News Article on Possible Cross-Dep between GTB and Grand Traverse County

From local TV:

Grand Traverse County could be getting new officers, but without hiring any new ones. It’s part of a cross deputization proposal from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. What are the implications and how might it give a boost to the sheriff’s department budget?

The details are tonight’s Fact Finder Report.

We may all live in northern Michigan, but a complicated past has left some of us in different legal territory.

John Petoskey, General Council for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians says, “Because of the history of the relationship between tribes in the U.S. tribes do not have criminal jurisdiction over non tribe members and the state does not have criminal jurisdiction over tribal members.”

One aspect of that relationship may be changing.

The Grand Traverse Band and Grand Traverse County are discussing a cross deputization agreement.

Petoskey says, “What the cross deputization agreement would provide is the ability of the officer on the ground to make the arrest and sort out who has jurisdiction the next day.”

Right now if there’s a non tribal member breaks the law on property owned by the tribe, like Turtle Creek Casino, right now tribal officers can kick them off the property for trespassing, but that’s about it.

Petoskey says, “If we had a cross deputization agreement the tribe would be acting as deputies of Grand Traverse County to affect the arrest. The prosecution would still take place in Grand Traverse County though.”

Currently the Grand Traverse Band has similar agreements in 4 area counties; Charlevoix, Antrim, Benzie and Leelanau counties. He says those agreements are each for a number of years, but can be rescinded with a 30 day notice. And tribal leaders are using that model as the proposal for Grand Traverse County.

But why is Grand Traverse County the only county in the greater Grand Traverse Region without this kind of agreement?

You might blame it on previous administrations. Continue reading

Meijer Appeal on Campaign Law Violations

From the Traverse City Record-Eagle:

TRAVERSE CITY — Meijer Inc. convinced a state appellate judge to hide from public view documents related to Grand Traverse County’s efforts to investigate the retailer’s campaign finance violations.

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Alan Schneider is challenging a May 29 order signed by state Court of Appeals Judge Donald Owens that sealed the court file in Schneider’s case against Meijer and the Dickinson Wright PLLC law firm.

Schneider is trying to investigate potential violations of state campaign finance laws concerning Meijer’s illegal involvement in local elections in Acme Township in 2007 and 2005.

Schneider said Friday he filed a challenge this week to the suppression order, but declined additional comment because his appeal remains pending before the appellate court.

A motion to seal the appellate case was filed by John Pirich, a Lansing attorney hired by Meijer. Pirich’s motion remains secret, but Owens’ suppression order makes reference to state law and investigative subpoenas that “requires the maintenance of strict confidentiality of matters related to investigative subpoenas.”

Continue reading