The Dahlens Plead Guilty – But Only After Attorney Argues Witness Tampering, 5th Amendment Violations (Michael Volpe, repost)

Public Domain: http://tinypic.com

A recent article by journalist Michael Volpe, who has been extensively covering the Grazzini-Rucki case, chronicles the criminal charges filed against Doug and Gina Dahlen for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki teens, and the resulting guilty plea.

5th Amendment violations, witness tampering, alleged in Rucki case by Michael Volpe (CDN News)

 

On November 18, 2015, a swarm of police and federal marshals descended on the small town of Herman, Minnesota. The rumble of trucks and men disturbed the quiet countryside, kicking up dust along dirt roads. The frantic chatter of radio announced the breaking news – the two missing Rucki sisters had been found on the Ranch of Doug and Gina Dahlen. The sisters, S.R. and G.R. were not happy to have been “found” and over the next few weeks, would bravely come forward to describe the nightmare that caused them to run away – physical and mental abuse at the hands of their father, David Rucki, and an uncaring family court system led by Judge David L. Knutson ignored their cries for help and worked to place them back into the care and custody of a dangerous abuser.

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina are an exceptional couple who has dedicated their lives to helping abused and traumatized children, and supporting families in need. They reside in the small town of Herman, Minnesota, which boasts that it is a “small town with BIG values!”; and holds true to that promise with a population just below 500 souls. The Dahlens are an all-American family, working hard to establish a non-profit therapeutic horse ranch on land Doug purchased from his grandparents that would be named White Horse Ranch. The Ranch also operates as an animal rescue and has taken in at-risk horses, and even dogs. The October 2014 WHR newsletter demonstrates the success of the program, and generosity of the Dahlens,”To date this season we have had 130 youth visit the ranch; and of these we worked with 44 of them one-on-one. Our youngest visitor was five months old, and our oldest was 85.”

Doug and Gina risked it all to shelter S.R. and G.R. – providing safety, nurturing and a second chance to experience their childhood that had been long denied. The Dahlens believed the teen girls truly had been abused – the girls not only spoke about abuse but their physical and mental state also indicated abuse and trauma had occurred. Investigative Report Dahlen, Witness Statements

The Dahlens offered their home, and their heart, to protect S.R. and G.R. from imminent physical or emotional harm. Now the Dakota County court system that worked against the Grazzini-Rucki family, would wage its legal guns at the Dahlens, and ruthlessly work to destroy the very family that had saved the lives of these terrified teens.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Doug and Gina plead guilty to felony charges in January 2017 but their attorney argues the Dahlens were basically bullied into accepting the plea under circumstances that involved witness tampering and Constitutional violations.

Doug and Gina have no previous criminal record. They are not dangerous; and in fact are described as being “kind and generous“. Doug and Gina did not act with malice or criminal intent, but instead, chose to help the Rucki girls because they were truly concerned for their well-being.

Both S.R. and G.R. have expressed their experience at the Ranch was positive, and they stayed based on their free will choice. S.R. said about the Ranch,”It was so great up there! They were given hugs and love. She loves Doug and Gina and states Gina was like a mom to her.” G.R. says she does not feel that she needs therapy because after her stay at the Ranch “she has it figured out” and remarks made to a social worker indicate that G.R. felt at peace – her only fear was returning to the care of her father, David Rucki. Rucki Social Service Records, Abuse Allegations

If anyone should be criminally charged, it should be Judge David Knutson, the Guardian ad Litem, court appointed therapists and others involved in the case who failed to protect the 5 Rucki children from abuse, and instead forced these children to live with the identified, and proven, abuser, David Rucki. David Rucki Police Reports, Documented History of Violence

When questioned about abuse allegations, and irregularities in the handling of the Grazzini-Rucki case, Dakota County, the Lakeville Police and Dr. Rebecca Bailey have all avoided questions raised by Volpe and CDN News.

Judge Karen Asphaug (Twitter)

What is Dakota County hiding? And why are so many refusing to answer basic questions about the Grazzini-Rucki case?

Uncover the truth, read Michael Volpe’s article in full: 5th Amendment violations, witness tampering, alleged in Rucki case by Michael Volpe (CDN News)

 

Additional Information on Doug and Gina Dahlen:

Couple who cared for missing teens on their ranch for two years say that runaway sisters would be better off with them…

IGC: GINA DAHLEN’S VISION QUEST

Riding with Faith, Spirit and Vision

 

 

“I Will Not Be Silenced…” Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on “J.A.M. In Your Face” with Brian Kinter

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J.A.M. (Judicial Accountability Movement) in Your Face with Brian Kinter and Guest Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Date:  Jan 4, 2017

Listen In: J.A.M. in Your Face with Brian Kinter and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Subject: Brian Kinter has been to the SUPREME COURT more times than most of have been to the movies.

Brian was wrongfully deprived of access to his child due to systemic failures, and corruption, occurring in an Ohio family court. Eventually, Brian sued the judges and the court in March 2012. Brian currently has won custody of his young daughter.

Brian Kinter (Source: YouTube)

Brian Kinter (Source: YouTube)

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki joins Brian to discuss the nightmare of family court. Sandra is famous for being the subject the ABC 20/20 episode “Footprints in the Snow”.

Sandra shares her story of survival against a corrupt family court system, headed by out of control judge, David L. Knutson. She describes the devastating effects on her life and that of her children; and offers an encouraging message for parents involved in family court.

 

For More Info on Brian Kinter: 

The Brian Kinter Story

Brian Kinter & the little shop of horrors called Ohio Domestic Relations Court (T.S. Radio)

 

For More Info on Sandra Grazzini-Rucki: 

2013 Complaint Against Judge David L. Knutson Alleges Misconduct, Malice

David Rucki-Judge Knutson-Criminal Defense Matters

David Rucki ‘Paper Divorce’ Scam

TS Radio: Mike Volpe reports on the Rucki divorce/custody case

Did Detective Dronen Use Coercion, Fraud to Elicit A Statement in Grazzini-Rucki Case?

Public Domain: http://absfreepic.com

Public Domain: http://absfreepic.com

Small town, Lakeville police, traveled an estimated 191 miles one chilly day, November 18, 2015, to a horse ranch in a quiet corner of Minnesota. Greeting them in the gravel driveway were Star Tribune reporters, who had been waiting 3 hours to break the biggest story their podunk paper had seen since the 1991 Halloween Blizzard covered trick-or-treaters in 8.2 inches of ghostly white snow. Star Tribune cameras were on the scene to catch every dramatic minute as the runaway Rucki sisters were discovered after a multi-agency search warrant.

Even outside their jurisdiction, Detective Jim Dronen and Kelli Coughlin were territorial over this case – that of the runaway Rucki sisters, who went missing in April 2013 to escape an abusive home that family court would not protect them from. These two detectives would accomplish what Judge Knutson could not do despite 3,400 court orders issued against the mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was left homeless, destitute and torn from the children who were “my world” after the court’s illegal actions. What reunification therapist James Gilbertson tried but failed at, as he recommended “unconventional” methods of therapy such as forcing the children to sit in at court hearings, and forcing the children to have a face-to-face visit with their father the day he was due in court for violating a no contact order (no contact meaning with the children). What Guardian ad Litems Julie Friedrich and Laura Miles attempted by denying the abuse and shoving the truth down their throats, as they gagged – these children were going back into the care of their abusive father.

Was the interrogation method used on Doug Dahlen coercive, fraudulent? And were coercive methods used on the teenage Rucki sisters? A new video from Lion News offer a glimpse into the interrogation of Doug Dahlen.

Police can use a variety of methods to get information or elicit a confession – they can lie, exaggerate and even use some forms of trickery to obtain information from a subject, to get a confession. The one thing police can not do is coerce a confession. Coercion is defined as physical or psychological force, threats or intimidation. Similarly, trickery that results in a false confession is not allowed.

The Lion News Video (below) offers excerpts of the police interviews from the Rucki investigation, as well as an excerpt of a police interview between Detective Dronen (#4816) and Doug Dahlen that occurred on November 18, 2015.

Doug is one of the defendants in the high-profile Grazzini-Rucki case, who, along with his wife, sheltered the runaway Rucki girls at his therapeutic horse ranch for over 2 years.

This interview occurred AFTER the Rucki girls were found living at the Ranch.

dougginadahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen

(4:11) Doug Dahlen calls wife, Gina, “Hello… Hey.. Did you get my message? Can you come home? Um police are here and they’re talking about what they’re going to do with the Girls. They can stay here ’til get this sorted out or whether they have to go and stay somewhere else or what. They um the mom’s in jail and they’re saying if the Girls go in and take care of this, that they can get their mother out of jail and uh hopefully get this straightened out. As of now I don’t really think they know what they’re going to do with them…

COERCION: A person who has power over another compels someone to act or make a choice by force, threat or overcoming their own individual will. Coercion can involve fraud to compel someone to do something they would not ordinarily do.

It is coercive to tell Doug Dahlen, and the Girls (if they were given a similar message) that if they “straighten this out” i.e. talk to police, and tell police what they want to hear, that their mother (Sandra Grazzini-Rucki) can get out of jail. Another implied threat is the unanswered question on where the Girls will go – that cooperation may result in the Girls being able to stay at the Ranch. Notice also that Doug is talking to police without the benefit of an attorney.

Both of the Rucki sisters were minors at the time they were found, and were in a vulnerable state. For the last 2 years, the Girls considered the Dahlens as family, and grew accustomed to their life on the Ranch. The Girls had ample opportunity to leave, and return to their father, but chose to stay. Now these Girls were losing their home – for a second time in their life, a traumatic upheaval (the first when Sandra was forced out of the home, and their lives in Sept. 2012). Where were the Girls going – they could not stay with the Dahlens, and threatened to run away if returned to father, David Rucki, That is what makes this coercive – applying pressure, and compelling testimony under duress; especially on vulnerable teen girls. The fraud is stating that testimony could get Sandra Grazzini-Rucki out of jail, that simply would not happen, and police knew it.

NO child should be placed in this type of situation by police. There are organizations that specialize in conducting forensic interviews with children and vulnerable adults that could have been utilized. These organizations typically offer family counseling and community resources as well. An age appropriate, trauma informed approach could have assisted the police investigation in a way that would minimize stress on the Girls, and allow them to be heard. But that never happened. Instead the Lakeville police pushed their agenda… and silenced the Girls as so many in Dakota County had done before.

Detective Dronen. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com, sunthisweek

Another element of psychological coercion… and testimony from Doug that supports the Girls were abuse victims.

(5:58) Detective Dronnen states, “You said when the girls first got here, they were afraid?”

Doug, “Beyond afraid. They were terrified. I’ve never seen a kid so scared. I can’t emphasize that to you… I’ve seen kids in pretty rough shape, I’ve never seen one that was truly afraid for their life until I saw them.”

Detective Dronnen, “Did they ever tell you why they were afraid?”

Doug, “No, one time I went in and S.R. was curled up in the bathroom, in a fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably. ” <– This is called REGRESSION, and is a sign of severe trauma or abuse. Regression is the act of returning to an earlier stage of behavioral or physical development; this can occur because trauma not only affects the mind and emotion, but is also stored in the body, at a cellular level. Trauma also affects body chemistry.

Detective Dronnen, “Did she ever talk about anything that happened at home?”

Doug, “Just how terrible it was. Never gave much for details… ” Doug goes on to say S.R. did not like “being touched by a man”, even in common social interactions. <– Note S.R. may have found someone else to confide in; if she had an aversion to men it makes sense that she would not trust or open up to a man, even Doug.

In the next excerpt, Detective Dronen gives Doug Dahlen his version of what happened with the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and custody case, and omits all mention of domestic abuse and child abuse allegations or David Rucki’s criminal history. This is done intentionally! Detective Dronen is controlling the interview, and feeding information to Doug with the intent of changing his perspective, and ultimately changing testimony that may support that abuse happened to the Rucki girls.

Keep in mind Detective Dronen previously dismissed an OFP violation against David Rucki wiped it completely from MNCIS. Dronen personally knew about the abuse allegations, and purposely withheld this information when giving his version of the Grazzini-Rucki divorce and child custody dispute to Doug.

Det. Dronnen dismisses OFP against David Rucki, wipes from MNCIS. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com

Det. Dronen deletes OFP violation against David Rucki, wipes from MNCIS. Source: https://redherringalert.wordpress.com

Doug sounds incredulous as he is listening, and relies on past experience to weigh Detective Dronen’s words. When Doug brings up his own experiences with a stressful divorce, Detective Dronen adapts Doug’s comments to supportive the narrative he is pushing.This means Dronen is shaping Doug’s perspective, and changing his recollection on a past event. This type of questioning is extremely damaging because Detective Dronen is feeding information, ideas and emotions into Doug that were not previously there. Doug has no one else to offer additional information, he is reliant solely on Dronen.

Detective Dronen tries to sell Doug his version of events – that parental alienation had occurred, that Sandra is mentally ill and completely withholds any information about the allegations of abuse. If this sounds plausible, you too maybe a victim of psychological coercion.

Key elements of psychological coercion involve

  1. Rejecting alternate information and individual opinions.Communication is controlled, permissible subjects and thoughts are directed. Alternate ideas or free thought is shut down or guided back into desired parameters.
  2. Forcing the victim to re-evaluate what has happened, their experience in a negative way. The victim is made to feel like a “bad” person or alternately, is made to feel bad about their experience and made to feel that adopting the chose perspective is redemptive or “good”.
  3. Controlled communication produces efforts are  to destabilize and undermine the subject’s consciousness, sense of reality, sense of self, emotions and defense mechanisms. The subject wrestles with internal questions, doubts, and then reinterprets their experience to  adopts the perspective given to them.
  4. Creating triggers in the subject by eliciting strong emotional reactions by manipulating their perspectives, and what is important to them i.e. home, family, ethical values, past experiences, past hurts, guilt, anxiety etc

Psychological coercion does not leave a bruise or a mark but it’s impact can not be underestimated.The intense pressure of psychological coercion can and does weaken a person’s will power and limit their ability to make free choices. The victim is unable to use discernment, judgement or call on help as they normally would had they not been manipulated.  According to one expert, The Neurotypical Suite, “The cumulative effect of psychological coercion can be an even more effective form of undue influence than pain, torture, drugs or the use of physical force or threats.

Police need to use the power invested in them carefully and avoid any actions or behavior that is or  could be interpreted as coercive.

Statements that are made under coercion are not made through an exercise of free will.  If Doug Dahlen – or the Rucki girls – were told by Detective Dronen, or any member of the Lakeville police, that if they “straightened things out” and gave a statement to police, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki could “get out of jail”  that is coercion. It is eliciting a statement based on fraud, and is applying duress with the underlying message of if you do not comply, she will remain in jail. To excuse this behavior as being part of the job, as policeman, opens the door to abuses of power –  abuses of power have destroyed the Grazzini-Rucki family, and if not exposed and stopped, anyone of us could become a victim next.

Note: This video include slides that are somewhat editorialized, the audio content is what applies to this article, plz use discernment.

 

 

Also Read:

Media Mayhem: Has Stahl and Brodkorb Gone Too Far Reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki Case??

Shocking Interview from Grazzini-Rucki Case – Brodkorb Goes Rogue, Dronen Wants to Make Rucki Girls Wards of the State, More…

I honestly believe Judge Knutson is psychotic, that I have no doubt. I’ve sat in his courtroom, the guy is absolutely crazy. I believe there needs to be a lot of changes in family court as well….

If David Rucki is as crazy as these Girls say he is, then I don’t know what he is capable of...” ~ Lori Musolf, prosecution witness

Lawless Lakeville, Dakota County, Minn:  Lion News has released a shocking audio of the Lakeville police interview between Detective Dronen and Lori Musolf, witness for the Prosecution in the Grazzini-Rucki case. This interview covers a variety of subjects including abuse allegations, family court failures, and interference in the investigation of the runaway Rucki girls by Michael Brodkorb.

During the interview Detective Dronen admits that confidential information about the open investigation into the disappearance of the Rucki girls had been obtained by Brodkorb. Dronen was concerned because Brodkorb was contacting witnesses without the knowledge or consent of the Lakeville police, who were handling the investigation. Lakeville’s investigation into the missing Rucki girls became contaminated as Brodkorb contacted witnesses before the police could secure the information and then leaked sensitive details in his articles, which were widely distributed. 

musolf2

Additional testimony from Doug Dahlen reveals that the Star Tribune reporters, Brandon Stahl and Michael Brodkorb, knew ahead of time that police would raid the ranch to take the Girls. Dahlen states that reporters from the Star Tribune were calling the Grant County Courthouse a day ahead of time, and were asking when a warrant would be served.  This leak of information, and the inappropriate involvement of the Star Tribune has created an unsafe environment for the Rucki girls, whose safety and well-being came second to the media sensation their “recovery” would generate.

Doug and Gina Dahlen cared for the runaway Rucki sisters, who refused to return to father David Rucki because he abused them. Source, ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-sisters-missing-years-lived-plain-sight-time/story?id=38190862

Doug and Gina Dahlen cared for the runaway Rucki sisters, who refused to return to father David Rucki because he abused them. Source, ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/minnesota-sisters-missing-years-lived-plain-sight-time/story?id=38190862

Ironically, Brodkorb blasted all the adults who “did nothing” while the Rucki girls were missing – and now he qualifies as one of those adults, seeing that he had knowledge of where the Girls were staying for at least 24 hours and did nothing to notify local police or intervene. This happening while Brodkorb admits father, David Rucki, was an emotional wreck over the disappearance of his daughters. So Brodkorb also lied to Rucki and did not disclose to him that he knew where the Girls were, and let him suffer. All of this so Brodkorb could break the the story that would make his comeback after an adulterous affair, and a drinking problem destroyed his political career and nearly ended his life.

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Also in the interview, Musolf discloses that Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was afraid of ex-husband David Rucki, and specifically stated “she acted like she was terrified of this man” and “she thought he would kill her if he had the chance. Musolf comments that Sandra used burner phones because she was afraid Rucki would track her down (a tracking device was placed in the wheel well of a friend’s vehicle. Police traced that device back to Rucki’s house). The behaviors Musolf describe in Sandra are common in women who have suffered abuse. In the criminal trial, it was portrayed that Sandra used burner phones to avoid arrest for the disappearance of her daughters. Evidence suggests otherwise, yet Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena  promotes a lie. This is prosecutorial misconduct.

Musolf candidly expressed fear of Rucki and stated she “did not trust David Rucki” and was concerned that he would harm her because she assisted his daughters in running away, and was a friend of Sandra. This is coming from a prosecution witness who testified against Sandra, yet is also building her case. Sandra plead the affirmative defense in charges that she hid her daughters from Rucki, meaning she took action to protect her children from imminent harm or abuse. Sandra was found guilty of felony deprivation of parental rights; critics argue she could not prove abuse happened yet evidence that abuse did happen continues to mount even after Sandra’s conviction.

David Rucki

David Rucki

In a bizarre twist. Musolf tells Detective Dronen that she believes that the Rucki girls have “alot of psychological” and should not be placed with either parent when they are found. What is so unbelievable is that Musolf is a self-proclaimed victim advocate. Musolf’s attitude and actions could pose a risk of harm to an abuse victim or other vulnerable person because she shows no understanding about abuse, and its effects on children. Also troubling is that Musolf is basically stating that Sandra, the victim, has said or done something that is comparable to the horrific abuse Rucki inflicted on his family. NO victim of abuse could ever do anything to justify the abuse inflicted on them. If a so-called “advocate” does not understand that, what is she really advocating for? Detective Dronen agrees with Musolf, and says he thinks the Rucki girls should become wards of the state to get the help they need. 

Wards of the state? The “help” the county offered has done nothing but bring pain and upheaval to the Grazzini-Rucki family. How much more damage will Dakota County inflict on Sandra and her children? .

Help raise awareness, and fight for a worthy cause – please comment, like, repost and share.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

 

Note: Musolf is the only person who has not been criminally charged for her role in assisting the runaway Rucki girls. Musolf remained in contact with the Rucki girls in the days after they ran away and arranged their interview with Fox 9. During the Fox 9 interview, both Girls disclosed allegations of abuse committed by their father and expressed fear of him. Musolf was listed as a witness for the Prosecution in the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial but did not testify in court.

Special thanks to Lion News for posting this video 🙂

Continuing Coverage from Lion News: S. Rucki Tells Police, “I Have to Be Here and I Have to Recant Everything…”

barbwireheart

Q. (Kelli Coughlin) Are you forced to be here?

A. (S. Rucki) No, but it’s definitely not on free will choice…

Q. (Kelli Coughlin) What do you mean by that?

A. (S. Rucki) They basically said I have to, and I have to be here and I have to recant everything I said and that’s the way it’s gonna have to be and they made me feel really guilty and I started crying.

Q. (Kelli Coughlin) Ok, who is they?

A. (S. Rucki) My Dad and Tammy (paternal aunt)

Lion News has obtained video footage of a police interview with S. Rucki conducted at the Lakeville Police Department on June 30, 2016, with Kelli Coughlin.

During the interview, S.R. admits her father, David Rucki, “guilted” her into attending the interview and attempted to get her to “recant”. Paternal aunt, Tammy Love is also mentioned as pressuring S.R. In April 2013, after Judge David L. Knutson gave temporary sole custody to Love, S.R. and her sister, G.R. ran away. The Girls said they did not feel safe with Tammy – remarks S.R. made in this interview validate those concerns.

This is not the first interview S.R. has had with the Lakeville Police. — An interview was also conducted in November 2015, after the runaway sisters were found. Laura Adelmann, Sun This Week, wrote this after speaking to Rucki, “When the call came from Lakeville police stating they had been found, Rucki’s relief was immediately followed by the urgency of a plan for where they should go.

Rucki said the girls were uncooperative and fearful with police, and he knew the family needed counseling.

They eventually entered a family counseling clinic in California (Transitioning Families)….”Finding normal by Laura Adelmann 8/18/2016

Uncooperative? Fearful? Both S.R. and her sister G.R. were talking – just not saying what their father wanted to hear. I suppose that is what makes them “uncooperative. According to records, the Girls were talking with their foster parents, talking with a social worker appointed to their case, and had been appointed an attorney. The Girls also spoke to Judge Michael J. Mayer, who was appointed to their case to decide if a child protection issue existed, and who would ultimately decide where the Girls were placed. The Girls were very clear in stating they are afraid of Rucki and they have concerns for their safety if placed in his care. The girls agreed to participate in therapy if allowed to stay in foster care, and agreed not to run away again. They even agreed to return to school. What child begs to be placed in foster care? Obviously these children were desperately seeking help and at every level, the system that was supposed to protect them, instead failed.

Judge Mayer determined that reunification is best and warned the Girls that if they attempt to run away again, law enforcement will pursue them. A security guard then escorted the Girls on an airplane, headed for a reunification program located in an isolated part of California. The Girls were taken from their only source of support – their attorney, social worker, foster parents – and headed into the unknown. Transitioning Families was chosen especially for its remote location, because if they ran, there would be no place to go. Survival depended on going along with the program. The report of their father, David Rucki, was more important than their own wishes, feelings or needs because his word alone determined their fate. When they left reunification, the Girls would return to his care. The pressures upon these Girls must have been tremendous, facing not only their father but a punitive court system as well.

Only AFTER attending reunification therapy, months later, did Rucki take S.R. to the police to be interviewed for her mother’s impending criminal trial. Rucki has clearly attempted to get S.R. to not only recant but has also attempted to use “reunification” as a tool to do so.  In doing so, he has interfered with an ongoing police investigation. What has been done to S.R. is abusive- not reunification, and certainly not therapy.

Grazzini-Rucki Child Support Hearing Raises Concerns of Fraud, Abuse of Discretion

lionmoney

An August 11th 2016 child support hearing in Dakota County regarding David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, played out with the antics of a circus side show, freakishly contorting law and issuing orders that defy justice.

The hearing was presided by Magistrate Maria K. Pastoor (a magistrate is appointed in cases where the obligee is receiving public assistance). Magistrate Pastoor issued a temporary order for child support and continued the case to hold an evidentiary hearing, just 5 days before Sandra’s sentencing on criminal charges, to determine child support. How can you issue a child support order days before a person may be sentenced to prison? According to Minnesota law, if the court determines that a person has no income and completely lacks the ability to earn income, then the minimum support does not apply and child support may not be ordered. Also, minimum support orders do not apply to an obligor who is incarcerated, unless they have income and assets to pay support. Sandra has neither income or assets. It is unprecedented that Magistrate Pastoor would issue a child support order under these circumstances. The amount of money and resources Dakota County has expended on pursuing Sandra for child support, has far exceeded any benefit it can hope to gain.

Another bizarre aspect of this child support case is the restrictions Magistrate Pastoor put on attorney, Michelle MacDonald, severely limiting her ability to access and review financial information about David Rucki. Ms. MacDonald has filed several discovery requests, and contempt motions against Rucki. Rucki continues to obstruct child support proceedings by refusing to comply with court orders and provide financial information. Another ploy Rucki uses is filing frivolous motions against Sandra, and waging false accusations without evidence to back up his outlandish claims. Dakota County refuses to hold him accountable, contempt orders are always dismissed.

Millionaire David Rucki now claims to be living in the lowest levels of poverty, and is receiving public assistance without ever proving a need for it.

One Sided Evidentiary Hearing

In order to establish child support the Court has to determine the income of BOTH parents. Under Minnesota law, both parents must file a financial affidavit, and disclose all sources of gross income for purposes of child support. Sandra has complied. David Rucki is refusing to cooperate and is actively hiding income and assets. Rucki is also refusing to comply with discovery requests. Dakota County is well aware that he has refused to provide information, but has done nothing to hold him accountable.

Now, Magistrate Pastoor has issued an order severely limiting the ability of Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, to review and access financial information about Rucki.  Pastoor’s bizarre order states that Ms. MacDonald may view Rucki’s recent filing and tax return only under the watch of a sheriff’s deputy at the Dakota County Service Center. Ms. MacDonald can not have any electronics in her possession when viewing the information (is she going to be searched? patted down?). Ms. MacDonald is not allowed to have copies of the actual documents but can take handwritten notes (how does that comply with evidentiary standards?). She may only view the information at a time “acceptable to court administration”. There are ways to protect the confidentiality of parties but what Magistrate Pastoor is imposing is oppressive, and goes above and beyond standard court confidentiality policies.

A fair and impartial evidentiary hearing can not be one sided – each party should be treated the same by the Court, and each held to the same set of rules and practices. Let’s be clear – this is a child support case, NOT a national security issue. The order does not indicate any justification for such drastic measures. This is clearly an abuse of discretion.

Rucki: From Riches to Rags

Pic posted by David Rucki, Facebook April 2016, with a statement about missing daughters.

Without providing any proof of income or assets. millionaire David Rucki now claims he is desperately poor, that the children are starving and struggling, and he requires public assistance in order to survive. According to court records, “The Father (Rucki) receives child support services from Dakota County for the joint children pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.” Rucki has also received assistance from the Wetterling Foundation in obtaining “reunification” therapy in California for his runaway teenage daughters, with a Disney vacation thrown in.

However, the court record also contains evidence that Rucki had substantial income, had ownership in several Minnesota businesses, owns or has possession of, multiple vehicles and has at least 3 real estate properties (two that have recently been remodeled). Even if Rucki refuses to comply with discovery, and even if Rucki refuses to provide the Court with documentation, his income could be imputed for child support purposes. When a Court, and for that matter Dakota County should also be considering this information for eligibility purposes, estimates a party’s income, it can consider a broad range of information – including lifestyle, ability to maintain current expenses, cash flow and other concrete resources (including vehicles). Also, a support order does not have to be based on income alone but can also consider resources, property and business interests.

According to public records, “impoverished” Rucki owns two separate homes in Minnesota, and an additional Disney vacation property in Florida. Rucki owns multiple vehicles, including classic cars. Rucki owns assets, trucks, and equipment related to his trucking business. In addition, Rucki is able to afford expensive legal counsel, and has retained at least two separate law firms to represent his interests.

dave-ruckicaddy

David Rucki driving his classic Cadillac – used to stalk and harass Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

Consider This:

A prior real estate listing boasts about Rucki’s home in Farmington – recently updated, cherry cabinets, tiled floors, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, and a two car garage. The property also includes an impressive 65 x 45 heated “shed” that towers over the home. The “shed” includes heat, hot and cold water plumbing, and has an expensive trailer parked out in front. According to public tax statement records, the value of the property is listed at $222,000 with property taxes of $3,315 a year.

http://www.movoto.com/lakeville-mn/17549-flagstaff-ave-lakeville-mn-55024-651_4573184/

Rucki's property in Farmington

Rucki’s property in Farmington (movoto.com)

Rucki also owns a home in an upscale neighborhood in Lakeville – this home includes 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, recent updates, hickory floors and stainless appliances. Total lot size is 22,477 square feet. A recent photo of the home, taken by a satellite map, shows 3 vehicles parked in garage. According to property tax records, the current value of the home is $479,000 with $6,492 in propety taxes.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/19675-Ireland-Pl-Lakeville-MN-55044/1666608_zpid/

Rucki's Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

Rucki’s Lakeville property (Zillow.com)

A previous article on Red Herring Alert offers information and documentation alleging that Rucki was involved in mortgage fraud and title washing in a scheme involving the Lakeville home: MORTGAGE FRAUD? Ireland Place (Red Herring Alert)

In addition, Rucki has been enriched by court orders, issued by Judge David Knutson, that seized Sandra’s portion of her father’s life insurance, and seized all the assets in a family company that belonged to Sandra, and placed millions of dollars right into Rucki’s pocket. Sandra received zero funds from proceeds that rightfully belonged to her. What Rucki did with the proceeds is unclear; the funds have been excluded from child support calculations due to the order of Judge Knutson. Why wouldn’t this be considered income when determining child support? Because Judge Knutson said so!

Dakota County, and its collusive network of courts and agencies, operates like a hall of mirrors in a circus side show, distorting facts, and twisting law until the truth is barely recognizable.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

Keep on Truckin’

David Rucki made millions working in the trucking industry. He is the sole owner of Rucki Enterprises and Rucki Trucking, and also is a partner in local companies Kang Contracting Corp. (uses Rucki’s Farmington address) and K&K Contracting.

Dave Koehnen, Rucki’s partner in K&K Contracting, has an interesting past. In 2007, Koehnen, was the owner of a trucking company, that was under federal investigation for fraud, underpaying drivers and falsifying records on road projects. According to the warrants, investigators sought evidence of conspiracy to defraud the federal government, making false statements in connection with federally funded highway projects and mail fraud.” http://www.twincities.com/2007/08/01/dakota-county-3-trucking-firms-accused-of-fraud/ Koehnen attempted to file bankruptcy on this business but the filing was dismissed after a Court determined that he failed to pay back taxes in the amount of $235,000 with the IRS and $98,000 with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Koehnen also has a history of traffic violations, including charges related to violating trucking regulations.

This is not to say that Rucki is responsible for Koehnen’s actions. However, Rucki’s business partnership in K&K Contracting, in combination with failure to disclose income, failure to disclose tax returns, and now reporting that he lives at the poverty level without providing any evidence to support those claims should raise concerns because of the pattern that is emerging.

As for Kang Contracting Corp, one of the addresses it uses is Rucki’s house in Farmington. Kang Contracting Corp received a special contract with Metropolitan Council to help build the “green line” transit train, qualifying as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (51% minority owned business, must be a small business with income guidelines to qualify). The Green Line is an expansive transit project underway in the Twin Cities, with $626 million dollars issued in total contract values. Rucki is a partner in one of 135 DBEs at work on the Green Line, a golden opportunity. How could he be losing money to the point he is impoverished and needing public assistance to survive when awarded such a valuable contract? Metro Council 2014 – Central Corridor Green Line Workforce Story

 Recently, sister Tammy Jo Love, owner of Deephaven Chiropractic, has joined the trucking business, establishing TL Rucki Trucking. TL Rucki Trucking is registered to a home in Eden Prairie, which Tammy uses as a vacation rental. If you look carefully at the logo for TL Rucki Trucking you will see it is the exact same logo used for Rucki Trucking with just a “TL” added to it. TL Rucki Trucking has entered a similar program as Kang Contracting Corp, qualifying for assistance with the City of St. Paul Vender Outreach Program aimed at helping woman-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Eligible businesses are certified and then allowed to bid on city funded projects, which are set aside for these specially qualified businesses, allowing exclusive access to bids and projects. How can Rucki be losing money to the point he is living in poverty when his own sister, who has no experience working in the trucking industry, started her own business using the family name, and is now a successful business woman? Or, if Rucki is so destitute that he needs public assistance in order to support his family, why doesn’t he just ask his sister for a job at TL Rucki Trucking?

Yet no one in the Dakota County family court or child support proceedings is asking questions, just the opposite, efforts to raise concerns and present information are being suppressed not only in the court system but also within the County Attorney’s office as well.

 

James Donehower Admits: Dakota County Gave Public Assistance to Rucki Without Asking for Income Verification

County Attorney James Donehower has now admitted that Dakota County has NO financial records of any kind for David Rucki, they simply extended him public assistance. How is this possible? Nobody knows! It’s a slight of handle trick fit for a circus.

Public assistance fraud happens when a recipient takes benefits they are not entitled to. The biggest red flag for public assistance fraud is failure to report income. Another form of fraud is under reporting income to meet eligibility requirements. Fraud also includes: failure to report property or assets, lying about where you live, and falsifying information on an application.

Donehower is basically saying that Rucki bypassed federal and state laws, and was just given public assistance with no questions asked, and no documentation required. When applying for public assistance, enrollees must provide verification of income (current paystubs, tax returns, verification of employment, etc), provide verification of assets (value of vehicles, bank accounts, property, stocks/bonds etc) and to complete an interview with a caseworker. Recipients are also required to get a job or comply with an employment plan. Failure to do so may result in sanctions or loss of benefits. According to Donehower, NONE of that is happening with David Rucki.

The special treatment Rucki is being afforded by Dakota County is unheard of. Common sense would question why a man with 3 homes, owns multiple vehicles, has a previous earning potential of millions of dollars would suddenly, and without any proof of need, require public assistance. Yet Dakota County is not asking any questions, they are simply opening their pocketbooks. If Rucki can not demonstrate a need for public assistance, and comply with the rules of eligibility, he should not be receiving benefits.

Public Domain: pixaby.com

Public Domain: pixaby.com

In the Grazzini-Rucki case, the courts of Dakota County have operated like a 3 ring circus involving criminal, family and child support proceedings – all have allowed abuse and chaos to continue in the lives of Sandra and the children. The facts, evidence, and information being suppressed and ignored by Dakota County is the information that we should be looking into because the vast injustices happening in this case undermine the legal system for everyone, and create a very real risk of harm for any family who may encounter the system.