contact with the male victim. He also said Salisbury cannot possess alcohol or illegal drugs and he must stay away from bars.
He also is not to possess firearms or engage in aggressive behavior, except during his law enforcement job.
Salisbury is required to complete a 26-week group therapy program for men.
"The thing is, Mr. Salisbury has to sit in with a group of other people who've been assigned to the men's program and has to deal with the fact they all know he's a police officer. He's going through it with everybody else," Koop said.
Salisbury's attorney, Dena Horvath, said he voluntarily enrolled and is eight weeks into the program.
Horvath said Salisbury has tried to focus on his family.
"Basically, it was an unfortunate set of circumstances and Ryan just hopes that he and everyone can move on from here and go forward," she said.
In 2011, Salisbury's then-wife asked Leelanau County assistant prosecutor Doug Donaldson not to issue a domestic violence charge for a separate incident of alleged assault against her.