"Court drops OWI charge" (Daily Press, Aug. 31, front page) smacks of the "good ole' boy" network too much to be ignored.
1. The article states "officers" (meaning more than one) obtained a search warrant. It was not mentioned if they did, (or did not do) the typical roadside sobriety tests that are done in every case I've heard of.
2. To obtain a search warrant, dispatcher directed the police to a magistrate who was relieved of her position and authority five weeks previously due to mental health issues. T
he dispatcher "didn't know?" News/gossip like that goes through a municipality like wildfire. I don't believe law enforcement dispatcher could be that ignorant of changes in authority. Was that the first request for a search warrant in five weeks? Any disciplinary action for the dispatcher?
3. Being relieved of duty for five weeks, the former magistrate knew she did not have the authority to sign for a search warrant. Why did she? Any consequences or criminal charges for her?
I believe the fix was in right from the start. Why didn't the Cheboygan County prosecutor go ahead with a jury trial? The arresting officers must have observed some signs of intoxication...slurred speech, smell of alcohol on the breath, roadside tests...something to indicate Lt. Smith be arrested. Did Lt. Smith refuse the breathalyzer test? A previous article stated Lt. Smith demanded a blood test. Strange? I would think there would be enough evidence, (without the blood test) to go to trial and obtain a conviction. Many many people have been convicted of alcohol driving offenses before the blood test came into play.
Lt. Smith has had an eight week paid leave of absence, shall we call it a vacation?
This article tells me, "It's business as usual for law enforcement" The fix is in.