A recent article by investigative reporter, Michael Volpe, examines the targeting and harassment Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald has experienced after challenging corruption within the legal system while representing client Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. MacDonald, an attorney, has drawn attention after representing Sandra Grazzini-Rucki,fighting her case all the way up to the Supreme Court in order to demand justice. MacDonald has also included in her platform as Supreme Court Candidate that the rights of litigants need to be protected in the legal system and that systemic problems have denied justice for many.
(Michelle MacDonald from her Facebook page)
What is “Targeting”?
The presence of targeting is often a “red flag” or indication of abuse of power within the government or it’s branches. Or an indication of deep corruption.
Targeting is coordinated, purposeful efforts and activities to harass, intimidate, silence and/or discredit the reputation of a selected individual or organization. There are various reasons why someone is selected for targeting. Common reasons include: whistle blowers exposing information or individuals, challenging the “status quo” or authority of a powerful entity or group, an attempt to gain control over the target, an effort to stop information from being revealed, and to disrupt a group or organization (etc). Targets can be chosen because they are connected or related to someone who is also a target. Or randomly selected. Once targeted, a person’s life, career, and even family becomes subjected to severe harassment, threats, stalking and often abuse of the legal system. Some targets even die under mysterious circumstances.
One well known example of targeting is an investigative journalist named Hopewell Chin’ono from Zimbabwe who was arrested without a warrant then jailed for 45 days on false charges after exposing human rights violations and corruption in the country. Chin’ono witnessed firsthand the appalling living conditions in prison, frequent abuse of prisoners and disgusting sanitary conditions that create a ”haven for disease”; and as a result is now exposing Zimbabwe’s prison system. Chin’ono says about his experiences,”This has been a misadventure of the abuse of citizens, journalists, civil society and anyone who demands that the regime respect the rule of law, they become a target.”
Attorney Harassed After Representing Client
According to the research of Michael Volpe, “Michelle has been practicing as an attorney for nearly 40 years and she never had any problems until she took up the Rucki case.” Volpe co-authorized a book with MacDonald on that case titles “Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World’s Last Custody Trial”.
Volpe says,” Since then, she was stopped by police for drunk driving despite later having no alcohol in her system, already suspended by the Bar once, detained for a full day without being charged, and even called a “person of interest” in a crime by certain people.
Due to her involvement as Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, MacDonald has endured years of “alleged” harassment, cyber bullying, personal attacks, stalking and legal harassment.
MacDonald’s efforts to protect or defend herself using available legal remedies are denied every time. When MacDonald attempted to file a Harassment Restraining Order against the individual harassing her, it was denied. The individual “allegedly” continues to follow MacDonald’s every move in person and online. This person is “coincidentally” a strong supporter and the public voice for David Rucki.
MacDonald has been the subject of years of obsessive online postings that continue day and night, and the information created by this individual is misleading and false, clearly meant to harm her reputation. The same individual created a post online comparing MacDonald to a well-known child pedophile and killer. MacDonald has no criminal history, and worked tirelessly to protect the Rucki children from abuse while representing their mother. These comparisons clearly are made to smear her good name. Incredibly, the Minnesota courts protected that post as ”free speech”. At the same time, MacDonald’s ”free speech” is not being protected and she now faces disciplinary action for comments she made about the Grazzini-Rucki case during an interview.
MacDonald has also been subject to disciplinary complaints filed against her for petty reasons. One of the complaints filed against MacDonald was brought by Judge David L. Knuston, the notorious judge who presided over the Grazzini-Rucki family court case and who has given preferential treatment to David Rucki,the ex-spouse of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. MacDonald challenged Judge Knutson’s orders throughout her involvement in the Grazzini-Rucki case and exposed his actions as violating the rights of her client and not complying with the law. Judge Knuston filed a complaint against MacDonald, first, claiming she failed to properly represent her client during proceedings. This, after, Judge Knuston ordered MacDonald handcuffed to a wheelchair during proceedings and denied her access to her files, her eyeglasses and even her shoes. Incredibly Judge Knutson succeeded on issuing disciplinary action against MacDonald when he is the one who should have faced discipline.
Judge Knutson filed a second complaint against MacDonald after she gave an interview, publicly speaking about the case and his role in it. Clearly, Judge Knutson’s complaint is retaliation and not legit.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the client, has not expressed any complaints about MacDonald’s treatment of her or ability to represent her interests. Grazzini-Rucki has expressed strong concerns about Judge Knutson, however. She claims that Judge Knutson violated his duties as a judge and abused his power and as a result, her 5 children were given into the custody of an abusive, violent father. As a result of Judge Knuston’s orders, Grazzini-Rucki is now homeless,destitute and all of her personal property and assets were awarded to her ex-husband, David Rucki; she literally owns nothing. Judge Knutson’s failures to protect her children caused 2 of them to runaway in April 2013, and go into hiding for nearly 2 years in order to save themselves from mental and physical abuse. Grazzini-Rucki was charged with felony deprivation of parental rights,and convicted, for her role in assisting her daughters. Grazzini-Rucki says Judge Knustson is responsible for her felony conviction because if he had protected the children from abuse they would not have been forced to run away. Or, Judge Knuston directly caused the environment the children ran from, and his own actions threatened their safety.
Volpe’s article further details these incidents and the merits of the complaints with documentation. You can also watch video footage of the latest disciplinary hearing. It is a must read that suggests that Minnesota’s legal system is no longer protecting litigants and their rights but instead protects the interests of systemic corruption and it’s rogue judges, officials and system players.