Date Archives November 2018

MacDonald isn’t ruling out run for Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020

Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children and is currently under investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, is not ruling out a fourth run for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020. Last week, MacDonald was defeated by Associate Justice Margaret Chutich in her third failed campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

News that MacDonald had not ruled out another run for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020 was first reported by Steve Timmer, who contacted MacDonald to inquire about her running again.

After losing her third statewide election, the news that MacDonald has not ruled out another run for the Minnesota Supreme Court is shocking.

While MacDonald did receive 825,779 votes last week, she is currently being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys. The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility was notified last month about MacDonald repeating the same allegations against Judge David Knutson that were described as “recklessly false” by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The Minnesota Supreme Court suspended MacDonald’s law license for 60 days earlier this year and she remains on probation for two years in response to an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald in August 2016.  The complaint filed against MacDonald focused on her behavior during family court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her legal representation of Joseph Francis D’Costa.

It was during the custody hearing involving Grazzini-Rucki and her ex-husband, David Rucki, on September 12, 2013, that MacDonald took pictures in the courtroom which led to her being arrested.

Booking photo from MacDonald’s arrest on September 12, 2013.

MacDonald spent a portion of the trial representing Grazzini-Rucki while confined to a wheelchair after her refusal to walk back into the courtroom. MacDonald also refused to put on her shoes and glasses, or provide her legal name and address to law enforcement.

MacDonald’s direct responsibility for her conduct which led to her arrest was repeatedly mentioned in the order from the Minnesota Supreme Court.

If the outcome of the current investigation into MacDonald were to cause her to lose her law license again, MacDonald could be precluded from running for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2020. Under state law, only licensed attorneys meet the legal qualification to run for judge in Minnesota.

MacDonald’s legal work examined in a new book

MacDonald was labeled in April 2015 as a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. MacDonald refused to cooperate with the Lakeville Police Department’s investigation into her possible involvement in the disappearance of the sisters  – even after public statements from her that she would cooperate in the investigation. Her criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, said in 2015 that he would advise MacDonald to not speak with the Lakeville Police Department.

An examination of MacDonald’s legal work is included in the new book, The Girls Are Gone. The book also includes new information about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.

The Girls Are Gone also explores the connection between MacDonald and two people convicted for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki but did not cooperate in the investigation.

The Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing and was released last month.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the investigation into Michelle MacDonald.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

Third time’s not the charm: MacDonald defeated by Chutich

UPDATE (5:30 PM, Friday, Novemner 9, 2018) – The unofficial results with all precincts reporting show Chutich received 1,054,847 for 55.88 percent of the vote, while MacDonald received 825,779 votes for 43.74 percent.

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Michelle MacDonald, who was labeled a “person of interest” in the disappearance of missing children and is currently under investigation by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, was defeated tonight by Associate Justice Margaret Chutich in her third failed campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Chutich was leading MacDonald with nearly 60 percent of the vote, based on initial election results. MacDonald ran twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Dede Evavold, who was convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville, was campaigning to elect MacDonald to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Losing an election is the least of MacDonald’s problems, as she is currently being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys. The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility was notified last month about MacDonald repeating the same allegations against Judge David Knutson that were described as “recklessly false” by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In an interview on WCCO Radio in September, MacDonald said she does not believe Grazzini-Rucki committed a crime when she abducted her children. MacDonald said the crime involving the disappearance of Samatha and Gianna Rucki was committed by Judge Knutson when he issued a court order involving custody in 2012.

MacDonald’s legal work examined in a new book

MacDonald was labeled in April 2015 as a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. MacDonald refused to cooperate with the Lakeville Police Department’s investigation into her possible involvement in the disappearance of the sisters  – even after public statements from her that she would cooperate in the investigation. Her criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, said in 2015 that he would advise MacDonald to not speak with the Lakeville Police Department.

An examination of MacDonald’s legal work is included in the new book, The Girls Are Gone. The book also includes new information about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.

The Girls Are Gone also explores the connection between MacDonald and two people convicted for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki but did not cooperate in the investigation.

The Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing and was released last month.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

In the news: Writing About Crime podcast

Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann appeared on a recent episode of the podcast Writing About Crime to discuss their new book, The Girls Are Gone.

Brodkorb and Mann will read from and sign their book tomorrow, Saturday, November 10, from 7-8 p.m. at Eat My Words Books in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Girls Are Gone is available for sale through numerous retailers in both paperback and ebook.

Convicted felon campaigns for Michelle MacDonald

Dede Evavold, who was convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville, is campaigning to elect Michelle MacDonald to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Evavold was convicted for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who were abducted by their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki during a custody dispute with her ex-husband David Rucki.

MacDonald served as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney during the entire time her client’s daughters were missing. Grazzini-Rucki was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters. Evavold served as MacDonald’s campaign chair and manager during her unsuccessful run for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014. MacDonald also lost her campaign for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016.

Despite being a six-time convicted felon, Evavold is prominently pictured (above in right circle) on MacDonald’s campaign website.  Since MacDonald announced her candidacy this past June, Evavold has attended multiple campaign events with MacDonald and has been activley promoting MacDonald’s candidacy on social media. Continue reading

In the news: The ComMN Law Podcast

Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann appeared on a recent episode of the podcast The ComMN Law to discuss their new book, The Girls Are Gone, and the status of the lawsuit filed by Michelle MacDonald, who is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Aside from offering details about their book, Brodkorb and Mann provided insight into the scandal-plagued candidacy of MacDonald.

MacDonald is currently being investigated by lawyers board

MacDonald is currently being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys. The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law. Continue reading

In the news: ‘In-depth story of Rucki family hits bookshelves’

Please read the story below from the Lakeville Sun This Week about the release of our new book The Girls Are Gone. As noted in the story, we’ll be signing books at the Chart House’s Sip N Shop Local tomorrow from 12-6 p.m. in Lakeville, Minnesota.

“On August 31, 1991, David Victor Rucki married Sandra Sue Grazzini in a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Patrick’s Church in Edina, Minnesota,” is the opening statement in the newly released book, “The Girls are Gone.”

Samantha and Gianna Rucki were 14 and 13 years old when they went missing from their home in Lakeville on April 19, 2013. The Lakeville Police department led the investigation. The sisters were found 944 days later at the White Horse Ranch in Herman, Minnesota, where they had been living with Gina and Doug Dahlen.

“The Girls are Gone” written by journalist Michael Brodkorb and paralegal with Elliot Law Offices in Lakeville, Allison Mann, provides in depth information about two sisters, the search for them and the court trial after they were found.

Mann and Brodkorb first met in 2016 while Mann was working at a law firm that represented the sisters’ father, David Rucki, and Brodkorb was covering the story for the Star Tribune. Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was on trial for the role in the disappearance of her daughters. In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights.

Grazzini-Rucki was represented by Michelle MacDonald, who was a named a person of interest by the Lakeville Police Department. According to Brodkorb, MacDonald did not cooperate with the investigation at the time. MacDonald is currently running for Minnesota Supreme Court for the third time.

“We started formally working together in January 2017 and then we announced the book. It took us over a year to get it all pieced together,” Brodkorb said.

Mann added, they knew this story should be turned into a book based on the unique story, and it became a chance to set the record straight as to what happened to the Rucki sisters and what happened during the criminal trials.

Click here to read the full story from the Lakeville Sun This Week.

The Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing is available for sale through numerous retailers in both paperback and ebook.

Law enforcement wants to speak with Angela Young

The Eagan Police Department wants to speak with Angela Young, who is Dede Evavold’s friend and next-door neighbor, about her possible connection to a social media account which has been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

In multiple court hearings over the last two years, Young has been identified as being currently connected with both Evavold and Grazzini-Rucki. Most recently, Young’s name was mention in court hearings about an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted against three people, including Evavold, for their roles in surreptitiously obtaining and later distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children online.

Carrie Beaudette, who had an HRO filed against her for distributing the pictures taken of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children, admitted in court she shared the pictures with both Evavold and Young. Beaudette said she had not told the Eagan Police Department about Young’s involvement when she spoke with them in August about the pictures.

After Beaudette testified about Young’s involvement with the pictures, the Eagan Police Department began making attempts to speak with Young. Despite their efforts, Young has not spoken with law enforcement about her involvement. Continue reading