Dede Evavold on HRO: When We Lose Free Speech

An update from Dede Evavold on the recent HRO issued against her, and the suppression of free speech (re-posted from Red Herring Alert):

When We Lose Free Speech-We Lose Everything

“Most of you are aware of the fact that I was maliciously prosecuted and falsely convicted in the State of Minnesota vs Deirdre Evavold Case No.19HA-CR-15-4227

On July 31st, 2017, I was also served with a false harassment restraining order (HRO) signed by the very judge that presided over my criminal trial. Affidavit for HRO. 

Anyhow, the restraining order was issued ex parte and the petitioner indicated that he is not requesting a hearing at this time. In order for me to access the courts for a hearing to have this harassing harassment order dismissed, I have to pay a $300 filing fee. I have already been charged thousands of dollars in court fees from the courtroom, to jail, to probation. This is the continued legal harassment that I am under because I refuse to accept the continued injustices being thrown at me…

Source: Red Herring Alert

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Appellate Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case

** BREAKING NEWS ** From Michael Volpe and PPJ Gazette reporting on the appellate cases of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold

Briefs Reveal More Shocking Behavior in Rucki Case.

“In separate response briefs to pro se attorneys, the Dakota County Prosecutor’s Office has acknowledged jury tampering, misdirected an allegation of witness tampering, and refused to respond to address all allegations of judicial misconduct in the Rucki case.

The briefs from Dakota County Prosecutor James Backstrom were in response to briefs filed by Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, both representing themselves.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom

 

Evavold has been representing herself after the state ruled her too well off to receive an attorney while Grazzini-Rucki was represented but was so disgusted by her attorney’s brief that she filed one on her own.

Her attorney, Steven Russett, who was provided by the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender’s Office, did not respond to an email and voicemail for comment.

In the most startling admission, the prosecutors acknowledge- responding to Grazzini-Rucki- that a reporter approached the jury while they were in a common area during a lunch break and asked if any wanted to be interviewed when the trial ended.

The reporter’s name is Laura Adelmann, who works for the Sun Current, the hometown newspaper of Lakeville, Minnesota, where the Rucki’s live. “There was one occasion during trial in which it was it was reported to Judge Asphaug that a reporter (I.E. Laura Adelmann) had approached the jurors while they were eating in the common area of the courthouse and asked if she could interview them after the trial was over.” Backstrom’s brief stated.

 This incident occurred on Friday July 18, 2016, while the trial was ongoing, and on Monday July 21, 2016, Judge Asphaug issued this statement to the court gallery.

I also received information that a member of the press approached our jurors last week and asked if jurors would be willing to speak after the trial. It is- I am ordering that you may not approach the jurors in the common area of the courthouse. It is- it has a chilling effect. It concerns jurors don’t do it.” An email to Adelmann was left unreturned. A voicemail to her editor, Tad Johnson, was also left unreturned.

Judge Karen Asphaug

Though the trial was covered internationally there was not one story which referred to Asphaug’s statement while the trial was ongoing.

Emails to Karen Zamora and Brandon Stahl, who each covered parts of the trial for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, were left unreturned.

An email to Michael Brodkorb, who has boasted that he covered each day of the trial, was also left unreturned.

Emails to 20/20 host, Elizabeth Vargas, and her two producers, Beth Mullin and Sean Dooley, were also left unreturned; 20/20 covered parts of the trial though it’s not clear if they were there that day.

Beau Berentson said “Our office does not conduct legal research,” in an email.

But when asked if an investigation had been started or if anyone had been disciplined for allowing press to get so close to the jury- a major break in protocol according to everyone this reporter spoke with- Berentson did not respond.

While lawyers who spoke with this reporter said it was unprecedented that press would ever get so close to a jury during trial, they were split on its significance.

Michael McCray, a United States Department of Agriculture whistleblower and lawyer, said he believed that such an interaction would cause all sorts of thoughts to enter a jury’s head “not one will be about the merits of the case.”

Lee Dryer is a Nashville attorney and part-time judge.

No trial is perfect,” Dryer said, but was less concerned since nothing about the case was discussed.

Dryer said he was more concerned with an allegation of witness tampering; Samantha Rucki, Grazzini-Rucki’s daughter who ran away, responded to Kelli Coughlin a Lakeville Police Department Detective, who asked her if she was at a police interview conducted approximately a month before her mother’s trial.

This police interview occurred approximately a month prior to her mother’s trial on June 30, 2016.

They (her father and his sister) basically said I have to (go to the interview) and I have to be here and I have to recant everything I said and it’s going and that’s the way it’s gonna be- and they made me feel guilty about it and I started to cry.” Samantha responded when asked if she was at the interview of her own free will.

Judge Asphaug refused to allow the interview into Grazzini-Rucki’s trial, Samantha Rucki testified by Skype, with her aunt, grandmother, and attorney in the same room but not in camera, her father was listening in from outside the door.

David Rucki Facebook April 2016, Public Statement About Missing Daughters

Furthermore, Judge Asphaug would only allow a limited number of questions. Samantha then downplayed the abuse and claimed she ran away to get away from a bad divorce.

Dryer said that having Samantha testify by Skype raises sixth amendment issues, of a defendant confronting their accuser.

Judge Asphaug argued that Samantha was too fragile to see her mother, but child rape victims are forced to confront their alleged rapist if that rapist is to be convicted.

In their response brief, prosecutors argued that since they weren’t directly involved in the witness tampering, they shouldn’t be held responsible.

Appellant (Evavold) fails to detail what misconduct Respondent (Dakota County Prosecutor) engaged in. In support of her argument, Appellant points to an interview that was conducted by law enforcement of SVR (Samantha). Appellant is under the misbelief that Respondent somehow coerced SVR into providing the statement and that SVR lied in the statement.

The prosecutor’s brief only alludes to a police interview but does not detail what Samantha said in the interview.

Dede Evavold also argued that there was judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, charges not answered by Backstrom.

Judge Asphaug placed herself on Evavold’s, Grazzini-Rucki’s, and the Dahlen’s cases, and refused to recuse herself when each of the four defendants asked.

Furthermore, in 2010, she appears to have fixed a case for David Rucki.

On September 8, 2009, David Rucki went into a fit of rage against his neighbors while they were escorting approximately a dozen two and three-year-old children to the daycare facility they ran.

Complainant stated his wife, two children, and six daycare kids ages three and under were in the driveway when suspect (David Rucki) approached. He stated the suspect threatened his wife, his son, and called them all assholes while standing in the cul-de-sac in front of their home. While I was speaking with the complainant, he informed me that the suspect drove by as we were speaking and put up his middle finger on his left hand at him. Complainant said that they have had on-going harassment type issues with the suspect and his dogs as a result of operating a home daycare facility. He said suspect’s dogs repeatedly come into his yard when daycare parents and kids arrive, barking and growling and the guests as the children are dropped off. He said they have tried to talk to the suspect in the past to mediate the situation, but that he no longer feels comfortable due to elevated language and behavior.

Rucki was charged with disorderly conduct and the case came in front of Judge Asphaug. On the eve of trial, Asphaug dismissed the case for a lack of probable cause, an inexplicable decision which has never been explained.

Lack of probable cause applies to cases with little or no evidence not an incident witnessed by several adults and approximately twelve children. Furthermore, if a case is dismissed due to a lack of probable cause it would be during normal pre-trial hearings, not on the eve of trial, and there’s no evidence that any sort of motion was even filed to trigger this.

Asphaug proceeded to exclude approximately 90% of the evidence of abuse: including David Rucki’s police report, all Child Protective Services reports, all orders for protection against David Rucki, and letters, from Sandra Grazzini Rucki’s, Dede Evavold’s, and the Dahlen’s trials.

Backstrom’s office provided answers to most of the charges of judicial misconduct but not all.

For instance, in their reply brief, the prosecution claims that Grazzini-Rucki only referred to three items as being excluded: The Fox 9 Newscast from June 2013, the GPS tracker from when David Rucki placed a tracker under Grazzini-Rucki’s friend and advocate’s car, Michael Rhedin, and Social Services records.

Assistant Dakota County Attorney, Kathryn Keena

But while Grazzini-Rucki did complain about these, and their exclusion is significant, police reports, letters, and other recordings were also excluded; Sandra Grazzini-Rucki complained of clear judicial bias.

The prosecution downplayed in its brief the breadth of the evidence excluded during trial.

Backstrom’s office did not respond to emails for comment.”

Grazzini-Rucki Case Suggests Witness Tampering, Continued Abuse of Runaway Rucki Girl

gavel

Because the witness told investigators that her father made her change her story and her story did in fact change from previous statements, it is apparent that witness tampering occurred.” – Motion filed by the Dahlens 12/23/2016

(Dakota County, Minn): More evidence supporting that David Rucki has abused his children in the past, and continues to emotionally and psychologically abuse S.R. emerges from the criminal trial of Doug and Gina Dahlen…

Doug and Gina Dahlen, the couple who sheltered S.R. and G.R. on their therapeutic horse ranch for 2 1/2 years, filed a motion to request an evidentiary hearing regarding witness tampering on 12/23/2016 in Dakota County. (The Dahlens have since plead “guilty” for felony charges of parental deprivation under questionable circumstances).

Read the motion in it’s entirety: Dakota County accused of witness tampering in Doug and Gina Dahlen case

Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen

The motion was filed to request a hearing to determine whether witness tampering has occurred. The alleged witness tampering is based on David Rucki, the Lakeville P.D. and Dakota County’s treatment towards S.R. – one of the teen girls who fled after Judge David L. Knutson placed her in an unsafe environment.

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

Public Domain: http://chainimage.com/

THE DAHLENS: RUCKI SISTERS DISCLOSE ABUSE

The motion details the heart wrenching day that S.R. and G.R. came to the Dahlen family. In late April of 2013, both girls came to the ranch, and according to the motion,”When the girls arrived, both were very emotional, crying and appeared scared. Both girls appeared extremely fearful to the Dahlens. In fact, the Dahlens had never seen two girls so visibly and physically frightened. In essence, they were scared for their lives.

S.R. and G.R. had good reason to be afraid of David Rucki. When the girls became more comfortable with the Dahlens, they shared their fears, and painful memories. According to the motion, the girls told the Dahlens that Rucki made threats, displayed sexually inappropriate behavior, and police were called a number of times after he violated restraining orders.

frisked

According to the Dahlens, the girls reported that they were scared of Rucki and he “had a habit of peeking in outside windows..” The Dahlens said talking about their home life, and the thought of returning to the care of their father (Rucki) made S.R. and G.R. so upset that they would shake and become physically sick “with fear and panic“.

It should be noted that S.R. exhibited the same emotional and physical symptoms as to what the Dahlens observed when she was questioned by social workers and police after she had been recovered; when making statements regarding her home life prior to the divorce, abuse and the events leading up to when she ran away. The difference is that the Dahlens correctly identified S.R.’s reaction as a traumatic response, but when S.R. was put back under the control of Dakota County the abuse cover up continued and S.R. was labelled “fragile” and in need of de-programming.

The motion states that Dahlens permitted S.R. and G.R. to stay at their Ranch because they reasonably believed that the girls were at risk for physical, sexual or emotional harm if they returned.

S.R. and her sister G.R. went into hiding, living with the Dahlens for 2 1/2 years. In an interview with ABC 20/20, Gina Dahlen says the teen girls “made a new life” for themselves on the Ranch, and they were free to leave anytime they wanted but chose to stay. While staying on the Ranch, S.R. and G.R. were home schooled. The girls did chores on the Ranch, and helped with the website – but never used the internet to contact their father or make an effort to return to Lakeville, where they lived. Dahlen says there was no effort to conceal the girls, they used their real names and went into town, socializing with others.

This is also confirmed in social worker notes, taken from an interview conducted after the S.R. and G.R. were discovered living on the Ranch in November 2015, (Social Service Records – Rucki ) “The girls appeared well cared for and like it at the (redacted).”

The social worker reports that S.R. told her,”It was so great up there.” And,”They were given hugs and love. She loves Doug and Gina and says Gina was like a mom to her.

S.R. also told the social worker about the abusive, dysfunctional home environment created by her father, David Rucki, and warned that she would run if placed back into his custody.

G.R. says this about the Dahlens,”She feels Doug and Gina gave up their lives for them. She feels at peace there, they talked about God and read the Bible. They taught her to forgive.

When asked about her father, G.R. told the social worker, “She still feels fear of dad… She does not want to live with him and she feels he still has control over her. She does not feel mom played role in her thoughts or feelings about her dad.” G.R. also stated that she will run if made to return to dad.

TRANSITIONING FAMILIES INVOLVED IN WITNESS TAMPERING?

(Note: Inquiry by Justice blog.. these comments are NOT part of the Dahlen’s motion)

It is unknown if S.R. or G.R. have attempted to run away again but it is known that the sisters were put through intensive de-programming (aka mind control) and reunification therapy at Transitioning Families, a  ranch  situated in a remote location in California. It could be argued that David Rucki’s efforts to put S.R. and G.R. in the program at Transitioning Families is a form of witness tampering.

Transitioning Families was chosen because if the girls did attempt to run away they would have no place to go. Court records state that S.R. and G.R. were both willing to attend therapy in Minnesota, and promised not to run if placed in a foster home. There was no need to send the sisters to California because they could undergo therapy in Minnesota, where they live, and where they would receive ongoing treatment (if needed). There would be no risk of running if the girls were placed in a foster home, and allowed to transition back into their lives at their own pace and comfort level.  But that didn’t happen.

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Dr. Rebecca Bailey, Transitioning Families

Therapist Dr. Rebecca Bailey, of Transitioning Families, facilitated reunification between David Rucki and the girls. At the time of reunification, Rucki was on probation after being convicted of a violent road rage incident. Yet Bailey showed no concern for the safety of the girls, despite Rucki’s lengthy criminal record, that included being referred to anger management and psychological testing as part of probation. In an interview with a local paper, Rucki says Dr. Bailey determined that he does not pose a danger to anyone after an incident where he was kicked in the privates by a pony, and did not show signs of violence. However, that incident does not qualify as a valid psychological assessment, or involve the use of acceptable medical practices. Evidence suggests that Dr. Bailey ignored and/or dismissed abuse allegations raised by the Rucki children, as well as evidence supporting that abuse did occur. Dr. Bailey also failed to consider Rucki’s history or do a risk assessment when forcing the S.R. and G.R. (and their siblings) into reunification. The end result of the Transitioning Families program was that adults who are skilled in psychology used isolation and programming tactics to get two vulnerable, frightened teenage girls to recant abuse allegations. From the motion filed by the Dahlens (p. 5) “Intimidate can simply mean to make timidIn the Eighth Circuit, exhortations to remain loyal to one’s people or family is sufficient to support a conviction for witness tampering...”

The way testimony was taken from S.R. during the criminal trial of her mother could also be considered witness tampering. During her criminal trial, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki attempted to subpoena S.R. (who had turned 18) and G.R. to appear and testify. Grazzini-Rucki’s efforts were challenged by both David Rucki and his attorney, Lisa Elliott, and by Prosecutor Kathryn Keena. Their arguments were supported by Dr. Bailey, who wrote a letter to the Court, stating she did not feel the girls were capable of testifying and recommended that if S.R.. were to testify it should be by video only. Dr. Bailey’s letter was submitted to Judge Karen Asphaug for review. Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney were not given a copy, nor allowed to read it. Judge Asphaug agreed with the recommendation, G.R. was not allowed to testify and S.R. could testify by video only.

S.R. testified by video conferencing under extremely unusual circumstances. S.R. was out of view of the jury and present with her in the room was father, David Rucki, paternal aunt Tammy Jo Love (her fear of Love caused S.R. to run away), and both paternal grandparents and an armed bailiff. The defense attorney was limited in the questions he could ask and evidence of abuse was suppressed.

According to the motion (p. 5),”Witness tampering can be overt or subtle and includes emotional manipulation…The Minnesota Supreme Court has recognized that even ‘general or specific threats of reprisal’ would constitute witness intimidation…The Court has also acknowledged that  the mere presence of spectators in the courtroom can result in witness intimidation.

BASIS FOR THE WITNESS TAMPERING MOTION

Doug and Gina Dahlen raise a compelling, and legally sound, argument that witness tampering involving S.R. did occur.

From the time S.R. and G.R. stayed at the Ranch until their tearful good-bye, the girls have consistently told the same story about the abuse they have endured at the hands of their father, and the failure of the family court to protect them, is the reason why they ran away, to seek safety. Upon return to Rucki’s care, S.R. told law enforcement that she was  pressured and guilted to recant by her father and Tammy Love. S.R. also stated that court paperwork was “all over the house“, that the issue was constantly raised, and she could not get away from it.  When S.R. did give a statement to police, it was Rucki who drove her to the police station.

Journalist Michael Volpe has extensively researched the Grazzini-Rucki case, and has uncovered another aspect of possible witness tampering involving the same incident: David Rucki claims indigence, hires two private lawyers This article offers additional insight on the questionable interview with S.R. and police, conducted on June 30, 2016. During the interview, S.R. reveals that she had been reading about her family’s involvement with the court system on the Carver County Corruption blog. S.R. said she discovered the site after going to the library, logging onto a computer, and doing an internet search on her name.

At the time of the interview the Carver County Corruption blog had been permanently shut down. Another blogger writing about the Grazzini-Rucki case had removed articles she had written from her blog, and stopped covering the case altogether. These events happened in response to a June 7, 2016 letter written to the blog owners from a law firm employed by David Rucki. The letter implied the bloggers could face “various civil claims” against them and “litigation seeking substantial damages“. As a result, the blog articles were taken down, and S.R. was no longer able to freely access information offering another perspective on the case. It should also be noted that the Carver County Corruption blog gave S.R. a voice because it posted letters and comments she provided to the courts. In a broader perspective, shutting down the blogs has also limited the public’s access to information and documentation regarding the Grazzini-Rucki case; and attempted to make one viewpoint – that of David Rucki – the dominant source of information.

LAKEVILLE POLICE IMPLICATED IN WITNESS TAMPERING

The Dahlen motion also implicates Lakeville police in witness tampering, stating that (p. 8), “Law enforcement investigators in this case apparently avoided asking SVR questions which would develop responses favoring the affirmative defense. Anytime the possibility arose that David Rucki would be portrayed in a negative light, Detective Coughlin backed off.

During the June 30th interview, S.R. told Det. Coughlin that she was brought to the interview against her free will, and pressured and guilted into recanting abuse allegations by Rucki and Love. The pressure was so intense that S.R. began to cry.

The motion states that Det. Coughlin never asked S.R. to elaborate when speaking about issues related to abuse. And that S.R.’s statement to police shows change from the story she has consistently told prior to being recovered. S.R.’s testimony takes yet another turn in court, where claims to not have seen or remembered abuse, and stated that she was not in her right mind when speaking to police.

Perhaps the impact of reunification therapy at Transitioning Families has taken its toll? Perhaps Rucki and Love have finally crushed her spirit? What has not changed is that S.R. remains tearful, emotional and her body language indicates trauma – she shakes or curls up into a ball when questioned. And that is the tragedy of the Grazzini-Rucki case, that the court system has completely failed to protect the Rucki children from the abuse they endured and witnessed, and instead protected the abuser, to the detriment of the children.

The Dahlen motion has not only raised concerns about witness tampering but at its core, it is a statement that raises serious concerns that S.R. (and the other Rucki children) is being emotionally and psychologically abused and continue to be at risk in the care of David Rucki.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impoverished David Rucki Hires 2 Private Law Firms

David Rucki - Screenshot taken from ABC video. Source: CDN.

David Rucki – Screenshot taken from ABC video. Source: CDN.

David Rucki claims indigence, hires two private lawyers by Michael Volpe (CDN)

(Lakeville, Minnesota) “New information shows that David Rucki, whose contentious divorce and custody case received national media attention, hired two private law firms at the same time he claimed he was on public assistance.”

Attempts to further investigate have been challenged,“An email to James Backstrom, the head prosecutor whose office prosecuted Sandra Grazzini-Rucki for her role in her daughters’ disappearance, asking if this apparent welfare fraud would be prosecuted was left unreturned.

An email to Lakeville, Minnesota, David Rucki’s home town, Mayor Matt Little was also left unreturned; Little put out a Facebook post when the news of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s conviction was publicized congratulating Backstrom’s office; CDN asked Little if he favored an investigation of David Rucki into this alleged welfare fraud in the interest of fairness…”

Some additional information:

1. Lisa M. Elliott filed a responsive affidavit in July 2015, stating she has represented David Rucki since May 2011 and charges $310 an hour for her services.

 

Responsive Affidavit, Lisa Elliot, 7/2/2015

Responsive Affidavit, Lisa Elliot, 7/2/2015

 

2. The second attorney is Marshall H. Tanick, who represented Rucki in writing letters to two blog administrators, threatening civil claims “…that could lead to litigation seeking substantial damages against you and others“. Hellmuth and Johnson letter to Dede Evavold on behalf of David Rucki It is not clear if Rucki continues to retain Marshall H. Tanick.

3. Dede Evavold has filed a witness tampering complaint against Rucki in connection with this letter: Dede’s Criminal Complaint For Witness Tampering Against David Rucki & Former Star Tribune Hack Michael Brodkorb

The letter was sent to Mayor Matt Little (Lakeville), who is reportedly refusing to accept the complaint.

Dede wrote in her complaint: “After returning home on Sunday, June 12, 2016 I found what I consider a harassing and threatening extortion letter in my mailbox. The extortion letter was from David Rucki’s attorney Marsahll H. Tanick, Attorney at Law, Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC.

I had a reasonable suspicion the wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated claims contained in the harassing and threatening extortion letter were meant to intimidate me into deleting the blog, Red Herring Alert, that I shared with Susan Carpenter. I also had a reasonable suspicion that Rucki’s harassing and threatening extortion letter was designed to coerce me into changing not only my plea but to coerce me into changing my testimony in Sandra’s rigged case.”

4. A complaint was previously filed against Tammy Jo Love, David Rucki’s sister, for medical assistance fraud in 2014.

Allegations include: Receiving medical assistance (MA) benefits for the Rucki children who do not live with her, and do not qualify for MA. Abusing her license as a chiropractor to illegally gain access to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the children’s private medical information.

No public information is available on what happened after this complaint was filed; it appears no action was taken. Criminal charges were not filed.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/312673149/Tammy-Jo-Love-Ma-Fraud-Report-to-Dhs

Rucki is now employed with a trucking business being held in the name of his sister, T.L. Rucki Trucking. Rucki claims he has no ownership in T.L. Rucki Trucking, but reports that he is running the business from his home.  At the same time, Love’s vacation rental condo is listed as the business address. Paystubs issued from T.L. Rucki Trucking have been submitted to the Court to support Rucki’s statement that he is impoverished, and qualifies for medical assistance.

David Rucki’s Attorney, Lisa Elliott.  (Source: Red Herring Alert)

David Rucki’s Attorney, Lisa Elliott. (Source: Red Herring Alert)

 

5. Lisa Elliot has been implicated in a complaint of mortgage fraud involving David Rucki: Another Day in Lawless Lakeville: Fraud & Financial Abuse Allegations Surround David Rucki

Mortgage Fraud Allegations, Ireland Place. Rucki was accused of laundering money through real estate transactions. Other allegations include: Mortgage stacking, Title washing and Foreclosure fraud. Others accused involved: Robert Shingledecker, Sawbill Strategic, Inc., Attorney Lisa Elliott, Jacob Sellers, NJD Properties, LLC and Danmark Properties, LLC.

According to the complaint, “David Rucki and his attorney Lisa Elliot represented the estate in the foreclosure action. In 2012 and 2013 the defendants are alleged to have illegally washed the title of 19675 Ireland Place property of the original mortgage to make a new dollar mortgage obtained in the name of the above identified individuals and companies.  Proceeds of the stacked mortgage flowed into accounts controlled by David Rucki and other numerous parties, leads back to David Rucki and his attorney Lisa Elliot. This property is and has been in foreclosure (and foreclosed on), for sale (and sold 3 different times) in sheriff’s sale (and sold through sheriff’s sale) 7 different times in the last 10 months.

Source: Red Herring Alert Ireland Place Mortgage Fraud Allegations & Documentation

For more info:

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

 

 

 

Lion News Roars at Brodkorb – Allegations of Interference in Grazzini-Rucki Case, Manipulating Public Opinion

Michael Brodkorb, former reporter with the Star Tribune, and online commentator, gives himself credit for helping to locate the runaway Rucki girls – but does the end justify the means? Explosive new evidence from Lion News describes, and includes evidence, that Brodkorb has significantly interfered in the Grazzini-Rucki case, including direct interference while the investigation of the runaway Rucki girls was still active. Evidence also suggests that Brodkorb has a close relationship with David Rucki that has given him access to confidential information, which was then used by Brodkorb to manipulate the public opinion in Rucki’s favor. Lakeville Police Refuse To Take Criminal Complaint from Dede Evavold

4bebc-brodkorb_rucki_love_elliot_donehower_19av-fa-11-1273_012616

While working for the Star Tribune, Brodkorb says his contract ”...allowed me to write about any topic I wished…” Brodkorb initially wrote about politics then began to focus exclusively on the Grazzini-Rucki case. After being booted from The Star Tribune, Brodkorb began a blog, exclusively dedicated to the Grazzini-Rucki case. Much of Brodkorb’s comments on the blog include emotional outbursts, rambling opinions and inflammatory statements about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney, Michelle MacDonald. The tone and content of this blog are one sided, and do not include or discuss any of the volumes of evidence showing the Rucki children were abused by their father. How can Brodkorb determine that the Rucki children were not abused when he is not even willing to look at the evidence that suggests abuse did occur? The public has a right to see all sides of the case but instead are being fed a narrative by Brodkorb that does not match the facts.

Lion News Raises the Following Allegations Against Michael Brodkorb:

1) Talking to a witness wanted for questioning by police BEFORE police could contact this person. Lion News offers new information proving that Brodkorb pursued contact with the witness even after he was asked to stop. Brodkorb then lied to Detective Dronen by saying he would not contact the witness – then does anyways. Did the pressure Brodkorb apply to this witness contribute to why she changed her testimony – or fuel the hate the witness now professes for Sandra?

Lori Musolf: So on Sunday this past Sunday this blogger who has been blogging the story called me. And started asking me questions. I have no idea who this guy even is.
Detective Dronen: Okay
Lori Musolf: Michael
Detective Dronen: Brodkorb?
Lori Muslof: Yes! And I refused to tell him anything. I just told him that I want nothing to do with this. I have not had anything to do with these people in a couple years. And I want absolutely nothing to do with it. And he was insistent. And I continued to tell him I want nothing to do with this. And I hung up. Okay? … 8:30/41:24 from 13001278 Loralie Musolf.mp3

Lori Musolf: Just so you know, I think this blogger is … I don’t know if you’ve talked to this blogger at all.
Detective Dronen: I have from time to time.
Lori Musolf: Okay.
Detective Dronen: I talked to him on Monday. The interesting thing is that he told me on Monday that he wasn’t going to call you.
Lori Musolf: Yes he Detective Dronen: Apparently he already had. So.
Lori Musolf: He already had. He called me Sunday. 2:54 p.m. I even have it in my notes. Yes, he had called me on Sunday. He had tried calling me I think it was on Friday and I totally avoided his phone call.

Lori Twit

Lori Musolf admits that she did talk to Brodkorb, and credits him for changing her perspective on the Grazzini-Rucki case. Which means Brodkorb influenced a witness, and affected her testimony, before she spoke to police. Lori’s testimony was used to help build a case against Grazzini-Rucki, this information suggests that her testimony may have been tampered with, and not accurate. Potential State Witness Wrote Letter to Judge Knutson – Criticizing Court’s Failure to Protect Rucki Children from Abuse

Lori has maintained contact with Brodkorb and frequently comments on his social media.

2) A close relationship exists between David Rucki and Michael Brodkorb that goes beyond professional courtesy. Recent evidence from Lion News suggests that relationship has influenced articles written by Brodkorb, who used his blog to promote Rucki’s narrative (propaganda). Brodkorb’s interference compromised both the case of the runaway Rucki girls and Sandra’s criminal case.

Brodkorb has been intensely following the Grazzini-Rucki case for over a year, and posting on social media and blogs that swing in favor of Rucki. Brodkorb does not hide his strong feelings for Rucki, in an intensely intimate passage he writes, “When I first met David, I was so overcome with emotion 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.

Brodkorb despises Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, evident by the wrath he writes in posts about her. In one post, Brodkorb shamelessly exploits the tragic death of Jacob Wetterling to drum up interest for his own blog, exclusively dedicated to the Grazzini-Rucki case. In an article, Brodkorb compares Rucki to Patty Wetterling, even going so far as to say that Rucki’s “unimaginable pain” when his daughters ran away and went missing for 2 years, is comparable as what Patty Wetterling has experienced at the death of her young son. Brodkorb goes on to compare Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her attorney, Michelle MacDonald, to the pedophile monster, Danny Heinrich, that murdered Jacob and molested countless other boys. How the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling helped find the Rucki sisters

Brokorb glosses over allegations of physical, emotional and psychological abuse against Rucki, and the pain the Rucki children have endured. Is David Rucki really someone you would compare to grieving mother, Patty Wetterling? In a CPS report, S. Rucki reports, “She was 12 when her parents divorced. Home life was awful prior to the divorce. They tip-toed around Dad and he was physically abusive to Mom. Dad ripped the leg off the organ and ran after Mom. She would have bruises here and there. Dad was rough with S on a few occasions and he would grab her a few times and shook her… Only when they were not with Dad (living with Mom) was there no more tip-toeing and no more yelling. S said it felt good and free in her own house.https://www.scribd.com/doc/316692570/SamiRucki

Brodkorb defends his writing saying he has “free speech” and claims protection as a “journalist”. Sandra has recently filed a harassment restraining order against Brodkorb. Brodkorb has admitted online that he intends to violate the order and may have already has because Twitter posts indicate that he was interviewed by police. Brodkorb continues to post comments and pictures about Sandra, and even has disclosed sensitive information. Brodkorb’s exploitation of both of these tragedies is horrific, and should be treated as libel – not protected as “journalism”.

Another crucial piece of evidence that demonstrates the close connection between Brodkorb and Rucki, is posted on Lion News. Brodkorb secretly recorded a conversation with Dede Evavold, friend of Sandra who is also charged in connection of the disappearance of the runaway Rucki girls. Evavold obtained a copy of the audio, and other evidence, after filing complaints against Dakota County Attorneys James Backstrom, Phil Prokopowicz, and Kathryn Keena. The audio was labelled “13001278 Evavold audio given by D. Rucki.MP3 “. Meaning Brodkorb recorded this conversation then handed it over to Rucki. What journalist reveals their sources to anyone – let alone to the subject of their investigation? What journalist hands over information they have gathered in the course of an investigation? Clearly Brodkorb has made a deal with Rucki. 

In part of the audio, Brodkorb alludes to having a previous connection to Judge David Knutson: “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…” Has Brodkorb maintained contacts in the court system? Perhaps so – Brodkorb has admitted in one article,”The contacts I had made in the political world ended up being very helpful in generating leads on the Rucki case.

Judge David L Knutson

Judge David L Knutson

Brodkorb also acknowledges there are serious problems existing in the family court system, “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.” Brodkorb goes on to say that he does not believe the Rucki girls ran away, and has a strong suspicion that Sandra has been helping them.

In her criminal trial, Sandra argued the affirmative defense – claiming her actions were taken to protect her children from imminent harm. What loving parent wouldn’t act to protect their children from abuse? This tragedy could have been avoided had Judge Knutson, and the Dakota County court and social service taken concerns of abuse seriously, and worked to protect the children – not enable the abuser.

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3) Allegations of Witness Tampering – On June 24, 2016, Dede Evavold attempted to file a complaint with Lakeville police, accusing David Rucki and Michael Brodkorb of witness tampering in the Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case. Dede says officers with the Lakeville police quickly walked away and refused to take her complaint, which she documents with photographs. Officers were ordered by Deputy Chief John Kormann not to take the complaint.

The incident happened on June 12th when Dede received a letter in the mail from David Rucki, via his high buck attorney Marshall H. Tanick at Hellmuth and Johnson PLLC (how does a recipient of public assistance afford these expensive legal services??) that raised several allegations against her, which could result in criminal charges or civil damages. Dede writes, “After returning home on Sunday, June 12, 2016 I found what I consider a harassing and threatening extortion letter in my mailbox. The extortion letter was from David Rucki’s attorney Marsahll H. Tanick, Attorney at Law, Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC. I had a reasonable suspicion the wild, outrageous and unsubstantiated claims contained in the harassing and threatening extortion letter were meant to intimidate me into deleting the blog, Red Herring Alert, that I shared with Susan Carpenter. I also had a reasonable suspicion that Rucki’s harassing and threatening extortion letter was designed to coerce me into changing not only my plea but to coerce me into changing my testimony in Sandra’s rigged case.” The same letter was sent to S.C. and Lea Dannewitz, owner of the Carver County Corruption blog. In response, Lea deleted her blog, and denied involvement with any posts written about Rucki. S.C. responded by stepping down from her role in the Red Herring Alert blog and deleting any posts connected to her. It is clear that both were frightened of Rucki, and his threats against them.

Just two days after Rucki’s attorney sent this letter, Brodkorb raised his poisoned pen and took to the internet to dish the breaking news that rocked entire State of Minnesota like an atomic bomb… “Facing potential civil litigation in Rucki case, owner deletes blog.” Really – is that news worthy? No wonder Brodkorb lost his job the Star Tribune, his obsessive interest in the Grazzini-Rucki case has caused him to lose touch with reality! What is interesting about this article is that Brodkorb gained access to the attorney letter Rucki sent out, which was not made publicly available. Brodkorb also knew details about the letter which had not been released – such as the name of the firm Rucki retained, and that “others” were sent this same letter. Brodkorb also cited portions of the letter in his article.

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Michael Brodkorb, source: startribune.com

Dede also questions how Brodkorb obtained this letter, “ How is it possible that former Star Tribune hack Michael Brodkorb magically & mysteriously knew that  Lea received a private harassing and threatening letter from David Rucki? How is it possible that former Star Tribune hack Michael Brodkorb magically & mysteriously knew that Lea would pick that time to delete her blog? It couldn’t be a coincidence if Star Tribune hack Michael Brodkorb is knowingly and intentionally delivering Star Tribune work product to David Rucki, could it?

What makes this letter, and subsequent blog article posted by Brodkorb, witness tampering is that threat of legal action, and the public humiliation of Lea Dannewitz, was being used to pressure Dede and other bloggers into remaining silent about the Grazzini-Rucki case. Dede felt that Rucki, and Brodkorb, were threatening her to delete the Red Herring Alert blog, and to change her testimony in the Grazzini-Rucki case. Rucki had successfully employed these bullying and coercive tactics on others – Lea is one example, his son N. Rucki another, and audio from a police interview shows the same tactics were used on runaway daughter S. Rucki to attempt to get her to change her testimony. The Lakeville police has an obligation to take Dede’s complaint, and given the evidence she has provided, as well as the history behind it – this complaint should be investigated.

The irony in all of this is that Brodkorb defends his own blog and social media posts as “journalism” and “free speech” but at the same time is gleefully reporting that the blogs of other people are being threatened with legal action, and taken down. It does not appear that Brodkorb supports free speech at all.

Brodkorb’s writing serves to protect David Rucki as well as Judge Knutson and the Dakota County court system, who has destroyed the Grazzini-Rucki family, and enabled abuse to continue. Judge Knutson and the family court has worked to cover up their illegal actions and hide the fact that abuse did occur in this family; they use press coverage to continue their lies, and to elicit public sympathy.

In turn, Brodkorb receives recognition and is able to salvage his tarnished reputation by being the reporter who broke the story, by playing the hero.

The sad ending is that Sandra and the Rucki children were once a closing, loving family who now have been forcibly separated and without contact for over 3 years. Sandra’s dream was to be a mother to a large family, and to devote her life to her children – that dream was shattered first by domestic violence and then by a corrupt family court system. The Grazzini-Rucki family has been decimated by the illegal and unjust actions of Judge Knutson, and Dakota County. The Rucki children are growing up in a home where they are potentially endangered; so much so that 4 out of 5 children have ran away from their father at least once, and threatened to run away again (the two older girls succeeding in April 2013). The Rucki children have begged to return to their mother – their pleas havebeen ignored. It is reprehensible that the courts of Dakota County would order the Rucki children into “reunification therapy” with an abusive father while, at the same time, alienating the children from the healthy parent, their primary caregiver, Sandra.  These children are growing up without their mother, a loss that can never be replaced.

Every level of the court and legal system has failed to protect the Rucki children. Their mother, Sandra, may be sent to prison for trying to protect them. She will have a felony record while the abuser goes unpunished. This is the story that should be told. Instead of reading Brodkorb’s nonsense, PLEASE read, like, re-post and share the courageous voices who speak out about abuse and family court failures. Share the articles that expose the truth about the Grazini-Rucki case, in doing so you can help reveal the evidence the court has denied, and obtain justice for the Grazzini-Rucki family.

samkiss

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is a loving mother – this is a picture of the family destroyed by Judge David L. Knutson, Dakota County

 

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.