Original Case Details
A Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) probation officer was charged with three felony counts of perjury accusing the officer of lying during a child custody hearing. Disgraced and jailed former Livingston County Judge Theresa Brennan presided over the matter and she took over the questioning of the probation officer during the hearing. The probation officer was not allowed to finish her questions under the fire of Brennan’s questioning, which ultimately led to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office filing perjury charges against the probation officer for alleged lies during the hearing. The case was bound over for trial by Ingham County District Court Judge Donald Allen, when he found probable cause that a crime was committed by the probation agent. Genesee County Circuity Court Judge Richard Yuille later ruled that Judge Allen abused his discretion in finding probable cause against the probation officer for the crimes of perjury, and ultimately dismissed all the charges. Judge Yuille ruled that the probation officer’s statements were literally true and found that no perjury existed. The officer was suspended for a period of two years while this case was pending, leading to lost wages, as well as a tarnished reputation.
The probation officer has now filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan alleging that Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt, assistant prosecutor Mike Taylor, and Michigan Police detective Craig Carberry worked together in a conspiracy to prevent the officer from voicing her opposition to discriminatory practices of the Livingston County Prosecutor’s officer in the treatment of those on probation. The probation officer further alleges that they violated her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights with a false arrest and violation of due process. The officer claims that the Prosecutor’s office and the Michigan Police detective acted intentionally and failed to properly train and supervise their employees, leading to an implicit permission and encouragement of employees to engage in illegal conduct. The probation officer is seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages. The probation officer was awarded back pay for the two years she was suspended during the pendency of the perjury case.
This case will now go forward like any other lawsuit in federal court. Since the probation officer is seeking monetary damages, it is likely that there will be many discussions and negotiations towards a possible settlement. The lawsuit allegations specifically state that the “Defendants agreed to continue to pursue and/or refuse to dismiss the criminal action against Plaintiff despite the fact that they knew they had no probable cause to support that Plaintiff had committed a crime.” The claim further states that the Defendants obstructed the probation officer from doing her job properly. Defendants claim that the decision-making process in deciding whether to authorize criminal charges was no different in this case than any other. They further claim that lawsuits like this are just part of being a Prosecutor, and that the timing of the suit should not be a surprise to anyone. The further this case goes, the more information will likely trickle out about the background story of this case, which could lead to bigger problems for the Prosecutor’s office if misconduct is uncovered. The possibility also exists that additional information could lead to further criminal charges against the probation agent, but that is unlikely at this point.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or are being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.