(Repost) Inverting Reality – Red Herring Alert

Inverting Reality – “Red Herring Alert”

Who is Michael Bernard Brodkorb?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia with additions from Red Herring AlertRepublican Party of Minnesota - Wikipedia
Michael Brodkorb is (WAS)Minnesota Republican activist, a former deputy chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, former communications director for the Republican caucus in the Minnesota Senate, under Senator Minority Leader David Senjem and later to Amy Koch when she was the majority leader of the state senate, and the creator of the blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed In his role as an aide to Senjem and Koch, he is credited with helping to engineer the Republican takeover of the state senate in 2010. He and Koch were described as “the two most powerful people in the Minnesota Senate.” 

Image result for mike parry mn senate picture

Mike Parry leg.state.mn.us

Brodkorb served as deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party from 2009 to 2011, when he resigned to work for the congressional campaign of Minnesota state senator Mike Parry. Brodkorb abruptly resigned both from his position in the Senate and his position with the Parry campaign in December 2011.

Weeks later, Koch resigned her post as Majority Leader after admitting an “inappropriate relationship” with a male staffer. Brodkorb was fired the next day. MINNESOTA DEMAGOGUES EXPOSED: SENIOR GOP STRATEGIST AND SENATOR COMMIT ADULTERY?

Michael Brodkorb domestic dispute: Wife called 911 because “the level of anger in Michael’s voice scared both her and their three children.

The fall of Michael Brodkorb

Amy Koch Affair: Michael Brodkorb, Fired Minnesota GOP Staffer, Threatens To Expose More Affairs

Image result for Cal Ludeman

Cal Ludeman MN Legislative Reference Library

Brodkorb announced his intention to file litigation against the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Senate and Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman over his termination from the Minnesota Senate. Lawyers representing Brodkorb have announced additional claims against the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Senate and Ludeman over allegations that Ludeman disclosed private unemployment data about Brodkorb in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio. Brodkorb’s attorneys also announced plans to sue for defamation per se over statements Ludeman made in a press release where he accused Brodkorb of attempting to “extort payment from the Senate.”

On May 25, 2012, the Minnesota Senate released legal bills showing they had spent $46,150 to the first 3 months of 2012 to prepare a defense to Brodkorb’s suit. An analysis of the bill by the Associated Press showed the bulk of the $46,150 owed was due to attorneys retained by the Minnesota Senate repeatedly meeting with Ludeman.

On June 19, 2012, the Minnesota Senate announced additional legal bills in the amount of $38,533, bringing the total legal costs incurred by the Minnesota Senate due to the termination of Brodkorb to almost $85,000 since the end of the May 2012. (Click to view)→ Brodkorb, Minn. Senate settle lawsuit for $30,000

Fired Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb tells of ‘palace coup’                                         Gallery For > Dui Logo

On January 23, 2013, Brodkorb was injured in a single-car crash on Interstate 35E when his vehicle hit a concrete wall. He pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was ordered to pay a $500 fine.(Click to view) → Brodkorb DUI   

Michael Brodkorb talks scandal, lawsuit, and new leases on life: The City Pages interview

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Amy Koch MN Legislative Reference Library

Amy Koch, former state Senate leader, breaks silence about her downfall

The Return of Amy Koch?

Michael Brodkorb says he was victim of a plot against Sen. Amy Koch. I get it, I was Michelle MacDonald’s campaign manager when she ran for MN Supreme Court in 2014 and learned the dirty world of politics in a baptism by fire! One would think however, that you wouldn’t pull the same dirty tricks on other victims of the establishment but I guess when you’ve sold your soul, compassion isn’t very high on the list.

For those of you that aren’t regular readers, let me explain Michael Brodkorb’s role in my Case No.19HA-CR-15-4227 which resulted in 6 felony convictions for one alleged “crime” of parental deprivation. (Not kidnapping or abduction which is what the media would have you believe).

Also, there is an affirmative defense for parental deprivation, but when evidence is withheld and suppressed, the defense is useless.   609.26 DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS
Subd. 2. Defenses. It is an affirmative defense if a person charged under subdivision 1 proves that: (1) the person reasonably believed the action taken was necessary to protect the child from physical or sexual assault or substantial emotional harm.

Michael Brodkorb was a blogger for the Star Tribune from April 2014 through May 2016. He flipped from a republican to a democratic mouthpiece for the fake “less liberal” Star Tribune. Brodkorb became obsessed with demonizing and discrediting Michelle MacDonald when she ran for Supreme Court in 2014 against incumbent David Lillehaug (appointed by Governor Dayton). She won the Republican Party’s endorsement but narrowly lost to Lillehaug. The Star Tribune reported that her selection became an embarrassment when MacDonald’s contentious 2013 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving came to light. Never mind the forensic facts of the case:

Today, people are having to spend so muc by Michael Hudson @ Like Success

Michelle MacDonald

Michelle’s case was a traffic stop, and more accurately an unlawful pullover.  Michelle did not have any alcohol on the night she was stopped without probable cause.

  1. After dialogue with the officer about the reason for the stop, she was not asked to take a Breathalyzer or perform a field sobriety test.
  2. She asked to see a judge pursuant to Minnesota Statute 169.91 because it was obvious this officer was using questionable measures to fill his quota and was clearly abusing his power and authority. Any citizen can invoke this statute however, as can be seen from this incident, the system does not take kindly to exposing those who are not playing by the rules.
  3. Michelle was held and released from the Rosemount Police Station with NO CHARGES filed against her.
  4. On her own initiative, she went directly to a hospital for a drug and alcohol blood test to put to rest any questions about this incident. The tests came back zero alcohol and zero drugs. 
  5. Michelle filed an employee complaint against the Police Officer who unlawfully pulled her over.
  6. In response, she received a Citation in the mail with five criminal charges against her including charges for driving under the influence.
The Result: Jury convicts Michelle MacDonald of test refusal and resisting arrest.

MacDonald also filed a complaint against the GOP and several party leaders. She alleges the party threatened her and spread false information about her campaign in an effort to get her to exit the race. She said the party was in violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act. Shocker, the complaint was dismissed by a judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Oh, and by the way, Attorney Michelle MacDonald filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Judge David Knutson in Dakota County, That was shortly before the media suddenly took an interest in the case I was involved in and after she applied for an opening in the MN Supreme Court. MacDonald was the pro bono attorney for the mother in the companion case and filed the suit on her behalf. Judges however, have unlimited immunity from civil prosecution and the case was dismissed. MacDonald was also arrested during the custody trial that was presided over by Judge Knutson for taking a picture during a break. The unyielding attacks against MacDonald continue to this day.

Michael Brodkorb became the main “reporter” in our cases after we were charged and thus began the relentless harassment and stalking in the name of “journalism”.

In September 2015, Michael Brodkorb surreptitiously recorded a conversation he had with me as a Star Tribune reporter and had it turned over to the Lakeville PD. This was prior to my charges in November 2015.

 Excerpt from Evavold Audio

Police Logo

Michael Brodkorb: No, let me just say. I knew David Knutson when he was a state senator, the last time I saw Knutson was, I think in 2007 when Pawlenty was inaugurated for his second term. So that’s the last time I’ve ever seen him that I remember. I have tried repeatedly to interview him, to speak with him, about this case. The person that I’ve probably tried to interview the most, has been David Knutson and anyone affiliated with the court system. I’ve gone down to the court, I’ve called him and I’ve done everything I could to try to get him to speak on the record. I’ve spoken with his clerk and I’ve spoken with everyone that I could possibly think of to try to get him to speak. There is no way and I believe this, if someone reviews the matters involved in this case and doesn’t immediately come to the conclusion that there are problems in the family court system, they are purposely trying for there not to be a problem with the court system, because a blind person could see that.

(I know you’re reading this Mr. Brodkorb so, I think you may want to reconsider your pervasive defamatory posts you are writing about me and refer back to 34′:50″ into the audio that was provided to Lakeville PD).

Image Courtesy of Sira Anamwong freedigitalphotos.net

At any rate, it’s around that time that Brodkorb became a pen for hire to harass and intimidate witnesses, interfere with the legal process and lie with impunity during our trials. Michael Brodkorb currently has a blog that is now entirely dedicated to demonizing and discrediting me to change the narrative in this case and shift the focus away from the true facts. He also added Allison Mann as a contributing author. Who is Allison Mann? Mann is a paralegal with Elliott Law Office and lives in Lakeville, Minnesota. Elliott Law Offices provides legal services to the father involved in this case, but Brodkorb states. “Elliott Law Office is not affiliated with Missing in Minnesota.” Okay, and I’ve got prime swampland to sell you! Also, Allison Mann has been the photographer of the numerous photos taken prior to my false court hearings on my false charges.

For those of you that are new to this site, I was served with a harassment restraining order (HRO), 3 charges for violating the order and a probation violation for allegedly “referencing the family” involved in my case. Protecting reputation is not a government interest and preventing blogging is not a government interest. Suppressing speech rarely is justified by an interest in deterring criminal conduct, and in any event the justification “must be far stronger than mere speculation about serious harms” and supported by “empirical evidence” Barnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S. 514. 530-32, 121 S.Ct 1753, 1763-64, 149 L Ed 2d 787 (2001) (citing U.S. v. Treasury Employees, 513 U.S. 454, 475 (1995))

The malicious HRO is legally meritless and in actuality, a false police report was filed against me. §609.505 Falsely reporting a Crime Subdivision 1. False reporting. Whoever informs a law enforcement officer that a crime has been committed or otherwise provides information to an on-duty peace officer, knowing that the person is a peace officer, regarding the conduct of others, knowing that it is false and intending that the officer shall act in reliance upon it, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who is convicted a second or subsequent time under this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. When you’re above the law however, it just doesn’t matter!

False claims of an immediate and present danger were also made to obtain an ex-parte HRO..Clearly, this is just a retaliatory SLAPP suit in disguise of false criminal conduct with the intent to intimidate, censor, disparage, burden, and punish me for exercising my free speech right to discuss my case and defend myself against the slanderous information being written about me.  I get that the overall goal is to silence any further public debate about the corruption that took place in my false criminal case as well as the false companion criminal cases.

As I’ve posted before, SLAPP stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.” It refers to a lawsuit filed in retaliation for speaking out on a public issue or controversy. You might be “SLAPPed” for actions such as posting a blog entry, posting a comment on another person’s blog, writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper, testifying before the legislature, reporting official misconduct, or circulating a petition. Often, SLAPPs are brought by corporations, developers, or government officials against individuals or community organizations that oppose their actions.

What’s amazing is that Michael Brodkotb was served with a restraining order by a co-defendant during these trials due to real repeated, unwanted and intrusive stalking behaviors (i.e. following and laying in wait to take photos, posting information and spreading false information on the internet to incite others against her).

This is a comment submitted by Pat Terry on MinnPost regarding the HRO against Brodkorb:  “Until there has been a full contested hearing on the matter, this is a non-story and to suggest that Brodkorb’s actions were somehow inappropriate based on an ex-parte hearing involving someone who is quite literally a court-certified liar through her felony conviction, is really unfair.”

The HRO was dismissed but Brodkorb makes the statement, “The chilling effect is that if someone doesn’t like coverage,” he said, “they could go to a courthouse and file what I believe to be a fraudulent document with fictitious information to game the system.”Protective Orders | Restraining Orders | Present Danger of Abuse or Harassment

“I can’t police the Internet. I’m not responsible for what – how people react rawly and aggressively to someone who has been convicted of six counts of deprivation of parental rights. And I’m very responsible in what I write in my content that I’ve written. Sandra has attempted to hold me accountable for other type of activity that appears on the Internet that I that I have no responsibility to police or address. I have a responsibility to watch what I say and how I communicate. But, and make sure it is done in an truthful honest way. And I’ve done so in the entirety in this case. … It’s a classic case of someone crying “Wolf!” Of Chicken Little the sky is falling. And eventually what she becomes is not a responsible and credible critic. Or someone who can be trusted to accurately document what’s going on. … Over the course of my reporting, have people said “I don’t want to comment.”? Sure. I don’t want to comment. And I move on to the next thing. … All for someone who just wrote the stories and approached it from an investigative stand point. … There are precious resources for the court. And we just can’t be wasting their time and money.” AM950RADIO @AM950 Radio [PODCAST]@MattMcNeilShow – Sep 16

We can however keep the taxpayers on the hook by wasting the precious court resources for a personal vendetta against me but I forgot. . . I’m not given special treatment – only special punishments!

A court also dismissed a libel suit against Brodkorb and his blog in 2007 in a case that was described as “breaking new legal ground in the world of blogging”.

Judge tosses libel suit against conservative Minnesota blogger

A judge threw out a libel suit this week against one of Minnesota’s most popular conservative bloggers, issuing a ruling that put the political Web site on the same legal ground as newspapers and broadcast news outlets.

Michael Brodkorb, a political operative behind minnesotademocratsexposed.com, expressed relief at the dismissal.

“I think this goes back to what I said from the beginning, that this was a frivolous lawsuit and the court agreed with me,” he said. “I’m glad that it’s over.”

Below are some of the defamatory posts that Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann have put on their blog: This really is psychological projection at its finest!

If that were true Brodkorb, don’t you think I would have been charged with assaulting a police officer? Interesting that there isn’t any audio or video of my home invasion by the Lakeville PD! What really happened? Inquiring minds want to know don’t they?

Michael Brodkorb is nothing but a political operative consciously discrediting, demonizing, and distorting the good guys for his own financial gain. Again, the real goal is to use the minions and legal system to continue to stalk, harass and intimidate me by dragging me to court, wasting my time on frivolous and false accusations and damaging my reputation. Nothing lasts forever though and all will be revealed whether or not I’m silenced.
Just how far will Dakota County go to silence me? Only time will tell, but if you want to know how over the top the persecution is, take a look at the judges and attorneys involved in attempting to stop any true reporting on this case.

Any questions?

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Michael Brodkorb Exposed: “Search and Destroy” Blogger

Michael Brodkorb is nothing but a political operative consciously discrediting, demonizing, and distorting the good guys for his own financial gain…” ~ Dede Evavold

I’m not into exposing anyone or the “gotcha” stuff…” ~ Michael Brodkorb

Blogger, Dede Evavold, of “Red Herring Alert” recently published an article Inverting Reality (Red Herring Alert) exposing blogger Michael Brodkorb’s coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case as propaganda, and citing specific incidents where he engaged in harassment and defamation against her, under the guise of “journalism”.

Inverting Reality” also discusses Brodkorb’s troubled past , documenting a long history of out of control behavior – a domestic violence incident involving his wife, a sexual fling with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch that ended his political career, and driving while intoxicated, crashed his car and nearly killed himself. In another embarrassment, in 2011, Brodkorb made secret recordings of conversations with his GOP bosses regarding his firing (after his tryst with Amy Koch was exposed) . The recordings revealed, among other things, that Brodkorb was struggling with his mental health – which could explain his erratic behavior. 

Brodkorb also has a reputation for inciting fights within ranks of the Republican party, among his own team , where he was known for screaming fits and personal attacks against others, it said his eruptions could leave fear in his wake..(The Fall of Michael Brodkorb) Another Republican, retired Army Lt. Col. Joe Repya, described Brodkorb as “a ‘thug’ with ‘an intimidating personality’ who ran roughshod over party members, elected officials and even volunteers…’You have to understand how frightened people within the party became of Michael Brodkorb..’ (Michael Brodkorb: Admired, feared and, above all, Republican )

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Brodkorb has also been described as “always pushing the limits..” Brodkorb, once one of the most powerful people in the Senate, used his political knowledge and connections as ammo in carefully crafted blogs designed to attack political targets. Democrats denounced Brodkorb as a “Republican operative” paid to write hit pieces on their candidatesFor his work, Brodkorb was paid very well. Initially Brodkorb began blogging anonymously on Minnesota Democrats Exposed (created in 2004) but in a fit of rage, he accidentally exposed his identity while posting online, and reluctantly, was forced to admit to his clandestine activities. Brodkorb says about MDE,”When you’re writing Minnesota Democrats Exposed you’re waking up every day and looking for a target. Even though that kind of thing drives traffic, it’s not a very fulfilling way to write...” (‘I’m done with partisan politics’: a Q&A with Michael Brodkorb) Due to the insulting content of MDE, Brodkorb was sued for libel – dismissed by a court in 2007. Complaints continued to be raised against Brodkorb to this day. 

 In the end it seems both the Democrats and the Republican got the last laugh – as Brodkorb’s antics resulted in his political career going up in flames.

Setting politics aside, what is really at issue here is Brodkorb’s character, and pattern of bullying that continues to this day, now manifesting in rage towards Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, co-defendant Dede Evavold, and supporters. The venom to which Brodkorb spews on social media rants, and articles, has led many believe that he works on David Rucki’s payroll.

Indeed, all of Brodkorb’s articles on the Grazzini-Rucki case portray Rucki in a sympathetic light and have ignored or minimized Rucki’s lengthy criminal history, as well as the extensive evidence of the abuse Sandra and the children suffered at Rucki’s brutal hands. There is only one side that Brodkorb portrays – and that is of David Rucki.

Let’s take a deeper look…

Brodkorb: “It Was All About Search and Destroy…

History is known to repeat itself, and only history can be trusted to tell the truth about Michael Brodkorb.

In 2004, Brodkorb begins blogging on Minnesota Democrats Exposed. Tactics used on MDE are eerily similar to those used by Brodkorb today, in his coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case, “ When I was writing Minnesota Democrats Exposed, it was all about search and destroy, writing sensational headlines, driving traffic and making mountains out of molehills. It was something I got out of my system… (‘I’m done with partisan politics’: a Q&A with Michael Brodkorb)

Brodkorb’s search and destroy tactics paid off, he became indispensable to political candidates seeking to dig up dirt on opponents, and dedicated his blog to mud slinging. For his work, Brodkorb was paid generously. In November 2006, Brodkorb was the highest paid blogger in the state of Minnesota, generating $55,200 a year to work for the campaign of Rep. Mark Kennedy under the guise of “part time press consultant”. Brodkorb achieved this feat by a narrow margin – Sen. Hillary Clinton, in the #1 position, paid her blogger just $4,800 more than what Brodkorb was earning. (Highest-Paid Campaign Bloggers: Clinton, Kennedy, Santorum)

Public Domain: hdwallpaper20.com

Brodkorb strongly denied that he has ever been paid to blog, but that has proven to be just another one of his many lies. (Bloggers proliferate on campaign rolls)

A blog (from February 2006) documents Brodkorb’s long history working as a paid operative, “Over the past two years, John Kline’s campaign paid $10,000 to Weber Johnson PA, a political consulting firm run by the brother of former Republican Congressman Vin Weber. Oddly enough, the source of many anonymous attacks on Kline’s opponent Coleen Rowley have come from a blogger who is employed by Weber Johnson PA…”  (Kline’s $ To Company That Pays Anonymous Blogger’s Salary? ) WHO led these anonymous attacks? None other than Michael Brodkorb.

Another example, from an expose written in Feb 2012( Brodkorb paid from GOP Senate Victory Fund) reveals that “the Republican Senate Victory Fund paid Michael Brodkorb $7,500 for consulting work on January 31, 2011, as documented in a just-filed campaign finance report. This was in addition to $20,625 in late 2009, and $16,875 paid to Brodkorb for research in 2010. In sum, Brodkorb was paid $45,000 in in sixteen months from the Senate Victory Fund. These payments were in addition to Brodkorb’s state employee salary as a Senate staffer…Brodkorb earned about $90,000 a year in his job as communications chief for Republicans at the Capitol.

Michael Brodkorb made a name for himself, and a career, by playing dirty. Pay Brodkorb enough, he will say anything. He rewrites facts and distorts information. He resorts to personal attacks and defamation without remorse. Brodkorb is not an independent source – he is a check book journalist who cannot be trusted.

An Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong

During the period Brodkorb covered the Grazzini-Rucki case for the Tribune, he was contracted as “just experiment. Terry Sauer, the Tribune’s assistant managing editor for digital, gave a temporary offer to Brodkorb to write political editorials to balance the Liberal editorials published by the paper. The Tribune did not contract Brodkorb to write about the Grazzini-Rucki case; Brandon Stahl had already begun to to cover the case, and at the time was a popular reporter in Minnesota. Brodkorb’s assignment with the Tribune quickly turned into an obsession with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki that spun out of control when he became the mouthpiece for David Rucki, and began to suppress critical facts and evidence in the case to cover up the abuse of Sandra and the children, as well as the illegal activities of the court.

Brodkorb admits that he was attracted to David Rucki from their first meeting in April 2015 (Why I Wrote About the Rucki Case )Meeting David Rucki was one of my most emotional moments in writing about the case…. Physically, David is a big man – tall and broad. But his face looked lost and sullen. You could see the pain and sadness as he spoke about his missing daughters.

At one point, I was so overcome I had to excuse myself from our table at a restaurant in Minneapolis. I went to the restroom, splashed cold water on my face and took a moment to compose myself.”

An amber alert was never issued for the missing Rucki teens, and the police had stopped searching for them; presuming, correctly, that they were runaways. In their absence, David Rucki was given custody of all five children; at the time of the custody order he was on probation for violating a protective order against ex-wife Sandra. Rucki had also been ordered into anger management numerous times, which did nothing to quell his rage. Judge David Knutson, family court judge, ignored abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children and the evidence supporting their cries for help. The courts should have protected the Rucki children but, instead, sent them into the custody of a dangerous abuser, whom they have not been able to escape from. You will never hear about any of these facts in Brodkorb’s reporting.

For what Brodkorb had previously been paid, the Tribune wasn’t offering much. Sauer says he paid Brodkorb a modest salary – just “hundreds a month” – apparently he wasn’t worth even that! Brodkorb’s political articles failed to gain public interest; and his involvement in the Grazzini-Rucki case became the subject of controversy. The Tribune had enough of this “experiment” and in May 2016, ended their contract with Brodkorb. Sauer said about cutting ties with Brodkorb, “It really is all about us moving in another direction with the budget we’ve got.” (Brodkorb on the end of his Star Tribune blog: ‘It was never meant to be a forever thing’)

Apologetically Sauer offers to give Brodkorb a job reference.. is that sincere or just lip service? How many times do girls break up with their boyfriends and offer to “just be friends”. Same thing.

A Village Missing It’s Idiot in Minnesota

For the past several years, Brodkorb has spent long days and nights in front of a blinking screen, obsessively covering the Grazzini-Rucki case, while life goes on around him.

Blogger Dede Evavold, of Red Herring Alert, a victim, reflects, “Brodkorb became a pen for hire to harass and intimidate witnesses, interfere with the legal process and lie with impunity during our trials.

Michael Brodkorb currently has a blog that is now entirely dedicated to demonizing and discrediting me to change the narrative in this case and shift the focus away from the true facts.

He also added Allison Mann as a contributing author. Who is Allison Mann? Mann is a paralegal with Elliott Law Office and lives in Lakeville, Minnesota. Elliott Law Offices provides legal services to the father involved in this case, but Brodkorb states. ‘Elliott Law Office is not affiliated with Missing in Minnesota.’ Okay, and I’ve got prime swampland to sell you! Also, Allison Mann has been the photographer of the numerous photos taken prior to my false court hearings on my false charges…” Inverting Reality (Red Herring Alert)

Allison Mann: Paralegal Elliott Law Offices | Author: Missing in Minnesota (Source: Twitter)

Has Brodkorb been paid for his coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case, and online attacks against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and supporters?

Let’s Take a Look at Brodkorb’s Record:

*History of working as a blogger paid to write propaganda, and generate attacks against targets. Lies about receiving payments for writing blogs.

*Strong interest in Judge David L. Knutson, family law judge assigned to Grazzini-Rucki case. Previous connection to Knutson while working in the Senate.

*Has an emotional breakdown after meeting David Rucki, flees to the bathroom to splash cold water on himself in order to compose himself.

*Contracted to write political commentary for the Star Tribune then radically shifts focus to cover Grazzini-Rucki case, at a time that case was already being covered by a well-known reporter.

* Admitted has no prior interest in investigating missing children when becomes focused on Grazzini-Rucki case.

*Interfering in active police investigation while covering Grazzini-Rucki case for Star Tribune. One example – speaking to a witness, who was sought for questioning by police, and influencing her testimony before the police were able to talk with her.

*Attaches himself exclusively to David Rucki at all court hearings.

*Coverage of Grazzini-Rucki case is one sided, always supportive of David Rucki. Suppresses documentation and evidence that is contrary to the narrative he pushes.

*Lying, exaggerating or distorting information about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede Evavold, and supporters.

*Exclusively focuses on Grazzini-Rucki case and no other case involving family court issues.

*Devoted a blog to coverage of Grazzini-Rucki case in a similar fashion to previous blogs he created to attack political opponents. The public is not given all the facts or evidence available in the case.

*Brodkorb’s blog is the only blog that has not been threatened with legal action by David Rucki to stop reporting on the Grazzini-Rucki case.

*Brodkorb’s blog is the only blog that has not been criticized or threatened with legal action by Judge Karen Asphaug, and Dakota County, for its coverage of the Grazzini-Rucki case.

*The Carver County Corruption blog was shut down after Rucki and his high buck attorney, Marshall Tanick, threatened legal action against the blog owner. When clicking on old links to Carver County Corruption, the site opens to Brodkorb’s blog devoted to the Grazzini-Rucki case.

*Allison Mann, paralegal with Elliott Law Office, contributing author to Brodkorb’s blog

*Brodkorb’s work and efforts serve only to promote David Rucki’s interests.

More Soon…

 

 

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 🙂

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

Public Domain: pdpics.com

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:

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.

 

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

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.

Judge David L Knutson (source: http://lionnews00.blogspot.com)

Judge David L Knutson (source: http://lionnews00.blogspot.com)

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.

Minnesota Court Overturns Mom’s Conviction Sends Message of Hope

Caroline Rice Appeals Court Decision Minnesota

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.

I recommend readers watch the full episode of Speechless MN with Tim Kinley, and check out other pertinent videos on Tim’s Speechless MN You Tube Channel!

Unwarranted: Was the Arrest Warrant Against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki Improperly Handled?

wantedposter2a

In August 2015, a sealed warrant for the arrest of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was “accidentally” posted on the public webpage of the Dakota County Sheriff’s office leading to the warrant being widely published, and shared, in news media outlets across the country.

Sensitive information about the sealed warrant was also given to abusive ex-husband, David Rucki, from The Star Tribune. This means that David was given information, and knew about, the arrest warrant BEFORE Sandra did. 

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie claims the leak was just a “glitch”. Dakota County’s mishanding of Sandra’s arrest warrant is NOT just a “glitch” – it is a serious error that has violated Sandra’s due process rights, and the questionable way the arrest warrant was handled may have greater legal implications.

Could this “glitch” cost Dakota County their case against Sandra? A recent court ruling states that improper service is grounds for dismissal; certainly in this case, there was not only improper service but outright negligence to protect information so sensitive that the judge ordered the warrant to be sealed. 

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie (courtesy photo)

 

Signed, Sealed, but NOT Delivered

When someone is suspected of a crime, law enforcement obtains a warrant of arrest which is a document signed by a judge authorizing the detention of an individual, or authorizing the search and seizure of an individual’s property.

In the case of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, a nation wide warrant for arrest was submitted by Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn M. Keena before a judge, and put under a seal on August 12, 2015. Sandra was charged with 3 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights. According to Keena a seal was needed “because disclosure could cause defendant to flee, hide, or otherwise prevent execution of the warrant. The seal was to last until Sandra is arrested, and returned to the state.

Amended Warrant Against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

NOTE: Sandra is a flight attendant with an impeccable service record; she works with the public in her job, and has never been a danger to anyone. Just the opposite, Sandra has a reputation for providing a high quality care to customers, and is known for her easy smile, and gentle approach. Sandra has been staying in Florida in between flights, she has a squeaky-clean background, and has no prior criminal history.  

Was a Sealed Warrant Necessary?

A seal means that the warrant is filed in secret, and its existence will not be made public. The subject of the warrant has no idea that they are wanted on charges until they are apprehended. A sealed warrant is usually reserved for special circumstances where public knowledge may jeopardize the investigation and/or issuance of the warrant.

Putting a seal on an arrest warrant is NOT a common procedure; and is even more extraordinary when used against an ordinary Minnesota Mom. Sandra has no prior criminal history, and has attended all scheduled court dates (related to ongoing custody issues) – even travelling from out of state to do so. Sandra has also worked at the same job for over 20 years, and maintains a stable lifestyle. She posed absolutely no risk of danger to anyone, and was certainly not a flight risk. 

Further, the police knew exactly where to find Sandra – according to the police report, the Lakeville police had previously issued search warrants for the airline she worked for, and had no problem finding out her address, phone number, bank account information and employment information. Sandra was being monitored before the warrant was issued. While this was happening, Sandra maintained her normal routine, and did not display any signs that she would evade any legal process.

A summons to appear at a court date would have been sufficient, rather than going to these unnecessary and costly, efforts used by Dakota County. Further, criminal charges are NOT evidence of guilt.  A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Somebody’s Watching Me… (Free Image: http://www.acclaimimages.com)

Sealed Warrant Goes Public Due to a “Glitch”

Despite the exhaustive efforts of Dakota County to seal the arrest warrant, there was a glitch (or perhaps a leak?) and out of all the warrants entered in the system…somehow only the sealed warrant belonging to Sandra was “accidentally” posted publicly on the Dakota County Sheriff’s website.

And if that was not bad enough (gasp!) the Star Tribune, who had been in contact with Lakeville police for months, was alerted and went public, announcing an arrest warrant had been issued for Sandra.

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

 

Brandon Stahl, Star Tribune, source: YouTube

Followed by Michael Brodkorb, a former reporter with Star Tribune, posting an update on August 21st on his Twitter feed, mentioning the supposedly sealed arrest warrant: https://twitter.com/mbrodkorb/status/634764171125592064

The Star Tribune then informed Sandra’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, about the sealed warrant…and gleefully spread the news across multiple social media venues. The seal had been broken on the warrant as the news spread nationwide thanks to the special efforts made by Stahl and Brodkorb at the Star Tribune. Keep in mind one of the common reasons that a warrant is sealed is to prevent news of the warrant from reaching the media, who could compromise the case with disclosure.

By “coincidence” a local news outlet reports on the close relationship between Lt. Jason Polinski of the Lakeville Police Department and the Star Tribune, who was working on the Grazzini-Rucki case, “A Star Tribune story in April provided new information that helped police build a case for an arrest warrant for Grazzini-Rucki, who previously was considered a “person of interest,” in the case, Polinski said. ” Police looking for mother in disappearance of daughters in Minnesota

Even David Rucki himself acknowledged the connection,”..Rucki added he was “very grateful” for the assistance of law enforcement and media attention..” David had alot to be “grateful” for considering Michael Brodkorb of The Star Tribune tipped him off about the sealed warrant. Father of missing Lakeville sisters ‘relieved’ by warrant for ex-wife’s arrest

At that point there is no reason for the warrant to remain sealed. Instead, providing Sandra with a notice to appear in court would have been appropriate. Instead, Dakota County relentlessly pursued Sandra. At great cost to tax payers, Dakota County had the warrant removed from the public website and then re-sealed. Sandra was later apprehended by U.S. Marshalls, in Florida, and transported across the country to be brought back to Minnesota to answer to criminal charges. 

Keep in mind that Sandra works as a flight attendant, and she could have easily arranged her own transportation back to the state – as she had done numerous times in the past to answer to proceedings related to her custody dispute.

Recent Case Presents Compelling Reason for Dismissal

The significance of the sealed warrant being publicly posted, and then making the news outlets, is that information about the sealed warrant was not only improperly released but also improperly served. You can not “re-seal” a sealed warrant that has been this compromised; it serves no purpose. Even more important, every individual is protected by laws designed to uphold personal liberty. These laws are in place to limit the government’s ability to take our freedom or property without due process. 

In the 2011 case of Jones v. Brown County (Civil No. 11-CV-568, SRN/FLN) the District Court found that, “ Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5), improper service of process may be grounds for dismissal. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(5). In this case, none of the defendants have been properly served. “

The Court then dismissed a claim made against Brown County because, “It is clear that process was not properly served in this case. “ And, “With regard to the individual defendants, under Minnesota Law service may be effectuated “by delivering a copy [of the summons and complaint] to the individual personally or by leaving a copy at the individual’s usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein.” Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.03(a). The only attempt at service upon the individual defendants in this case was by mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the county offices in which these defendants work. These mailings did not constitute service by mail, as the mailings did not include two copies of Form 22, or a substantially similar notice and acknowledgment form, as required by Minnesota law. Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05. Plaintiffs failed to meet the requirements for service upon an individual. Plaintiffs claims should be dismissed for insufficient service of process…

And because Plaintiffs improperly served the original Complaint, this action was never properly commenced. See R. 3.01. “ Source: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-mnd-0_11-cv-00568/pdf/USCOURTS-mnd-0_11-cv-00568-1.pdf

Given that the sealed warrant was improperly served, the Prosecutor’s Office should promptly dismiss all charges. Plz stay tuned to the Justice 4 Grazzini-Rucki Family blog for news and updates!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalimages.net

 

An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. “ ~ Mahatma Gandhi