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Ex-Prosecutor Karen Plants Pleads Guilty To Misconduct


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Plead out from life sentence to six months in jail!

 

An ordinary person such as myself would never be offered such a deal with that amount of coke involved. Just shows that LEO will and does break the law knowing deep down they'll never do any serious time.

 

 

http://www.freep.com/article/20110303/NEWS01/103030553/1001/news

 

Former assistant prosecutor Karen Plants admitted Wednesday that she went from Wayne County's anti-drug chief to criminal ringleader in the biggest case in her career.

 

Appearing before Presiding Judge Timothy Kenny, Plants pleaded guilty to official misconduct in a 2005 cocaine case -- joining a small band of disgraced prosecutors who abused their positions and landed behind bars.

 

As part of her plea with the Michigan Attorney General's Office, Plants, once Wayne County's top drug prosecutor, will serve a six-month jail term for hiding a key witness' role as a paid police informant in a 47-kilo cocaine case. With her plea, she avoided a potential life sentence for a conspiracy with two Inkster narcotics cops to lie about the March 11, 2005, bust.

 

"I just want to get it over with," Plants said, agreeing to start her time with her March 28 sentencing.

 

"Jail time was a requirement for us because she was the ringleader in a case that has permanently scarred our criminal justice system," said John Sellek, the attorney general's spokesman.

 

Cooley Law School professor Jeff Martlew, a retired circuit judge for Clinton and Gratiot counties, said the sentence "sounds about right. You need to send a message, and any jail time has to be shocking for anyone involved in criminal prosecutions."

 

The plea leaves only retired judge Mary Waterstone, accused of allowing the perjury, facing charges.

 

The ex-cops, Scott Rechtzigel and Robert McArthur, pleaded guilty this week. McArthur will serve 90 days in jail. Rechtzigel's plea calls for no jail time, but Kenny hasn't yet accepted the plea deal.

 

Plants left court without commenting. But her lawyer, Ben Gonek, said the plea is "a mature decision considering the amount of time she was facing."

 

"If anyone had done the right thing, we wouldn't be here now," Gonek said. "There's plenty of blame to go around. ... 'Thou shalt not lie' is one of the ten big ones."

 

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she would not comment because the sentencing and Waterstone's case are still pending.

 

Worthy kept Plants on the job for about two years after the perjury was uncovered. She was suspended with pay for another six months starting in April 2008. Plants resigned in February 2009.

 

Plants' law license was automatically suspended Wednesday, said Robert Agacinski, the state's Attorney Grievance Administrator.

 

"Pleading guilty to a perjury-related felony is a high-end violation," Agacinski said.

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She was not charged with cocaine. The article is short on the background. The Judge, Persecutor, and cops were all caught setting a guy up during a drug raid where an informant was selling 47 kilos of coke. The Judge, Persecutor, and cops knowingly committed perjury. Once again the system is caught sending people to prison through the corruption of the courts.

 

The Drug War is the problem. The Drug War is killing the court system and the trust of the people.

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A little more info.

 

DETROIT -- A former Wayne County drug prosecutor, a retired judge and two Inkster police officers were arraigned Tuesday on charges that included perjury and conspiracy related to testimony that they gave in a 2005 cocaine case.

 

 

 

 

 

Former assistant prosecutor Karen Plants, retired Wayne County Circuit Judge Mary Waterstone and Inkster police officers Sgt. Scott Rechtzigel and Robert McCarthur were arraigned after charges were filed against them by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

 

 

"It's a sad day because law enforcement professionals are involved as defendants. This case is important because the allegations here undermined the credibility of our justice system," Cox said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

 

 

The charges center on the 2005 trial of Alexander Aceval who is currently in prison on a drug conviction. Cox believes judge Waterstone, prosecutor Plants and the two police officers all knowingly allowed a key witness to lie on the stand, possibly changing the outcome of the case.

 

 

Cox's office said Waterstone presided over the case in which Plants allowed the police and the witness to testify falsely that the witness had no prior contact with police.

 

 

The drug bust took place March 11, 2005, and according to charges sought by Cox, the officers are accused of lying to conceal the role of an informant.

 

 

According to court documents, in September 2005, Waterstone also signed orders banning the defendants' attorneys from access to the informant's cellular phone records. It is alleged Waterstone issued the orders to prevent defense lawyers from finding out the informant had, in fact, talked to one of the officers.

 

 

Tuesday, when asked by a Local 4 News reporter to respond to the charges, Waterstone replied, "Not today." Waterstone was escorted out of the courthouse by her attorneys who also brushed aside reporters' questions saying, "No comment guys."

 

 

Plants' defense attorney Ben Gonek did respond, insisting that "The charges are absurd. I mean it's ridiculous. It's a complete abuse of prosecutorial discretion."

 

 

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said, "Our system of justice is based upon the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. I sincerely hope that these defendants will be afforded the same rights as others."

 

 

"With the state of Michigan's finances, the way they are, this is a complete waste of taxpayer money," Gonek said.

 

 

Attorney David Moffit represents Aceval.

 

 

"Mr. Aceval is patient and philosophical. He's waited a long time to be validated, for his allegations to be seen as true and today is that first day," Moffit said.

 

 

Waterstone was charged with four counts of official misconduct.

 

 

Plants was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit perjury and four counts of misconduct.

 

 

According to court records, Plants is accused of never having corrected the testimony of the officers. Although the judge was informed of the perjury, the defense attorneys for those arrested in the drug bust were not told.

 

 

Worthy suspended Plants with pay last April after the State Attorney Grievance Commission issued a formal complaint. Last November, Plants left the prosecutor's office, opting for an early retirement.

 

 

Sgt. Rechtzigel and Officer Robert McArthur were each charged with one of count conspiracy to commit perjury, two counts of perjury and one count of preparing false police report.

 

 

Inkster police said Rechtzigel has been with the department for 14 years, McCarthur for 19.

 

 

Not-guilty pleas were entered for all four defendants. Each was released on $25,000 bond.

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