Corruption in the Grazzini-Rucki case has reached epic proportions – affecting all levels of government in Dakota County and Minnesota, and even influencing local media coverage of the case.
Journalists should abide by ethics and standards so that their reporting is accurate, fair and does not cause undue harm to its subjects. Just the opposite happened when Brandon Stahl and Michael Brodkorb (who now works exclusively for David Rucki, promoting his interest in social media posts and blog articles) began covering the case for the Star Tribune.
A repost from Red Herring Alert suggests the behavior of reporters Brandon Stahl, and Michael Brodkorb, in their coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case was unethical and exploitative. Further, Stahl and Brodkorb’s appearance at the Ranch in the hours before the Rucki girls were recovered suggests a leak in the Lakeville police that tipped them off to sensitive information on an open investigation that, by law, should not have been released. Did the presence of these rogue reporters compromise the investigation?
Brandon Stahl (Source: https://wn.com)
From Red Herring Alert: “Sources tell us that an unmarked vehicle with its flashers on was the first to arrive on the scene on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, the day that law enforcement officials located S. Rucki and G. Rucki.
It is further reported on Red Herring Alert that Doug Dahlen, who lives at the home where the girls were located, arrived home to find a vehicle with its flashers on, parked on a gravel road. Not knowing who was in the vehicle, he stopped to inquire if the driver was OK. The vehicle sat there for 3 hours before law enforcement arrived. Brandon Stahl was in the vehicle and went to the door asking for an interview. He gave Mr. Dahlen his business card, identifying himself as Brandon Stahl of the Star Tribune.
It is deeply disturbing to know how law enforcement has tipped off local media to parts of the investigation, prior to any public reports from the officials. Isn’t it pathetic that the Star Tribune sat there for 3 hours prior to the arrival of law enforcement? 3 hours!”
It is unclear if the reporters were tipped off by law enforcement or someone else. Brodkorb says about his role in discovering the whereabouts of the runaway Rucki girls, “Over the summer, my sources provided information that led me to a location near where the girls were found less than two weeks ago. I’m convinced that if I had knocked on one too many doors, I might have made it more difficult for law enforcement to find S and G.” Michael Brodkorb: Why I wrote about the Rucki case
Brodkorb also says, “The contacts I had made in the political world ended up being very helpful in generating leads on the Rucki case…” Michael Brodkorb: Minnesota Politics and Beyond
Another concerning incident involves Michael Brodkorb contacting a witness, and influencing her view of the case BEFORE police contacted this person. The testimony of this witness was later used to help build a case against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki: Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse
Has Stahl and Brodkorb gone too far in their reporting of the Grazzini-Rucki case?
READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM RED HERRING ALERT BELOW:
“Interesting, No?” Posted on the Red Herring Alert on November 21, 2015 by Susan:
Local media coverage of the missing Rucki girls has been politically motivated. It is very clear.
It is interesting to note that Michael Brodkorb, who always claimed his sole motivation was to find the missing girls, has not written anything about them being found last Wednesday, but on Thursday, did post an article about Michelle MacDonald.
No post about his relief that the girls were found. No post with relief that the girls can tell their story. No post reporting how relieved the father is. Nope. Just simply an article that shows his antipathy of Michelle MacDonald.
As a matter of fact, coverage by Brodkorb fell off after August 24, 2015, which is odd because the case was just ramping up after a warrant was issued for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on August 19, 2015.
Brodkorb’s recent articles on the missing Rucki sisters:
- August 24, 2015-Routine Traffic Stop Provides Clues to Disappearance of Lakeville Sisters
- October 22, 2015-Law Enforcement Search Home of Campaign Advisor to Michelle MacDonald
- November 19, 2015-MacDonald Bills Grazzini-Rucki Over $222,000 for Pro Bono Legal Work
Sources tell us that an unmarked vehicle with its flashers on was the first to arrive on the scene on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, the day that law enforcement officials located S. Rucki and G. Rucki.
It is further reported to Red Herring Alert that Doug Dahlen, who lives at the home where the girls were located, arrived home to find a vehicle with its flashers on, parked on a gravel road. Not knowing who was in the vehicle, he stopped to inquire if the driver was OK. The vehicle sat there for 3 hours before law enforcement arrived. Brandon Stahl was in the vehicle and went to the door asking for an interview. He gave Mr. Dahlen his business card, identifying himself as Brandon stahl of the Star Tribune.
Our sources also tell us that law enforcement treated the girls very well, and promised to listen to what they have to say.
It is deeply disturbing to know how law enforcement has tipped off local media to parts of the investigation, prior to any public reports from the officials. Isn’t it pathetic that the Star Tribune sat there for 3 hours prior to the arrival of law enforcement? 3 hours!
This writer (Susan) appeared on Tim Kinley’s show Speechless MN, on October 29th to talk about the Rucki case. Tim made an observation about the media’s handling of Family Court:
Let’s face it. Divorced parents are treated as second class citizens in every state in the nation. No one cares if your child is withheld from you. The interest in the Rucki case would have received little attention, if not for the fact that the GOP needs Michelle MacDonald to go away. She came within 7 points of winning a seat on the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014. If you listened to Ron Rosenbaum’s show last Thursday, you can hear his obsession with Michelle MacDonald. Dede Evavold will be posting about that soon.
We also know that the Minnesota Family Court would like MacDonald to go away, as well. She is bad for business as usual in the courts. To have her disbarred for this case would make many people very happy, but the truth is, she came in after the case was a mess. If Michelle MacDonald were to be disbarred for this, let’s hope that Lisa Henry would be, too. She was the lawyer who participated in the phone conference with Judge David Knutson, and was too timid to tell Judge Knutson that it was unlawful for him to throw Sandra out of her home with less than two hours notice.
In all my years of Family Court experience, that began with my own ordeal in 1998 and spanned eight long years, I have not seen any kind of intervention when children are withheld from a loving parent.
Tim Kinley mentioned the Caroline Rice case (accidentally referred to her as Susan Rice, but it is Caroline). You can read about the Rice case and the appeal.
In my opinion, the Rucki case was driven by political vitriol and the courts fail to do what they can to ensure both parents are allowed to spend time with their children. They also fail to protect children from abusive parents, who can be a mother or a father. Readers will have to draw their own conclusion about these issues.