Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Sheriff sues county (again)

30. December 2006 • Bruce Fields
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From the Ann Arbor News:

Washtenaw County Sheriff Dan Minzey filed his second lawsuit of the year against the county Friday, this time suing for its handling of chronic jail overcrowding.

The suit, which names the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and County Administrator Bob Guenzel as defendants, charges that the facility remains in a near-permanent state of overcrowding because the county won’t expand the jail with reserve funds. He also said the county has halted his ability to send inmates to other jails in nearby counties.

  1. So here’s my question—who is paying Minzey’s legal fees? Is this a personal expense he’s taking on, or does this come from the Sherriff’s Department budget?

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Dec. 30 '06 - 11:25PM    #
  2. I don’t know who is paying his legal fees (although that is a very good question), I do know who is paying the fee to defend this on-going battle with the BOC and County administrator…..the citizen’s of Washtenaw County.

       —Lamar J    Dec. 30 '06 - 11:53PM    #
  3. Apparently Minzey is paying his own legal fees.

       —David Cahill    Dec. 31 '06 - 05:22AM    #
  4. Another question is who paid the legal fees of the two Washtenaw County sheriff deputies who were recently convicted (one by plea and one by jury) of insurance fraud? Dean Sanderson,who works as an investigator at a major insurance carrier and does investigative work in Washtenaw County, reports that insurance insiders are LOL over the two deputies that were convicted as this was a highly publicized auto insurance fraud bust drawing attention to the problem of fraudulent claims and making examples of those who present such claims. On another note, these convictions are not going to increase morale for the sheriff’s department nor help Sheriff Minzey in his re-election bid. Minzey has already raised eyebrows by trying to discourage the candidacy of another law enforcement official who is planning a run at Minzey’s seat. Minzey was narrowly elected in 2000 and it is fair to say he may be apprehensive at the prospects of being re-elected. Minzey got substantial voter support in Ann Arbor in his close win previously. Does anybody have any opinion on Minzey’s performance as he is up for re-election? The only thing I have heard is that is face appears on gas pumps locally and that residents know little about him.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 14 '08 - 06:05AM    #
  5. Maybe judges need to get together and open there own jails like Judge Brian McKenzie did in Novi. They you have a judge making a profit after he sentences you. It fixes the overcrowding but you better hope you never step on the wrong side of the courtroom.

       —Jimbo    Feb. 14 '08 - 07:15AM    #
  6. Nice point, Jimbo! In Washtenaw County,however,we have had a certain judge by the name of Timothy Patrick Connors who has announced mandatory jail sentences of thirty days as a local sentencing policy of his court for any and all violations of personal protection orders even though such local sentencing policies violate case law that the state supreme court enunciated over 30 years ago. I have a copy of a transcript in which he announced this as his policy. With people like Connors on the circuit court bench in Ann Arbor its no wonder we have such overcrowding. The organization People Against Corruption criticized Connors in their excellent on-line periodical “Ann Arbor Buzz” at

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 14 '08 - 10:27AM    #
  7. Speaking of the Connors political machine, it is with great sadness I wish to report that Dr. Catherine Wilkerson has recently been fired from the Packard Community Clinic only 2 months after winning acquittal in a criminal case brought by Judge Connors’ wife, Margaret. has set up an on-line petition urging her reinstatement. Any help in this regard would be appreciated.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 14 '08 - 10:43AM    #
  8. There is an Ann Arbor News article from yesterday describing the Wilkerson firing mentioned by the previous poster. (The comments have been closed for the previous A2 Update thread regarding the Wilkerson situation, so I posted this here.)

    Over an hour ago, I attempted to post a comment at the bottom of the A2 News article regarding the photo of Ms. Wilkerson the A2 News chose to publish. After I hit ‘send’, I received the following message:

    Thank You For Commenting
    Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

    Considering the target of my critical comment regarding the article, and the fact that it does not yet appear on the page, I have doubts that my comment will pass “approval”. So I will post it here to thwart the A2 News censorship.


    Ann Arbor News, did you let American Movement for Israel select the photo of Catherine Wilkerson for this article?

    The photo is so dark, it resembles a ghostly apparition more than an actual person.

    The A2 News could have chosen to go with the photo at the link they provided, . The picture is certainly more flattering and shows what Ms. Wilkerson actually looks like. A Google image search for “Catherine Wilkerson” shows other more preferable photos, including a photo on the website for the clinic she worked.

    But instead, the google page shows that the A2 News decided to go with a photo from , one of its blogs. As most everyone knows, an image can be photoshopped and submitted to a blog, anonymously.

    This decision by the A2 News to go with an inferior photo of dubious origin, when far better were available, . . . is interesting.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 16 '08 - 01:34AM    #
  9. I wonder if its more than a coincidence that the Ann Arbor News has posted an article trumpeting the Margaret Connors candidacy for district court judge the day after they publish an article covering the firing of Dr. Wilkerson. It is ironic that Margaret Connors, after losing this criminal case against Catherine wants a prestigious judicial position and Catherine is canned after her “vindication.” There are several reasons Connors should not be elected judge: (1) She lost the infamous anti-KKK protestor prosecution in which Judge Mattson dismissed cases against all nine protestors following an evidentiary hearing, citing lack of evidence(see September 9, 1998 Michigan Daily article “Anti-Klan Protestors Acquitted”); (2) Margaret Connors and her husband, Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Patrick Connors, got figuratively tossed out on their ear by a city zoning appeals board after it had been pointed out the Connors’ application for variance for an expansion of their Hilltop Drive home was not accompanied by floor plans as the application directed and city staff recommended a denial (see Approved Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Ann Arbor, August 23, 2006); (3) Margaret Connors prosecuted and lost the wildly unpopular criminal case against Dr.Wilkerson and utilized such questionable tactics as invoking the name of Ho Chi Minh in an attempt to prejudice the jury against Catherine; (4) her husband has been a significant contributor to the Michigan Republican Party. Say no to Margaret Connors for district judge. Tell your friends and family – we do not need that type of judge!

       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 16 '08 - 07:23AM    #
  10. There is one silver lining I see in the recent Ann Arbor News article; Doug Shapiro has thrown his hat into the ring! It is comforting to know such a highly-qualified and respected member of the bar will be on the ballot. Ann Arbor voters will have a competent alternative to some of the other declared candidates.

       —OWBanker    Feb. 16 '08 - 08:38AM    #
  11. Doug Shapiro recently dropped out of the race ,OW, however the good news is that Chris Easthope has registered his campaign committee with the Secretary of State and will be in the race. He has previously defeated Margaret Connors in several criminal trials as a defense attorney and has vast experience in the district court. He deserves the support of Ann Arbor voters.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 21 '08 - 04:48AM    #
  12. Mark, what is the source for your statement that Doug Shapiro has dropped out of the race?

       —David Cahill    Feb. 21 '08 - 09:20PM    #
  13. David, Chris Easthope told me earlier this week Doug called him and told him he was not going to run. I had spoke to Doug a few days earlier and he had told me at that juncture he had not decided whether to run, despite the Ann Arbor News article identifying him as a candidate last Friday.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 22 '08 - 04:53AM    #
  14. Doug Shapiro told me, the other day, that he has decided not to run.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Feb. 22 '08 - 10:52PM    #
  15. I was just reviewing what was news in Ann Arbor, and here I find people posting things (sort of) in my name?

    Comment #9 here is attributed to “Kaptain Krunch.” as most people in Ann Arbor know, Captain Crunch is my right-hand dog. I doubt anyone else would dub themselves that, with or without perverse spelling, other than to suggest that I was the writer. However, I have absolutely no affiliation with whoever posted Comment #9—and I wonder (since I haven’t been to this site in months) how many other comments have been posted in my name (or in names that would be associated with me?)

    I’d appreciate it if the webmaster would email me the IP address of the person posting as “Kaptain Krunch.”

    Adam de Angeli

       —Adam de Angeli    Feb. 25 '08 - 12:25AM    #
  16. Adam de Angeli wrote: “... as most people in Ann Arbor know, Captain Crunch is my right-hand dog.”

    “... how many other comments have been posted in my name (or in names that would be associated with me?)”

    In response to the question, What’s Adam’s dog’s name? I can certainly produce not only his name, but why that’s his name, and relate an unpleasant episode with a chocolate cake.

    But, honestly, it never occurred to me that the Kaptain Krunch handle on AU might be you. Given the spelling with K’s, and given that historically, when you’ve posted, you’ve posted under your real name, I just didn’t make that connection, which is good because I would have been wrong.

       —HD    Feb. 25 '08 - 03:06AM    #
  17. Which leads to several questions.

    1. Who is Adam de Angeli?
    2. Is it ok to put any old website as your URL? He uses Ron Paul’s.
    3. Any other dog names, hometowns, favorite movies, hobbies, cereals, etc. we should be avoiding?

       —anonymous too    Feb. 25 '08 - 04:13AM    #
  18. Adam,

    Speaking as one of the people who could provide you with an IP address, the answer is, I’m sorry, but no. We’re not in the habit of giving out IPs, or the e-mail addrs that people include. And, really, if we were, I would expect that you’d be among the first jumping down our throats for it. Even in the (few) cases where we’ve removed comments in the past for potentially misleading handles, it was in cases where the handle was a known person’s real name, and that person contacted us by a somewhat more trustworthy communication channel than posting a comment to complain. (How do I know that you’re the actual Adam de Angeli?) Finally, speaking for myself, it never would have occurred to me to read Kaptain Krunch’s posts as spoofing a real Ann Arborite, because I’ve never heard of an Ann Arborite named Captain Crunch. (Nor has ArborUpdate, according to google – so it’s not even as if the commenter spoofed somebody like PSD!)

    Just a reminder for everyone, though, that there ain’t no such thing as a completely anonymous post. We can see your IP address and e-mail address, and, even though we only use IPs to identify and block sources of spam comments, that doesn’t mean they’re “secure”.

       —Murph    Feb. 26 '08 - 07:00AM    #
  19. Just a reminder for everyone, though, that there ain’t no such thing as a completely anonymous post unless you’re using a fake or untraceable e-mail address, Tor to mask your IP address, and Privoxy to hide your operating system and browser info.

    Not that anyone but the most paranoid would employ such a setup (the debate on whether Adam de Angeli falls into this category is still out – while his concern about an ages old commenter who is two letters away from his dog’s name makes me say “yes, they’re really after you!!!” his posting of his gmail account makes me say “no”).

    Anyway, happy safe and “secure” browsing from Ann Arbor’s biggest anonymity and privacy fan.

       —FAA    Feb. 26 '08 - 08:20PM    #
  20. What the hell is a right-hand dog?

       —Errata    Feb. 27 '08 - 05:58AM    #
  21. It’s Krunch time!! Regarding the Ann Arbor district court race, its official that Blaine Coleman has resisted the encouragement of his supporters and declined to run for the seat being vacated by Judge Mattson. Mr. Coleman has been a member of the state bar longer than any other of the declared candidates and his longstanding commitment to the vigorous enforcement of the civil rights and liberties of all persons has established him as the conscience of the Democratic party in Washtenaw county; I would compare him to Zolton Ferency, who was the first state Democratic party chairman in the U.S. to openly oppose President Johnson on the prosecution of Vietnam War and who, as a result, paid a serious price politically. The good news is that Blaine has pledged his active involvement in the campaign process and we appreciate his anticipated colorful and animated efforts that have made him a local icon. Other organizations, such as People Against Corruption, who successfully opposed the controversial jail millage and were instrumental in exposing questionable judicial behavior in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court, have indicated they will likewise take an active position in the local judicial elections. There will be plenty of fireworks between now and November!

       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 27 '08 - 12:00PM    #
  22. On a more downbeat note, one of Sheriff Minzey’s deputies, Jennifer Reynolds, is scheduled to be sentenced today following her jury conviction arising out of an auto insurance claim prosecutors allege was fraudulent. Another deputy has already pled guilty in the incident. U-M Law alumnus David Goldstein is representing Reynolds.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 27 '08 - 12:12PM    #
  23. I appreciate the chance to respond to comments directed at me personally.

    Which fighter for Apartheid Israel will actually get elected judge? Will it be City Councilmember Joan Lowenstein? (See Video against Lowenstein Candidacy ).

    Will it be a local Prosecutor who tried to convict a Palestine human rights activist for exercising some Free Speech?

    I will not substitute myself for local peace activists, or for Arab-American groups, who need to show up at City Council, who need to show up in the local media, demanding some action against Israel.

    When these groups start protesting against Israel, and against Israel’s cheerleaders, you will see a lot different kind of Judge getting elected.

    But it will take visible protest, by actual human rights groups, before candidates like Lowenstein and Connors are held to account by the voters, for their public attacks on Palestine human rights activists.

       —Blaine Coleman    Feb. 27 '08 - 07:53PM    #
  24. Allow me to correct an inaccuracy in someone’s comment.

    I see no Democratic Party officials demanding any action against Apartheid Israel. I could never be any part of the Democratic Party, a party which has only meant death for the people of Palestine.

    If any party is marching on City Council, demanding action against Israel, please let us know. I see none.

       —Blaine Coleman    Feb. 27 '08 - 09:26PM    #
  25. I stand corrected, Mr.Coleman, regarding the Democratic Party reference. I had confused you in that regard with another prominent pro-Palestine and anti-apartheid activist, Eric Jackson, who was a ward chairman of the Democratic Party in Ypsilanti during the 1980s and served two terms on the Ypsilanti City Council from 1974 through 1978. He spearheaded the April 1988 demonstration of the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award dinner in Washtenaw County in which almost 200 marchers and counter-marchers appeared generating international media attention, including the Jerusalem Post. Due to the intense pre-dinner publicity created by the Michigan Daily in several articles and editorials, many college official invitees backed out of attending the event. The only notable exception was a professor that is known very well to Mr. Coleman – Raymond Tanter. It shows that Palestine has had its supporters within the Democratic Party, so I do beg to differ with you, Blaine, on that point.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 28 '08 - 03:08AM    #
  26. Thanks, Kaptain.
    You’re right about 1989.

    The April 10, 1989 “Detroit Free Press” wrote about that big demonstration against an Ann Arbor Zionist fundraiser:

    Michigan Daily Pushes for Palestinian Rights

    That 1989 article featured a Rabbi criticizing the “Michigan Daily” for printing what he called “baseless lies” and “obscenities” against Israel.

    If all those 1989 Palestine demonstrators came back to life, in Ann Arbor City Council chambers, at every single meeting, you would see this City change fast.

    And candidates who attack Palestine rights advocates (candidates like Lowenstein and Connors) could not get elected dog-catcher.

       —Blaine Coleman    Feb. 28 '08 - 04:11AM    #
  27. Thanks for clarifying the correct year, Blaine. For those who wonder what came of Mr. Jackson, he moved back to his native Panama in 1994 and purchased the Panama News, which still publishes online and he currently has his own radio talk show broadcast in Panama City. He had a law office in Dearborn where most of his clientele consisted of Middle Eastern immigrants or inner-city African-Americans from neighboring Detroit. For those who are interested, the online encyclopedia “Wikipedia” recently honored him with a condensed biography and cited a book he authored on life in Panama – “9 Degrees North”.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Feb. 28 '08 - 05:16AM    #
  28. Yes, Eric was a champion of Palestinian human rights in Ann Arbor.

    About that judgeship election-

    I hope that readers will share their thoughts about how a “Judge” Lowenstein could justify her attacks, reported in the media, on a Palestine human rights conference at the University of Michigan?

    - – -

    Ms. Lowenstein’s direct quotes were reported in the “Daily”:

    Joan Lowenstein quoted in Michigan Daily

    - – -

    How could a “Judge” Lowenstein justify her support for such a massively racist military occupier as Israel?

       —Blaine Coleman    Feb. 28 '08 - 05:39AM    #
  29. Adam de Angeli, you win the prize for ridiculous self-important paranoid nobody.

    And by the way, Captain Crunch is John Draper’s handle, you poser.

       —Phony!    Mar. 2 '08 - 03:31PM    #
  30. As a long-time activist in Right to Life and an advocate of the interests of the unborn, I often review the backgrounds of political candidates to ensure that their views are acceptable. I have examined the backgrounds of current declared candidates in Ann Arbor which has revealed that
    District Court candidate Joan Lowenstein has been a registred contributor to Planned Parenthood, per state records.

       —Protect the Unborn    Mar. 3 '08 - 03:38AM    #
  31. Tonight, at City Council, you may ask Councilmember Lowenstein how she justifies her support of Israel.

    Israel shoots its way across Palestine, without giving its millions of victims any kind of trial. All of Palestine has been stolen, or shattered by millions of Israeli bullets:

    Israel, shooting its way across Occupied Palestine

    Ask Ms. Lowenstein how she expects to judge us all, if she can support the Apartheid State of Israel.

       —Protect Palestinians    Mar. 3 '08 - 11:27PM    #
  32. Its good to see that Sheriff Minzey, Palestine, the unborn, and even John Draper(that legendary engineering genius) are remembered on Arbor Update.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Mar. 4 '08 - 12:47AM    #
  33. Blaine,
    If you’re going to ask one of them, why not ask them all? Your obsession with Ms Lowenstein is teetering on the edge of stalking….

       —annarbor1us    Mar. 4 '08 - 12:52AM    #
  34. If all the judicial candidates are fighters for Israel, an openly racist state which massacres Palestinians, then let them all explain why.

       —Protect Palestinians    Mar. 4 '08 - 01:05AM    #
  35. To annarbor1us, I agree there should be “equal time” dished out to Margaret Connors. In fact, if I had to choose between Lowenstein and Mrs. Connors, I would probably affix a clothespin to my nose and pull the “Joan Lowenstein” lever in the voting booth in the district judgeship race.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Mar. 4 '08 - 10:54AM    #
  36. It’s like choosing between 2 assassins:

    * One tried to assassinate the character of an innocent Palestine human rights activist, to put her in jail.

    * The other tried to assassinate the character of all University of Michigan students connected to the U-M Divest-from-Israel conference.

    Better to tell the truth about every candidate who fights for Israel: they are fighting for a very racist Assassin State.

    You may remember last weekend, when Israel assassinated 112 innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

    What do Joan Lowenstein, Margaret Connors, Chris Easthope, and the other candidates, have to say about that? Do they view that as a proper use of state power, or not?

    Once they become Judges, how will they treat those who peacefully protest the Israeli Assassin State— the way Prosecutor Connors treated Dr. Wilkerson, by trying to put her behind bars?

    Ask them all.

       —Protect Palestinians    Mar. 4 '08 - 08:25PM    #
  37. As to Margaret Connors let’s not forget the May 9,1998 Ku Klux Klan rally in Ann Arbor. Secretary of State records available at reveal that Mrs. Connors’ husband, Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Timothy Connors donated substantial funds to ultraconservative Repulican state supreme court candidate Clifford Taylor later that month. Approximately 20 anti-KKK demostrators were subsequently charged with rioting, assault, and other charges, including damaging of a partition fence used during the rally. Margaret Connors prosecuted nine anti-KKK protestors for allegedly damaging that fence. Leaders in government, law, education, entertainment,clergy, and organized labor on the national, state, and local levels spoke out to oppose these prosecutions and seek dropping of the charges. These included film producer Michael Moore, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Geoffrey Fieger, Reverend Clyde Cleveland, former Harvard Law School constitutional law professor Derreck Bell and State Representative Lloyd Lemmons, amongst many others. Ignoring the pleas of these prominent and respected leaders, the Prosecutor’s office forged onward. On July 30, 1998 Ann Arbor District Court Judge Ann Mattson rejected the vehement arguments of Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Margaret Connors and dismissed the cases of all nine criminal defendants before her, citing lack of evidence, causing an eruption of applause in the courtroom(the Prosecutor’s office went on to take other cases to trial in circuit court but most of these trials culminated in jury acquittals). Judge Mattson made it clear to all in the courtroom that her dismissal of these charges was not based on politics but on the rule of law. Larry Kestenbaum was present at the May 9th rally (as a peacekeeper, not a Klansman) and can tell you his first-hand observations. Shanta Driver, a young African-American Harvard University graduate, was among those criminally charged by Mrs. Connors and who went on to become a civil rights attorney following her exoneration by Judge Mattson. I am proud of the anti-KKK demonstrators who showed such courage to shout down and oppose the KKK and who later had to endure the uncertainties of criminal prosecutions brought by such individuals as Margaret Connors. Why would Ann Arborites want to elect a judge with such ties to ultraconservative Republican efforts and who brought such criminal charges? When discussing the candidacy of Margaret Connors, I am happy to hear people cite the case of Dr. Wilkerson, however we should remember the “Connors Nine” who received deserved vindication from a respected and fair jurist.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Mar. 5 '08 - 05:42AM    #
  38. Yes, local government rolled out the red carpet for the Klan in 1998, spending many tens of thousands of dollars in extra police overtime plus organizing Peace Team volunteers to insulate the Klansmen fom angry protestors. One suspects there may have been more than a twinge of admiration by law enforcement personnel toward the Klan and their philosophies. I do not recall a single Klansman being arrested or injured in the demonstration. The Free Speech the Klan delivered appears to have been unobjectionale to the police on the scene. The Klansmen must have been LOL knowing Margaret Connors and other members of the prosecutor’s office were busy trying to build cases against the morally upright anti-KKK protestors.

       —Colorado Sun    Mar. 5 '08 - 09:25AM    #
  39. “One suspects there may have been more than a twinge of admiration by law enforcement personnel toward the Klan and their philosophies.”

    I can’t think of anyone I know who suspects any such thing. Just because you’re unhinged doesn’t mean that the rest of us agree with you.

    “I do not recall a single Klansman being arrested or injured in the demonstration.”

    What a failure! Wouldn’t it have been better if one of them had been hurt? Or would you only have been satisfied if someone was killed? I watched some of the “rally” in 1998 and it’s only one of two times that I’ve ever felt unsafe in the streets of Ann Arbor. All of us were sickened by the actions of the Klan members but the behavior of some of the anti-Klan protesters was scary. Using the Klan’s views to excuse that behavior doesn’t cut it with me. Larry’s take on that day is here:

       —John Q.    Mar. 5 '08 - 09:43AM    #
  40. Just to be clear: the Peace Team was not organized by the police or the local government. We organized ourselves, conducted training, etc., completely outside of anyone else’s auspices. As I recall, the police were pretty skeptical at first.

    Members of the Peace Team also opposed criminal prosecution of the protesters.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Mar. 6 '08 - 12:32AM    #
  41. “Yes, local government rolled out the red carpet for the Klan in 1998”

    I was under the impression that the courts had ordered Ann Arbor to let them come speak. I think there were some good threads on this subject on the old michimc, or imcmich or what ever it was called.

       —just a voice    Mar. 6 '08 - 12:50AM    #
  42. Thanks for the clarification, Larry. There had been some accounts that Peace Team members were police informants, however news accounts had described Peace Team members giving court testimony favorable to some of the criminal defendants being charged. In retrospect, it appears that the Peace Team performed a valuable function and were the heroes in averting what could have been a potentially catastrophic situation.

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 6 '08 - 03:20AM    #
  43. If Joan Lowenstein becomes Judge, how will she rule on the rights of Palestine human rights advocates?

    What if Palestinians picket in front of the local Zionist federation (of which she was President)? As judge, will Lowenstein allow that or not?

    Lowenstein’s invocation of the words “terrorist” and “anti-Semitism”, during the last University of Michigan divestment conference, is recorded in the “Michigan Daily”:

    Lowenstein’s invocation of the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘anti-Semitism’


    Will Lowenstein, as Judge, shut down Palestine human rights pickets? Will she use the police to move picketers where they cannot be seen?

    These are very real questions in Ann Arbor, and must be answered.

       —Re: Lowenstein    Mar. 6 '08 - 04:16AM    #
  44. As every schoolchild knows, district judges don’t have authority over picketing, and can’t tell the police what to do.

    So the answers to the questions are “no” and “no”.

       —David Cahill    Mar. 6 '08 - 04:30AM    #
  45. About Joan Lowenstein, who is— yes— trying to become a District Court Judge.

    You pretend Lowenstein could never rule on the use of police force, against Palestine rights advocates?

    1. A District Judge presided over the Ann Arbor anti-Palestine Show Trial of the Century.

    2. Under the orders of the American Movement for Israel, University of Michigan police bloodily beat down a Palestine human rights protest— assaulting, battering, and handcuffing peaceful protesters left and right.

    3. Then, a District Judge presided over the trial of a Palestine human rights advocate, a doctor, who had been criminally charged and prosecuted by Prosecutor Margaret Connors— simply for opening her mouth at the scene.



    Do you believe a “District Judge” Lowenstein would NOT have put that doctor in jail?...

    * by allowing the police to further pack the witness box,

    * by allowing Prosecutor Connors to add more and more criminal charges, and

    * by allowing Prosecutor Connors to put the doctor on trial for all kinds of Palestine human rights speech uttered by others?

    Can you tell us— with a straight face— that Judge Lowenstein’s deadly serious smears against Palestine solidarity activists would NEVER influence what she lets police and prosecutors get away with, when Israel is at stake?

    Do you believe Lowenstein would ever FAIL to defend the Apartheid State of Israel, based on her public record?

    Do you believe that Lowenstein has changed so much, since she publicly smeared the U-M divestment conference? Remember the words she used? “Terrorist”, and “anti-Semitism”?

    Look again, and answer:

    Lowenstein’s invocation of the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘anti-Semitism’

    You know what Lowenstein is—

    Joan Lowenstein is the City Councilmember who supported abolishing the whole Public Comment period, at the start of each meeting, when pro-Palestine comments started appearing.

    The ACLU had to put a leash on City Council, before it actually abolished Public Comment!

    So… is Lowenstein YOUR choice, to rule on who may speak against Israel, where, and how?

    That is a real question in this town.

       —Re: Lowenstein    Mar. 6 '08 - 05:10AM    #
  46. I appreciate your comment, John Q., however I deny being “unhinged”. To clarify my position, I am happy, like everyone else, that the Klan rally in Ann Arbor in 1998 was relatively safe and no serious injuries reported to anyone. To this end, both the large contingent of police, along with the Peace Team, should be credited with a job well done. My primary issue, though, is that following the rally, in which no arrests were made, the Ann Arbor Police Department became a command center for a massive investigation that reviewed surveillance vidotapes of the rally and ultimately identified and sought to apprehend no less than 35 criminal suspects who happened to be anti-KKK protestors. The motivations for targeting exclusively anti-KKK demonstrators and no Klansmen has always been the subject of widespead debate, especially since there was very little harm done by way of bodily injury and property damage and this investigation consumed numerous dozens of hours of detective manpower. One teeenage suspect was arrested at gunpoint afrter taking a shower. A total of 20 defendants were eventually arraigned in the Ann Arbor District Court. The Peace Team opposed the prosecutions as did numerous other organizations and prominent individuals. Prosecutor Brian Mackie rebuffed the petitions and entreaties of many, including prominent members of his own Democratic Party, by stating he would let the courts decide the matter; this was viewed by outsiders as a poor exercise of prosecutorial discretion by Mackie. By the beginning of 2000, 17 of the cases were dismissed, two were acquitted of rioting by juries and one was convicted of assaulting an officer and received probation. Ryan Lang, a 16-year old was acquitted by a jury in less than one hour by a jury who said the saw no evidence to support a charge of riot; then there was Mrs. Alvarez, 46-year-old mother of two children that had been previously active as a campaign manager in local political races, who was the last defendant acquitted by jury. Mackie eventually appealed dismissal rulings in a limited number of felony rioting cases and obtained a reversal in 2001 and remand back to the lower court and thereby saved some face over what the public had viewed as a public relations fiasco for Mackie’s office. Given the political affiliation and racial composition of the defendants there was speculation these may have been factors in decisions to investigate and prosecute the anti-KKK demonstrators as opposed to the KKK who clearly were trying to incite a riot with their racially offensive chants and comments being broadcast fron City Hall. I agree that there were certain bad apples among the anti-Klan protestors, but nothing to warrant the number of those charged nor the gravity of the charges. Law enforcement and the KKK have a “mutual admiration society”. Look at the official website of the Ku Klux Klan and you see a section dedicated to glorifying instances of police brutality and racial profiling and extolling such officers as heroes of the white race. It was not too long ago that columnist Debbie Schlussel in her hate-filled anti-Arab, anti-Moslem website, called Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones a “friend” and lauded the filmed brutalization and humiliation of Ann Arbor attorney/civil rights activist Blaine Coleman by law enforcement. So yes, there are concerns that the anti-KKK protestors were not given a level playing field in 1998 and politics may have been a significant factor in motivating the scope and direction of those investigations. I do not believe I am alone in that analysis. That matter is now being revisited because a key player in those criminal prosecutions is seeking a judgeship.

       —Colorado Sun    Mar. 6 '08 - 08:24AM    #
  47. I anticipate Margaret Connors’ political base during the upcoming judicial election will be local members of law enforcement and political allies of her husband. Her campaign filings indicate she expects to spend less than $20,000.00 however I cannot believe she run a competitive campaign on such scant funding. Local Democratic Party leaders and civil rights activists need to mobilize and organize to defeat Connors. If elected, I speculate she will be a “hanging judge”.

       —Kaptain Krunch    Mar. 6 '08 - 09:49AM    #
  48. Now that the issue has been broached, I do not ever recall any single instance of law enforcement being accused of police brutality agaist a member of the Ku Klux Klan nor do I know of any instance where police have been assaulted by the KKK. Remember the Livingston County Sheriff Department deputy awhile back who attended a cross burning in full uniform? What about the white supremacist organizer of a rally in Arizona who was filmed shaking hands of local police who were assigned to guard the supremacists during a rally. It seems to me the next time the KKK comes to Ann Arbor it may be a good idea for the AAPD to bring along police officer job applications and pass them out to KKK members. Excuse my sarcasm!

       —Colorado Sun    Mar. 6 '08 - 11:38AM    #
  49. Colo-Sun: There is a more plausible explanation for the lack of violent incidents between police and the KKK.

    I’m guessing that the average KKK member has a strongly authoritarian personality. The organization itself is steeply hierarchical, with extravagant status-laden leadership titles like “Wizard” and “Grand Dragon”.

    These are not folks who see themselves as having a grievance against law enforcement as such. The KKK was most active and violent when it saw itself as a defender of the status quo power structure. Faced with an armed, uniformed, badge-wearing police officer, a KKK’er would be deferential.

    The KKK attacks the oppressed and powerless — not the powerful.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Mar. 6 '08 - 11:30PM    #
  50. I would like to see an open forum similar to “Meet the Candidates” where the public could present questions and learn the judicial candidates’ positions and their background. There have been so many recent posts regarding candidates Lowenstein and Connors, I think the public needs to have answers to these important questions regarding abortion, prosecutorial discretion, human rights of minorities, party preferences, and fitness for office.

       —Mark Koroi    Mar. 7 '08 - 06:25AM    #
  51. There will be a number of contested races in the August 5th primary election. I would hope that the League of Women Voters or a similar organization step up to organize a series of events where voters could hear and ask questions of the candidates.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Mar. 7 '08 - 07:30AM    #
  52. The last post, about judicial candidate Lowenstein, and Lowenstein’s remarks about the Muslim hijab, has been deleted.


       —Re: Lowenstein    Mar. 8 '08 - 03:17AM    #
  53. This is just a wild guess, but probably because the “hijab” remark, which referenced non-Islamic 2006 Green Party U.S. Congressional candidate Aimee Smith’s wearing of one, has been referenced on ArborUpdate “ad nauseum” for the past 6 months and anti-Lowenstein posts have been so plentiful with nothing really new being communicated that the webmaster wanted to protect the senses of ArborUpdate afficionados from a further barrage of such posts. If any other readers concur in my insightful analysis, I would be glad to hear from them on this thread.

       —Roadman    Mar. 8 '08 - 04:16AM    #
  54. Roadman, I’ld go one step further and say that the anti-lowenstein and anti-israel people are partially responsible for the slow down in comments and articles here.

       —just a voice    Mar. 8 '08 - 06:43PM    #
  55. Ahhh, these anonymous tributes to censorship can bring a tear to one’s eye.

       —Michael Schils    Mar. 8 '08 - 07:45PM    #
  56. Which judicial candidates have committed to a public debate, with audience questions?

       —Judges    Mar. 14 '08 - 02:59AM    #
  57. There isn’t a question on the candidacy form about that.

    Like I said above, I expect some group like the League of Women Voters will set up an event and invite all the candidates.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Mar. 14 '08 - 12:45PM    #
  58. Is anybody running against Judge Archie Brown? I have heard some citizens moan they would like a choice to consider.

       —Colorado Sun    Mar. 15 '08 - 05:07AM    #
  59. Regarding the Margaret Connors district judge candidacy, I suspect her husband will be getting insiders from his circle that may likely include Dick Sobel, Gary Rogow, Bob Logeman, and Denise Fawcett to assist in one way or another for Margaret Connors’ campaign; Denise Fawcett represented Tim Connors in his 1995 divorce from Susan Connors. Judge Connors is reportedly steamed over the website that criticized his judicial performance and tried to discover the identities of those who are responsible for the site; another report has Tim Connors irked over the failure of his wife to get a magistrate’s position last year.It is believed that the Margaret Connors candidacy may have been motivated by her husband’s ambition to consolidate his political clout in Ann Arbor. In any event, it shall be an interesting race.

       —Roadman    Mar. 17 '08 - 06:26AM    #
  60. Regarding the problem of jail overcrowding, do what Wayne County has done for years – send your misdemeanor convicts to outstate county jails for a reasonble price. Wayne County had so many pending felony cases without defendants out on bond there was literally no space for those convicted of misdemeanor offenses. Nowadays you have judges who jail people for almost no reason just to make a statement. A few years ago the Attorney General’s Office wanted to jail store merchants who did not pay tobacco taxes; later we had Mike Cox wanted to bring felony charges against people who did not pay child support. We had a judge in Eastpointe who sentenced jaywalkers and noisy neighbors to county jail terms. All this judicial sentencing insanity does is cause jail overcrowding and a greater burden on taxpayers.

       —OWBanker    Mar. 22 '08 - 05:22AM    #
  61. Poor Dan Minzey was just interviewed on a local television station today regarding a confirmed federal investigation over a possible Hatch Act violation dating back to when he first ran for sheriff in 2000 while a sergeant at a substation of the sheriff’s department. The government will not disclose who made the complaint but one can bet “dollars to doughnuts” it likely may have been a actual or former prospective primary opponent, on one hand, or ,on the second hand, somebody in county government who was ruffled over suits and public criticism such as one that was the subject of this thread. I cannot believe this investigation will lead anywhere after the elapsing of 8 years and a questionable interpretation of an obscure federal act.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 15 '08 - 07:07AM    #
  62. Art Aisner had a good article yesterday in the Ann Arbor News regarding the federal investigation of Sheriff Minzey. The information I have received is that Minzey is not alone as far as investigations for violations of election laws are concerned as several elected officials in Ann Arbor are currently in the process of being targeted. More should become known in these regards in upcoming weeks, but it does sure seem convenient that the Minzey story is splashed in the broadcast and print media only seven weeks prior to a contested primary election.

       —Kerry D.    Jun. 16 '08 - 02:25AM    #
  63. The Ann Arbor News reported earlier this week that Minzey will be responsible personally for a legal bill exceeding $100,000 for his lawsuits against the county. The County incurred over $236,000 in legal fees. The Monroe County Circuit Court judge dismissed the final two counts of Minzey’s last pending lawsuit. This is a victory for Jeff Irwin and Bob Guenzel.

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 22 '08 - 12:46AM    #