Sunday, December 28, 2008

Were did everybody go? Marshall Chronicle Editorial

Many have talked to the family about this outstanding article. It has to be the best editorial ever published by any editor at the Marshall Chronicle. No management muzzle on this writer's opinion.
Great job Mr. Hendler!

Editor's Corner,
by John Hendler,
Marshall Chronicle,

December 20, 2008

Where did everybody go?
So, now City Manager Chris Olson is on the clock. Six months and 10 days (or maybe sooner) before he moves on and hopefully we'll have a new Police Chief in place by then or people might start to wonder who's running the city and keeping us safe.



People think that already.
Oh, sorry. Don't get me wrong; I like Mr. Olson and have enjoyed the opportunities when we've had the chance to talk and I know that he has been interviewing candidates for the position. It just seems as of late, however, too many people have left Marshall or are about to leave. It's been almost a year since Mike Olson left his position as Public Safety Director, leaving quietly into the night, never to be heard from again. like he was in the witness protection program, Actually, I ran in to Mr. Olson (Mike) at a U of M football game in August. When I turned and saw him, he gave me a look like I was in the witness protection program. We exchanged pleasantries and after watching a play, I turned to say something to him and he was gone like a phantom. So, we need a Police Chief, a City Manager and a new Superintendent for Marshall Public Schools (MPS). Oh, and also an Assistant Superintendent and a new Director of Finance and a new Director of Operations, Not to mention the 100 or so students who've left MPS in the past year. Instead of the pineapple as a symbol of Marshall, maybe the new symbol should be a U-Haul or a change of address card, It does seem like everyone is leaving. This is how it must have felt on "Happy Days" (if it weren't a fictitious television show, of course) when Fonzie. Ritchie and Ralph Malph were gone and we were reduced to watching a shell of a show with Potsie, Jenny Piccolo and that Ted McGinley character. Hopefully, 2009 will mean an influx of new blood. For one thing, we'll at least have new gamblers coming to town as the new casino is set to open next door, Hey, you've got to start somewhere. There'll be new blood on the Marshall City Council with Nick Metzger. Kathy Miller and Ryan Traver and of course, the new city manager. And over at MPS, we should have a new superintendent by the spring and that person will have a say in who becomes assistant superintendent. And maybe, just maybe, people will start to come back to Marshall and sit a spell and take their shoes off.
Hopefully, jobs will become available and those student enrollment numbers will start to increase. We've got to have faith and believe that Marshall can be what it used to be.Unlike "Happy Days" we can have Fonzie and Richie back.
You've just got to believe.
Y'all come back now, you hear?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where was MPD Shift Commander, Sgt. Rebecca Ivey during a real Home Invasion? Do we even know today?

For some time we have questioned the competency and ability of certain police-officers and city officials in the City of Marshall .This came about because of a lack of any genuine effort by MPD to bring Mary home and to prosecute the person/s responsible for her disappearance and murder. Blunders and bungling seem to be par for the course by some in this police department.

We do not enjoy talking about questionable activities of any police-officer or incompetence, but this continuing pattern of deception seems to be more and more apparent and it goes beyond incompetence. We believe that most people in law enforcement are honest and sincere individuals who dedicate their lives to protecting our society. However, each day we learn something new and it is no wonder why the Mary Denise Lands case has not been solved. The stink is much worse than just poor judgement by some police personnel.

Two weeks ago, Acting Chief/Sgt. Scott McDonald reiterated to a bank representative that Mary’s Dodge Durango has always been considered evidence and will not be released in the near future.

If this is "secured evidence" at the Marshall Police Department you can only imagine how they are handling the rest of the investigation?
When asked about the interest of the Attorney General in Mary’s case he stated, the Mary Lands case will not be turned over to any other agency. He reported that the AG’s office may help them on the case, but it would not be taken over by any other agency.

What does MPD have to hide? Is Mary's Durango even in police control? Where are the tires? Were the tires that MPD claimed to be evidence placed back on the Durango to move it to a secret location? Were those tires then returned back to evidence, and then miraculously the Durango and tires appear as evidence that has been held for over 4 1/2 years? The Durango does not appear to be at any Marshall or Calhoun County garage. Where is the vehicle? Where is Mary's leather bomber jacket today? It was recovered being sold by Chris Pratt in the summer of 2004 at a flea market in Homer and immediately turned into the MPD. Did they ask Chris Pratt about this and how does he answer this was the same jacket he reported her wearing on the night of her disappearance? Did they even ask? Well here is yet another documented event that is much more than a story under the heading,
Lies and Shenanigans go on in the Marshall Police Department, Why won't one officer take a polygraph? Why did another tell us bold face LIES?

As you know, we requested Freedom of Information Act materials on the demotion of Sgt. Rebecca Ivey from her position as sergeant supervisor to patrol officer. For over six months we have been seeking this information, and on December 12, 2008 we were provided a two-page response to the inquiry. Most of the information was redacted. An additional FOIA request has been submitted to the City of Marshall on the initial incident involving former Sgt. Ivey.

Today, I personally met with the victims of that initial complaint to MPD and determined it involved an early morning home invasion at 701 W. Hanover Street in Marshall, Michigan. A residence was burglarized with the victims asleep inside and property and a motor vehicle were stolen. There was a significant delay in police response to this home and later the victims complained to former Deputy Chief Brett Pehrson. Mr. Pehrson left his position at MPD about one year ago and is now Chief of Police in Coldwater, Michigan. The crux of the incident and disciplinary action that resulted is that it appears the "on-duty whereabouts of Shift Commander Sgt. Ivey could not be determined for several hours" and there were many questions of why she did not respond to this home invasion crime scene? Her discipline and demotion were obviously attributable to her actions, or lack of actions, from this particular incident. MPD Sgt. Rebecca Ivey-Demotion to patrol officer-10/09/07, Limited FOIA Response, City of Marshall-12/12/08

We will keep you advised when additional FOIA materials become available.
January 7, 2009- City of Marshall released 28 pages from a FOIA request of the incident involving former Sgt. Rebecca Ivey. There appears to be much missing from this particular home invasion incident that occurred on September 4, 2007. The cost for 28 pages was $33.28
January 8, 2009- City of Marshall responded on the above noted FOIA request and asked for payment of $128.38 for approximately 10 pages that did not even respond to information on Marshall Police Department Internal Investigations for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Most of the pages were redacted.

This is the same Sgt. Rebecca Ivey who in June 2006 submitted a warrant request to the county prosecutor to charge Cliff & Anita Marshall, and others with Home Invasion, Burglary, Forced Entry & Theft at Christopher Pratt's vacated Waldon Pond apartment. That was clearly an abuse of police power, and acted improperly under color of authority.

Christopher Luke Pratt, Complainant (06/19/2006) to MPD, 0906-2006- FOIA Request by Jim Carlin- Sgt. Rebecca Ivey requested warrants for home invasion, burglary, & theft allegedly committed by Cliff & Anita Marshall, Jim Carlin & Debra Farrington

Demotion? This officer should have been fired, and fired long ago! Perhaps she would have been if her husband was not a former Marshall police chief. It is just more of the same, and funny-business as usual at the Marshall Police Department.

"Where's the Police Chief" It has been nearly one full year since Chief Mike Olson was either fired or resigned in January 2008. Sgt. McDonald has stated three members of the department applied for the position, but he did not apply. He stated he does not aspire to be the new chief although he has been Acting Chief. One could presume that 2 of the candidates might be Rebecca Ivey & Tim Bryant? Shouldn't the name of any candidates be public information? Every community in the state makes this information public during their application process? What is Marshall trying to hide on this appointment? Are they trying to bring in a person who worked with the city manager in one of his other jobs? City Manager Chris Olson now claims he will appoint a new chief in January 2009. In my opinion, it will be Sgt. McDonald.

It is hoped that this particular incident, and others, will be of interest to the Michigan Attorney General when they come to town to "help" Sgt. McDonald in Mary’s case. This event may not have anything to do with the Mary Lands investigation but it does reflect on the quality of police services provided to the citizens of Marshall. Update- Tuesday, December 16, 2008-Speaking about police services and Neighborhood Watch in the Albion, Michigan area. Help the Albion Public Safety Department. Do your part and take a bite out crime in the area of E Pine & N. Ionia in Albion- You Tube Video-

If you have any information on the Mary Lands case or on corruption in the Marshall Police Department you are urged to contact the Michigan State Police Headquarters in Lansing, Major Case Unit- 517.336.3437, or the Office of Michigan Attorney General- Toll Free- 877.765.8388
Inappropriate and illegal police actions can stop if citizens take the time to report the wrongdoings. You can't sit by and hope someone else will make the call. You need to pick up the telephone, tell what you know, and then you will see the situation change for the better.