Category Legal Developments

Seven-month investigation by lawyers board into MacDonald continues

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility’s investigation into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys has entered its seventh month, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The seven-month 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.

MacDonald was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2018, having previously lost two bids for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

UPDATE: Facebook Event During Broadcast of ABC’s “20/20” Episode

UPDATE (5:31 PM, Thursday, December 27, 2018) – Our Facebook event has ended. Thank you to all that particpated in the discussion. To read more about the ABC “20/20” episode broadcast today on The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), please buy the new best-selling true crime book, The Girls Are Gone.

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UPDATE (3:40 PM, Thursday, December 27, 2018) – We’re discussing the broadcast now on Facebook. Please join us for the discussion.

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Starting TODAY at 3:45 PM (CST), we’ll be answering questions on Facebook during The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) rebroadcast of the ABC’s “20/20” episode discussed in the new best-selling true crime book, The Girls Are Gone.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks in the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

“20/20” episode discussed in the new best-selling true crime book

Grazzini-Rucki’s appearance on “20/20” is discussed along with her involvement in the disappearance of her daughters Samantha and Gianna Rucki is examined in the new book, The Girls Are Gone.

The book details the events which led to Grazzini-Rucki abducting her daughters on April 19, 2013, during a custody dispute with her ex-husband, David Rucki. On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

Since being released in October, The Girls Are Gone has been a commercial and critical success. The Kindle Edition of The Girls Are Gone is currently listed on Amazon’s Best Selling True Crime BiographiesThe Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook to participate in the discussion during Thursday’s broadcast of “Footprints in the Snow.”

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

Thursday: ABC’s ’20/20′ episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki

On Thursday, December 27, 2018, at 4 PM (CST), The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will be broadcasting the episode of ABC’s “20/20” discussed in the new best-selling true crime book,  The Girls Are Gone. Starting at 3:45 PM (CST), we’ll be answering questions and discussing the broadcast live on Facebook.

The episode about Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, called “Footprints in the Snow” was first broadcast on April 8, 2016, and was later rebroadcast on March 25, 2017. The episode has since been rebroadcast on multiple television networks in the last two years.

Grazzini-Rucki had tried to stop the rebroadcasts of the episode which found no documentation to verify Grazzini-Rucki’s claim that she was abused by David Rucki. Grazzini-Rucki had taken to Facebook, calling the show “rank propaganda” and encouraging people to register complaints.

In April 2017, Grazzini-Rucki announced she would be filing a defamation lawsuit against ABC, Inc, ABC’s “20/20”, and Elizabeth Vargas, the co-anchor of “20/20”. Grazzini-Rucki claimed she would be seeking “an ungodly amount” of money in her latest lawsuit, but the lawsuit was never filed. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald’s lawyer facing additional discipline

Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, is facing new sanctions from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

As previously reported by Missing in Minnesota, Adams Powell’s law license was suspended last year for 45 days. As with MacDonald, Adams Powell is currently on probation for 2 years. Minnesota Lawyer was the first to report on the new petition filed against Adams Powell.

In the petition filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is requesting a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell. Continue reading

Allison Mann targeted with harassing and sexually obscene messages

A supporter of Dede Evavold, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, and Michelle MacDonald was contacted by law enforcement after targeting Allison Mann in recent days with harassing and sexually obscene messages.

Michael Volpe, a self-described “investigative journalist” based in Chicago, Illinois, was contacted by the Lakeville Police Department after Mann reported Volpe’s repeated, unwanted, and harassing communications.

Despite being instructed by Mann to cease all contact, Volpe continues to contact Mann with unwanted and harassing messages. In one email, Volpe admitted he was “harassing” Mann and requested to “make a deal” about Grazzini-Rucki.

Volpe has previously disseminated propaganda for Evavold, Grazzini-Rucki, and MacDonald masquerading as news. Many of Volpe’s stories published about Grazzini-Rucki have been retracted or corrected after being published due to factual inaccuracies contained in the stories.

Last December, Volpe participated in an interview with Grazzini-Rucki where she claimed a federal agent with the United States Marshals Service, posing as a plumber, had placed her in protective custody and she was living in a safe house in an undisclosed location.

Grazzini-Rucki was not in protective custody, but rather she was living in a waterfront estate community in FloridaContinue reading

Judge dismisses harassment order filed against Brodkorb

A judge in Pinellas County, Florida this morning dismissed the harassment order filed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki against Michael Brodkorb.

The Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Stalking which was served on Brodkorb in October was dismissed at a court hearing earlier today in Clearwater, Florida by Judge Christopher LaBruzzo. Grazzini-Rucki first alleged Brodkorb was harassing her in Florida just one hour after Brodkorb appeared on the radio in Minnesota with his writing partner, Allison Mann, to announce the release of their new book, The Girls Are Gone.

Brodkorb has never been to Florida, nor did he travel to Florida for the hearing. His attorney, Marie Sartiano Schoeb, filed a motion to dismiss the harassment order and argued today in court that Florida lacked “personal jurisdiction” over Brodkorb and therefore the harassment order should be dismissed.

The court agreed and the Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Stalking was dismissed. Grazzini-Rucki now resides in Clearwater, Florida and she attended today’s hearing. Brodkorb was in Minnesota and would have testified over the phone if required by the court. But the court did not need any testimony from Brodkorb to dismiss the harassment order filed by Grazzini-Rucki.

Brodkorb said today he was happy the harassment order was dismissed. “I’ve never harassed Ms. Grazzini-Rucki in any state and I’m glad the court dismissed her latest efforts to silence the media,” said Brodkorb. “I want to thank my attorney, Ms. Schoeb, for her legal analysis and counsel,” added Brodkorb.

Ms. Sartiano Schoeb is a partner at the Law Offices of Morrison & Schoeb in Tampa, Florida. Continue reading

Judge: Evavold involved in harassment of Brodkorb’s wife and children

A judge in Dakota County upheld the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted against Dede Evavold by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb for Evavold’s involvement in distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children.

In an order released today, Judge M. Michael Baxter ruled that Evavold “was involved in the chain of events that led to repeated harassment of [Sarah Brodkorb] and her minor children.” The HRO against Evavold will remain in place until November 19, 2020.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters. The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

The HROs were filed by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb in August in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Dede Evavold of St. Cloud.

In September, Judge Baxter upheld the HRO filed against Ristau after she requested a hearing to contest the HRO. Judge Baxter said Ristau was involved in a “conspiracy to commit harassment” when she took a picture of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children while shopping and later distributed the picture to people connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold.

Law enforcement still attempting to speak with Angela Young about her involvement 

The Eagan Police Department still wants to speak with Angela Young, who is Dede Evavold’s friend and next-door neighbor, about her involvement with the pictures of Mrs. Brodkorb and her minor children and the social media account where the pictures were posted.

Young’s involvement with the pictures taken of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children was disclosed in court by Beaudette, who admitted 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.

Judge Baxter’s order documents Beaudette testimony that she gave the pictures of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children to Evavold and Young. Brodkorb said today that he plans to further discuss Young’s involvement with the pictures taken of his wife and minor children with his attorney in the coming days.

Young lives in St. Cloud and she is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and works for CORE Professional Services, P.A in Sartell, Minnesota. According to CORE Professional Services’ website, Young “provides a variety of therapeutic interventions for individuals, groups and couples, to assist them in addressing various anxiety disorders, mood disorders, sexual disorders, and personality disorders.”

Evavold’s role in the disappearance of missing children examined in a new book

Evavold involvement in the disappearance of missing children is examined 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.

Since the announcement of the book, Evavold has been furiously working to file “criminal complaints” and making bizarre demands for investigations into her criminal trial. Evavold isn’t making the claim that she and her co-defendants are innocent but wants the new trials for the purpose of negatively impacting sales of the book.

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

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

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

Evavold belligerent and unruly in court hearing on HRO

A judge in Dakota County upheld the Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) granted against Dede Evavold by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb for Evavold’s involvement in distributing a photograph of Michael Brodkorb’s wife and minor children.

After a lengthy court hearing during which Evavold was continually unruly, Judge M. Michael Baxter ruled that the HRO will temporarily remain in place and he would issue an order finalizing the HRO against Evavold in the next few weeks.

The photograph of Ms. Brodkorb with her minor children was distributed multiple times with false allegations on a social media account connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters. The same social media account had been investigated by law enforcement for publishing threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements targeting judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists.

The HROs were filed by Michael Brodkorb and Sarah Brodkorb in August in Dakota County against Diane Ristau of Medford, Carrie Beaudette of St. Joseph, and Dede Evavold of St. Cloud.

Last month, a judge upheld the HRO filed against Ristau after she requested a hearing to contest the HRO. Judge Baxter said Ristau was involved in a “conspiracy to commit harassment” when she took a picture of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children while shopping and later distributed the picture to people connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. Continue reading

MacDonald continues to make ‘recklessly false allegations’ against judge

Michelle MacDonald continues to make the same “recklessly false allegations” against Judge David Knutson that previously contributed to MacDonald having her law license suspended earlier this year. MacDonald, who is a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, recycled the same false statements about Judge Knutson in a recent court filing in her lawsuit filed against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. Continue reading

Star Tribune: MacDonald ‘has a history of controversy and legal trouble’

Michelle MacDonald “has a history of controversy and legal trouble” according to a Star Tribune editorial endorsing MacDonald’s opponent for the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Margaret Chutich.  MacDonald, who ran twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016, filed to run against Chutich in June.

The “controversy and legal trouble” referenced by the Star Tribune in their editorial will be discussed in an upcoming book, “The Girls Are Gone” which will be released on October 23, 2018.

Earlier this week, MacDonald disclosed one of her bigoted reasons for challenging Chutich for the Minnesota Supreme Court. In a story published Monday by the Star Tribune, MacDonald said she decided to challenge Justice Margaret Chutich this election because Chutich is gay. Continue reading