Terrance Kellom's father Kevin Kellom, stepmother Yvette Johnson, with family members of two others killed by police, Kimberly Griffin and Mertilla Jones, during national tour against police brutality.

Terrance Kellom’s father Kevin Kellom, stepmother Yvette Johnson, with family members of two others killed by police, Kimberly Griffin (Kimoni Davis) and Mertilla Jones (Aiyana Jones), during national tour against police brutality.

Dearborn cops on wild again, killing Detroiter Janet Wilson Jan. 28 

No justice yet for Kevin Matthews, killed by Dearborn cop Dec. 3

Dearborn cops illegally demanded ID from Terrance Kellom’s stepmother Yvette Johnson, a jitney passenger

Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who refused to charge cops in Kellom execution, resurrected previously dismissed case vs. Johnson

Johnson held 12 days before release on bond

Dearborn cop threatened to arrest reporter making legal request to view Yvette Johnson’s file 

By Diane Bukowski

February 4, 2016

Janet Wilson, killed by Dearborn cops Jan. 28, 2016

Janet Wilson, killed by Dearborn cops Jan. 28, 2016 in Dearborn

Kevin Matthews, killed by Dearborn cop Dec. 23, 2015

Kevin Matthews, killed by Dearborn cop Dec. 23, 2015 in Detroit

DEARBORN – The Dearborn police appear not to have been deterred by a large protest and cries of outrage over their recent killings of unarmed mentally ill Black Detroiters, Kevin Matthews on Dec. 23 and Janet Wilson, 31, on Jan. 28.

Now they and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy have targeted Yvette Johnson, the stepmother of Terrance Kellom, 19, killed in his father’s Detroit home by an inter-agency police task force last April. Worthy faced extreme pressure and criticism for not charging police in the young dad’s death.

Johnson has been active along with her husband Kevin Kellom in fighting for justice for their son, rallying in Detroit and traveling to various cities to build the national movement against racist police killings.

Terrance Kellom with baby son before he was executed by police task force in April, 2015.

Terrance Kellom with baby son before he was executed by police task force in April, 2015.

“I was coming home in a jitney when the Dearborn police stopped us Jan. 21,” Johnson told VOD. “They made the driver and me show our ID’s, then they did a warrant search, and arrested me.”

The reason for the stop is unknown. The Michigan Legal Aid Society says such searches of passengers are uncalled for.

“You must show identification if you are stopped while driving or if you are in a place that sells alcoholic beverages,” Legal Aid says on their website. “At any other time, you cannot be legally arrested for failing to present identification to a police officer. However, you may be asked to state your name, age, and address.”

Court records in the case indicate that Dearborn police officer Cpl. Daniel J. Goebel stopped the jitney Jan. 21, 2016 at 19401 Hubbard, the address for Henry Ford Medical Center in Fairlane.

Janet Wilsons car, punctured by bullet holes, after it was rammed by Dearborn cops.

Janet Wilsons car, punctured by bullet holes, after it was rammed by Dearborn cops Jan. 28, 2016.

Just a week later, Dearborn police rammed Janet Wilson’s car from both sides a short distance away, at Hubbard near Southfield, then shot her to death, twice in the chest, through her windshield. They claimed she had tried to run down a cop.

According to news reports, Wilson had just left a store in the Fairlane mall after suffering a schizophrenic episode and was attempting to go home.

Ericka Erickson of Fox 2 News reported that Daryl Burke, a close family friend, said “She was murdered. That’s how I feel. She was murdered.” He said she was not dangerous and he had never been afraid of her.

Michigan State Police ICHAT records on Yvette Johnson do not show any outstanding warrants. But at the request of Dearborn police, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy re-instituted several 2014 felony charges against Johnson related to possession of a painkiller that Johnson said had been dismissed with prejudice in Garden City. The Dearborn court tacked on an outstanding bench warrant related to a 2012 Dearborn parking ticket.

Pros. Kym Worthy with Terrance Kellom

Pros. Kym Worthy with Terrance Kellom’s autopsy diagram, as she refuses to charge cops who killed him.

Judge Vesta Svenson, who works weekends in a Romulus courthouse, arraigned Johnson on a “Controlled Substance” charge Jan. 24. The arraignment took place only after Kevin Kellom said he called the Dearborn Police Department repeatedly about his wife’s detention.

Kellom told VOD that Dearborn Police falsely claimed there was no longer a 72-hour limit on detaining an individual without charges. The Custody Order on Johnson incorrectly dates her arrest as Jan. 24, 2016. Johnson told VOD that a Dearborn cop appeared with her on-screen, and objected to Svenson’s original declaration of a personal bond.

Instead, Johnson was given a $4,000 bond, 10% cash, with a requirement for a tether.

Dearborn police station where Yvette Johnson was held.

Dearborn police station where Yvette Johnson was held.

The Kellom family had trouble raising $400 to bond Johnson out, but eventually with donations, bond was posted with Sheriffs at the Wayne County Jail on Fri. Jan. 29, after a lengthy wait. One of the members of the team that killed Terrance Kellom was a Wayne County Sheriff.

There were further abnormal delays over the weekend, and Johnson was not released from the tether unit at Dickerson Jail until Mon. Feb. 1. In all, Johnson had been incarcerated for 12 days, part of that time in the Dearborn police station.

Kellom said that during one call to the station, he heard a woman crying in the background, and a cop telling her “Oh, shut up, Sandra Bland.”

Sandra Bland, who died under suspicious circumstances in Texas jail cell.

Sandra Bland, who died under suspicious circumstances in Texas jail cell.

Despite the fact that Dearborn borders Detroit, which is at least 82 percent Black, and that Detroiters frequent numerous establishments in Dearborn, the Dearborn police force has no Black officers, according to attorney Craig Tank. Its police chief Ronald Haddad is Arab-American, as are some of its officers, but there is not a lot of love lost between Detroit’s Black community and Arab-American merchants in Detroit.

When this reporter went to Dearborn’s 19th District Court to review Johnson’s file Feb. 1, she was escorted to Judge Sam Salamey’s chambers to do so by a court employee. Salamey is the judge set to conduct Johnson’s probable cause and bench warrant hearings Feb. 5.

Black defendant (right)being arraigned by 19th District Judge Sam Salamey Photo by Joe Slezak

Black defendant (right)being arraigned by 19th District Judge Sam Salamey Photo by Joe Slezak

While this reporter was reviewing the file, Salamey’s clerk Michelle and an Arab-American Dearborn cop, Officer Hazise, entered. Obviously enraged, Hasize snatched the file out of the reporter’s hand and physically advanced on her, threatening her with immediate arrest if she did not leave the chambers.

He said she had no right to review the file because it involved felonies.

However, Michigan statutes permit any citizen to review court files and obtain copies, unless limited by local ordinances, a fact that is well known in other courts this reporter has dealt with. Court administrator Eric Cyman eventually apologized for the actions of the two court employees, and gave the file back for review and copying to this reporter.

Related stories:

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Judge Evans lectures Robocop for 20 minutes: “Today is payback for resorting to an act of cowardly brutality. . . .It ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.”

Dent: “I may be able someday to forgive what he did to me as a man, but no one should ever forgive what he did as a police officer.”

Melendez (poem): “Those of us that carry badges can’t always be a saint. We work most Sundays and at times talk tough because the streets can be awful rough.” 

Squires: “How many people has he put in jail, maimed and destroyed their lives, like he framed my son and gave him a record? He should have been locked up a long time ago.” 

#FloydDent, #Robocop, #WilliamMelendez, #Jailkillercops, #Beatbackthebullies, #Blacklivesmatter, #BlacklivesmatterDetroit, #StopPoliceBrutality, #StopPoliceMurders, #Saveourchildren, #Standupnow, #StopwaronBlackAmerica, #PoliceState, #PrisonNation, #Policeviolence

By Diane Bukowski

February 3, 2016

Media including Kevin Dietz of Channel 4 (l), who pursued Dent story, interview Floyd Dent (r) with attorney Gregory Rohl (center) after Melendez sentencing Feb. 2, 2016.

Media including Kevin Dietz of Channel 4 (l), who pursued Dent’s story, interview Floyd Dent (r) with attorney Gregory Rohl (center) after Melendez sentencing Feb. 2, 2016.

DETROIT—Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans sentenced former Detroit, Inkster, and Highland Park cop William Melendez to 13 months to 1o years in state prison Feb. 2 for his near fatal-beating of Floyd Dent in Jan. 2015.

“Robocop’s” police dashcam video of the grisly incident had captured worldwide attention.

A majority-Black jury convicted Melendez of “assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder” and “misconduct in office” Nov. 19, before his remand to Wayne County Jail. Judge Evans said a jail time credit of 90 days was to be applied to the second count only.

Judge Vonda Evans castigates actions of 'Robocop' Melendez for 20 minutes prior to sentencing him.

Judge Vonda Evans castigates actions of ‘Robocop’ Melendez for 20 minutes prior to sentencing him.

Melendez had faced a total maximum sentence of 15 years on both counts.

“The victim involved was a 58-year-old Black man driving a Cadillac in Inkster Jan. 28 before his life was changed forever,” Evans said prior to delivering the sentence.

“He was stopped for minor traffic offenses, had his hands extended out of his window, then was grabbed out of the car, thrown on the ground, struck 16 times in the head, kicked and tased by a group of angry and anxious police officers that celebrated afterwards by fist-bumping as shown on the video.”

Below is the dashcam video from “Robocop’s” own car that garnered world-wide attention and outrage.

Judge Evans said she was most struck by a police station video showing a bloodied Dent in an Inkster cell, shaking his head in disbelief at what had occurred.

Floyd Dent, bloodied and seriously injured, in police cell. No medical attention was given for hours.

Floyd Dent, bloodied and seriously injured, in police cell. No medical attention was given for hours.

“He must have been asking himself, ‘What crime did I commit: being a Black man in a Cadillac stopped by a group of racist police?’” she surmised.

Judge Evans notably said that Dent had BOTH hands out of the car before he was dragged to the ground by Melendez’ partner, an issue that was hotly contested by Melendez and his attorney James Thomas during the trial. They claimed Dent was reaching his right hand to the other side of the car.

However, a still frame from the video of his beating clearly shows Dent with both hands out after he opened his car door. Note the photo below, which shows his left hand reflected as a white shape in the glare of the police headlights, while his right hand is on the handle of the car door.

Dent shows both hands as Melendez trains gun on him during Jan. 28, 2015 stop.

Dent shows both hands as Melendez trains gun on him during Jan. 28, 2015 stop.

The police station video, which included a section showing Melendez and other cops wiping Dent’s blood off their uniforms as they laughed and mocked Dent, was released only due to the dogged persistence of WDIV (Detroit Channel 4) reporter Kevin Dietz.

Judge Evans also cited racist texts from and to Melendez’ volunteer auxiliary cop partner John Zielenewski, including one that said, “At least give me the satisfaction of knowing you are out there beating up n*****s right now,” one text  to Zieleniewski read.

Auxiliary Inkster cop John Zielenewski testifies at trial.

Auxiliary Inkster cop John Zielenewski testifies at trial.

“LOL,” Zieleniewski said in his response. “Just got done with one.” Zieleniewski was the cop who dragged Dent out of his car.

“The way you denigrated that man was awful, making fun of him while you wiped his blood off your uniform,” Judge Evans told Melendez directly. “Today is payback for resorting to a cowardly act of brutality. There’s a saying, ‘It ain’t no fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.’ I can only punish your conduct, but it’s up to God to change your character.”

Judge Evans was constricted by sentencing guidelines of 29-57 months that included no previous convictions. Melendez has never been charged for two killings, beatings, frame-ups and death threats alleged in numerous lawsuits during his 25 year tenure on the Detroit and Inkster police forces. 

Wayne County Jail mugshot of William Melendez Nov. 19, 2015.

William Melendez mugshot.

'Robocop' in battle gear.

‘Robocop’ in battle gear.

He was charged federally in 2003 for being the ringleader of an LA “Ramparts” style squadron of Detroit Third and Fourth Precinct cops which brutalized poor people for years, but a jury acquitted him and the others despite the testimony of 17 Black Detroit officers against the defendants.

“He got off light, I was hoping at least three to four years,” Dent said after the sentencing. Most present seemed to deem it likely the state parole board would release Melendez after his minimum sentence, a situation that rarely occurs in the cases of more than 50,000 others in Michigan’s prison system.

“Going to prison is different than jail,” Dent added. “But I feel that no man should be away from his family. I have already forgiven him and have no hatred towards him. Physically and emotionally, I’m doing pretty good considering I can barely move my left arm, and the beating messed up my speech a little bit. But I would be willing to give up the settlement with Inkster if I could go back to my life as it was before Jan. 28.”

Floyd Dent with niece Dynisha Miller, who read his victim impact statement.

Floyd Dent with niece Dynisha Smith, who read his victim impact statement.

Dent’s attorney Gregory Rohl negotiated a settlement of nearly $1.4 million with the City of Inkster after thousands of people marched repeatedly on the Inkster and Highland Park police stations in Dent’s support.

Rohl said, “This sends a message to other police officers, that they face prison time in the future [for such offenses]. For once, a Black man has finally seen this happen.”

Earlier, Dent’s niece Dynisha Smith, wearing a T- shirt declaring, “Stop Police Brutality,” read his “Victim Impact Statement,” which he dictated to her.

“I would first like to thank the court for the kindness and respect shown toward me when I testified . . . I am here as a free man at least,” she read in part. “I am not the one going to court. . . But I will never be the same after Jan. 28. The beating has left me mentally and physically crippled for the rest of my life. I am grateful to all who supported me against the actions of ‘Robocop.’ I may be able someday to forgive what he did to me as a man, but no one should ever forgive what he did as a police officer.”

Dent was originally charged with possession of cocaine and other offenses later dismissed by the Wayne County Prosecutor.

Cornell Squires of Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.

“Justice was served somewhat,” reacted Cornell Squires, who said his son was framed up by Melendez in 1999.

“Now he has a criminal record, now he will get to feel what it is like to be on the other side,” Squires said. “But he’s still getting preferential treatment—this is the second time they didn’t put handcuffs on him when they led him off. How many people has he put in jail, maimed and destroyed their lives, like he framed my son and gave him a record?  He should have been locked up a long time ago. They need to revisit every case he had a part of; everyone should be exonerated. I’m glad that he got some time, thank God for a Judge like Vonda Evans that had the guts to have him incarcerated. She’s doing what most judges should do and don’t do.”

Squires is a member of the Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality.

Omar Gaither

Omar Gaither

“This is just business as usual,” Omar Gaiter, a Detroiter who was in court, told VOD. “It is superhard for a Black man out here, with cops who get paid to beat my a–. You get more time for beating a dog, like Michael Vick did, than [Melendez] got. The police don’t deter crime, the justice system does. They are nothing but a team of paramilitary bullies running around. There are thousands of innocent people in prison. I am afraid for my children in this system.”

The courtroom was packed with Melendez’s family including his wife Terry Melendez, and dozens of white cops, several of whom spent time glaring threateningly at Dent. Although not in uniform, some carried their police sidearms displayed prominently on their hips.

Also present was his former attorney David Lee, who defended him in the 2004 federal trial. Lee was at his side throughout most of this trial.

Melendezbox 2Melendez himself spoke, citing his military record as an MP, his long service as a cop, his founding of organizations including one for fallen police officers, and the dangers a cop faces working in [majority Black and poor] cities like Detroit, Highland Park and Inkster.

Addressing Dent and his family, he said, “I am truly sorry that this has caused undue hardships in your life and hope it has not caused animosity toward law enforcement. That was not my intent. Please have faith in law enforcement—many would risk their lives for you.”

He also read a poem called “The Final Inspection,” which he said he uses at funerals for “fallen” cops.

“Those of us that carry badges can’t always be a saint,” said one verse. “We work most Sundays and at times talk tough because the streets can be awful rough.”

Melendez’ current attorney, James C. Thomas, said he planned to appeal the sentencing, but did not say on what grounds.

Thomas claimed during the hearing that Dent was not seriously injured according to medical records from Garden City Hospital, where he spent three days after the beating, and from two brief visits to Henry Ford Hospital locations. He also asked Judge Evans for permission to access Dent’s records of psychiatric treatment prior to the beating, a request she denied.

He continued to insist in court that Dent was a drug user and had cocaine on him when he was stopped, despite extensive testimony by a Michigan State Police (MSP) expert at trial that secondary tests did not confirm the presence of cocaine.

Michigan Department of Corrections Probation Officer Eilea Murray, who did the pre-sentencing report on Melendez, took the stand at Judge Evans’ request. In her report, she said, she cited testimony by a Michigan State Police Investigator that although Melendez claimed he found drugs after an extensive search of Dent’s car, no other officer confirmed that allegation.

Melendez atty. James Thomas speaks after conviction Nov. 19, 2015, as Channel 4

Melendez’ atty. James Thomas speaks after conviction Nov. 19, 2015, as Channel 4 reporter Kevin Dietz listens.

She recommended that Melendez be incarcerated. Judge Evans spent extensive time peppering her with apparently brutal questions about issues such as her non-inclusion of actual copies of citations given to Melendez by police departments, and medical records from Garden City and Henry Ford Hospitals. Judge Evans said Murray appeared to rely on reports provided by doctors paid by Dent’s attorney, but Judge Evans did not question their expertise.

Murray said she had to prepare the report in a short time frame before Melendez’ original sentencing date of Dec. 4 and did not have those records. But she maintained that even if she did, her recommendation would not have changed.

Despite lengthy suggestions for correction of the sentencing report from Thomas, Judge Evans said it would do no good to have Murray re-do the report since she had already said she would not change its final result.

Video below, courtesy of Jet Magazine, contains full text of Judge Evans’ statement before she sentenced Melendez.

Related stories:

Earlier stories from the Michigan Citizen and Free Press

Serial Killer Kop and other stories MC

Feds break blue wall Melendez et al


Robocop Melendez Freep

Alleged Victims Say Cops Harassed Them Melendez et al

Vendetta Son of prominent anti police brutality activist convicted in police frame up MC DB

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Maryanne Godboldo with photo of her daughter Ariana, 13 when she was seized by a police SWAT team. forcibly medicated with harmful drugs, and abused in a state hospital. FREE OUR CHILDREN NOW!

Maryanne Godboldo in front of her home, with photo of her daughter Ariana, 13 when she was seized by a police SWAT team, forcibly medicated with harmful drugs, and abused in a state hospital. Maryanne’s battle is known world-wide, and has inspired others to fight state kidnappings of their precious children.

By Ambyr Amen-Ra

January 25, 2016

Police swat tanks roll down Linwood to kidnap Ariana from her mother in their home June 24, 2011.

Police swat tanks roll down Linwood to kidnap Ariana from her mother in their home March 24, 2011.

Our parental rights are being undermined. Maryanne Godboldo sought to provide the best health care for her child; she disagreed with The State of Michigan, Department of Human Services and Child Protective Services’ demand that she medicate her child with Risperdal, a drug that has TERRIBLE side effects.

On March 24th, 2011 Maryanne was forced to protect herself and her daughter in the wake of an over-reaction by Child Protective Services and the Detroit Police officers on the scene. CPS claimed they had an order to remove her child from her custody and asked Detroit Police to gain access to her house to do so.

Pillow talkIt was later revealed in court that the order was never presented to Maryanne on the scene, it was rubber stamped and never presented to a judge for sign off and Detroit Police were never meant to take her child. Once the Statof Michigan removed Ariana from her mother, a CPS worker signed off on a myriad of drugs to be administered to Ariana , even though she was not a doctor. At age 13, Ariana was taken from her mother for over 5 weeks and repeatedly drugged and abused while in the State’s custody.

Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy has vowed to continue to punish Maryanne.  It has been almost five years and she is still fighting. After losing four court cases, Worthy has filed a fifth appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. They have reversed the appeal and now Maryanne must fight for her freedom a FIFTH time. All she wants is to be left alone to repair the damage that was done by the State of Michigan. Please consider donating to Maryanne’s legal fund so that she can finally leave this all behind her and focus solely on her daughter, Ariana.


” Providing health care for one’s children is not something that should be surrendered to any state authority.” ~Maryanne Godboldo

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Posted on Theresa Ellis Youtube channel

January 24, 2015

Video: Rachel Maddow interviews Michigan Radio reporter on Gov. Snyder’s refusal to comply fully with order from Environmental Protection Agency on Flint water crisis.

Protest against Flint water poisoning, high bills.

Protest against Flint water poisoning, high bills.

Keith Creagh, the new Director of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, is questioning the legality of an order from the USEPA that Michigan make some substantial changes in their response to the catastrophe in Flint. The political and regulatory blame game taking place as Flint’s water and public health crisis unfolds, took another turn Friday with the new head of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality saying the state will comply with a federal order regarding the handling of the emergency, but is taking a combative stance in doing so.

First, DEQ Director Keith Creagh questioned the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal authority to make such demands. Then he disputed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s contentions in her emergency order sent to the state Thursday that the state has delayed corrective action in Flint, where high lead levels were found in drinking water.

Keith Creagh, new head of MDEQ, previously led the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, which led campaign for state take-over of Belle Isle. Here, Monica Lewis-Patrick speaks at rally againt takeover Spet. 22, 2012.

Keith Creagh, new head of MDEQ, previously led the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, which led campaign for state take-over of Belle Isle. Here, Monica Lewis-Patrick speaks at rally againt takeover Spet. 22, 2012.

[…] In Thursday’s order, the EPA said despite ongoing efforts in Flint even after the city switched back from Flint River water as its source to Lake Huron in October, there remained “underlying problems” and “fundamental deficiencies” in the response by both

The state and the city of Flint. It ordered them to inventory all the lead service lines in the city — an unknown number — and demanded the state create a publicly accessible website to post results of water sampling and reports.

Maddow will host a Town Hall Meeting in Flint, “American Disaster: The Crisis in Flint” on Wed. Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. Guests will include Flint Mayor Karen Weaver; U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow; Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Medical Center; Lanice Lawson, creator of Bottles for Babies; Curt Guyette, reporter for the ACLU in Michigan; Brynn Mickle and Ron Fonger of The Flint Journal; and Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer.

Related stories:

#FlintWaterCrisis, #BoycottMichigan, #Beatbackthebullies, #Blacklivesmatter, #BlacklivesmatterDetroit, #Detroit2Flint, #StopWaronBlackAmerica, #Waterislife, #Flintlivesmatter, #JailSnyder, #OurWaterOurVote, #PrisonNation, #PoliceState, #StandUpNow, #Saveourchildren, #SaveDetroit, #SaveFlint, #SavePontiac, #SaveBentonHarbor, #SaveHighlandPark, #DirectActionNow, #GeneralStrike

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Highest lead level in Flint: 13,000 parts per billion; most water nothing but “toxic waste”—Virginia Tech 

Snyder: “I take full responsibility to fix the problem so it will never happen again.” 

Snyder’s Public Act 436 coup d’etat led to Flint catastrophe; Pres. Obama refused to fight predecessor PA4 under Voting Rights Act 

Detroit bankruptcy, impoverishment of Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Highland Park, other cities resulted from bipartisan-approved bankster takeovers

 Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks in Flint, Lansing; ignores Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s’ most effective campaign—the Montgomery bus boycott 

By Diane Bukowski 

January 20, 2016 

DeMario Stewart of Flint said feeds his son Damonei Stewart during his two month checkup at Hurley Childrens Center. USA Today

DeMario Stewart of Flint said feeds his son Damonei Stewart during his two month checkup at Hurley Childrens Center. USA Today

DETROIT – The deliberate lead poisoning of the people of Flint, especially its children, babies and those still in their mothers’ wombs, likely ranks among the greatest genocidal crimes in the U.S. in the 21st century, an act of domestic terrorism comparable only to the thousands of murders of unarmed Blacks, Latinos and poor people by law enforcement since 2000.

No matter what promises Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made in his State of the State address last night, no matter how many planeloads and truckloads of bottled water are brought into the city now, no matter how much is spent to restructure water systems, no matter how many speeches are given, rallies held, and class action lawsuits filed, the damage done is “irreversible,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Lead has . . .serious consequences for the health of children,” WHO says. “At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioral disruption. . . .In particular lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

Some of damaging effects of lead exposureAdults are affected as well, as the graphic at right shows.

Every child and adult in Flint who drank Flint’s water since April, 2014 has been exposed to lead, according to studies done so far. That includes 8,657 children under the age of six, who are most severely affected. Ten adults have died so far from Legionnaire’s Disease, also a result of the lead contamination.

EPA guidelines for lead contamination of water indicate that action needs to be taken at 5-15 parts per billion (ppb) of lead, but that NO level is “safe.”

But in Virginia Tech’s study of 257 Flint households, according to the Washington Post, “The lowest reading they obtained was around 200 ppb, already ridiculously high. But more than half of the readings came in at more than 1,000 ppb. Some came in above 5,000 — the level at which EPA considers the water to be ‘toxic waste.’ The highest reading registered at an astounding 13,000 ppb.”

Detroit city retirees blast Snyder during protest against phony bankruptcy Oct. 2013.

Detroit city retirees blast Snyder during protest against phony bankruptcy that left most impoverished, in Oct. 2013.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the director of pediatric residency at Hurley Children’s Hospital who first exposed the severity of the crisis, told the AP, “It has such damning, lifelong and generational consequences.”

What punishment is sufficient for those who are responsible? What must be done to forever change the nature of the system that preordained this would happen?

“I know apologies won’t make up for mistakes that were made,” Snyder said at his State of the State address yesterday. “I take full responsibility to fix the problem so it will never happen again. We will be doing whatever we must until the crisis is resolved.”

He even hypocritically had Dr. Hanna-Attisha stand for a round of applause, mispronouncing her last name and saying he calls her “Dr. Mona.”

While admitting some responsibility, Snyder laid most of the blame on officials from the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services, whose leaders answered directly to him. He announced he had fired several top MDEQ executives.

He repeated the lie that the DWSD terminated its service to Flint. He also blamed the Mayor and City Council of Flint, who voted in 2013 to connect with the private Karegnondi Pipeline, although they did not vote to disconnect from DWSD immediately or use Flint River water.

Map shows proposed Karegnondi pipeline in red, opposed to DWSD water lines in blue. Karegnondi will not build individual community treatment plants.

Map shows proposed Karegnondi pipeline in red, opposed to DWSD water lines in blue. Karegnondi will not build individual community treatment plants.

The Karegnondi Pipeline itself represents more dangers. The mainstream media has held it up as the ultimate answer to Flint’s problems, providing “clean” water from Lake Huron. However, they fail to mention that is ALL Karegnondi will do. The individual communities serviced by it must build their OWN treatment facilities.

An initial assessment from the U.S. Environmental Task Force’s newly created Flint Drinking Water Task Force warns, “There are many other communities scheduled to transition from their current water sources to the KWA pipeline. Although the source water will be the same for the City of Flint and all communities transitioning to the KWA pipeline source, the intended treatment planned for these communities may differ and the studies undertaken for the City of Flint may or may not be suitable for use by the other communities.”

Snyder also blamed the EPA. The EPA said in a statement, “Our first priority is to make sure the water in Flint is safe, but we also must look at what the agency could have done differently,” with a spokeswoman confirming the agency did not act fast enough to address the problem

The EPA statement also said that “while EPA worked within the framework of the law to repeatedly and urgently communicate the steps the state needed to take to properly treat its water, those necessary (EPA) actions were not taken as quickly as they should have been.”

It cited “failures and resistance at the state and local levels to work with us in a forthright, transparent and proactive manner.”

Flint’s Department of Public Works Director Howard Croft exposed Snyder.

But it was Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder who directly ordered Flint’s then-Emergency Manager Darnell Earley to disconnect Flint’s water system from the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department and use the Flint River water and city facilities, with no lead protections in place, in April 2014. That set the poisoning of Flint in motion, according to an article published by Curt Guyette in the Michigan Democracy Watch Blog.

“In a recent interview with the ACLU of Michigan, Flint Public Works Director Howard Croft . . . pointed the finger of blame at the state, saying the decision to switch came from the governor’s office,” Guyette wrote. See the ACLU documentary he sponsored in video below.

Earley, at Snyder’s behest, is now wreaking havoc in the Detroit Public Schools.  As of today, 88 Detroit schools have been ordered shutdown due to walkouts by teachers over conditions in the schools and Snyder’s role in dismantling DPS. (See upcoming VOD article.)  

U.S. Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton took cynical advantage of the situation during the presidential debates, opining that the lead poisoning would not have happened in affluent white cities. However, she did not say that if elected, she would have the U.S. Department of Justice criminally indict Snyder or any other operatives in the disaster.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton likewise neglected to address the millions of deaths and destruction of world-class water system and other infrastructures resulting from the genocidal global wars she and President Obama initiated against Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and throughout Africa and Latin America.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson of Rainbow: PUSH spoke last week in Flint about the lead crisis, and then stuck around for celebrations of the national Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday Jan. 18. He was also present outside the Governor’s address.

“We should have .. tape around the city because Flint is a crime scene.” he said. “The people of Flint have been betrayed.”

But only two days after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Jackson did not propose using the strategy that resulted in one of Dr. King’s major successes–the Montgomery bus boycott, which brought the city to its knees economically and led eventually to passage of national civil rights legislation.

Carpool during historic Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Carpool during historic Montgomery Bus Boycott.


Why? As  Dr. King proved, the only way to affect the slaughter of poor and working people by corporate interests is to hit the banksters in the pocket.

During a Michigan Welfare Rights march against the cut-offs of 12,600 Michigan families from public benefits on Sept. 29, 2011, VOD asked Jackson and U.S Representative John Conyers if they would call for a boycott of Michigan businesses in response to what the protesters said amounted to “murder.”

Both Jackson and Conyers reacted with a horrified, resounding “NO.” They said an “economic recovery” was underway in Michigan, despite evidence to the contrary all around them in the neighborhoods of Detroit.

Protest at Detroits

Michigan Welfare Rights’ protest Sept. 29, 2011 against public aid cut-offs to families. Rev. Jesse Jackson refused to call a boycott of Michigan for this draconian measure. The late, renowned General Baker carries the “Tax the Rich” sign.

Jackson went on to attend Rainbow PUSH’s Global Automotive and Energy Summit at MGM Grand Casino the following week, hobnobbing with corporate executives who sit on Rainbow PUSH’s board.

In fact, it was Hilary Clinton’s husband Bill Clinton who signed the legislation which permanently cut-off of federal benefits to the poor after four years, if each state opted in. Just before she left office, Michigan’s Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm gave state approval, although she had vowed not to do so, leaving it to Snyder to drop the ax.

Today, Michigan’s majority-Black cities are suffering far worse than even in 2011.

Detroit children wait for free coats given away by the Moorish Science Temple of America.

Detroit children wait for free coats given away by the Moorish Science Temple of America.

In Detroit, with at least an 83 percent Black population, 59 percent of the city’s children live in poverty, with rates of unemployment, home mortgage and tax foreclosures and evictions, and public school shutdowns skyrocketing.

Under the Bankruptcy Confirmation Plan of 2014, Detroit has effectively lost the revenue of all its major assets, including the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, Belle Isle, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, where billions of dollars worth of art owned by the city was lost to a “trust.” The Flint debacle results directly from the state-sponsored dismantling of the country’s third largest public water and sewerage facility.

VOD recently reported that there are hardly any workers left at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), the largest in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. As raw sewage flows into the Detroit River and downriver to southeast Michigan and Toledo, Ohio, due to increasing disfunction there, countless more Flints can be expected.

The late, beloved Detroit retiree Belinda Myers-Florence, who fought Detroit bankruptcy with all her might.

The late, beloved Detroit retiree Belinda Myers-Florence, who fought Detroit bankruptcy with all her might as an officer of DAREA.

Like the WWTP workers, City of Detroit workers everywhere have faced massive lay-offs and privatization. Retirees are rapidly sinking below the poverty level, having lost huge chunks of their pensions, annuity savings, and medical benefits.

Some, such as Belinda Myers-Florence, officer of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA), which has now appealed the bankruptcy plan to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, have lost their lives due to the stress of this vicious attack.

Highland Park’s population of 10,000 is 93.5 percent Black, and 51 percent of its people live below the poverty level. Pontiac, 52 percent Black, has a 36.6 percent poverty rate. Flint, 56.6 percent Black, has a 41 percent poverty level.

Benton Harbor, nearly 90 percent Black, had 42.6 percent of its people living below the poverty level in 2013.

Kevin Matthews, murdered by Dearborn cop.

Kevin Matthews


Rev. Edward Pinkney

Rev. Edward Pinkney

General Motors first abandoned and impoverished Flint, Pontiac and Detroit, shutting down most of its auto plants in those cities.

Ford Motor Company, whose pro-fascist founder Henry Ford created the white city of Dearborn, has done nothing to stop the ongoing racist murders of Blacks who venture into that city, including the execution-style slaying of Kevin Matthews by a white Dearborn cop Dec. 23, 2015.

Chrysler abandoned Highland Park to its fate, leaving its public school system, libraries, and housing stock in shambles.

Among other Michigan-based companies, Whirlpool abandoned the 99 percent Black city of Benton Harbor, pulling its plants out, taking over public land, and sanctioning racist police murders there as well. With Whirlpool’s support, the activist Rev. Edward Pinkney is now languishing in a Michigan prison, falsely charged with changing dates on an election recall petition aimed at Whirlpool endorsed Mayor   name.

What is the common denominator for these cities, and many more like them, including even working-class majority white cities in Michigan? After all, over the last 10 years, the state has cut $7.2 BILLION in revenue-sharing to its cities.

It was the coup d’etat pulled off by Snyder and his legislative and corporate allies, in the secrecy of night in Dec. 2012. They created the second Emergency Manager Act, P.A. 436, after the residents of 84 out of 86 counties had voted down its virtually identical predecessor, P.A. 4, in a referendum vote.

Pres. Barack Obama, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Pres. Barack Obama, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Despite pleas by Michigan’s Black population, 51 percent of which was disenfranchised under the Emergency Manager acts, the country’s first Black President, Barack Obama, and his Black attorney general Eric Holder, refused to open a Voting Rights Act investigation of the legislation, requested by U.S. Congressman John Conyers (D-Detroit).

Hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. fought in the streets, in the fields, in the cities of the south and north, and many lost their lives, to establish the Voting Rights Act. The failure of a Democratic, Black administration to fight the attack on it in Michigan was a historic betrayal that can never be forgiven or forgotten.

Like the youth of Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and elsewhere, who have spent the last two years fighting in the streets for their very lives against police assassinations, the people of Flint and of Michigan must not be hoodwinked by the election hi-jinks being played out now.



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Clifford Stafford sentenced to 18 months probation, $1300, community service 

Hathaway to hold “Ginther” evidentiary hearing for Mary Ann Stafford Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 

VOD makes further inquiries to Wells Fargo, which officially denied being “complainant” in case 

“Place crime scene tape around Frank Murphy building”—Professor O

 By Diane Bukowski

 Jan. 15, 2016

2008 global economic meltdown caused by greedy subprime mortgage lending.

2008 global economic meltdown caused by greedy subprime mortgage lending.

DETROIT – Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway, late of “MO’-WATER-SHUTOFFS” notoriety,** laid the blame for the global subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008  on the shoulders of Detroit residents Clifford and Mary Stafford, giving passing mention to the nation’s banks and mortgage lenders, during the couple’s  sentencing hearing Jan. 13.

Mr. Stafford is a retired autoworker and Marine Corps veteran, while Mrs. Stafford is a homemaker who does credit counseling and other community services.

Hathaway sentenced Mr. Stafford to 18 months probation, $1300 in fees, and 200 hours of community service for “obstruction of justice,” in allegedly defrauding Wells Fargo Bank, the largest home mortgage lender in the country. Mary Stafford, who was also found guilty of “False Pretenses,” a 15-year felony, will have a “Ginther” evidentiary hearing Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 at 9 a.m. based on several motions filed pro se including ineffective assistance of counsel. 

Omar Mimrah

Omar Mimrah

The last row of the courtroom was packed with members of the Staffords’ family and friends. They are asking to community as a whole to turn out for the Feb. 5 hearing.

“How can they say Detroit is coming back when the Detroit criminal justice system is sitting on a cesspool?” Omar Mimrah, known as “Professor O,” told VOD. “Yellow crime scene tape needs to be put all around this building [the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice], an investigation must be held, and it must be shut down.”

Several supporters noted that if the the Deed Fraud Task Force can target community anti-foreclosure advocates like the Staffords without cause, using fabricated and fraudulent evidence, no one is safe. Valerie Kauth, of Reliant Title, testified during the Staffords’ preliminary exam that it was NOT HER SIGNATURE AS NOTARY on a 2007 warranty deed repeatedly displayed to the jury. Yet the only person Douglas targeted was Mrs. Stafford, who said her signature on the same deed was forged.

Wells Fargo representative James E. Hines has already officially informed VOD that although the prosecutor listed the bank as the “Complainant” in the case, it had no role in initiating the complaint.” VOD has now asked Mr. Hines if Wells Fargo plans to take any action regarding the misuse of their name and address by the office of the Wayne County Prosecutor. Mr. Hines said he will respond next week.

WFcomplaint_croppedVOD earlier provided the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office with a copy of the email from Hines, but has not responded to a request for comment on why it prosecuted the Staffords citing Wells Fargo as the complainant.

“It is clear that you and your wife engaged in some part of a much much larger set of circumstances nationally, which almost brought this country to its knees,” opined Judge Hathaway during Mr. Stafford’s sentencing.

Wall Street's bankers testifying before Senate in 2009.

Wall Street’s banksters testifying before Senate in 2009.

“I concede that the mortgage lenders were largely culpable by being as reckless as they were in writing mortgage loans based on dubious circumstances, and that questionably ethical title companies and brokers participated in the process” he said. “But the other players were those who borrowed money, ultimately from the U.S. Treasury, with no intention or ability to pay off those loans.”

Hathaway evidently referred to the fact that the U.S. government, using taxpayer dollars, spent at least $7 TRILLION dollars bailing out the banks involved in the meltdown. Hardly any of that trickled down; only six percent of homeowners facing foreclosure got loan modifications required by the government.

The Staffords themselves were never accused of borrowing ANY MONEY at all from either the government or Wells Fargo, and certainly not $7 trillion.  Hathaway broadly inserted a vague definition of “aiding and abetting” unspecified parties into jury instructions. His words Jan. 13 implied that they “aided and abetted” a $7 trillion theft.

Cruel judge

Lecture from judge

“I guess you think you can just blow smoke in everybody’s face,” Hathaway continued. “It doesn’t really matter that you spent the first 64 years of your life as a hardworking veteran [without any criminal history].  It appears that you got yourself in over your head in a bogus deal that cost the government a lot of money.”

Before Hathaway’s remarks, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas demanded jail time for Mr. Stafford on his misdemeanor conviction, claiming he had wasted “an incredible amount of resources of the court, Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae.” She blamed him for exercising his constitutional right to file a “quiet title” lawsuit regarding the property involved, at 13236 Nautica in Belleville.

She said Mr. Stafford also should be charged over $96,000 in restitution to Wells Fargo, a fee which has been assessed in Mrs. Stafford’s sentencing report. Judge Hathaway denied that request.

Failed Wayne County jail project involved $41 million in overruns; Douglas unsuccessfully prosecuted two county officials.

Failed Wayne County jail project involved $41 million in overruns; Douglas unsuccessfully prosecuted the case.

Douglas unsuccessfully prosecuted two Wayne County officials accused of causing a $41 million overrun on the failed Wayne County Jail project. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans found the indictment insufficient.

Wayne County Deed Fraud Task Force Investigator Mary Williams Jones said in her recommendation for a warrant that, “on July 7, 2015, writer received the closing package from Wells Fargo Bank for the sale of 13236 Nautica Drive from Private Consumer Consulting Services [PCCS] to Trenise Wyldon. The package revealed the following: Borrower Trenise Wyldon, Seller PCCS Mary Staffird, Settlement Agent Reliant Title. Cash from borrower, $23,140.93, cash to seller $379,273.00.”

VOD has also asked Wells Fargo whether it paid $379,273.00 to PCCS, and what it plans to do with the $96,000 in restitution required of Mrs. Stafford.

Broker Richard Woonton, an expert witness for the defense, testified during the trial that the entire Wells Fargo package was severely flawed and did not involve the Staffords or their company.

Clifford and Mary Ann Stafford

Clifford and Mary Ann Stafford

The “Ginther” hearing set for Mrs. Stafford derives from a 1973 Michigan Supreme Court decision in the case of People v. Herbert Ginther. 

“Although Ginther would have us reverse his conviction, until he establishes the factual substantiality of the claims that the judge should have disqualified himself, that another lawyer should have been substituted and that the plea of guilty was impermissibly induced, the only relief we could properly grant would be to require an evidentiary hearing concerning those claims,” the high court ruled.

Such hearings are now common. In her plea for a Ginther hearing, Mrs. Stafford cited ineffective assistance of her counsel Steve Lockhart, the statement from Wells Fargo that it had no role in the criminal complaint, and other matters involving Judge Hathaway.

She has been assigned new counsel to represent her, but her supporters said they are considering retaining an attorney who is not afraid to deal with Judge Hathaway.

Hathaway earlier said in an in-chamber conference regarding Tigh Croff, who killed a 56-year-old grandfather who had run blocks away from Croff’s home, that he “would have done the same thing.”

Related documents and stories:


#WellsFargo, #mortgagefraud, #subprimemortgagemeltdown2008, #CliffordandMaryStafford, #WayneCountyprosecutor, #BailoutPeoplenotheBanks, #notaryfraud, #JudgeMichaelHathaway, #StopForeclosuresandEvictions, #HousingisaRight, #WayneCountyDeedFraudTaskForce, #JenniferDouglas, #MaryWilliamsJones, #CriminalInjusticeSystem, #BlackHomesMatter

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Bomb boomWells Fargo: “no role in initiating the complaint”

Preliminary exams held in violation of Michigan Court Rule

Investigator Jones lied in request for warrant

Sentencing set for Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. in front of Judge Michael Hathaway

By Diane Bukowski

Jan.11, 2016

Community advocates Clifford and Mary Ann Stafford.

FREE THE STAFFORDS! Community advocates Clifford and  Mary Ann Stafford.

DETROIT – Wells Fargo Bank had no role in initiating a criminal prosecution against community anti-foreclosure advocates Clifford and Mary Stafford, according to an official statement provided to VOD.

But Wayne County Deed Fraud Task Force Investigator Mary Williams-Jones and Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas listed them as the  COMPLAINANT in a case involving a 2007 predatory mortgage loan from Wells Fargo Bank for a Belleville, Michigan property at 13236 Nautica.

The couple faces sentencing Wed. Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway, with Mrs. Stafford subject to 15 years in prison. A jury convicted her of “False Pretenses over $20,000” a felony, and “Obstruction of Justice,” a misdemeanor, while her husband was convicted only of the second charge.

James Hines, Wells Fargo spokesman.

James Hines, Wells Fargo : WF did NOT initiate complaint vs. Staffords

“We foreclosed on the property and conveyed it to Fannie Mae in 2011, which ended our involvement in the matter,” Wells Fargo Bank representative James Hines told VOD in an official statement emailed Jan. 5. “While we complied with a subpoena related to the recent criminal prosecution, we have no additional information about that case and had no role in initiating the complaint.

Hines is the Assistant Vice President, Consumer Lending Communications, for Wells Fargo at its Wacker Drive, Chicago address.

The Staffords’ attorneys Patrick McQueeney and Steve Lockhart told them last week that the prosecution, which is working with the Wayne County Sheriff’s “Deed Fraud Task Force,” offered to recommend probation if they pled guilty and paid a total of $96,000 in restitution.

“Is this a racket for the Deed Fraud Unit?”

Attorney F. Anthony Lubkin

Attorney F. Anthony Lubkin

“It’s odd that the deed fraud unit would seek restitution when Wells Fargo said they sought none,” Clifford Stafford’s previous attorney F. Anthony Lubkin noted.  “Is this a racket for the deed fraud unit to force money from defendants uninvolved in document irregularities?”

Wayne County has a huge budget deficit, due to bank debts incurred for extensive cost overruns in the doomed county jail project, and from the exorbitant costs of purchasing the Guardian Building to replace the County’s historic headquarters on Randolph.

Citing the deficit, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has put the County under state oversight using Public Act 436, the “dictator’s act.” Under a “consent agreement,” the state granted Wayne County Executive Warren Evans the powers of an emergency manager.

Neither Wayne County, nor the city of Detroit, nor the State of Michigan has ever sought restitution from Wells Fargo and other global banks for the tidal wave of foreclosures based on predatory lending which devastated neighborhoods throughout Detroit and other cities, and led to the 2008 global economic collapse.

Protesters against county tax foreclosures block street outside 400 Monroe, where Deed Fraud unit is located.

Protesters against county tax foreclosures block street outside 400 Monroe, where Deed Fraud unit is located.

Instead, the County has sought to patch up the deficit with the most massive tax foreclosures in history.

And the County’s Deed Fraud Task Force sent plainclothes sheriffs to the Staffords’ modest home on Detroit’s northwest side to arrest Clifford Stafford Jan. 19, 2015.

Stafford said they showed him no warrant and did not tell him what the charges were. He was brought before Judge Linda Mack, who he said ordered him not to contact Wells Fargo.

Sheriffs returned to their home June 17, 2015 to arrest his wife, but he would not admit them. Mrs. Stafford turned herself in the next day with her attorney.

In a recommendation for a warrant dated Oct. 9, 2013, Investigator Mary Williams-Jones, of the Deed Fraud unit, listed Wells Fargo in Denver, CO, as the COMPLAINANT.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas signed a Felony Information dated 9/27/2013 related to both Staffords and a third party, Trenise Wyldon, over Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s printed name, listing Wells Fargo as the Complainant/Victim. 

Judge Ronald Giles bound Staffords over in violation of state court rule. GENERAL INFO: Judge Ronald Giles rules that some text messages will be sealed and some will remain open at 36th District Court. Photographed in Detroit, MI on Monday, July 14, 2008. (Donna Terek/The Detroit News).

Judge Ronald Giles bound Staffords over in violation of state court rule.

Prosecution, Judge Giles violated Michigan Court Rule in Staffords’ exams 

Michigan Court Rule 6.112 (B) says “Unless the defendant is a fugitive from justice, the prosecutor may not file an information until the defendant has had or waives a preliminary examination.”

Although the information was filed 9/27/2013, Judge Giles held Clifford Stafford’s preliminary exam from Feb. 6 through Feb. 10, 2015, while he held Mary Stafford’s from July 1 to July 27, 2015.

Shouldn’t Giles have peremptorily dismissed the case?

“In March 2015, I filed a motion to quash bindover citing lack of evidence,” Attorney Lubkin said in part. “Judge Hathaway agreed and ordered REMAND [to Judge Giles] on April 30, insisting we needed more evidence, that what had been presented at preliminary exam in February had been inadequate, that we needed to hear from Trenise Wyldon (the ultimate wrongdoer who had been convicted of fraud in the loan application on this property, then mysteriously released in plea deal), and that without this, evidence was lacking.”

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway speaks from the bench Friday Jan. 4, 2013 in Detroit. Photo: Detroit News

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway speaks from the bench Friday Jan. 4, 2013 in Detroit. Photo: Detroit News

But the lower court defied Judge Hathaway’s order and produced no new evidence. Judge Hathaway gave the prosecutor until June 4 to provide a supplemental preliminary exam and/or new evidence and then extended that time for 90 days.”

After the 90 days, Lubkin said, he filed an “extensive new updated motion to quash.” He reported that Hathaway said again on Sept. 2 that he was inclined to dismiss the charges, but then inexplicably changed his mind Sept. 8 and denied the motion, setting a trial date.

Hathaway most recently gained fame (or notoriety according to one’s point of view), for snatching the trial of anti-water shutoff protesters “The Homrich 9” from the 36th District courtroom of Judge Ruth Ann Garrett before the jury could reach what was likely to be a “not guilty” verdict, at the request of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s representatives, Corporation Counsel Melvin “Butch” Hollowell and his top assistant Doug Baker. They conducted an ex parte conference in front of the judge without the knowledge of attorneys for the defendants, who included Marian Kramer of Michigan Welfare Rights, and Rev. Bill Wylie Kellerman.

Judge Hathaway asked expert witness if he thought Staffords were guilty

Mistrial drawingExpert defense witness Richard Woonton, who testified to massive irregularities in the Wells Fargo transaction, told VOD of an incident that if exposed, likely would have caused a mistrial. He said Judge Hathaway met privately with him and Clifford Stafford’s attorney McQueeney during the trial.

“He asked me whether I believed the Staffords were guilty,” Woonton said. “I was shocked. I did not even know the Staffords before this trial.”

Woonton said he told Judge Hathaway that he believed the Staffords were not guilty of at least of the “false pretenses” felony based on his review of the Wells Fargo file. The Wells Fargo mortgage of $395,000 was negotiated by the short-lived Reliant Title, owned by Kevin and Valerie Kauth, on behalf of Trenise Wyldon, who was charged with “filing a false claim for credit,” as a co-defendant of the Staffords. Her charges were later dismissed.

Protest against Wells Fargo, which holds 40 percent of home loans in the U.S.

Protest against Wells Fargo, which holds 40 percent of home loans in the U.S.

Woonton said that Hathaway then raised the issue of “aiding and abetting.” In his jury instructions, Hathaway later told the jury they could find the Staffords guilty if they believed they had “aided and abetted” other unnamed parties in a criminal action.

The trial included extensive testimony about likely criminal actions by Wells Fargo, including the predatory $395,000 “liar’s loan” granted to Wyldon Dec. 5, 2007, based in part on her false statement that she made $10,000 a month working for Private Consumer Consulting Services, LLC, with no back-up documentation. PCCS, whose resident agent is Clifford Stafford, did not even exist as a corporation until Feb. 15, 2008, according to documents on file with the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG).

Tim Lockwood, Wells Fargo Fraud Manager

Tim Lockwood, Wells Fargo Fraud Manager

Such “liar’s loans,” a/k/a “stated income loans,” were common during the mortgage lending frenzy that led to the economic collapse of 2008.

Tim Lockwood, Wells Fargo’s Financial Fraud Manager, testified during the trial under subpoena that the bank relies on the title company, in this case Reliant Title, owned by Kevin Kauth, to verify the true owner of the property and prepare the documents and other statements needed for the loans.

He said that Wells Fargo had no copy in its file of the Warranty Deed from PCCS to Trenise Wyldon. However, according to the  Wayne County Register of Deeds mortgage listing for the Nautica address, Wells Fargo Bank granted a mortgage of $375,250  to Emmett and Trenise Wyldon on 12/5/07, and recorded it 3/10/2008. Wells Fargo Bank, located at 1000 Blue Gentian Rd. in Eagan, MN, is  listed as the returnee for documents related to the mortgage. Those should have included the alleged Warranty Deed signing the property over from PCCS to Trenise Wyldon.



Investigator Jones’ request for warrant contradicts her written interviews with parties

Fraud Task Force Investigator Mary Williams-Jones, formerly a Detroit police lieutenant.

Fraud Task Force Investigator Mary Williams-Jones, formerly a Detroit police lieutenant.

In addition to both Wyldons and the Kauths, other parties involved in the deal and possibly guilty of crimes were never called either by the prosecution or defense to testify at trial.

They included Glen Boggess, president of NOVA 2000,  which acted as the broker in the Nautica deal, and its DBA Loan Origination Concepts, and Wyldon’s husband at the time, Emmett Wyldon.

Jones wrote in her warrant request, “On December 5, 2007, the Stafford’s through their Company Private Consumer Consulting Services purchased 13236 Nautica Dr, Belleville, from Donnie & Joann Carlton for $312,000.00. Title Partners was utilized for the sell (sic).”

However, Jones’ written interview with JoAnn Carlton included the following:

“Q) Who did you sell the property at 13236 Nautica Drive, Belleville MI to?

A) My paperwork from the sell (another sic) shows it was sold to Private Consumer Consulting Co. But the paperwork was sent to us by NOVA 2000, Inc. in Jan. 2007. The papers state “Loan Origination Contract to buy.”

Carlton told Jones that she had never heard of the other parties in the case, including the Staffords. She said she did remember the name “Mary Ann Stafford” appearing on “one of the documents in the deal,” a water escrow agreement. Stafford’s signature does not appear on the first of two copies of that agreement. Mrs. Stafford has repeatedly contended her name was forged on documents, including a Dec. 5, 2007 “Warranty Deed” turning the home over to Trenise Wyldon, used to obtain the Wells Fargo mortgage.

Valerie and Kevin Kauth, owners of the now-defunct Reliant Title.

Valerie and Kevin Kauth, owners of the now-defunct Reliant Title.

Valerie Kauth, wife of Kevin Kauth of Reliant Title, who appears as notary on that deed, testified during the preliminary exam that was not her signature, that she allowed another woman to use her notary stamp and sign her name. Differences in Kauth’s signatures on various discovery documents are readily apparent.

Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Douglas repeatedly used a copy of that deed against Mary Ann Stafford, but never requested a handwriting analysis of Kauth’s signature as she did of Mrs. Staffords’ signature.

Why did Giles not direct prosecution of Valerie Kauth for notary fraud, in the illegal use of her notary stamp and forgery of her signature?

Carlton faxed other documents to Jones including a “Contract to Purchase” the Nautica home through Jack Christenson Realtors, signed by Avis Washington as purchaser for NOVA2000, and dated Sept. 18, 2007. Washington testified at the trial that she worked for Glen Boggess, President of  NOVA2000, the broker, its DBA Loan Origination Concepts, and Reliant Title Agency at the same time. Joint employment by a broker and a title agency on the same deal is illegal.

Why did neither Judge Giles nor Judge Hathaway order her prosecution?

Avis Washington and Glen P. Boggess, Jr.

Avis Washington and Glen P. Boggess, Jr.

In his written statement to Jones, Boggess said NOVA2000 had no physical address. He said he had “no real relationship” with the Staffords “other than working with one of my loan officers on their project’s possibilities.” He said regarding PCCS, “Went to a meeting once with Avis for Cliff. He spoke of helping people remain (keep) their homes.”

He said he did not actually see Mary Stafford sign the Warranty Deed handing over the Nautica home from PCCS to Trenise Wyldon.

Emmett Wyldon, Trenise Wyldon’s husband at the time, gave Jones a written statement listing his address as 13236 Nautica, Belleville, MI. He is also listed along with Trenise Wyldon as a party in a $375, 250 mortgage with Grantee Wells Fargo for that address, and in later foreclosures, redemptions, and a final Sheriff’s Deed on the property.

The disputed property: 13236 Nautica, Belleville, MI.

The disputed property:
13236 Nautica, Belleville, MI.

He told Jones he “hardly knew” PCCS, that his wife “might have been employed” by them, but that “I don’t know” how much money she made. Regarding the closing for the alleged transfer of the property to his wife, he said “I think I was there.” He said Mary Stafford signed documents in front of him, but did not say which documents. He also said he did not know where his wife got a down payment for the property.

“I don’t know, we never had $23,140 in our bank account,” he told Jones. Other testimony at the trial indicated that Reliant Title illegally gave a check for the down payment to Trenise Wyldon.

Why did Judge Hathaway not order the prosecution of both Kevin and Valerie Kauth for this criminal act?

Defendants filing pre-sentencing motions

The Staffords plan to file motions prior to their sentencing Jan. 13, including one for a “Ginther hearing” on ineffective assistance of counsel, and a motion for a new trial (judgment notwithstanding the verdict) due to insufficient evidence against them.

Attorney Patrick McQueeney

Attorney Patrick McQueeney

Attorney Steve Lockhart

Attorney Steve Lockhart

Earlier, they sent letters to their defense attorneys Patrick McQueeney and Steve Lockhart requesting that postconviction motions be filed.

Michigan Court Rule 6.005 (H)(4) says, “Unless an appellate lawyer has been appointed or retained, or if retained trial counsel withdraws, the trial lawyer who represents the defendant is responsible for filing postconviction motions the lawyer deems appropriate, including motions for new trial, for a directed verdict of acquittal, to withdraw plea, or for resentencing.

Letters sent by the Staffords can be read at   and

However, both defense attorneys refused to file any postconviction motions whatsoever, instead  proferring the prosecution’s plea deal for probation and fines of $48,000 each.

Attorney Lockhart previously served as a 36th District Court magistrate for 10 years, but was fired in 2013.

White male entitlement 2Fox 2 News reported, “Sources tell Fox 2 a woman appeared in his courtroom Friday who owed nearly $4,000 in fines. Lockhart ordered she be held in Wayne County Jail on a $2,000 bond. Her attorney told Lockhart she was three months pregnant, was having problems with the pregnancy and didn’t have a job so she couldn’t make bond. Lockhart’s response implied she and her baby would then die in jail.”

Mrs. Stafford told VOD that Lockhart, who was appointed to defend her by his former fellow judge at 36th District, Ronald Giles, told her from the beginning he believed she was guilty. He said she should admit that she was just doing what her husband told her to do, and asked what she did with the $312,500 mortgage originally used to purchase the property.

Expert witness Woonton testified at the trial  that the Wells Fargo mortgage on the Nautica paid off that Bank of America mortgage, which had also been written to Trenise Wyldon, not Stafford.

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© ’15 Mumia Abu-Jamal [12/28/15]

Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal with son in earlier years.

Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal with son in earlier years.

NEWS BREAK: Cleveland officials announce no charges to be filed in the police killing of 12-year old Tamir Rice.

There is something shattering about the death -the killing – of a child.

When a child dies, the natural order is torn; the stars weep, and the earth quakes.

We have become so accustomed to this system that we suppose it is natural, instead of a human imposition. Politicians, in the pocket of so-called police unions, bow before bags of silver, and blink away the death of a child; especially if a Black child.

Tamir Rice, 12

Tamir Rice, 12

What man-made institution is more precious than a child?

What job?

What so-called profession?   What office?  What state?

When a child dies, adults don’t deserve to breathe their stolen air.

Aiyana Jones, 7, dad Charles Jones.

Aiyana Jones, 7, dad Charles Jones.

When a child dies, the living must not rest until they have purged the poison that dared harm such a one.

When a child dies, time runs backward and attempts to right such a wrong.

This should inspire movements worldwide, to fight like never before.

Terrance Kellom, 19

Terrance Kellom, 19

For something vile has happened before our eyes.

A child has been killed; and in America, because it’s a Black child, it means next to nothing.

–© ’15 maj

Michaelangelo and Makiah Jackson, 6 and 3

Michaelangelo and Makiah Jackson, 6 and 3

Kimoni Davis, 19

Kimoni Davis, 19

Ian May, 18

Ian May, 18

Lamar Grable, 20

Lamar Grable, 20

Related stories:

Davontae Sanford, 14 when frame up

Davontae Sanford, 14 when framed up

Anthony Clark Reed 3

Anthony Clark Reed, 24, died during police stop

Maryanne Godboldo, who has fought police and state to protect daughter Ariana.

Maryanne Godboldo fought for daughter, 13.

Mailauni Williams; mother has battled CPS since birth.

Mailauni Williams; mother battling CPS



Until there are no police

Posted by Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana.


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CPR gathering

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