Category Legal Developments

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.

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

MacDonald ran against Chutich because she is gay

Michelle MacDonald decided to challenge Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich this election because Chutich is gay, according to comments made by MacDonald in a story published by the Star Tribune.  MacDonald, who ran twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016, filed to run against Chutich in June.

MacDonald’s candidacy hasn’t generated many positive headlines, but in a story published today by the Star Tribune, MacDonald discloses one of her bigoted reasons for challenging Chutich:

In a recent interview, MacDonald singled out Chutich’s sexuality as helping her decide who to challenge in this year’s election. Three other members of the court are on the ballot this year but are unopposed. “It factored in, but it wasn’t the only reason,” MacDonald said. “ … When that came to me, that piece, I’m just like, ‘Yep, that’s the one.’ ”

MacDonald said she views Chutich’s marital status as her right but cast it as a “liberal view” counter to MacDonald’s conservative philosophy.

“Spiritually, the reason why you connect with somebody is to procreate, basically,” MacDonald said. “And I’m pro-life. You can certainly publish that. I’m not afraid to be pro-life.”

MacDonald’s bigoted reason for running against Chutich is not the only controversial comments she made in recent weeks. Continue reading

MacDonald: Grazzini-Rucki didn’t commit a crime, judge did

Michelle MacDonald does not believe Sandra Grazzini-Rucki committed a crime when she abducted her children during a custody dispute with her ex-husband, according to comments from MacDonald in a recent interview. MacDonald said the crime involving the disappearance of Samatha and Gianna Rucki was committed by Judge David Knutson when he issued a court order involving custody in 2012.

The shocking statements by MacDonald were made during an interview last week with Blois Olson on WCCO Radio. MacDonald is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, having previously run twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald served as Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney during the entire 944 days her client’s daughters were missing. Grazzini-Rucki and MacDonald’s former campaign chair and manager were each convicted of six felonies for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.

In an interview about her candidacy, MacDonald responds to a question from Olson about her knowledge of Grazzini-Rucki’s involved in the disappearance of her daughters. Despite recently uncovered phone conversations which confirm MacDonald knew her client was involved in the disappearance of her daughters, MacDonald answers that she was unaware. Continue reading

Investigation by lawyers board into Michelle MacDonald continues

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is still conducting their investigation into alleged violations by Michelle MacDonald of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys, according to a letter from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

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.

MacDonald is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, having previously run twice unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016. Continue reading

Grazzini-Rucki files another fraudulent harassment restraining order

Weeks before the release of a new book about her role in the disappearance of her daughters, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki has filed another fraudulent harassment order against one of the book’s authors, Michael Brodkorb.

Earlier today, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office served a Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Stalking on Brodkorb at his home in Eagan, Minnesota. The petition was filed in Pinellas County, Florida by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki on September 26, 2018. Grazzini-Rucki moved back to her home in Florida this past June.

Grazzini-Rucki was convicted in 2016 on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

In the petition requesting the injunction, Grazzini-Rucki falsely claims Brodkorb recently followed her, in Florida, in a black vehicle with Minnesota license plates. Brodkorb does not own a black vehicle, nor has he never been to Florida. Brodkorb was in Minnesota during the time Grazzini-Rucki claimed he was in Florida. Also in the petition are claims that Brodkorb has cyberstalked Grazzini-Rucki.

A court hearing on the petition filed by Grazzini-Rucki is scheduled for next Friday, October 12, 2018, at 10:30 AM in Clearwater, Florida. Continue reading

Jail recordings confirm MacDonald knew Grazzini-Rucki took her children

Recently uncovered phone conversations between Michelle MacDonald and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki recorded shortly after Grazzini-Rucki was arrested in Florida in October 2015, confirm MacDonald was aware her client was involved in the disappearance of her daughters – Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

MacDonald’s statements to Grazzini-Rucki, made while she was in an Osceola County Jail awaiting extradition to Minnesota, directly contradict MacDonald’s public statements about what she claimed both she and her client knew about the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.

Details from the conversations will be included in the upcoming book, “The Girls Are Gone” which is available for pre-sale now and will be released on October 23, 2018. 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 examines the connection between MacDonald, who is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, and two people convicted for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters: 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. Continue reading

Judge: Ristau involved in a ‘conspiracy to commit harassment’

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

At the end of the three-hour court hearing at the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Judge M. Michael 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.

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 HRO against Ristau remains in effect until September 25, 2020.

Beaudette caught lying about her connection to Grazzini-Rucki, admits she gave pictures to Angela Young

During the court hearing, it was disclosed Ristau took multiple photographs of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children and provided information to people connected to Grazzini-Rucki and Evavold on the exact location of where the pictures were taken.

Carrie Beaudette, who received the photographs from Ms. Ristau, was subpoenaed to testify on Ms. Ristau’s behalf. During Beaudette’s testimony, she falsely claimed she had never been involved in Grazzini-Rucki’s legal cases. When Nathan Hansen, attorney for the Brodkorbs, showed Beaudette an affidavit signed by Beaudette involving one of Grazzini-Rucki’s legal case she then admitted helping Grazzini-Rucki while she was living with Angela Young in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Young is Evavold’s next door neighbor.

Beaudette also admitted that shared the pictures taken of Ms. Brodkorb and her minor children with both Dede Evavold and Angela Young. Beaudette said she had not told police about Young’s involvement when she spoke with them in August about the pictures.

Evavold working for new trials to ‘adversely affect sales’ of upcoming book

Dede Evavold, convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of two sisters, is working to get new criminal trials for herself and her co-defendants – not because she claims innocence – but to “adversely affect sales” of an upcoming book which provides new details on the crimes she and others committed. 

Last week, Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann announced the upcoming release of their book, The Girls Are Gone which provides new details about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.

The book examines the events which led to Sandra 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.

In September 2016, Evavold was convicted of six felonies for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Continue reading